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How much RAM should I get?

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January 19, 2014 1:55:44 PM

Im building a new gaming PC and im thinking of starting with 8GB of RAM then adding 8GB more (4x2 + 4x2). Is that a good choice and would adding RAM after building cause any issues? And finally, what would you recommend as a buy that is efficient and cheap. Thanks! :D 

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a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
January 19, 2014 2:03:11 PM

Start with 2 sticks of 4 GB each. You shouldn't need 16GB for a gaming machine, unless you're running other things in the background while gaming.
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a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
a b V Motherboard
a b } Memory
January 19, 2014 2:05:10 PM

Yes, adding RAM after building can cause issues. You may need to adjust timings. It's important to get the same kind of sticks, because mixing different kinds can lead to instability.

The kind of memory you need depends on the motherboard. Pick a CPU and a motherboard first, then the RAM. In general, G.Skill makes some of the best RAM.
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January 19, 2014 2:06:28 PM

You should get 2x4gb rather than 4x2gb if you are looking to upgrade in the future otherwise you would need 8 Ram slots which are mainly on high end boards. Corsair Vengeance is always a solid buy if you are not looking to spend too much. Make sure its running at 1600mhz.
Good luck with your choice
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a c 648 4 Gaming
a c 251 å Intel
a c 285 À AMD
a c 1721 V Motherboard
a c 2176 } Memory
January 19, 2014 2:06:43 PM

IF thinking 16GB at all would try and just get 16GB, any time you mix sets of DRAM, even the exact same model, it can be problematic...if mobo runs 8GB sticks, look for 2x8GB (less stress on the MC (memory controller)
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a b 4 Gaming
a b å Intel
a b À AMD
a c 261 V Motherboard
a c 108 } Memory
January 19, 2014 2:07:40 PM

You want documented ram compatibility. If you should ever have a problem, you want supported ram.
Otherwise, you risk a finger pointing battle between the ram and motherboard support sites, claiming "not my problem".
One place to check is your motherboards web site.
Look for the ram QVL list. It lists all of the ram kits that have been tested with that particular motherboard.
Sometimes the QVL list is not updated after the motherboard is released.
For more current info, go to a ram vendor's web site and access their ram selection configurator.
Enter your motherboard, and you will get a list of compatible ram kits.
While today's motherboards are more tolerant of different ram, it makes sense to buy ram that is known to work and is supported.
Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards can be very sensitive to this.
That is why ram vendors will NOT support ram that is not bought in one kit.
Although, I think the problem has lessened with the newer Intel chipsets. Still,
it is safer to get what you need in one kit.
For gaming, no game, by itself will use more than 2-3gb. 8gb would be the norm.
But I like 16gb. Ram is relatively cheap. Windows can keep more in ram available for instant reuse.
Unless your budget is extremely tight, I would buy a 16gb kit of 2 x 8gb up front.

If you will be using an intel cpu, ram speed is not that important. 1600 should be fine.
If you will be using, then amd needs fast ram to perform better.

I would budget 2x your cpu cost for the graphics card.
If your cpu is <$130 or so, amd will be a good budget cpu. If it is higher, look to the faster cores from Intel.
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January 19, 2014 2:08:26 PM

aevm said:
Yes, adding RAM after building can cause issues. You may need to adjust timings. It's important to get the same kind of sticks, because mixing different kinds can lead to instability.

The kind of memory you need depends on the motherboard. Pick a CPU and a motherboard first, then the RAM. In general, G.Skill makes some of the best RAM.


Once again you have a great answer, when you mean things in the background, does that count as a browser, something like a security scan or both? :p 
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January 19, 2014 2:14:12 PM

geofelt said:
You want documented ram compatibility. If you should ever have a problem, you want supported ram.
Otherwise, you risk a finger pointing battle between the ram and motherboard support sites, claiming "not my problem".
One place to check is your motherboards web site.
Look for the ram QVL list. It lists all of the ram kits that have been tested with that particular motherboard.
Sometimes the QVL list is not updated after the motherboard is released.
For more current info, go to a ram vendor's web site and access their ram selection configurator.
Enter your motherboard, and you will get a list of compatible ram kits.
While today's motherboards are more tolerant of different ram, it makes sense to buy ram that is known to work and is supported.
Ram is sold in kits for a reason.
Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.
Some motherboards can be very sensitive to this.
That is why ram vendors will NOT support ram that is not bought in one kit.
Although, I think the problem has lessened with the newer Intel chipsets. Still,
it is safer to get what you need in one kit.
For gaming, no game, by itself will use more than 2-3gb. 8gb would be the norm.
But I like 16gb. Ram is relatively cheap. Windows can keep more in ram available for instant reuse.
Unless your budget is extremely tight, I would buy a 16gb kit of 2 x 8gb up front.

If you will be using an intel cpu, ram speed is not that important. 1600 should be fine.
If you will be using, then amd needs fast ram to perform better.

I would budget 2x your cpu cost for the graphics card.
If your cpu is <$130 or so, amd will be a good budget cpu. If it is higher, look to the faster cores from Intel.


Say im getting an ASUS motherboard, should i look on the ASUS website and find my product or what? To be specific, im using the ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 AM3+. Thanks
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January 19, 2014 2:26:52 PM

Tradesman1 said:
On AMD best is a 2x config either 2x4GB or 2x8GB - with AMD look at the GSkill Snipers in 1866/9 here's the 8GB set and the 16GB one - both great with Sabertooth


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


Thanks I'll probably get that 8GB one! Also, when aevm said that 8GB can run great without something in the backround did he mean things like a browser, something like a security scan or both?
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a c 648 4 Gaming
a c 251 å Intel
a c 285 À AMD
a c 1721 V Motherboard
a c 2176 } Memory
January 19, 2014 2:34:18 PM

COuld be talking most anything, a lot of people record the game as they play, might be looking at a bunch of Windows, virus/malware scan - whatever...
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January 19, 2014 2:37:51 PM

Tradesman1 said:
COuld be talking most anything, a lot of people record the game as they play, might be looking at a bunch of Windows, virus/malware scan - whatever...


Okay thanks, I guess its not much of a concern right now :) 
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