The hardest part of building a computer is picking your parts, and RAM speed can be a little confusing. Does it actually matter? How does it affect the speed of your PC? Linus from Linus Tech Tips breaks it down for us in video form.
Essentially, you have two things to worry about when it comes to RAM "speed": frequency, which deals with how much data can be transferred to the stick at one time, and latency, which is how quickly it responds to requests. In the current market, as you get to higher frequencies, latency tends to increase, so in many cases, they tend to balance each other out. Buying RAM with a higher speed doesn't matter a lot.
The conclusions of the video aren't really all-encompassing though. He's mostly focused on gaming with a dedicated GPU, and RAM speed can make a difference with an integrated graphics system like AMD's APUs. It can also make your system more stable if you're overclocking on certain systems. But his explanation of how frequency and latency works is pretty worthwhile. As always, check out our computer-building guide for more info on choosing parts for your custom PC.
High Speed RAM - Is It Worth It? [Linus Tech Tips]