RAM Confusion: What's the difference?

Hi there,

Currently putting together a list for my next build... but I don't really get why there are so many different types of RAM. My budget is around $150 australian and I'm buying from

http://www.pccasegear.com

G.Skill is the best RAM around, right? The board I am using will be a Gigabyte
Z77N-WIFI mini-itx with an i7-3770. I am looking for 16 GB (2x8GB) at good speeds.

How do these different ones compare?

G.Skill Ripjaws Z F3-2133C11D-16GZL - $159
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_912&products_id=21329

G.Skill Trident X F3-2133C9D-16GTX - $169
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_912&products_id=22070

Is the $10 difference worth the trident over the ripjaws?
Is there better RAM for this price that I should be looking at?

Thanks heaps for your suggestions/help :)

-Antoni.
14 answers Last reply
More about ram confusion difference
  1. G.skil is good, but so are most other vendors.
    The second set needs 1.6v, and has slightly better latency.
    But, a 3770 does not benefit significantly from fast ram, and the high heat spreaders can interfere with some cpu coolers.
    Read this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-scaling-choosing-the-best-ddr3
    I would buy this version of 1600 : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_912&products_id=19766
  2. geofelt said:
    G.skil is good, but so are most other vendors.
    The second set needs 1.6v, and has slightly better latency.
    But, a 3770 does not benefit significantly from fast ram, and the high heat spreaders can interfere with some cpu coolers.
    Read this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-scaling-choosing-the-best-ddr3
    I would buy this version of 1600 : http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=186_912&products_id=19766


    Hi, thanks for the advice!
    I thought that the i7-3770 was ivy bridge, not sandy bridge? Or does this article apply to both?
    If that's the case, then it's good to know that higher speeds won't really help with performance...
    I'm using a Corsair H80i Cooler so RAM height shouldn't be an issue.
    I will be multitasking a lot... so would a speed higher than 1600 be any good?
    I do like the fact that the one you've recommended is cheaper :)

    Thanks again.
  3. Yes, the 3770 is ivy bridge, but it has the same ram controller as sandy bridge, so the article still applies.
    For multitasking, lots of ram is more important than fast ram. In a ITX motherboard, 16gb is all you can get.
    1.5v ram does not need any heat spreaders at all. They are mostly marketing except for extreme overclockers.

    The 3770 can not be cpu overclocked. You have a Z77 based motherboard, so why not spend 5% more on a 3770K which can be overclocked to gain 25%.
    If you will not be overclocking, then there is no need for a liquid cooler. ivy bridge runs cool.
    I do not recommend liquid coolers if you can avoid it. They are expensive, noisy, less reliable, and can cause real damage if they leak.
    I am planning a Haswell ITX build in a Lian li PC-Q08 case, and it has a cpu cooler height limit of 110mm.
    I know I could use a liquid cooler, but am trying to figure out a way to avoid it. My plan A is to initially use the stock cooler, and see how well I can do. Plan B is to use a low profile downdraft type cooler like the thermalright AXP-140.
    Plan C is to either accept a lower OC or use a liquid cooler.
  4. The G.Skill Trident X is the best. Comparing those two memory kit specifications, it is clearly the better choice as well. For only $10, it's more than worth it.

    Thank you
    GSKILL SUPPORT
  5. geofelt said:
    Yes, the 3770 is ivy bridge, but it has the same ram controller as sandy bridge, so the article still applies.
    For multitasking, lots of ram is more important than fast ram. In a ITX motherboard, 16gb is all you can get.
    1.5v ram does not need any heat spreaders at all. They are mostly marketing except for extreme overclockers.

