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Getting 8GB DDR2 but wich set?

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September 22, 2009 12:18:04 PM

Hey, I need some help with a problem.
I need to get new RAM for my computer but I'm pretty confused as to what I should buy.

My computer:

OS: Vista X64
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
MB: ASROCK A790GXH/128M
RAM: Nothing ordered yet
GPU: Nvidia Geforce 8600GTS (256MB)
HDD: WD Caviar Black 500GB
Drive: Optiarc DVD RW AD-7170S

This computer is gonna be used mostly for photo-editing (photoshop, lightroom, C1) and some other general stuff (internet, playing HDmovies on my tv, ...)
I'm not a gamer :) 

So because of the photo-editing wich requires a lot of RAM I was thinking about getting 8GB.
But there are so many possibilities that I don't know what to look for and what to eventually choose.

First problem is, should I go for 800Mhz or 1066Mhz. My cpu supports 800Mhz but my MB supports higher.
So if in the future I would upgrade my cpu I wouldn't need to upgrade RAM again, if I got 1066Mhz now. Right?

Do I have to buy a 8GBkit(4x2GB)? Or can I also buy 2 x 4GBkits(2x2GB)? Same kits offcourse.
Because I can't seem to find a lot of 8GB DDR2 kits with 1066Mhz.

I've been looking at this list from Newegg:

What would be good RAM for me?


As you can see a lot of questions from a confused reader... :( 

More about : 8gb ddr2 wich set

a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 1:53:11 PM

I would go for 1066 - but only with 1.8V or 1.8V-1.9V modules. The majority of problems folks have with reaching 1066 speed is related to power.

You don't need to buy a 4 piece kit as long as the pairs are identical. But no reason not to. Look for CL=5 timings and 1.8V

If you're into reading reviews, remember you'll find more in the 2-kits than the 4-kits, so read both for same mfgs.

I'd go with the G.Skill Pi set - rated at 1100 but really 1066 RAM. Excellent speed, good price. I've got a set coming for myself.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 2:03:02 PM

Quote:
I would go for 1066 - but only with 1.8V or 1.8V-1.9V modules. The majority of problems folks have with reaching 1066 speed is related to power.


I'm no AMD expert, but my understanding is that - because the memory controller is on the chip - the OP should be very much better served by sticking with DDR2 800. Especially in light of the fact he intends on running 8GB to support his photo editing.

Also - as a general rule: I'm not convinced there is any need for really fast RAM, except as needed to support an overclocking effort. In this case, the OP hasn't said anything about overclocking either.


My advice: A nice, low voltage/tight timing set of DDR2 800 modules. Cheaper that way, too.
Related resources
September 22, 2009 2:46:42 PM

How can one tell if a set has tight timings? What do I have to look for?
The G.skill mongox suggests are 5-5-5-15 with 1.8V - 1.9V
Most reviews I can find list G.skill as good ram.
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 3:04:57 PM

Quote:
The G.skill mongox suggests are 5-5-5-15 with 1.8V - 1.9V


The '5-5-5-15' numbers are the timings :)  These represent the number of clock cycles it takes to complete their respective functions, so smaller numbers are better.

And, yes, G.Skill are a reputable brand.
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 3:16:00 PM

Tight timings refer to the basic CL number: 5 or 6 or 7 for the speed RAM you're looking at. Lower is faster - so 5 is best. There is some 800/4 RAM available, but none with low voltage.

Lower voltage means less power used, less heat - and from what I've seen, better designed chips.

Any 1066 RAM will run at 800 if for some reason you have a problem with the faster speed.

I dunno what OP means, but I assume it's you!

Some or all AM2+/AM3 processors won't run 4 modules at 1066 mode, dropping down to 800MHz. The Athlon X2 6000 is an AM2 processor, I'm pretty sure, so doesn't have this limitation. So with your processor, you can expect 1066 performance with 4 modules.

One option is to go with 800 and get an even better CL - there's some nice choices - look for low voltage.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

Again, I highly recommend 1.8V - 1.9BV like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

You didn't mention a cooler/fan for your CPU - likely not needed, but a consideration (in terms of getting in the way of the RAM slots) if getting RAM with big heatsinks like most premium/fast RAM has. I'm using a Scythe Katana and very happy with it on my Phenom II.
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 3:34:50 PM

"OP" = "Original Poster"
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 3:47:04 PM

No point in getting 8 gigs of 1066Mhz. The only way you can run 1066Mhz Ram is by using 4Gb's or less.... Anything over that will auto default to 800Mhz..

