Best Workstation Computer For After Effects [2020 Guide]

CG Director Author Alex Glawion  by Alex Glawion   ⋮   ⋮   143 comments
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Best Workstation Computer For After Effects [2020 Guide]

There are quite some factors to consider when building a new PC that is mainly targeted at After Effects use.

This article is about building the best bang-for-the-buck Adobe After Effects Workstation and what hardware components are the best picks for your intended use:

Let’s start out with identifying some of the workloads you might want to run when working in After Effects.

There are two main categories of workloads that we should take a closer look at:

  1. Active work: Active After Effects work is when you sit at your desk and are actively using your workstation. This might involve animating layers, editing your footage, adding effects, scrolling the timeline and navigating the User Interface through menus and buttons.
  2. Passive Work: Passive After Effects work is done when the Program executes tasks itself without you having to interact with it. Such workloads include Rendering out your Projects and Effect Processing Tasks such as Footage Stabilization.

Let’s take a look at how the CPU handles the above tasks.

Best Processor (CPU) for After Effects

1. Actively Working in After Effects

If you are planning on actively working heavily with this Computer I recommend a maximum single Core-Clock CPU such as the Intel i9 9900K or AMD Ryzen 9 3900X.

The 12-Core AMD Ryzen 9 3900X clocks at 3,8 GHz base and has a 4,6 GHz single-core turbo-clock and the i9 9900K even boosts up to 5GHz but only sports 8 Cores total.

User Interface and frame updates in After Effects heavily benefit from high core clocks.

Take a look at these benchmarks from Pugetsystems, where it becomes clear very quickly how superior high-clocking CPUs are in After Effects CC.

CPU NameCoresGhzAfter Effects ScorePriceValue
AMD Ryzen 7 3800X83.9983399
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X63.8922249
AMD Ryzen 9 3900X123.81019499
Intel i9 9800X83.8885589
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X83.7850251
Intel i5 9600K63.7882262
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X63.6816149
AMD Ryzen 5 360063.6912199
AMD Ryzen 7 3700X83.6970329
Intel i9 9900K83.61047488
Intel i9 9700K83.6926362
AMD Threadripper 2950X163.5900729
Intel i9 9900X103.5909989
AMD Threadripper 2920X123.5876369
Intel i9 9920X123.59391189
Intel i9 9940X143.39311387
Intel i9 9820X103.3871889
Intel i9 9960X163.19441684
AMD Threadripper 2990WX323.08181699
AMD Threadripper 2970WX243.07971300
Intel i9 9980XE183.09481979
CPU NameCoresGHzAfter Effects ScorePriceValue

This is true for lots of other Creative Tasks such as 3D Modeling and Animation or Video Editing too, having high Core-Clocks will make your Computer or Laptop much more responsive and snappy.

2. Passive tasks or using the Machine mainly as a Render-Node

Now if you are using this Computer mainly to render out projects that you have already set-up on a different workstation, you would want to go “max CPU-core count” x “CPU-core clock” or in other words max CPU-Multi-Core Performance (similar as for 3D Rendering).

This means the more cores you have and the higher those cores are clocked, the better.

Unfortunately, there are no CPUs with more than 8 cores that have Turbo-Boost frequencies as high as an i9 9900K, meaning you will have to trade clock speeds for core-count.

Excellent options here are:

The above recommendations don’t clock quite as high as an Intel i9 9900K Processor but because of the higher number of cores they are a lot faster in tasks that make good use of multi-threading, such as rendering.

After Effects used to make full use of all of your Cores, but Adobe refactored the renderer a few Versions back, making it much less powerful.

To still be able to make use of high-core-count CPUs though, check out the BGRenderer Plugin.

The overall best After Effects Performance Value currently is offered by AMD with its mid-range Ryzen CPUs such as the Ryzen 5 3600 or  Ryzen 7 3700X.

How much Memory (RAM) do you need for After Effects?

You can never have enough RAM for After Effects. If you thought Chrome was RAM hungry, think again.

The amount of RAM you will need depends a lot on what type of projects you are working on, what other programs you have opened at the same time and how many Cores your CPU has and if you are using plugins like BGRenderer.

