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Best "value" RAM you've seen?

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March 15, 2011 3:33:32 PM

Hey guys,

I am planning to build a PC to be finished by about this time next year. I have a few questions for you about the RAM.

I plan to use an i5-2500k (possibly but not likely an i7-2600k) for the cpu. I do plan to OC it somewhat, but I don't need to break any records (I probably don't even need to OC it at all). I've read that low CL (like 6 or 7) is better, but then I've also read that with Sandy Bridge the CL doesn't really matter much if at all. I'm also confused by if I should get 2x2GB sticks or 2x4GB sticks...I've read opinions for both ways on the forums, but not the whys (I'm guessing for my plan the 2x2GB sticks would be better "value").

The whole idea that I'm planning this build on is centered on finding the highest quality parts for the cheapest possible price...trying to get a mid-high end system on a low-mid budget. So, what is the best bang for the buck value RAM you guys have seen in the past year that I could possibly target at that price again sometime in this coming year?

My main reason for asking now is Newegg is having a 15% off memory sale and I'm wondering if now is the time to strike? These are a couple kits I'm looking at, but I'd like opinions about my questions please. If you've seen better deals, by all means share please...I am not married to G.SKILL...or Newegg.

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBXM for $55.24 (if CL does matter...and I prefer blue)

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL for $42.49 (if CL doesn't matter...yuck red! only desirable if I end up with HAF922 case)

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL6D-4GBXH for $70.98 (if CL really, really matters...and decent color)

What do we think guys? Every $10-$20 I can squeeze out is going to help go towards a 6950 2GB (I think).

More about : ram

a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 15, 2011 5:18:35 PM

Memory timings don't matter. Any difference would only be noticeable on synthetic benchmarks and not in actual use. Buy the cheaper CL9 RAM if you can find it in an acceptable color. Keep in mind that unless you plan on showing off the insides of your computer that the color really doesn't matter. Spend the money on something that will noticeably affect performance, like a better graphics card or an SSD.

While 4GB will certainly give adequate performance, I highly recommend 6GB (for triple-channel systems) or 8GB (for dual-channel systems) as a for gaming systems. This will allow for faster app/game loading times, as well as faster level loading times in games. You will experience fewer graphical anomalies like walls and floors disappearing as you look around in the game world. Plus, some games allow you to choose higher graphics detail settings when you have more RAM.

Note that prices are not likely to stay this low for long. They are cyclic, so will begin rising again fairly soon. I would definitely get some now, especially with the sale on NewEgg.

I bought my system when one of those memory deals was in effect. I actually got 12GB instead of 8GB because of it. What did I choose? One F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL kit and one F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL kit.
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March 15, 2011 9:47:55 PM

Leaps-from-Shadows said:
Note that prices are not likely to stay this low for long. They are cyclic, so will begin rising again fairly soon. I would definitely get some now, especially with the sale on NewEgg.

I bought my system when one of those memory deals was in effect. I actually got 12GB instead of 8GB because of it. What did I choose? One F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL kit and one F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL kit.


Do you remember how much you paid for each kit? You can message me if you don't want to say in the forum.

Also, there's got to be more than one person who has an opinion about these topics...don't be shy, speak up.
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 16, 2011 12:04:25 AM

First, you can't possibly plan on what your computer system prices Might be a year off. A couple weeks, a month, maybe.....

Example: would you believe 12 months ago a 5870 GPU cost me $450 ? Then a few months later, I bought a second 5870 and was "happy" to spend only $400.

We'll if you've looked at NewEgg lately you can find those same 5870s on sale for $199.............. and they are almost gone & on close out specials. A year from now your likely to be looking at 7000 series GPUs and shopping for today's 6950 in the bargain bin, IF you can still find one to buy.

RAM was about $120 for 4Gb a year or so back, now, I just looked today & it's $29.95 after rebate............


So much for planning on what computer prices might be a year from now....... PC technology moves FAR to quickly for long range plans.
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 16, 2011 3:25:30 AM

I paid $105 + $50 - $23.25 = $131.75 for 12GB of G.Skill Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 CL9 RAM. This was at the end of January. The 8GB kit is now $5 cheaper.
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March 16, 2011 9:51:00 PM

jb6684 said:
First, you can't possibly plan on what your computer system prices Might be a year off. A couple weeks, a month, maybe.....