    The 3770 can not be cpu overclocked. You have a Z77 based motherboard, so why not spend 5% more on a 3770K which can be overclocked to gain 25%.
    If you will not be overclocking, then there is no need for a liquid cooler. ivy bridge runs cool.
    I do not recommend liquid coolers if you can avoid it. They are expensive, noisy, less reliable, and can cause real damage if they leak.
    I am planning a Haswell ITX build in a Lian li PC-Q08 case, and it has a cpu cooler height limit of 110mm.
    I know I could use a liquid cooler, but am trying to figure out a way to avoid it. My plan A is to initially use the stock cooler, and see how well I can do. Plan B is to use a low profile downdraft type cooler like the thermalright AXP-140.
    Plan C is to either accept a lower OC or use a liquid cooler.


    Thank you so so much for all your help :) with the $30 I'll save on the 1600 MHz RAM you've recommended, I'll only need to spend $6 extra on the 3770K and overclock that beast :)
    You have been the biggest help, and thanks again.

    -Antoni.
  6. gskill support said:
    The G.Skill Trident X is the best. Comparing those two memory kit specifications, it is clearly the better choice as well. For only $10, it's more than worth it.

    Thank you
    GSKILL SUPPORT


    Haha of course you would suggest the more expensive one, G.Skill support! Don't worry, I'm still buying your brand, just a lower spec kit.
    Cheers :)
  7. What is the purpose for your build?
    If it is for multi core enabled cpu bound tasks like editing/rendering, then the 3770K is great.
    If it is for gaming, you can save by using a 3570K. Few games use more than 2-3 cores, so you will not lose any performance in gaming. Spend the savings elsewhere.

    Post the entire build along with links and your budget. Perhaps there are more suggestions for you.
  8. I was not suggesting you to purchase the more expensive one, I was merely stating which is better and worth more value. ;)

    Thank you
    GSKILL SUPPORT


    Haha of course you would suggest the more expensive one, G.Skill support! Don't worry, I'm still buying your brand, just a lower spec kit.
    Cheers :)
  9. geofelt said:
    What is the purpose for your build?
    If it is for multi core enabled cpu bound tasks like editing/rendering, then the 3770K is great.
    If it is for gaming, you can save by using a 3570K. Few games use more than 2-3 cores, so you will not lose any performance in gaming. Spend the savings elsewhere.

    Post the entire build along with links and your budget. Perhaps there are more suggestions for you.


    The build is for a server/gaming PC. I want it to be on 24/7 so it can stream stuff to my Apple TV etc and hence why I want water cooling as it will be on all the time, but will also be using it to game occasionally. I multitask a lot, so that's why I though the i7 would help with its hyperthreading.

    This is the list of my entire build so far:

    BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX Case - Orange - $99
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=21969

    Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI Mini-ITX - $135
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=21692

    Intel Core i7-3770K - $345
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=20140

    Corsair Hydro Series H80i CPU Cooler - $129
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=22308

    Corsair CX-500M Modular PSU - $79
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=22421

    ASUS GeForce GTX 660 Ti DirectCU II 2GB OC - $339
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=21783

    Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB - $99
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=13660

    G.Skill Ares F3-1600C10D-16GAO 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 - $129
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=19766

    Pioneer BDR-208DBKS ODD - $99
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=22788

    I would like to order the lot off one website... it's gonna cost me nearly $40 to ship so my budget for the build is around $1450 so that it's a round $1500 including postage. Suggestions are most welcome!! Thanks :)
  10. A very good list.
    I would not build using a liquid cooler if I had an alternative.
    They are noisy, expensive, less reliable, and do not cool any better than a decent air cooler in a well ventilated case.
    I have heard too many tales of woe from liquid coolers leaking and ruining everything.
    Save your money, and buy a simple tower type cooler like the cm hyper212 :
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=207_23_845&products_id=18670

    Your budget deserves a SSD for the os and some apps.
    With the savings on the cooler, you will come out even on the budget and have a much quicker pc.
    120gb at least should do it.
    I like Samsung and intel.
    Here is one; http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_902_1370&products_id=22033
  11. geofelt said:
    A very good list.
    I would not build using a liquid cooler if I had an alternative.
    They are noisy, expensive, less reliable, and do not cool any better than a decent air cooler in a well ventilated case.
    I have heard too many tales of woe from liquid coolers leaking and ruining everything.
    Save your money, and buy a simple tower type cooler like the cm hyper212 :
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=207_23_845&products_id=18670

