Advice on Memory Modules

I'm waiting for the ASUS P6X58D Premium mobo and i7-930 to be shipped and I'm somewhat confused about my memory options for a 64-bit Win 7 build. I downloaded the ASUS QVL for DDR3 memory for this board but there are just so many options I don't know which to chose.

I want to put 12GB of RAM onto my mobo. And since I spent a lot of money on 64GB SSD SATA, I would like to save on memory if I can. I do not think that I'll overclock this particular system - maybe in the future with a new CPU, but not now.

Can I use six (6) 2GB sticks of Ram? Something like this, maybe: Kingston KVR1333D3N9/2G. Those are $58.00/unit.

Or maybe I can use this Crucial Ballistix 2GB BL25664BN1608 at $61.00/unit. At ~$370.00 I can afford to put either of these into my system.

Is it OK for me to use six modules of the same memory or do I have to purchase it in sets?

I would very much appreciate some advice.
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

    This are good options for you:

    1- G.Skill Ripjaws series1600 CL8
    2- G.Skill PI series 1600 CL7
    3- Crucial Ballistix Tracer 1600 CL8
  2. First, you're on the right track looking up the QVL for the motherboard. Kudos.

    That said, just about any stick will *probably* work. You'll often find that after some time has passed since the release of the QVL for any board, certain modules won't be manufactured any more and the prices will seemingly increase due to supply vs demand.

    If you buy from the QVL, you're getting a module that has been tested and guaranteed to work. It's not worth the premium to me, considering the small chance that it won't work.

    As for the Ballistix Tracers - I've never seen much of a difference between those and the base line Ballistix, other than a red LED. I haven't looked at benchmarks recently, but I assume that's still true. The premium isn't worth it to me personally for a 1 cent diode. :)
  3. Thanks for your replies and for the RAM kit suggestions. I checked those out and they're in my price range.

    I still have some things I don't quite understand. (There's a lot I don't understand about RAM.) The answers to these questions along with the RAM that was suggested will help me a lot.

    Do I have to use a RAM kit (2GB*3) or can I use RAM a series of individual sticks that are the same mfg, model, speeds, etc - a Crucial BL25664BN1608, for example?

    Since I'm going to have 12GB of RAM, most likely running between 1.5V - 1.65V, do I need heat spreaders?

    And finally, some RAM on the QVL has an (XMP) designation at the end of the model number. What does the (XMP) mean?

    Thanks again for your help and suggestions. I appreciate them.
  4. You can use individual stick, because a tri-channel kit is basically 3 stick that run in single-channel.

    But is better buy the kit 6GB (3x2GB), because can be sure that the stick will work without problem, maybe if you install stick from different brands some one isn't compatible with the other two.

    XMP means in other words Overclock, for example. You buy the RAM at 1333 at stock, but if you select the 1st profile XMP in the BIOS, your RAM will run at 1600.
  5. Thanks for answering my questions. I found them very helpful.

    I think that I'll purchase one of the RAM kits you recommended in your first post to me. I like the idea of kits and the price is right.

    Thanks again for your everyone's help.
  6. Any time, that's why we are here.
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