I'm not planning what prices will be. I'm using an educated guess from what they have been in the past together with informed peers' opinions on what is a good value or not. Keep in mind I have a year to wait for a special deal...like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, numerous holiday sales, special promotions, etc.

If I can save $10-$20 or more off enough components, I can feel a lot more comfortable going from say a 5770 to a 6950, an SSD, or some such upgrade.

I wasn't planning to get more than a 2x2GB kit, but I think I want a 2x4GB kit. I don't think I care about CL much if at all. I probably want 1600 over 1333.

I'm sure if that G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL were blue for $84.99 I would definitely get it, but I just really can't stand the red. I don't think I can justify paying $15 ($99.99 after promo) more for basically the color alone though (and CL 8 vs. 9, but w/e). I do plan on having a case window, and there are no red motherboards that I know of...and few (HAF922) cases either with red leds compared to blue. I think blue gives an appearance of being cooler (as in less temp) than red too...as far as aesthetics go.

I'm really torn here guys. I'm thinking about just taking a pass this time and seeing what else comes up within the next year. I don't want to miss out on an amazing deal though. Would this qualify as something I shouldn't pass up, or is it just a good deal that I could find something similar if not better later on (in your best guess/opinion)? I hope I'm not being too annoying, but for my plan every penny counts.

Also, what is 1T, 1N, 2N all about?
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 16, 2011 11:03:40 PM

Nope, you are not annoying at all.......just saying ya can't count on price staying still on PCs for a that much time...

I haven't looked at a ton of historical data, But, RAM price are seem to be really low right now...... much lower than last year. And, lower than several months ago.....

Motherboards are fairly steady, $70--100 for the basics. And $100--$150 for the more deluxe.
- but we have added USB 3.0 and 6Gb SATA in the last year....

CPU's ah, they get faster by the month. Cheaper, not really $200 is still kinda the sweet spot of performance / Value. And, about $100 is a solid mid-grade.
- but we have added Sandy Bridge and Athlon IIs (hey, X4's for a < $100 is a big deal even if there are faster things on the market...)

Hard Drives, ah, no real speed boosts but....
- 1Tb capacity isn't some 'just for a data center' anymore. And, 2Tb are out there for a handful of dollars too....

SSD's, I don't follow 'em that much but they are getting faster and cheaper by the month too.....
- when I can get 300Gb for $120 that is TWICE as fast as my WD Raptor 10K drives, I'm ALL IN......

DVD/CDROM, ah, yawn.... just a price war, throw 'em a $20 and your done with it.....
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March 17, 2011 2:28:27 AM

WR2 said:
I wonder if you get that 15% off this kit?
Kingston HyperX Blu 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 Model KHX1600C9D3B1K2/4GX $50 & $15 rebate
with $5 off promo code EMCKGJE99, ends 3/21


Stacking is not permitted. If multiple codes are entered for the same item, only the first promo code will apply.

It would still end up being $27.49 though after the 15% off (btw...only good until the 17th I think) and $15 MIR. Are you suggesting this RAM then? I was hoping/leaning towards a 2x4GB kit. Also, the voltage on that kit was 1.65V...I thought we needed 1.5V?
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 17, 2011 2:52:23 AM

Yeppers. Definitely get 1.5v RAM. 1.65v RAM is actually out of specification for all Core iX processors and Intel won't honor their warranty if something happens and they discover through testing that you were running 1.65v RAM.
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 17, 2011 2:58:34 AM

Not if you can't get it at the extra crazy low price. You would have run it at lower than 1.65V on your motherboard.
Those 8GB kits are just too good a deal to pass up if you can manage to squeeze one in your budget.
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 17, 2011 3:05:21 AM

That would be a good deal if it was an 8GB kit. However, I still wouldn't buy it due to its higher voltage. Yes, you can under-volt it, but it's not guaranteed to work.