That board works well with G.Skill DDR2 800Mhz (Blue Sticks) or Kingston HyperX DDR2 800 Model KHX6400D2K2/4G
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 6:51:02 PM

OvrClkr, isn't that true only with AM2+/AM3? I thought it was dependent on the CPU, not the board.
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 6:55:18 PM

Yea, it has nothing to do with the board.... It's an issue with the mem controller.....

The reason I stated those two brands is the fact that the OP will run 8Gb in total, meaning there is no point in spending the extra cash on 1066Mhz if he will use more than 4Gb.

September 22, 2009 7:06:35 PM

Ok, so reading over everything here i come these conclusions:
-I might as well stick to 800Mhz instead of 1066Mhz
-I can also buy 2 kits of 2x2GB RAM instead of 1 kit of 4x2GB RAM. This would give me more options to choose from :) 
-I need to get timings as low as possible

Thanks to you guys I've already been able to trim it down to following kits ;) 

-2x mushkin 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

-2x G.SKILL HK 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

-2x G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

-1x GeIL Black Dragon 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

I listed them according to the reviews they recieved on newegg from best to worst :) 
They all seem to get very good reviews except for the 8gb kit that has a few lesser reviews.


a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 7:43:55 PM

If you are getting 800Mhz modules go with these :


G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

65 bucks with free shipping.......

just so you can get a thought on how good these modules are, I have a set of OCZ Plats pc2-8500 (1066Mhz) and my G.Skills are faster at the same exact settings, hence the 2.1v for the OCZ's ......

When I lower my timings to 4-4-4-12 i can run circles around any set of 1066Mhz ........
a b } Memory
September 22, 2009 10:15:00 PM

Don't forget to stick with those requiring 1.8V-1.9V!!!

I like the looks of those last ones.
September 22, 2009 11:12:03 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This is a good kit note that yes it is a 2v kit but you can try to under volt it. I usually oc my ram with the least that it takes to run and remain stable. Running one 533 1gb kit at 667 triple 4 by 12 at stock volt 1.8. Running one 675 at 425 at 2v with the 4gb kit at again triple 4 by 12 at 2cmt. For you a look as what others have said a 2x2gb (4gb) 1.8-1.9 triple 5 by 15 1066 with heat spreaders. AVG cost $50-$75 US.
September 23, 2009 8:06:51 AM

hmmm, ok. I tought I was supposed to get RAM with timings as low as possible?
The ones I listed are 4-4-4-12 but you're advising me now to get 5-5-5-15? :) 
Or is there something else I'm missing here? Thanks again for all the help :) 
a b } Memory
September 23, 2009 9:49:57 AM

Generally, any 1066 RAM with timings of 5 will run at 800 @ 4. This assumes good quality RAM - and any RAM with a CL of 5 at 1066 is good quality.

And most here would say your system runs faster, slightly, running at 800/4 than at 1066/5. And there's a belief that 1066 RAM doesn't really exist - that's it's just the BEST 800 RAM and rated higher and they stick the 1066 SPD byte in it. Well, if so, I'd like to get the BEST RAM.

There's no 1066 RAM that runs at 4.

Myself, I like having 1066 RAM - the motherboard will do it, why not take it there.

Keep your eyes on the 1.8V - 1.9V only!
September 23, 2009 9:32:39 PM

I would go with 8gb of ddr2, gskill brand, if you do upgrade you more than likely will be using ddr3 and another board. and if you get another cpu on that board wont be a big difference is performance imo.
a b } Memory
September 23, 2009 10:01:38 PM

PureVision said:
hmmm, ok. I tought I was supposed to get RAM with timings as low as possible?
The ones I listed are 4-4-4-12 but you're advising me now to get 5-5-5-15? :) 
Or is there something else I'm missing here? Thanks again for all the help :) 

You're absolutely right - ignore what I said about liking those last ones. I didn't notice the CL=5 on those 800s.

800, CL=4, 1.8V - 1.9V

I'd go for these that you listed:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

In fact, I have but in the 1100 version!
!