If you are using After Effects for lower-res projects that don’t go above 1280×720 and you work in 8Bit Color and your timeline isn’t too complex or long, you might get away with 16GB of RAM without noticing any slowdowns.

I wholeheartedly recommend at least 32GB of RAM for serious After Effects use though, better 64GB if your projects are in FullHD or above and in 16 or 32Bit Color and your Footage consists of multiLayer EXRs or similar heavy footage.

After Effects will take it all, and be sure you limit the RAM usage of After Effects in your preferences, otherwise your System might crawl to a halt.

Best RAM specs for After Effects

Be sure the RAM you chose is decently clocked, with 3200Mhz or 3600Mhz usually being the sweet spot of performance to price. Look out for lower latency RAM such as CL14 or CL16 if your budget allows this.

Having at least two RAM modules makes sure they run in Dual Channel mode, giving you double the potential bandwidth for accessing your Memory. On HEDT Motherboards with chipsets such as x399, TRX40 or x299, you can double that bandwidth again if you have at least 4 RAM Modules hooked up.

Be sure to buy RAM Modules in Kits. The modules within a Kit are factory tested and guaranteed to run smoothly within that configuration of modules.

If you buy multiple kits or even modules from different manufacturers, the possibility of them not working together smoothly is much higher.

Best Graphics Card (GPU) for After Effects

Most After Effects workloads are much more dependent on CPU Performance than on GPU Performance.

It is only when using certain effects or plugins, that a strong GPU will show you noticeable speed-ups – Or if you are working on 3D-Projects and are using the After Effects Raytracing engine.

The most important features in a GPU for After Effects are the number of Compute Units (on AMD Cards) or CUDA Cores (on Nvidia’s GPUs) since After Effects can make use of these in 3D viewport rendering, as well as in speeding up some effects-calculations that might be applied to your footage.

Great choices here are the Nvidia 2070 RTX and 2080 RTX since these have a great price/performance ratio. If you have some cash left over, consider the Nvidia RTX 2080 TI for that extra bit of performance.

After Effects GPU Performance

As you can see in the above Benchmark Rankings by Pugetsystems, it almost doesn’t matter if you buy a GPU for 150$ or one that costs 10 times that.

If After Effects is the only Content Creation Tool you are using, and you know you won’t use the Raytracing Engine or specific Effects that make use of GPU accelleration, then feel free to get a lower-tier GPU such as the Nvidia GTX 1660 or AMD Radeon Vega 64.

Also, After Effects doesn’t natively make use of Multiple GPUs, but if you also use your PC for 3D-Animation in tasks such as GPU rendering in Octane or Redshift, having Multiple GPUs will greatly increase your performance.

Best Hard-Drive (HDD/SSD) for After Effects

When working on projects in After Effects, often-times you’ll be using Footage, which is high-res and high-bit-depth. Multiple Layers of 32Bit EXRs or RED Files come to mind here, and these are huge.

You’ll greatly benefit from having a fast drive to read all this footage from, to make previews and rendering as fast as possible.

The new M.2 SSD Drives such as the Samsung 970 EVO PLUS or PRO have excellent performance and outperform any SATA SSD by far. Highly recommended for Footage, Cache and Software Drives.

Drive Speed Comparisons SSD vs HDD vs NVME

The above Chart shows you how superior an NVMe SSD is to HDDs or traditional SATA SSDs. Of course this is sequential performance, but random read / write and higher cue-depths too are faster on most NVMe Drives.

As a Motion Designer / After Effects Artist you will be working with large footage that you want to load from Drives that are as fast as possible. If you’ve been in the game for quite some time, you should consider getting at least 1 – 2 TB of fast Storage right away.

M.2 NVMe Drives (Link to our NVMe Guide) are the best choice here, and if you have some money left over after configuring your Build, consider investing into more fast Storage Space.

Best Monitor for After Effects

Buying Monitors is an extremely interesting area in itself.

You might want to check out this in-depth Guide to buying the best Monitors for visually demanding work, which should have all the information you’ll need for getting the best Monitor for After Effects.

