If you are preparing to replace hardware in your computer or build one of your own, then some of the supported memory types shown for motherboards may be a bit confusing. What does the “+” that is sometimes shown for DDR4 RAM really mean? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to a confused reader’s question.

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

Photo courtesy of Tecnomovida Caracas (Flickr).

The Question

SuperUser reader Karl Richter wants to know what the “+” in supported DDR4 RAM memory types means:

Some motherboard producers add a “+” to the specification of supported memory types (i.e. ASRock X99 Extreme 3 supports DDR4-3000+). Does DDR4-3000+ somehow differ from DDR4-3000? The Wikipedia article on DDR-SDRAM does not contain the “+” or mention anything related. I do not see the difference reflected in selection filters when browsing online stores either.

What does the “+” in supported DDR4 RAM memory types mean?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor Yass has the answer for us:

The “+” usually indicates that the motherboard supports RAM with a frequency of over 3000 MHz. The OC in brackets means that the motherboard allows the RAM to be over-clocked. The caveats being that you may need to increase the voltage and/or the timings in order to accommodate the higher frequency.

This article provides a good explanation of memory timings (i.e. 9-9-9-24):

Memory Timings/Latency Explained

Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya
Akemi Iwaya has been part of the How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media team since 2009. She has previously written under the pen name "Asian Angel" and was a Lifehacker intern before joining How-To Geek/LifeSavvy Media. She has been quoted as an authoritative source by ZDNet Worldwide.
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