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Trying to decide between DDR3 memory for i7 920 build

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June 19, 2009 8:54:26 PM

Alright, trying to decide on what type of RAM I should get for my i7 920 build. It seems the longer I wait the harder it gets to pull the trigger. I originally had the Gigabyte UD4P motherboard and G.Skill RAM, but NewEgg took away the free shipping and upped the price $5. I know it doesn't seem like much of a difference, but the overall look and feel of what I had in the cart settled with me. During the time I was trying to decide on which graphics card to get between a nVidia GTX275 and ATI HD4890 ( and between the FTW vs Toxic cards).

I've decided, unless persuaded otherwise, to go with the EVGA nVidia GeForce GTX275 FTW card ( and then add another one later, b/c of the rebates). Now, after the RAM issue got spoiled I decided to take another look at motherboards (and RAM) and this only kind of made things worse. I went back and forth between the UD5,UD4P, MSI X58 Eclipse ( and Plus version), but I think the Gigabyte UD4P or UD5 -- will be just fine. I do not think I will need more then 2 or 3 cards, and maybe by the time I do - it will be time for a motherboard upgrade.

The only real differences I can see between the UD4/5 is the "4" has only a single built-in NIC and (2) less SATA connections, correct? Now, I've pondered the idea of upgrading to a dedicated RAID card in the future - which I think will make a visible difference. Now to the real question.....

I've got three choices of RAM and need to help. I know there are several multi-multi hundred dollar RAM kits, but they do not seem to be cost effective. This will be my first build that will include gaming and I will only attempt to do "modest" overclocking (3.2-3.6Ghz range).

and the candidates are:

G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - F3-12800CL8TU-6GBPI
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - OCZ3G1600LV6GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - OCZ3P1600LV6GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Now, I think I have heard some good things about the OCZ Platinum series and based on comparisons they seem to be better than the Gold series. So would the OCZ Platinum and G.Skill RAM be comparative and similar? Does anyone have any better choices?

Thanks!!


June 27, 2009 3:45:10 AM

Take a look here:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...

"Memory Recommendation

Knowing all of these results, it is obvious that highest speed DDR3 memory only makes sense for serious enthusiasts, or for those with unlimited budgets. Everyone else should focus on mainstream clock speeds of DDR3-1066 or DDR3-1333, and go for a trustworthy brand and the quickest timings their budget allows."

Look for DDR3-1333 7-7-7-20

--Mike Ramsey
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a c 128 } Memory
June 27, 2009 4:29:17 AM

Amazon.com still has ocz 3x2gb kits of pc3-10666 1333 gold for $67.09 shipped. Not a bad deal.
June 27, 2009 4:35:14 AM

Oh goody. Thanks!
a b } Memory
June 27, 2009 9:22:38 AM

There's definitely no point to paying $169 for 1333. You can get a good DDR3-1600 kit for $90-$100, which IMHO is about the sweet spot right now. Anything higher starts to cost a lot more. This is the stuff I'd get:

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

(Yeah, I know it's linked in the first post).
June 27, 2009 12:50:41 PM

cjl said:
There's definitely no point to paying $169 for 1333. You can get a good DDR3-1600 kit for $90-$100, which IMHO is about the sweet spot right now. Anything higher starts to cost a lot more. This is the stuff I'd get:

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

(Yeah, I know it's linked in the first post).


Rocket Scientist,
I agree that $169 is too much. The reason I posted the Mushkin is that it was available at the desired timing. When o1die pointed out that Amazon had 6 GB at the 7-7-7-20 timing for< $100 I actually ordered a set.

The article that I referenced
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/memory-scaling-i7,2...

saw, based on actual benchmarks, very little advantage in using the highest speed memories. Of course, your mileage may vary. :) 

--Mike
a b } Memory
June 27, 2009 8:44:10 PM

Keep in mind though that DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24 has better timings than DDR3-1333 7-7-7-20 though. 7 clocks at 1333 is 5.25 ns, while 8 clocks at 1600 is 5ns. Besides, I have actually found some cases when I am solidly memory limited (especially in MATLAB), although they are not really relevant for most people here.
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