After Effects Custom PC Recommendation

Head on over to the Web-Based CG-Director PC-Builder Tool, that will let you configure a Motion-Design & After Effects build in less than 4 clicks.

An excellent Build, that I recommend often, would consist of the following parts:

Some Notes on this Build:

Since After Effects is badly optimized for CPU Multi-Core Usage, you’ll see better performance with CPUs that clock high vs CPUs that have lots of cores. The Intel i9 9900K which clocks at 3.6 / 5.0 GHz Turbo will give you a snappy active work experience as well as good rendering speed when exporting your comps.

The beQuiet Dark Rock Pro 4 Air Cooler is among the best Air Coolers you can get and it will make sure the CPU stays below its thermal limits.

When using an overclockable Intel “K” CPU you should make sure the Motherboard supports this and has strong VRMs to deliver all the needed power. The Asus Prime Z390-A is an excellent choice for making sure your Motion Design PC-Build does not run into any Power-Limits.

As we discussed above, the Graphics Card isn’t as important in a PC-Build for After Effects. There are some Effects that are GPU accelerated, but the GPU will rarely be used intensely throughout your work. The 2070 Super I recommend in this Build, is right in the sweet spot of performance and value while sporting CUDA Cores for other workloads such as GPU Rendering in Redshift or Octane if you have need for that.

64GB of RAM should take care of even complex projects, but there certainly is the possibility of upgrading to 128GB of RAM if you can make use of it. If you do need 128GB of RAM, be sure to go for high-capacity (32GB) modules though, as you only have 4 RAM slots available.

Because I am recommending a moderately priced PC-Build here, I just added an SSD with 500GB capacity for OS/Application Storage and 1TB of fast M.2 NVMe Storage for your project files. This should be sufficient for starting out and moderately complex projects, but if you have some money to spare, do consider buying more fast storage from the get go. 2x 2TB of M.2 NVMe Storage such as the Samsung 970 Evo PLUS 2TB, or even higher capacities, will keep you settled for a much longer time without the need to move files around because you are running out of space.

If you don’t want to spend that amount on fast storage, consider getting a large HDD for backing up your inactive projects to free up room on your fast drives for your active projects. On a side note: Redundant Backups / Archiving should be mandatory anyway!

That leaves us with the PSU and Case. For this kind of build, even a 650W PSU would suffice in terms of Power Draw, but with a 750W PSU or even 850W PSU you have the ability to upgrade to stronger parts in the future without having to buy a new Power Supply.

I recommend getting a Modular Power Supply, as they reduce the clutter inside your case substantially, and that increases airflow.

The Case is a simple, black, professional and compact ATX case that will easily fit all of your components. I’ve had great experiences with these minimalist Corsair Cases, but you might prefer a different brand or style. 🙂


That’s about it!


What kind of Computer for After Effects are you building?

Join the New CGDirector Forum! Expert Advice & PC-Build Planning with a warm and friendly Community! :)

Alex Glawion - post author

Hi, I’m Alex, a Freelance 3D Generalist, Motion Designer and Compositor.

I’ve built a multitude of Computers, Workstations and Renderfarms and love to optimize them as much as possible.

Feel free to comment and ask for suggestions on your PC-Build or 3D-related Problem, I’ll do my best to help out!



2000$ to 2200$ what would you recommend ?
Happy to find you through research.
Thanks Alex


Hi Alex – I was really hoping the iMac update would’ve been announced at WWDC (but alas no!), so thinking of moving over to Windows for the first time in decades (currently own a late 2013 imac). I’m looking at the below setup, don’t suppose you have any thoughts? I’m mainly an AE user but also some 3D (C4D):
CPU: Intel Core i7-10700K 8-Core 3.8GHz
CPU COOLING: 140MM liquid cooler
RAM: G.SKILL TridentZ RGB 32GB 3200MHz
SSD:MSRP Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1.0 TB
Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Benq PD3200U
Appreciate any advice, thanks!


Hi Alex,
Thanks for keeping this website up to date! I’m planning on building my first PC with this AMD based system that I will be using for After Effects, Premiere, Maya, Nuke, Houdini. I was originally planning on building an Intel based system with the i9-900k cause of its slight edge in AE but decided to make it more future proof with the new Ryzen CPU. What do you think of this build that I put together?

