I've been reading around here for a few days and just decided to signup now so I could ask a couple of questions. It certainly seems like there are some very knowledgeable folks around here. Thank you for any assistance you can give me .
1) I'm looking at putting together an i5-750 rig, but have heard the stock HSF with the 750 is sub-par. I'd also like the option of overclocking in the future once I feel more comfortable with it. As such, I've been looking for an aftermarket cooler. The Coolermaster 212 looks like a great option, but I'm concerned about it interfering with my choice of RAM: DDR3 Corsair Dominators. Can anyone confirm for me that I can use a Coolermaster 212 on a P7P55D Pro board with Corsair Dominators without the 212 interfering with any of my ram slots?
2) I was wondering if I should go for 4 or 8 gigs of ram on my system? I wasn't sure I'd really see all too big of an increase in performance at 8 gigs for the additional cost. Alternatively, I was wondering how 6G of ram would work on an 1156 board, even if the board doesn't support triple channel?
2) Well, 4GB of RAM is more than enough for gaming, Photoshop, light to medium video editing. You will not see a performance increase by upgrading to 8GB of RAM unless you use RAM heavy applications, such as professional video editing programs.
6GB of RAM will work on the 1156 boards, but if you use a 3x2GB kit, then the RAM will run in single channel mode, and will slightly lower performance, pretty much only seen in benchmarks, and for most applications, you will not notice a difference. However, you can run 6GB of RAM in dual channel, but you'd have to use all four RAM slots AFAIK - you'd need a 2x2GB and 2x1GB kit, preferably of the same brand, speed and latency.
The memory modules with the extra tall heatspreaders that kind of look like a comb are the problem. The extra tall memory heatspreaders interfere with the tower style cpu heatsinks such as the Hyper 212. The problem is usually the memory slot closest to the cpu socket. The solution is to install memory modules with standard heatspreaders or no heatspreaders at all.
A while back Tom's Hardware published several articles about memory. The articles mentioned that the tall memory heatspreaders are of questionable value and performance. Consider them an advertising gimmick to generate revenue.
The second problem is the width of a pc case. The case has to be wide enough to accomodate the tall cpu heatsinks. I normally recommend a case should be at least 8 inches wide if you plan to use a tower style cpu heatsink and a case fan on the side panel. It can be a little narrower if your case does not have a fan on the side panel.
I have the original Thermalright 120 which is the grandaddy of all tower style heatsinks, the original Coolermaster Hyper 212 (not 212+), and the new Thermalright Venomous X which is supposed to be the new and improved version of the Thermalright Ultra 120. They are all good but the Hyper 212 is my favorite. It produces the best results for me.
I absolutely, positively, 100% guarantee individual results will vary.
Lmeow, thank you for your opinion on the RAM. I never considered that I could go 2 x 2GB and 2 x 1GB, funnily enough. But from the sounds of it I really will not see much of an improvement above 4GB anyways?
Johnny, I am not concerned about the width of my PC case as it is an Antec 902 and I know it is at least 8" wide. Are you however saying that my A1 ram slot will almost certainly be blocked by the Cooler Master 212, and that I should either choose a different RAM or choose a different heatsink, if I wish to have more than 4 GB installed? If I am happy with 4GB, will I still have the space necessary to run both the 212 and 4GB (2 x 2GB) Corsair Dominator RAM?
Yes. All of the Corsair Dominator memory modules have tall heatspreaders that sort of look like a comb. A memory module in the memory slot closest to the cpu socket will interfere with a tower style cpu heatsink.
Currently newegg.com offers a total of 26 versions of the Corsair Dominator memory modules. The all have the tall heatspreaders that sort of look like a comb:
rats; well that answers it at least. So either I stick with 4 GB or choose a different memory option to go with more than 4 GB, if that's something I want. But from the sounds of it I really won't need any more than 4 (the most demanding thing I'll be doing is gaming) so I may just stick with the Dominators anyways. Thank you all for your responses so far!
I know it's been a while, but I just thought I would update this thread and let everyone know that, although my RAM is the last piece to arrive, I have built the rest of my computer (including the Hyper 212 Plus) and it looks like I could fit RAM into all 4 slots. So that's great. Thanks to all for their help.