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What RAM to choose for asus X79-DELUXE and i7-4930K CPU?

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November 29, 2013 1:16:56 PM

Hi, I'm going to have the ASUS X79-DELUXE mainboard and the i7-4930K CPU.

I want to choose a good RAM. These are my needs:

    I need at least 8GB of RAM.
    For sure I will start with 1 piece of RAM and then in future I will double it.


This is why I am thinking one of the following options:

    Or to buy 1x8GB and in future buy the second one, or
    Buy a 16GB, and stay with only 16GB and update with a second 16GB if I will need it (for video rendering, etc)


CPU SPEFICATIONS
In the CPU specs I can see that:
-It supports "DDR3-1333/1600/1866" - and in the descriptions I can read that "Intel® processors come in four different types: a Single Channel, Dual Channel, Triple Channel, and Flex Mode."
-the number if "# of Memory Channels" is 4

Having this in mind, does it support "Quad Channel Memory Architecture " RAM? Or maximum is Triple Channel?

MOTHERBOARD SPECIFICATIONS
8 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR3 2800(O.C.)/2400(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
Supports Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
* Refer to www.asus.com for the Memory QVL (Qualified Vendors Lists).
* Due to CPU behavior, DDR3 2200/2000/1800 MHz memory module will run at DDR3 2133/1866/1600 MHz frequency as default.


SUMMARY

    Is it better if I buy a dual channel, dual/quad channel, or quad channel RAM?
    Do I understand well I need to buy a RAM at maximum 1866Mhz?
    Can I use 1 piece of ram and then upgrade to a double ram of the same type in future or it is better if I buy a pair of pieces of RAM from the beginning?
    What kind or ram (brand, model) do you suggest?
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November 29, 2013 1:25:12 PM

I believe you have so much budget. Just go for the corsair dominator, it's very popular among extreme enthusiasts. I suggest get a dual channel first then get another pair after a while. If you do rendering and stuff, dual channel will be faster than single channel. But that doesn't mean twice as fast.

About maximum clock speed of the ram supported by your mobo, it can support up to 2800 bro.
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November 29, 2013 1:29:05 PM

Well to make thing clear and elevate the fog of information - the 4930k uses quad channel configuration. This means you have to populate a full channel (4 sticks) for optimal performance. In this sense, 4x4 GB will outperform 2x8 or 1x16. Since all your slots are black, consult the motherboard manual to see the proper installation.

Concerning RAM speed - 1333 at 9,9,9 is the optimum price/performance RAM. There is absolutely no sense and no real life benefit of spending all that money on higher MHz RAM, or even more money on Higher MHz RAM with low latency, when they benefit less than 1% as total performance. What is needed is amount.

On the other question - yes, it is best to buy quad kits. This way you can be certain that those sticks are validated to work together.

So TL; DR; version

Buy 4x4 or 4x8 GB 1333 MHz 9-9-9 kit.
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November 29, 2013 2:18:06 PM

So I plan the following because of the budget:
I will start with CORSAIR DOMINATOR PLATINUM 2 x 4 GB DDR3-1600 and then in future I will buy a new pair of the same product.

I understand that 2x4GB is not a quad channel, and it will be slower that it should be. But does it mean that it will be "slow"? If I will by 2 kits of 2x4GB I understand it will become a 4 channel and full performing, right?
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November 29, 2013 2:18:41 PM

adimeister said:

About maximum clock speed of the ram supported by your mobo, it can support up to 2800 bro.

Thanks much. I see that the motherboard supports up to 2800, but it looks like that the CPU doesn't, right?

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November 29, 2013 2:55:08 PM

Wrong, your CPU can support (realistically) up to 64GB of 2400, it can support higher freqs in smaller quantities....as far as the CPU itself the MC (memory controller) in it can run single, dual, tri, quad and flex mode with DRAM - it is optimized to run quad channel, but basically can handle anything (single, dual, tri and quad are fairly self explanatory - but a bit further - each requires and equal amount of DRAM in each Channel to run in that mode) - Flex is a little different - say (for whatever reason) you have 5 sticks (4GB ea) of DRAM that will all play together you can load 1 to each channel to populate all 4 channels then pop the fifth in the secondary slot of say Channel A (of the four, being identified as A, B, C, and D - 2 slots to each channel) that would give 20GB of DRAM, of which 16 would run in ful quad channel mode and the oddball 4 GB would run in single channel...

Also as far as DRAM itself goes, 1600/9 is considered entry level, best bet for an X79 rig rig would be starting with 1866/9, no sense in having a performance rig and dragging it down with slow DRAM
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November 29, 2013 3:24:46 PM

Tradesman1 said:
Wrong, your CPU can support (realistically) up to 64GB of 2400, it can support higher freqs in smaller quantities....as far as the CPU itself the MC (memory controller) in it can run single, dual, tri, quad and flex mode with DRAM - it is optimized to run quad channel, but basically can handle anything (single, dual, tri and quad are fairly self explanatory - but a bit further - each requires and equal amount of DRAM in each Channel to run in that mode) - Flex is a little different - say (for whatever reason) you have 5 sticks (4GB ea) of DRAM that will all play together you can load 1 to each channel to populate all 4 channels then pop the fifth in the secondary slot of say Channel A (of the four, being identified as A, B, C, and D - 2 slots to each channel) that would give 20GB of DRAM, of which 16 would run in ful quad channel mode and the oddball 4 GB would run in single channel...