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($647.99)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($129.99)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS MASTER ATX AM4 Motherboard ($509.99)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($419.99)
Storage PCI-e SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($159.99)
Storage PCI-e SSD: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($329.99)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.75)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB WINDFORCE OC 3X Video Card ($689.99)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case ($149.99)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx (2018) 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($179.99)
Case Fan: be quiet! SilentWings 3 High-Speed 73.33 CFM 120 mm Fan ($29.99) x 5
Monitor: Asus TUF Gaming VG27AQ 27.0″ 2560×1440 165 Hz Monitor ($579.99)
Keyboard: Logitech G512 CARBON Wired Gaming Keyboard ($135.45)
Total: around $4500 CAD

I have some questions about the motherboard, ram, and storage to try to make it as cost efficient as possible without sacrificing the performance.
– Is the x570 AORUS Master overkill for my needs?
– Do I need a 3600Mhz ram kit for better performance? and would it even run at that speed on this motherboard? cause it says it can only support up to 3200Mhz unless I read the specs wrong.
– Would I gain massive performance when using an NVME storage for my apps and OS compared to just using a regular SSD? and what do you think would be the optimal storage setup for this rig?

Thanks in advance!


what’s the best configuratin i can get for a desktop if my budget is limited to only 1200$

Hi Agustin,

Thank you for dropping a line!

Based on your budget, here is the best configuration we can come up with for an AE-centric build:

Parts List:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8GHz 12-Core Processor ($417.06)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 AM4 ($89.90)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 Gaming X ATX AM4 ($169.99)
GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 1660 ($216.90)
Memory: 16GB (2 x 8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 CL16 ($79.99)
Storage SSD: Crucial MX500 250GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive ($49.99)
Storage PCIe-SSD: Patriot P300 512GB M.2 Solid State Drive ($67.99)
Power Supply: Corsair CX Series CX550 550W ATX 2.4 Power Supply ($69.99)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.99)

This cost of the build went a little over your budget at around $1,236.80 but you can be assured that that slight increase in your budget will lead to more power and better performance for your build. For example, the Ryzen 9 3900X CPU will work in conjunction with the 16GB of RAM to give you a fast and smooth workflow. This build also comes with two storage options with its 512GB NVMe SSD and 250GB SATA SSD. All in all, you can expect this build to deliver an excellent performance when you’re working on AE.



appreciate you taking the time, alex
also, can you suggest a good monitor
i wanted the dell up2716d but it way beyond my means
what can be a good alternative in the 200$price range

Hi Agustin,

That’s too bad – the Dell UP2716D is one of my go-to recommendations because of its excellent colour accuracy. Anyway, given your budget, I suggest that you take a look at the ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV priced at around $199.99.

The ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV is a 24.1-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. Of course, you can’t expect the colour accuracy of the Dell UP2716D but the ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV can certainly hold its own. With its 100% sRGB coverage, you can expect more than decent colour accuracy from the ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV. All in all, the ASUS ProArt Display PA248QV looks good on paper but I suggest that you take the time to head on over to a shop where this monitor is available so you can see for yourself just how good of a display it is.



Hi Alex, Thanks for the article, I was somewhat lost regarding PCs and I am about to buy a computer with the following build

AMD Ryzen 7 3700X
2TB SATA – 256 M.2 Nvme Adata XPG Gamixx

I haven’t bought a PC in a long time, I have been using Mac (But now they seem expensive for what I get in return) So this is all new to me, I mostly edit and use AE but I am starting to get into 3D animation.

I have questions on which Motherboard am I supposed to get, I just see many options and I dont understand the difference other than the price, I’ve googled and it is still somewhat confusing. Also if the power source would be ok 600W, and what is the deal with Cabinets I don’t understand the difference at all. And lastly if I might want to save some money and downgrade either graphics or processor, get a Ryzen 3600 or Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB GDDR6 / Sapphire Nitro+ which would be better to downgrade for budget?

Even if you are not available to reply thank you very much for the article!

Hi Gabriel,

Thanks for asking!

