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Intel i5-750: RAM selection

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December 7, 2009 2:35:45 PM

Hello,

I am planning to build a PC based on i5-750 soon...could you please clarify on:

a) How much RAM is enough for Performance/Gaming (not much Over Clocking): 4 or 6 GB (DDR3-1333 MHz)?
b) If I choose Windows 7 then I should choose either 4 GB (for 32 bit) or 6 / 8 / 16 GB ( for 64 bit): I read in most reviews that 4 GB good quality DDR3 RAM is very good and that would be 32 bit. But, will there be any increase in performance if I choose to install 6 GB (due to 64 bit)?
c) Lastly, this is a real head ache to me. I am looking for 4 or 6 GB DDR3-1333 MHz RAM with low voltage (1.5V) but issue is there are so many players confusing with their specs (Voltage, CAS etc). Now, question is which maker and the spec. should I choose for this processor (good quality and best fit):

i) Corsair ii) OCZ iii) Crucial iv) Kingston v) Any other

Please give your inputs.

Thanks,

~akula2
December 7, 2009 2:40:29 PM

Your best option for an i5 system is 4GB since the CPU uses a dual channel RAM controller. You do not want to get a 6GB triple channel RAM controller for an i5 chip. Those triple channel kits are designed for the LGA 1366 i7 chips that use a triple channel RAM controller.

There's no such thing as 32-bit RAM. You should use a 64-bit OS even if you use 4GB of RAM. A 32-bit OS can't fully use 4GB of RAM.

This is a very nice DDR3 1333 CAS 7 RAM kit that runs at 1.5v.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBRH - Retail $99.99
December 7, 2009 3:39:23 PM

^+1 shortstuff_mt's recommendations!!
Related resources
December 7, 2009 4:03:03 PM

there is nothing like 32bit or 64 bit ram . get dual channel 2x2 gb kit .
December 7, 2009 4:05:25 PM

i am using gskill ripjaws , the corsair dominators have tighter timings but are pricier , this is good enough for me .
December 7, 2009 5:43:25 PM

cyberkuberiah said:
i am using gskill ripjaws , the corsair dominators have tighter timings but are pricier , this is good enough for me .


Looks like I created a confusion, meant all the 32-bit systems have 4 GB RAM limit. To access more than 4 GB RAM one should have 64-bit OS. My point was will there be any system performance difference between this type of RAM choice:

4 GB - 1333 DDR3 (32 bit OS)
6 GB - 1333 DDR3 (64 bit OS)

Now I would quickly crosscheck few review on GSkill 1333 RAMs...

Thanks,

~akula2
December 7, 2009 5:54:16 PM

there would be no advantage in 6gb over 4gb in a 64 bit os . also i am using gskill 1600 mhz 9-9-9-24 . i5 at 200x20 , ram at 200x8 in ud2 gigabyte .
December 7, 2009 6:19:26 PM

Why would you want to use a 32-bit OS with 4GB of RAM? You only get about 3.25GB available for use if you do that. I don't see any reason at all to use a 32-bit OS on a new system. You should be using a 64-bit OS even with 4GB of RAM. 4GB is plenty of RAM for everything but serious video and photo editing.
December 7, 2009 8:44:07 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Why would you want to use a 32-bit OS with 4GB of RAM? You only get about 3.25GB available for use if you do that. I don't see any reason at all to use a 32-bit OS on a new system. You should be using a 64-bit OS even with 4GB of RAM. 4GB is plenty of RAM for everything but serious video and photo editing.


I chose Windows 7 Pro x64 for the new PCs...a 32 bit OS can only use 4 GB of memory, plus then another GB Graphics card too (if you have). So, that's a total of 5 GB one could max. using a 32-bit OS, thanks to PAE :) 

Anyway, I will decide soon on 4 GB or 6 GB running Windows 7 x64 (first I need to freeze on what RAM make am going to use!)...

Thanks,

~akula2
December 7, 2009 8:49:32 PM

Like I said above, 6GB of RAM isn't really an option with an i5 build because the CPU uses a dual channel RAM controller. Your options for an i5 build are really 4GB or 8GB. 4GB is plenty.

