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X58 - i7 980 - Memory Selection - Help Please

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October 13, 2010 5:19:16 AM

After a couple nights of research, I am now completely confused as to what memory to get for my new build.

Here's what I'm going with...

Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD5 mobo
i7 980x
Windows 7
SSD
Radeon HD 5770
6GB RAM - DDR3 (3 x 2GB) BRAND/MODEL ?????HELP????

The system will be used for video & photo editing and very light gaming. I do not plan on over-clocking the system

I'm guessing the following but not sure...

- The "Cas Latency" should be as low as possible (6 or 7)

- The "Timing" numbers should be as low as possible

- No idea about 1333/1600/1866/2000 MHz numbers.

- Brand? I'm thinking stay bigger name but then again, many other smaller brands seem to be well rated and work great.

This test was helpful but if I'm not over-clocking, is it relevant to me?

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/triple-channel-ddr3...

I don't know about the 1600, 1877 or 2000 numbers either. I'm thinking 1600 but in the above test the Kingston 2000 is the fastest - but that's in an over-clocked situation.

What I don't get is when you go to the web sites for the memory manufacturers and go to the memory configurator, you put in your criteria and it spits out like 10 sets of memory chip that will work. Then you select a few to compare them and they all seem the same.

Gigabyte's web site is also confusing. They list what is compatible but not what's fastest.

I don't know if there are rules to follow if you are not going to over-clock vs. yes over-clock.

I'm not afraid to spend good money on memory but I don't want to waste it.

Any assistance here would be appreciated. I'm seriously considering just buying what this group recommends. I have everything except memory figured out at this point.

Thanks!

-Ralph Warren

Bonus question... if I decide to go with 12GB now, should I get 6 of the 2GB chips or are the 4GB chips just as fast?
October 13, 2010 6:26:45 AM

If you don't plan on overclocking, then the cas timings don't matter. It's more of a bandwidth issue in which the greater the memory clocks, the more bandwidth data you will have. DDR3-1600 would be a good starting point, but to the choice of 2gb or 4gb sticks are up to you and what you can afford. As for the memory settings in XMP mode, the motherboard can handle that by simply engaging the XMP memory profile in the bios.
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October 13, 2010 7:00:42 AM

Surely go for 12 gigs of RAM configured as 3sticks of 4GB each.. The X58 platform offers a total of 24GB maximum memory count over 6 memory banks.. Thus, getting 12GB (3 x 4GB) will allow you to go full capacity if and when the need arrives.. Since you are not gonna overclock, 1333MHz will be adequate.. 1600MHz though will be a sweet point.. Don't worry about CAS latency.. Its a more gaming related term.. What you require is solid stable RAM.. Corsair, Kingston, Crucial and G-Skill are the brands to choose from.. For your requirements, the following RAM module will be good -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...(Desktop+Memory)-_-Corsair+(XMS+Series)-_-20145321
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October 13, 2010 2:11:32 PM

It is highly recommended to use memory listed on the QVL from the Gigabyte website for your motherboard. Even if the list is confusing, choose the fastest memory that you can afford from that list.

Nothing worse that buying memory (brand or speed) off the list and then having issues as a result.
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