Loading of the MCM replicative helicase at origins of replication is a highly regulated process that precedes DNA replication in all eukaryotes. The stoichiometry of MCM loaded at origins has been proposed to be a key determinant of when those origins initiate replication during S phase. Nevertheless, the genome-wide regulation of MCM loading stoichiometry and its direct effect on replication timing remain unclear. In order to investigate why some origins load more MCM than others, we perturbed MCM levels in budding yeast cells and, for the first time, directly measured MCM levels and replication timing in the same experiment. Reduction of MCM levels through degradation of Mcm4, one of the six obligate components of the MCM complex, slowed progression through S phase and increased sensitivity to replication stress. Reduction of MCM levels also led to differential loading at origins during G1, revealing origins that are sensitive to reductions in MCM and others that are not. Sensitive origins loaded less MCM under normal conditions and correlated with a weak ability to recruit the origin recognition complex (ORC). Moreover, reduction of MCM loading at specific origins of replication led to a delay in their replication during S phase. In contrast, overexpression of MCM had no effects on cell cycle progression, relative MCM levels at origins, or replication timing, suggesting that, under optimal growth conditions, cellular MCM levels are not limiting for MCM loading. Our results support a model in which the loading capacity of origins is the primary determinant of MCM stoichiometry in wild-type cells, but that stoichiometry is controlled by origins' ability to recruit ORC and compete for MCM when MCM becomes limiting.