Hell, by the end of the year we'll see the Sandy Bridge 'E' CPUs that require 1.35v RAM. Our current 1.5v RAM will be out of specification for those. Not to mention that those CPUs will be quad-channel and require four sticks of RAM for best performance. Gotta love Intel! lol
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 17, 2011 6:18:23 AM

That HyperX RAM set got a great review @ overclockersclub.com
It's actually spec'd DDR3-1333 / 9-9-9 @ 1.50v no under-volting required. They wrote in the their conclusion:
"You can easily keep it at the JEDEC standard of 1333 MHz and tighten the timings to 6-7-6-20 @ 1.5v for a very efficient and lower voltage set of memory"
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March 17, 2011 1:55:30 PM

That kit does look good, but I was hoping to get an 8GB kit.

Now it looks like I might have to wait to see what the SB 'E' is all about now too. /sigh...nothing's ever easy is it?
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
March 17, 2011 3:37:51 PM

I would advise against waiting. The E CPUs will likely be $750-$1000 depending on model.
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March 17, 2011 8:21:19 PM

Advice taken...concerning the E CPUs anyway.

I'm still undecided about what to do with the current RAM sale though. I like that kit from WR2, but I wanted 8GB, 1.5V, and 1600...although I doubt if I would be taking a $57.50 performance hit from using it ($27.29 for 4GB) over the G.SKILL ($84.99 for 8GB).

I don't know...I might push my luck and wait.
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Best solution

a b } Memory
a c 183 K Overclocking
March 17, 2011 9:40:57 PM

This is a very good deal and can't be beat at the moment imo.
A year and a half ago i would recommend a 4GB kit but prices are too good to ignore for 8GB kits such as this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This kit should set up painlessly on your mobo since it's 1.5v.
I've used CL7 and CL8 1600Mhz kits on my boards and there's very little difference.
WEI scored 7.6 for the CL7 vs. 7.5 for the CL8 kit.
I can't tell the difference in daily use.
Share
March 19, 2011 6:17:39 AM

So, in your best guesses...I probably would not be able to get this G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM or its equivalent for $99.99 or less for the rest of the year?...even on like Black Friday and X-mas specials?

I know you're not fortune tellers or anything, but you guys have been around and seen a lot more than I have and I'm sure could make a lot better prediction than me.

If you truly think I should get it now I will...just let me know. I just don't get that for sure blockbuster super deal feeling about it. If you guys do though, I'll trust you.

I read something on that overclocker's club site saying you could tighten the timings too? Would that be an easy/wise thing to do?

Also, what is the 2N, 1T type stuff I see on some RAM?

Thanks guys!
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April 6, 2011 7:43:48 AM

I am so happy! I just found the RAM I wanted for the price I wanted to pay for it. :D 

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL8D-8GBXM for $84.99. It's a shell shocker until 10am PDT, so hurry if you want some.

This seems like it is right up there (at least for an 8GB kit) for best "value" RAM I've seen. I have seen the CL9 red sticks for $75ish though which would probably technically be an even better deal...but I like the blue.
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April 6, 2011 9:40:51 PM

So how does a 2x4 GB kit perform? I heard that 4GB sticks kick some serious ass, do you recommend getting it on sticks of 4gb?

I have a plan...my old 1156 project pc got postponed again as I got paid off and lost my job lol,now thinking of Sandybridge...

Why some people installs ddr3 dual channel ram on SB motherboards?
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April 7, 2011 12:07:19 AM

damian86 said:
So how does a 2x4 GB kit perform? I heard that 4GB sticks kick some serious ass, do you recommend getting it on sticks of 4gb?

I have a plan...my old 1156 project pc got postponed again as I got paid off and lost my job lol,now thinking of Sandybridge...

Why some people installs ddr3 dual channel ram on SB motherboards?


From what I've read you want 8GB of RAM on a 64 bit system. I'd recommend a 2x4GB kit over a 4x2GB kit so you can leave yourself 2 open slots for expansion later if you needed/wanted to.

As far as performance wise...I haven't read anything about where 1x4GB stick performs better than a 2x2GB kit. I would guess they perform pretty close, but I'm no expert about that.

Sorry to hear about your job loss. If you haven't bought any of the parts yet, I'd definitely recommend an 1155 Sandy Bridge platform over an 1156 build. Everything I've read about Sandy Bridge is that it's the "Bee's knees".

I'm not sure what you're asking about why people are using DDR3 on SB Mobos...that's the kind of RAM it uses...that's about it.
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April 7, 2011 12:36:10 AM

TopGun said:


I'm not sure what you're asking about why people are using DDR3 on SB Mobos...that's the kind of RAM it uses...that's about it.