I also gave my RAM suggestion above. I've had excellent luck with G.Skill RAM. That $100 DDR3 1333 CAS 7 kit I linked above is VERY nice. You're not going to find a better RAM kit for the money.
December 7, 2009 8:58:17 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
Like I said above, 6GB of RAM isn't really an option with an i5 build because the CPU uses a dual channel RAM controller. Your options for an i5 build are really 4GB or 8GB. 4GB is plenty.

I also gave my RAM suggestion above. I've had excellent luck with G.Skill RAM. That $100 DDR3 1333 CAS 7 kit I linked above is VERY nice. You're not going to find a better RAM kit for the money.


You mean to say I should only use RAM in 4 multiples on 750 PCs, isn't it (4/8/16 GB)? If that's the case then I freeze 4 GB right now...never thought of 8 GB at all. Sure, I didn't ignore G.Skill at all...thinking, since am going with 4 GB then I could spend little more on a high performance RAM (not 1600, 2000 MHz types...fixed on 1333 MHz which delivers a solid performance). What do you think?

~akula2
December 7, 2009 9:16:07 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
You really don't need RAM over 1600MHz. The CAS rating is just as important as MHz. The only other suggestion would be to get a CAS 7 1600MHz kit for $25 more.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRH - Retail $124.99

I agree, above 1600 is not needed. Just checked that spec it says:

Cas Latency 7
Timing 7-7-7-24
Voltage 1.6V <= But this value shouldn't be more than 1.5V.

Thanks,

~akula2

December 7, 2009 9:19:48 PM

That RAM will work just fine. Anything up to 1.65v is perfectly safe and within Intel's specs for the i5/i7 chips. You're really making this a lot harder than it needs to be. Just pick a fast RAM kit with a tight CAS rating and voltage under 1.65v.
December 8, 2009 1:32:49 AM

That Eco stuff is crazy. I really want someone to buy it just to hear how it works. It looks awesome, 1.35V is just insane.

Anyway, yes, the official DDR3 spec is 1.5V, however, just like with DDR2 and DDR1 and etc., it is a spec that is meant to be broken. Intel however has said not to do more than 1.65V, and that is a spec to follow.
December 8, 2009 1:36:03 AM

I have it at my home(not where i am atm in college) and if no one else has said anything about it ill let ya know how it runs when i build my new rig mid december.
December 8, 2009 1:41:33 AM

Ha, I'm in the exact same boat. The "New Build" in my Sig is sitting at home in pieces. I'll be out in about a week and a half and the first thing I plan on doing is building it. Unfortunately, that Eco stuff was not out (or I didn't see it) when I bought my parts, though I hope to get about 1333MHz, 1.5ishV, 7-7-7-21 on the ram I picked out which is good enough for me.
December 8, 2009 1:48:12 AM

akula2 said:
Hello,

I am planning to build a PC based on i5-750 soon...could you please clarify on:

a) How much RAM is enough for Performance/Gaming (not much Over Clocking): 4 or 6 GB (DDR3-1333 MHz)?
b) If I choose Windows 7 then I should choose either 4 GB (for 32 bit) or 6 / 8 / 16 GB ( for 64 bit): I read in most reviews that 4 GB good quality DDR3 RAM is very good and that would be 32 bit. But, will there be any increase in performance if I choose to install 6 GB (due to 64 bit)?
c) Lastly, this is a real head ache to me. I am looking for 4 or 6 GB DDR3-1333 MHz RAM with low voltage (1.5V) but issue is there are so many players confusing with their specs (Voltage, CAS etc). Now, question is which maker and the spec. should I choose for this processor (good quality and best fit):

i) Corsair ii) OCZ iii) Crucial iv) Kingston v) Any other

Please give your inputs.