Also as far as DRAM itself goes, 1600/9 is considered entry level, best bet for an X79 rig rig would be starting with 1866/9, no sense in having a performance rig and dragging it down with slow DRAM


1) Hi, why you say that the CPU can support 2400? How to read the "DDR3-1333/1600/1866" stuff I see in the intel website?

2) In the Intel site there is written that it supports "Single Channel, Dual Channel, Triple Channel, and Flex Mode." - quad mode is not listed. Does it mean that the CPU doesn't support "Quad Channel Memory Architecture " that is instead supported by the mainboard?

3) Your message makes me think that instead of the previous option it is better if I opt to a CMD8GX3M2A1866C9 8GB (2x4GB) 9-10-9-27, and in future buy a second pair, in order to have 4 pieces of the same kind. Would that be a valid option?

Thank you
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a c 786 Ĉ ASUS
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November 29, 2013 5:53:12 PM

All you are seeing at the Intel site is what is recommended for the CPU at stock speed - Intel does not advocate OCing. Of the socket 2011 builds I've done (30+) the lowest freq DRAM I've used was 1866, most go 2133 or 2400 and the new IB-E CPUs have a better MC (memory controller) than the original 2011 CPUs (the 3820 and 39xx series) and of those the 39xx's could handle 2400 with a slight OC.

On the Intel spec sheet it should show it as supporting 4 channels which is quad channel

It's best, to buy all DRAM you want or think you'll want in a single package, mixing sets even of the same exact model can be problematic, especially with 1600 and above, DRAM is tested so that all sticks in a given package have been tested to work together, there is no guarantee when mixing sticks from different packages. The larger sets of DRAM (say a 4 stick package) normally cost a little more than say 2 sets of 2 sticks as it takes more time testing wise to find 4 that will play nice than it is to find two that will play together, also for 1600 and above, XMP is programmed by the packaged set, while both a set of two sticks and a set of 4 sticks might well have the same exact timings the advanced timings will differ, a set of 2 8GB 2133 sticks might take n advanced tRFC timing of 208 while the same sticks in a 4 stick package might take a tRFC of 278....So yes you can try what you suggest and mix two sets, but I would suggest against it for the reasons given, I respond to numerous posts daily where people have mixed sets, and 'Oh My' they don't work together ;) 
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November 29, 2013 8:39:56 PM

Bro, trust @Tradesman1 ! :D  He's one of the knowledgeable guys around here. :) 

And just to add, that's why they put the (OC) acronym after the clock speed of 2400(OC) and 2800(OC), etc, because same as what @Tradesman1 has said, it's for OCing. And Intel doesn't want guys to OC then have problems then bother Intel with emails and trying to RMA stuff just because of a failed OC. :)  Though only a few % get very UNLUCKY when OC and get their hardware burnt. haha
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November 30, 2013 3:34:33 AM

Ok great :)  Today I know more than yesterday :)  Thanks much!!
I see it's better to allocate more budget from the very beginning. So now I am thinking on one of the two following options:

1) Corsair Dominator CMP16GX3M4X1600C7 16GB (4x 4GB) 7-8-8-24
2) Corsair Dominator GT CMT16GX3M4X2133C9 16GB (4x 4GB) 9-11-10-27

Which one you suggest? The price is very similar.
Please note that if I will do some OC, it will be a slight oc, not enormous :) 
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November 30, 2013 6:44:21 AM

I'd get the 2nd one. :)  It has a higher clock speed, 2133mhz. :) 
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November 30, 2013 8:02:27 AM

The 2133 would be the better option, the bandwidth will come in handy ;) 
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January 12, 2014 9:12:02 AM

What about the ram voltage? When I checked Asus' website to see x79 compatible rams with 2400mhz, all rams were 1.65V & 1.6V. But, then I checked intel's website for 4930k capabilities, it was written that rams with 1.5V should be used.
What should we do in this case?
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January 12, 2014 12:29:35 PM

1.5 is for the CPU at stock and basically 1333/1600 DRAM, (I stick w/ 1.5 through 1866 DRAM, 2133 and higher are perfectly fine at 1.6-1.65
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January 31, 2014 9:19:28 AM

Shneiky said:
Well to make thing clear and elevate the fog of information - the 4930k uses quad channel configuration. This means you have to populate a full channel (4 sticks) for optimal performance. In this sense, 4x4 GB will outperform 2x8 or 1x16. Since all your slots are black, consult the motherboard manual to see the proper installation.

Concerning RAM speed - 1333 at 9,9,9 is the optimum price/performance RAM. There is absolutely no sense and no real life benefit of spending all that money on higher MHz RAM, or even more money on Higher MHz RAM with low latency, when they benefit less than 1% as total performance. What is needed is amount.

On the other question - yes, it is best to buy quad kits. This way you can be certain that those sticks are validated to work together.

So TL; DR; version

Buy 4x4 or 4x8 GB 1333 MHz 9-9-9 kit.


What does 9-9-9 mean?
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January 31, 2014 2:21:43 PM

Those are three of the 4 base timings, the CL (CAS latency) is the first number in the string and most important, the lower the CL the better. Will normally see all four base timings like 9-9-9-27 or 8-8-8-24 something like that, but if looking at sets of say 1600 DRAM if there were two with the above timings the CL8 (or the one with the 8-8-8-24 timings would perform a little better then the 9-9-9-27 set)
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