Cool, I meant, if you read a SB specs it has dual channel controller,whereas the 'old' I7 were triple channel? Do you think this cpu can run triple channel ram? or maybe we should wait for Z68...
- Lithography Process: 32 nm
- Cores: 4
- Threads: 8
- Frequency: 3.40 GHz (Turbo Mode 3.80GHz)
- Integrated HD 3000 (12 EUs) Graphics
- Integrated Graphics Frequency: 850MHz (1350MHz Turbo)
- Cache: 8 MB shared L3
- Memory Controller: Dual channel DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600 MHz
- TDP: 95W
- Socket: LGA1155
- Compatible with Socket 1156 heatsinks
- 1yr Warranty

Ps, I got plenty of time now to plan my build ;) 
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April 7, 2011 2:12:34 AM

damian86 said:
Cool, I meant, if you read a SB specs it has dual channel controller,whereas the 'old' I7 were triple channel? Do you think this cpu can run triple channel ram? or maybe we should wait for Z68...
- Lithography Process: 32 nm
- Cores: 4
- Threads: 8
- Frequency: 3.40 GHz (Turbo Mode 3.80GHz)
- Integrated HD 3000 (12 EUs) Graphics
- Integrated Graphics Frequency: 850MHz (1350MHz Turbo)
- Cache: 8 MB shared L3
- Memory Controller: Dual channel DDR3 800/1066/1333/1600 MHz
- TDP: 95W
- Socket: LGA1155
- Compatible with Socket 1156 heatsinks
- 1yr Warranty

Ps, I got plenty of time now to plan my build ;) 


Oh, I think I see.

For SB, you want to use 2 sticks at a time...dual channel. I know one of the earlier chipsets you wanted triple channel or 3 matched sticks.

I think Z## boards might be pricey. I wouldn't necessarily wait for them, but if you wanted to, no harm there either...if you have the $$$.
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April 7, 2011 1:55:10 PM

TopGun said:
Oh, I think I see.

For SB, you want to use 2 sticks at a time...dual channel. I know one of the earlier chipsets you wanted triple channel or 3 matched sticks.

I think Z## boards might be pricey. I wouldn't necessarily wait for them, but if you wanted to, no harm there either...if you have the $$$.


I think I understand now, (makes sense tough), so there won't be much difference in making a triple channel system, I think..It just an option..

I know Zxx boards might get pricey, but they can't go sky high, if you know what I mean, we have some expensive SB boards today, such as Rog boards, etc. I think Z boards are going to be very stable after all, and worth it to buy.lol, I think you buy one of these and you won't be changing your rig for a few years! Thanks for explaining my doubt
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
April 7, 2011 5:36:12 PM

Sandy Bridge "MS" (Mainstream) -- the version that's out now -- has integrated graphics taking up die real estate so it can't have more memory channels even with a different chipset.

Sandy Bridge "E" (Enthusiast) -- coming by the end of the year -- doesn't have integrated graphics. It will have:

LGA 2011 socket required.
140W TDP.
Four or six cores plus HyperThreading. Possible eight-core version as well.
Quad-channel memory, possibly including official 1600 support.
Large L3 cache (up to 20MB).
Enough PCIe lanes to do x16/x16 CrossFire or SLI without any bridge chips like NF200.
Possible PCIe 3.0 support.


I believe Sandy Bridge "E" will need the X79 (that's what they're supposedly calling it anyway) chipset. That chipset will have something like eight SATA3/SAS 6Gbps ports, plus four SATA2 3Gbps ports, plus a few eSATA ports. And USB1/2 only (will still need separate chip for USB3 at least until the next generation of CPUs).
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April 7, 2011 5:57:24 PM

140 TDP? thats no nice.? we were down to 95..

I thought it had something to do with the graphics controller HD 3000 being useless there, I mean, if yo buy a I7 2600k, you want to build a powerful pc, and if you want a powerful pc, why would you want integrated graphics? :non: 

They could have released the I7 with integrated graphics only for netbooks and a powerful I7 K for desktops
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April 17, 2011 3:59:14 PM

Best answer selected by TopGun.
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