Thanks,

~akula2

A) If you are gaming ONLY, then 4gb will be fine. But other tasks tend to confuse the issue. Your e-mail might wake up, a virus scan might start, etc... so having more can help. Here is a Corsair studie on 3gb vs 6gb:
http://www.corsair.com/_appnotes/AN811_Gaming_Performan...
B) today, I would go with 64 bit regardless. Ram is cheap, and the 64 bit OS will make use of all you have.

C) Intel spec says 1.5v ram. Vendors offer faster ram at 1.65v which is the maximum; more can permanently damage your cpu. The 1.65v ram is better binned 1.5 ram which has been overclocked. It will usually run at 1.5v and a slower speed. There is little sense in pushing it because faster ram has only a marginal(2-3%) benefit in real applications.

Do not worry about double vs. triple channel, it makes little difference.

I think 6gb is the sweet spot for most users, but for a 1156 motherboard, go ahead and get 8gb, it is not that expensive.
December 8, 2009 7:21:00 PM

geofelt said:

Intel spec says 1.5v ram. Vendors offer faster ram at 1.65v which is the maximum; more can permanently damage your cpu. The 1.65v ram is better binned 1.5 ram which has been overclocked. It will usually run at 1.5v and a slower speed. There is little sense in pushing it because faster ram has only a marginal(2-3%) benefit in real applications.

Do not worry about double vs. triple channel, it makes little difference.

I think 6gb is the sweet spot for most users, but for a 1156 motherboard, go ahead and get 8gb, it is not that expensive.

Thanks for that study PDF. RAM type is no compromise because my scientific team will run few computational (Matlab etc) and drug modeling tools etc every day, looks like must to go with Dual Channel memory since it's the only type supported on i5-750. Sweet spot? Did you mean that I could install 6 GB (2x3) DDR3-1333 Dual Channel memory (1.5V) on such a PC?

Thanks,

~akula2
December 8, 2009 7:32:36 PM
December 8, 2009 7:51:14 PM

The box states its built for i5 & i7 in mind.

Also here is the specs from G.Skills site for the ECO ram
Quote:

Main Board intel
System Desktop
System Type DDR3
M/B Chipset Intel P55
CAS Latency 7-7-7-21-2N
Capacity 4GB (2GBx2)
Speed DDR3-1333 (PC3 10666)
Test Voltage 1.35 Volts
PCB
Registered/Unbuffered Unbuffered
Error Checking Non-ECC
Type 240-pin DIMM
Warranty Lifetime

 

Qualified Motherboards List

 
ASUS Maximus III Formula
ASUS Maximus III Gene
ASUS SABERTOOTH 55i
ASUS P7P55D Premium
ASUS P7P55D Deluxe
ASUS P7P55D EVO
ASUS P7P55D Pro
ASUS P7P55D
EVGA P55 Classified 200
EVGA P55 FTW 200
EVGA P55 FTW
EVGA P55
EVGA P55 Micro
EVGA P55 LE
MSI P55M-GD45
MSI P55-GD65
MSI P55-GD80
Gigabyte GA-P55 UD3
Gigabyte GA-P55 UD3P
Gigabyte GA-P55 UD3R
Gigabyte GA-P55 UD4
Gigabyte GA-P55 UD4P
Gigabyte GA-P55 UD5
Gigabyte GA-P55 UD6


As for any loss? Nothing but extra heat the 1.5v would produce.

You gain a few $ in your pocket and the heat spreaders are more slimline and built to the ram so it takes up less space allowing you to fit more onto your Mobo without problems.
December 8, 2009 7:53:24 PM

i'm glad you could get their site to load :)  GIGABYTE's site is awfully slow today as well. thanks sheath.
December 8, 2009 7:56:11 PM

I just copied it from my thread where i bought that ram lol i wouldnt load for me, not even Google Cache.

Edit: Here is the image from Newegg of the box.
December 9, 2009 1:41:03 PM

sheath said:
IMO i would get this ram, its almost brand new, just a few weeks old i believe. Its the new Eco friendly series, same quality and specs as other ram but much lower voltage.

