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Will my memory (ram) work with my mobo and cpu?

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May 7, 2014 10:14:37 AM

Hi I'm a first time computer builder and need your help. I have already bought a corsair 500r white computer case, an intel i5-4670 cpu (not the k version because I'm not skilled enough for overclocking) and an asus maximus vi hero z87 mobo. I am looking to buy memory now and am looking at the gskill trident x series 16gb (2x8gb) ddr3 240pin at 1600mhz. I want to know if that will work with my mobo and cpu. Also will that be standard at 1600mhz or do I have to use their overclocking to get that speed on the ram? I ask that because I've read that their high speed sticks run at only 1333mhz if you don't use a Xmp program to overclock the ram. Thanks in advance. Ps! Also do I need to get an aftermarket cooler for my cpu if I will not be overclocking it??
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a b } Memory
May 7, 2014 11:14:24 AM

Yes, that RAM is compatible with the motherboard you have (it's listed on G.Skill's site as being compatible). You are correct in thinking it'll default to a lower specification when you first plug it in, but don't worry, it's easy to remedy. XMP isn't so much a program as a simple option in the BIOS. Once the RAM in installed, you simply go into the BIOS, activate XMP (probably profile 1), and you're done. The BIOS will likely show you the available profile options, making it easy to see which one corresponds to the RAM speeds you're meant to be getting. It really is as simple as flipping a switch.

As for the aftermarket cooler; no, you don't need one. The Stock cooler is adequate. However, if after installing the stock cooler that comes with the CPU, you find it to be a little too noisy for your taste, you could always purchase a cheap (~$20-$25) aftermarket cooler just to bring down the noise and temperature a little more.

Oh, and nice case by the way; I have the same white version of the 500R :)  It's a nice one to build in.
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May 7, 2014 11:29:40 AM

Awesome thank you very much for the helpful answer! I have one more question if you don't mind! I read articles saying that they have proven a higher mhz ram example 2400mhz does in fact benefit quite well with Intel haswell CPUs. Would my non overclocked i5-4670 be one of those that would benefit? The motherboard says it's compatible with up to 3000mhz or so but I don't know about my stock clocked cpu as it doesn't specify on newegg.com. The memory is about the same price so if I can use it I'd rather get the higher speed one.
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a b à CPUs
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a b } Memory
May 7, 2014 12:52:14 PM

I don't think the higher speed RAM will make a huge huge difference, but if you can get 2400MHz speed for the same price as 1600MHz, then yes, that sounds like a good plan (the reason I bought 1866MHz over 1600MHz was purely due to it being on sale and cheaper than the slower RAM).

The only thing I will add is that higher speed RAM (like the 2400MHz version of the Trident X) often has to be run at a higher voltage (1.65V as opposed to 1.5V). While a lot of people run their RAM at this voltage without issue, there have been cases where the memory controller on Intel CPUs have proven to be a bit fragile, and started having issues and showing signs of damage. While that probably won't be an issue, I thought it would be a bit remiss of me not to mention it. If you are concerned about it, I'd say stick with the slower speed RAM; as I said, the difference won't be huge or anything.
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May 7, 2014 1:53:10 PM

Thanks again for the help! I think I am going to buy the 2400mhz and just run it at 1600 until I decide I want to go higher.
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May 7, 2014 2:25:23 PM

Sounds like a good plan. Best of luck to you! :) 
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