You have a good list of components for your build and you can expect a more than decent performance from this once you’re done build it. In terms of motherboard, my go-to recommendation for a B450 motherboard for a 3rd gen Ryzen CPU is the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX. Please feel free to check on this article to know more about the best motherboards for the 3rd gen of Ryzen CPUs:

Your choice of power supply (THERMALTAKE PS-SPD-0600NPCWUS-W / 600W / 80 PLUS) is good especially if you want to keep costs down. In terms of case, you want to get something that will support your motherboard. For example, the MSI B450 Tomahawk MAX is an ATX motherboard so you need a case where an ATX motherboard fits into. There are a lot of case options so you just want to go for something that’s within your budget. A good option for a budget case is the Fractal Design Focus G ATX Mid Tower Computer Case which goes for around $53.99.

Your list of components is already good as it is so as much as possible, I don’t suggest that you downgrade any of your parts. However, if budget is going to be tight, I suggest that you downgrade the GPU but still get an NVIDIA graphics card. Getting an RTX 2060 should save you around $100 or so.



Hi Alex,

Thank you for your article. I want to upgrade my current workstation.

CPU: Intel i7-8700
Motherboard: MSI Z370-A Pro (MS-7B48)
GPU: XFX RX-580P8DFD6 Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5
RAM: 16GB ddr4
FAN: Stock
DISK: Ssd 240gb evo and 1TB SATA disk

What would you recommand to upgrade?

Alex Glawion

Hey Wei-Ming
This depends entirely on the budget you are willing to spend. As for After Effects, having more RAM is always a great thing, so that might be an option.

Of course if you do lots with gpu accelerated effects or use 3d rendering in AE, then a stronger GPU would be nice.

A CPU + Motherboard combo upgrade is probably the most expensive but would get you the least speed boost out of those options. The 8700 is already quite a decent cpu for after effects, and unfortunately because of after effects’ inferior render engine it does not make good use of high-core cpus. You could get an upgrade to a 9900k, but the performance uplift might not be as big as one could wish for.


James Leahy

Wow. Thank you for continuing to update this article. I find myself coming back to it over and over again. I really appreciate the updates. Very helpful for planning and execution for continuing needs. Thank you again.

Alex Glawion

Hey James,
Thanks for the feedback! We try to keep everything updated as much as possible, but sometimes do fall behind all of the new releases. Let me know if there is anything missing in this article or on the site in general that we can work on!



Hi Alex. Actually, just a suggestion based on 15+ years of video work – the hard drives. Instead of the 500Gb M.2 models, I’d recommend getting two Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB – M.2’s. One drive as the OS/AE drive with all primary tools, stock effects, room for current project footage, etc. The second for the library of all the other tools. With video projects, hard disk space gets eaten up very rapidly. I have 6 full 1TB drives and I am out of space, with much more backed up onto other media. Just one project has taken over 500GB at times. Add the music score to that and… You get the picture. From personal experience, the time it takes to move files around to compensate for limited space only creates file location issues the next time you open a project and thus, a slowed workflow. We’re upgrading another machine with the above mentioned M.2’s shortly.

JB Singh

Hi Alex,

First of all thanks for this article. It’s really helpful and has given me great info! Could you give feedback on this configuration?

– CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
– Power:Corsair RM750 PSU
– Motherboard: MSI B450M-A PRO MAX
– RAM: Corsair DDR4 Vengeance LPX 2x16GB 3200
– SSD: Crucial MX500 250GB SSD
– HDD: Western Digital Blue WD20EZRZ 2TB

My budget is around 1200-1400 USD and will mostly use After Effects to create UI-animations. Also would like to know what you think about this motherboard.


Alex Glawion

Hey JB Singh,
Great build you put together! The Motherboard is decent, though I’d recommend the MSI b450 Tomahawk MAX over the PRO MAX.

The PSU (750w) is a bit on the high end for that build. You could also get away with 550W or so, but maybe you plan on upgrading or adding more gpus in the future?


JB Singh

Hi Alex,

I will look into the MSI b450 Tomahawk. The price difference for a better motherboard should not be a problem 🙂

Will also keep in mind to buy a 550W-PSU, since I am not planning to upgrade/add more GPUs in the future. Thanks for your advice!