RAM: (G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL7D-4GBECO) $97.99

Capacity 4GB (2 x 2GB)
Speed DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)
Cas Latency 7
Timing 7-7-7-21-2N
Voltage 1.35V
Multi-channel Kit Dual Channel Kit
Heat Spreader Yes

Check this Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 i7/i5 memory: http://www.thinkcomputers.org/corsair-dominator-ddr3-16...

Part Number: CMD4GX3M2A1600C8 - $134.99 on Newegg http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Module Type: 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM, unbuffered, non-ECC
Multi Channel: Dual Channel
Speed: DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Capacity: 4GB (2 x 2GB)
CAS Latency: 8
Timing: 8-8-8-24 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
Intel XMP Ready
Designed for use with Core i7/Core i5

Please give your suggestion...

Thanks,

~akula2
December 9, 2009 5:18:55 PM

geofelt said:
That ram is good, but you will be paying extra for a fancy heat spreader which is not needed, and slightly better latency which will make negligible difference in application performance. For $95 look at this version:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Thanks for that, looks a good one. Please have a look at this one too: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Bear with my knowledge on the RAMs, what is the difference between 9-9-9-24 one ($95) and 8-8-8-24 one ($110). Both are 1600MHz but Cas Latency value is 9 and 8 respectively. Just eager to know why $15 difference :) 

Thanks,

~akula2

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December 9, 2009 5:27:31 PM
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To achieve the slightly lower latency (8 vs 9) they have to use better ram modules. The lower latency will be a little faster. Is it worth the extra cost? Probably not a noticeable increase, but you will have to check reviews to decide.
December 9, 2009 5:30:32 PM

akula2 said:
Thanks for that, looks a good one. Please have a look at this one too: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Bear with my knowledge on the RAMs, what is the difference between 9-9-9-24 one ($95) and 8-8-8-24 one ($110). Both are 1600MHz but Cas Latency value is 9 and 8 respectively. Just eager to know why $15 difference :) 

Thanks,

~akula2


Exactly that. Some enthusiasts will pay a bit more for lower latency, namely $15 more. As a practical matter, you will not be able to tell the difference in real application performance when used in a nehalem cpu with an integrated memory controller.
December 9, 2009 5:40:27 PM

cas 9 is good enough , u have to draw the line somewhere . u would not notice it until you benchmark since both are 1600 mhz and close .
December 9, 2009 5:42:03 PM

i would also suggest the ECO line , it would run cooler than 1.5 volts . it is already tested on most p55 mobos .
December 9, 2009 5:54:25 PM

cyberkuberiah said:
i would also suggest the ECO line , it would run cooler than 1.5 volts . it is already tested on most p55 mobos .

Thank you friends for those quick inputs, yes I need a low voltage RAM (have been insisted in many reviews for i5-750) but now my head is spinning on which one to choose :pt1cable:  It's quite a tiresome job, will close it tomorrow :) 

~akula2
December 9, 2009 6:01:38 PM

akula2 said:
Thank you friends for those quick inputs, yes I need a low voltage RAM (have been insisted in many reviews for i5-750) but now my head is spinning on which one to choose :pt1cable:  It's quite a tiresome job, will close it tomorrow :) 

~akula2

The 1.65v 1600 ram you are looking at get their speed from over volting standard 1.5v ram that has been selected(binned) for it's better qualities. They will all run at 1.5 volts and a lower speed. The amount of ram is more important than the speed it runs at.
December 10, 2009 10:58:14 PM

Hi guys, I'm also in the process of putting together the components for my first ever custom build. I'm purchasing the i5 750 at a local Microcenter, and am now looking at Mobo's and RAM. I've pretty much set my eyes on the ASROCK Extreme P55 Mobo, but what RAM to use I don't know. Would the ECO RAM work well with this Mobo? I didn't see Asrock listed above.

Also, what should I look for in whatever RAM I buy? I will be running a Win7 64-bit.
December 11, 2009 12:38:06 AM

In most cases, non-validated ram will work fine, however it is not guaranteed. There are too many modules to test them all in each board.