    Your budget deserves a SSD for the os and some apps.
    With the savings on the cooler, you will come out even on the budget and have a much quicker pc.
    120gb at least should do it.
    I like Samsung and intel.
    Here is one; http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=210_902_1370&products_id=22033


    Thanks heaps for your suggestions... but I don't think I'm going to put a SSD in there, just because I know that I would run out of room. But I can always put one in later if I need more performance, with SATA III these days the WD Black performs really well anyway. I'm really interested with the closed loop cooling systems, and as the motherboard sits flat in the Prodigy it wouldn't matter as much if dust settled on the mobo. How much do you think I could overclock with the H80i? And how should I go about it, do I just increase the baseclock? Thanks again for all your help.
  12. 1. Once you have a SSD for the OS and some apps, you will never go back.
    It is much easier to install windows on a SSD initially compared to redoing it and reinstalling apps later.
    A SSD is 50x faster than a velociraptor in small random I/O. That is what the os does 90% of the time.
    It is 3x faster in sequential.
    Use your 1tb hard drive for large files and storage.
    2. A conservative OC with a H80I might be in the 4.5 range, with a good air cooler might be 4.4.
    Of course, it depends on your luck of the bin. With ivy bridge, OC is done with the multiplier. The base clock of 100 has limited tweaking, perhaps in the 3% range; it interacts with too many other things.
    3. Dust is always a problem unless you have a positive pressure airflow. It coats the motherboard, and really gums up the graphics card cooling fans. That is one where cooling air is drawn in at one location, through a washable air filter, then left to exhaust wherever. I think you can set up the prodigy that way.
  13. geofelt said:
    1. Once you have a SSD for the OS and some apps, you will never go back.
    It is much easier to install windows on a SSD initially compared to redoing it and reinstalling apps later.
    A SSD is 50x faster than a velociraptor in small random I/O. That is what the os does 90% of the time.
    It is 3x faster in sequential.
    Use your 1tb hard drive for large files and storage.
    2. A conservative OC with a H80I might be in the 4.5 range, with a good air cooler might be 4.4.
    Of course, it depends on your luck of the bin. With ivy bridge, OC is done with the multiplier. The base clock of 100 has limited tweaking, perhaps in the 3% range; it interacts with too many other things.
    3. Dust is always a problem unless you have a positive pressure airflow. It coats the motherboard, and really gums up the graphics card cooling fans. That is one where cooling air is drawn in at one location, through a washable air filter, then left to exhaust wherever. I think you can set up the prodigy that way.


    Ok, so do you think I could get the OC to 4.4 GHz with the hyper 212 you've recommended? Is it quiet? Will it keep the CPU cool if running 24/7?

    And then I should put in an ssd for os and apps? Do you think I should then get the 500gb caviar black ($79) to save some money or just keep the 1 TB in there ($99)?
  14. It is unknown what your particular chip will do. Once you start adding voltage, the heat generated rises exponentially, so each added 0.1 becomes more difficult to get. 4.4 might be a goal, but somewhere north of 4.0 is almost certain with even a hyper212. My take is to be conservative. Leave all the voltages and ram settings on auto and just raise the multiplier until a stress test reaches it's maximum at a temperature of 70c. or so with no failure. 24/7 is not a problem. Chances are, that when there is little work to do, the cpu will downclock to 1.6 anyway.

    I will always build with a SSD for the os and whatever. In my case, 240gb is plenty for the os, a dozen games and 8gb of photo's. If you need to store large files such as video's, put them on a hard drive. Id the $20 difference is ok, get the 1tb drive. Larger hard drives use denser platters, and perform just a bit better.
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