The CL is a timing rating for RAM, just like the PC3200 is a speed rating. I can link up some RAM guides if you are interested, but basically the lower the numbers, the 'tighter the timing', the better the performance. However, for the vast majority of people, it doesn't make a huge difference, it really only matters to those that want bragging rights or want to be able to do some serious overclocking.almostfreeman wrote:I am considering adding some ram. I know I need DDR pc 3200 but I'm not sure what the CL #'s mean....
If you are buying more RAM to add to your computer, you probably won't know what the original stuff is rated at, so even if you buy faster RAM its only going to operate at the slower rated stuff. I'd suggest trying to get something like 3-3-3-x (the last number isn't as important) or lower, unless you're going for DDR2 then as you can see, its harder (and a lot more expensive) to buy lower rated stuff.
I bought some 2-2-2-5 OCZ the other year and I love it, and its great for overclocking, but in hindsight, it was well over twice as expensive as alternatives and part of me can't help but think the I would have gotten more bang for the buck doubling the amount of RAM I had vs. buying faster RAM (or with tighter timings, as its referred to).
Its a tough choice. My reccomendation is to do a few google searches with the brand and model you have in mind, along with the motherboard you currently have in your computer, just to make sure that there aren't any real problems (back in the day, nforce2 boards didn't like GEIL RAM all that much, although YMMV), and if you want to buy two sticks to run dual, its a better bet to buy a matched pair. In reality you probably won't run into problems, but its not really any pricier and once in a while two individual sticks will not play well together. The brands that [rfdlink=/forums/autolink/redirectpage.php?linkid=28]NCIX[/rfdlink] has on sale this week are all good names too, which is nice.
Hope that makes things a bit clearer. Let me know if you need any other help.