Here's the QVL for your board:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/memory/P55%20Extreme.pdf

Take a look through those modules. If none look decent/as good as the once we are recommending, I would recommend the ones we recommend even if they are not on the list.
December 12, 2009 3:36:29 PM

geofelt said:

I think 6gb is the sweet spot for most users, but for a 1156 motherboard, go ahead and get 8gb, it is not that expensive.

Requirement have changed in the last minute :pfff:  We are inclined towards 8 GB (since it's not that expensive) because we would definitely use couple of new applications which involves lot of data loading, simulation at one time etc. And also, we are planning to go for ERP implementation from the next financial year onwards...so is 8 GB a good idea w.r.t my requirements? But I said, first we gonna get 4 GB and later we could upgrade after six months or so (DDR3 prices would be down for sure...). What do you suggest on this front?

RAM make yet to be decided, hopefully by tomorrow............ :??: 

~akula2
December 12, 2009 4:05:50 PM

if u're considering 4 modules for 8gb , they will produce measurable heat and also being close to each other .

i suggest the 1.35 Gskill ECO modules again (validated on gigabyte's mobos) as they will give you 5-10% less heat/power consumption per module , but 20% less heat/power consumption for RAM easily when all 4 are used .

low operating heat/high efficiency is the hallmark of a well built system .
December 12, 2009 4:18:00 PM

cyberkuberiah said:
if u're considering 4 modules for 8gb , they will produce measurable heat and also being close to each other .

i suggest the 1.35 Gskill ECO modules again (validated on gigabyte's mobos) as they will give you 5-10% less heat/power consumption per module , but 20% less heat/power consumption for RAM easily when all 4 are used .

low operating heat/high efficiency is the hallmark of a well built system .

Quite true and we ALL must show active interest towards building low heat/power systems which directly result in low energy consumption, we set a few targets from this year onwards. Yes, G.Skill am going to consider definitely. Thanks again.
December 15, 2009 3:02:30 PM

cyberkuberiah said:
if u're considering 4 modules for 8gb , they will produce measurable heat and also being close to each other .

I got last two points to be sorted out:

a) If I buy a DDR3-1600 MHz instead of 1333 MHz? (i5 supports 1333 but what is the benefit if I choose 1600?)
b) We identified a solid feature which will benefit our productivity, i.e., Virtualization. Question, 4 GB o 8 GB?

~akula2
December 15, 2009 4:54:44 PM

here are two kits :-

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

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

these are the best for 1333 and 1600 respectively . at least gigabyte mobo's have a 12x ram speed multipler , so that even if ure not overclocking , you can get 133x12 = 1600 on the ram .

the second ram is faster than the first , and honestly it is a good deal . i would also suggest getting only 2x2=4gb initially . if u feel the need , u can always add more later . dont start with 8gb unless u r sure that u need it .
December 15, 2009 5:21:48 PM

The multiplier is controlled by and is in the CPU, or at least that is my understanding. The i5 has a maximum of 10x (133 BCLK x 10 = 1333MHz) while the i7 860 has a 12x multi (133 BCLK x 12 = 1600). Intel tried hard to cripple the 750, but in my opinion failed to and it is still an excellent chip for the price.
December 15, 2009 5:30:24 PM

EXT64 said:
The multiplier is controlled by and is in the CPU, or at least that is my understanding. The i5 has a maximum of 10x (133 BCLK x 10 = 1333MHz) while the i7 860 has a 12x multi (133 BCLK x 12 = 1600).

You mean to say even if I install 1600 MHz then i5 would give out only 1333 MHz? Then it's total waste of $$, isn't it :( 
December 15, 2009 5:41:04 PM

That is my understanding, however I have not built mine yet so I cannot confirm 100%. However, you can raise the BCLK (and lower the multi so you don't overclock the CPU) to get the i5 to run 1600MHz ram.
December 15, 2009 6:02:47 PM

EXT64 said:
That is my understanding, however I have not built mine yet so I cannot confirm 100%. However, you can raise the BCLK (and lower the multi so you don't overclock the CPU) to get the i5 to run 1600MHz ram.