Hello Alex,
first of all… many many many thanks for such good info you’ve written here. I have a question for 4 configurations, would you like to help me, please. Which one is better for Adobe After Effects? I am really confused… There are some people who told me Ryzen is better than Intel for Adobe, but some people told me Intel is better than Ryzen from those configurations. Please help me. Thank you in advance.

PC 1

CPU: Ryzen 7 3700x 16 threads
Motherboard: GB B450 AORUS Pro /AM4
GPU: MSI 1070Ti Gaming 8GB
Power: be quiet! Straight Power 10 800W Gold

PC 2

CPU: Intel Xeon E5-2689 CPU 2.6 LGA 2011
GPU: Nvidia ASUS Cerberus GeForce® GTX 1070 Ti Advanced Edition 8GB GDDR5
FAN: 2х Corsair HD120 RGB LED 120x120x25mm 1725rpm (CO-9050066)
2хCorsair HD120 RGB LED 120x120x25mm 1725rpm (CO-9050065)
Deepcool Maelstrom 240 RGB 2x120mm
POWER: Corsair AX760 760W Platinum
RAM: HYNIX server memory DDR3 32GB 1866mhz
Motherboard: LGA 2011


CPU: Ryzen 7 2700 16 threads
Motherboard: GB B450 AORUS Pro /AM4
GPU: MSI 1060 Gaming X 6GB
Disk: Kingston 256GB m2 NVME
Power: Fortron Hyper 700W


CPU: Intel i7-6700
GPU: Gtx 1060 6gb ddr5
RAM: Corsair 8gb ddr4
FAN: Cooler Master
DISK: Ssd 240gb

Alex Glawion

Hey Ivanov,
This can’t really be generalized on a brand-wide basis: Here’s the rough ranking:

intel i9 9900ks > ryzen 3900x > ryzen 3700x > i7 6700 > ryzen 2700 > xeon

Hope this helps.

So an i9 9900k(s) is still the fastest in AE, as ae is very dependent on high single core speeds.

The 3rd gen ryzen cpus are very close to intel’s top spot of the i9 9900k, though are slightly slower, but will make up for it in better value and multi-core performance.

I would advise against getting a xeon, as those perform the worst in ae workloads and cost the most.



So many thanks, Alex. So PC 1 configuration is better from those I wrote as I can understand, right? Thanks a lot! And one more question… how much important is the GPU and for what it is? For rendering or…? Thank you.

Alex Glawion

From the ones you listed, yes pc1 is the best!

Quick note on that build. 800w psu is not really necessary. You could get away with a 550 – 600w psu if you don’t plan on upgrading in the future.

Look out for a MAX variant of that motherboard as those motherboard variants already have updated bios versions to support the 3rd gen ryzen cpus. MSI Tomahawk MAX b450 too is an excellent choice.



I note speed of ram often mentioned. 3000, 3200 3600 etc. What should also should be considered is
A. latency eg cl14, cl16 cl19 Smaller latency usually better.

B. Quality of memory a good Samsung B die cl16 may be more stable and able to be overclocked compared to a – just at the edge of it capability -micron E die memory at cl16. This an issue at the popular 3200 cl16 range where retailers sell poorer quality memory at the same price as the better stuff as not everyone checks the full specs.

C. Built in memory controllers for different generations of cpu/motherboards. Eg. Ryzen 3000 + x570 combo can support faster & lower latency memory than prior generation .

D. Ram prices/brand not indicative of quality of ram. Check specs carefully and do research. Poor memory choice can lead to instability or lower performance.

E. As Always when really pushing for the best there is the diminishing returns issue. Edit:in regards to specs eg cl16-16-16-34 would generally be better than cl16-19-19-38, always check full specs not just the first number.

F. Motherboard manufacturer support, Not all boards created equal, check motherboards QVL to see what memory is officially supported. If not on the list you can have issues. Some manufacturers bios & support can be flaky. If buying new expensive system review forums for that board to see if there are any known issues.

Alex Glawion

Thanks Steve, great list! I agree completely.