Thank you but this DDR3 RAM selection is becoming a nightmare to me :pfff:  Lemme check out a review...
December 15, 2009 6:13:41 PM

Well, and just to add one more note, you can always run DDR3 1600 at 1333, though you may have to do a little more testing yourself to find optimum timings/voltage. That is what I plan on doing. But I agree, this is not very well documented and is a pain. GSkill seems to have a fairly good support forum and I plan on posting there as soon as they approve me to get more feedback on the subject.
December 22, 2009 12:48:46 PM

Thank you very much, you all did contribute very much to my requirement. Choosing best answer is really tough now :) 

I ordered both, somewhat tricky way to test on my first workstation (for me). Here is the way I went considering my requirements, both are 8-8-8-24, 1600 MHz:

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $110
CORSAIR DOMINATOR 4GB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... $130

Now my plan is test those modules for the performance, given I need to import 4 GB x 20 machines for now. 8 GB RAM upgrade would be decided in this test too. If 8 GB is the case then I need to import more later if not now.

After the test, I would push the remaining 4 GB slots (G.Skill or Corsair) to my nephew (he is mad at me for not telling him about the new system build - now he too wants to dump his 915GAV based PC and go for core i7-860 based PC LOL). In this way I won't loose any money. But, who gonna win I don't know....please comment :) 
December 22, 2009 1:04:09 PM

1) Do your testing with your real application, not a synthetic benchmark which is easy to do. ddr3 1600 vs. 1333 ram gives good improvements in synthetic benchmarks. But... real application benefits are small, on the order of 1-2% on cpu bound jobs. Same is true of lower vs. better latencies. Not much worth it.

2) It is best to get a 8gb ram kit up front instead of planning on adding more later. The same ram part# can be produced with different components from one manufacturing run to another. Sometimes those differences can cause problems. That is why ram is sold in multi stick kits.

December 22, 2009 1:12:07 PM

Both ram sets look excellent. The dominator may be a little tall if you plan to fill up all four slots (if the CPU cooler you choose overlaps any of them).
December 22, 2009 1:14:40 PM

geofelt said:
1) Do your testing with your real application, not a synthetic benchmark which is easy to do. ddr3 1600 vs. 1333 ram gives good improvements in synthetic benchmarks. But... real application benefits are small, on the order of 1-2% on cpu bound jobs. Same is true of lower vs. better latencies. Not much worth it.

2) It is best to get a 8gb ram kit up front instead of planning on adding more later. The same ram part# can be produced with different components from one manufacturing run to another. Sometimes those differences can cause problems. That is why ram is sold in multi stick kits.

1. Correct, you understood my method. I don't bother much about synthetic benchmarks. I look for the performance in terms of running daily used multiple apps, simulations etc. Also in the Graphics (with 3 LCDs) and Vitualization mode (planned to buy VMWare). And, few more are there...it takes almost 2 weeks for us to reach for a conclusion.

2. 8 GB kit means 2 x 4 GB? I thought that's too expensive :ouch:  Maybe you meant 4 x 2 GB cards?


December 22, 2009 1:23:37 PM

akula2 said:
1. Correct, you understood my method. I don't bother much about synthetic benchmarks. I look for the performance in terms of running daily used multiple apps, simulations etc. Also in the Graphics (with 3 LCDs) and Vitualization mode (planned to buy VMWare). And, few more are there...it takes almost 2 weeks for us to reach for a conclusion.

2. 8 GB kit means 2 x 4 GB? I thought that's too expensive :ouch:  Maybe you meant 4 x 2 GB cards?


I agree, 4gb sticks are very expensive now. 4 x 2gb would be better. If, in the future, you might want more than 8gb be prepared to pay for 4gb sticks. If that is a real liklehood, then using a X58 platform might be more cost effective because they will have 6 ram slots which will result in 12gb using normal 2gb sticks. I think Gigabyte does have a P55 motherboard that has 6 ram slots, but it is expensive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!