I don't understand RAM

I've looked on google and wikipedia but I am still unsure. Here is what I plan to buy:

intel i7 950 cpu
asus x58 motherboard
850 corsair psu
640 gb seagate hd(already own)
graphics card either 5870 or 6870(can't decide on that either! sheesh)
windows 7 64bit

which RAM is better? 1366? 1666? 1866? I don't understand these figures. I am shooting for either 6gb or 8gb. I need help.
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  1. This topic has been moved from the section Storage to section Motherboards & Memory by Buwish
  2. whew...okay. 5870>6870. Idk why ATI chose to make their next line of cards less powerful then their previous line but the 5870 is the better of the two cards. RAM or Random Access Memory is the memory which is can be stored temporarily for quick access by programs. For example, firefox may use you're RAM to store its files necessary for running so it can quickly access them rather than having to constatly search through your hard drive. This is why when your ram is full, you typically see lags as your computer needs to sift through an entire hard drive's worth of data to find its info. On the same wavelength, 1333, 1600, 1866, etc refer to the clocking speed of the ram, or how quickly your computer can access the ram. Higher numbers mean higher clock speed and thus quicker program response. So in essence, greater ram with greater (typically 1600 or higher) speeds would be a good choice for your system. And at least 6GB of ram. 12 if you have the funds
  3. Oh and i forgot to add, since x58 motherboards utilize triple channel, you want to buy either 6GB or 12GB, not 8GB or 4GB. If you do not buy the memory in sets of 3 (i.e 3x2GB or 3x4GB), you will see greater lags. Also do make sure you know exactly what you are doing before you construct your system. It would be a shame to buy all of the parts if you are not 100% sure of the process. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am happy to help.
  4. Oh cool thank you. I decided to go with this:

    It was $154, on sale, and with a rebate I'll get it for $99. I won't be doing any overclocking. It's an ocz triple channel, 1066, 6gb.

    And I actually don't know what I'm doing. This is my first build and I plan to look on youtube and research how to assemble my pc. If you have any great websites which show how-to, it would be much appreciated.
  5. Hmm, I don't have recommendation on any website, because I assemble my pc with my exp. Modern computer systems are designed to be easy to fit together, and they are. The majority of components are keyed so they will fit a certain way, and everything is standardized. Whatever, just Google.?
    Your above config is good.

    I'll just tell you then some points on assembling a PC:
    1. Get rid of that built-in casing PSU; Corsair or Seasonic is recommended. Any built-in casing PSU is Not recommended. It's risky because maybe their durability & handling of power fluctuation is not as good as commercial PSU. they're free, so the company don't mind much quality into it, perhaps :p
    Your choice is good: Corsair
    2. Processor: Well, this you already know. Basically, the faster, the cheaper, the better. But unfortunately i7-980X is not THAT great in addition to performance compared additional money you spent in.
    3. Motherboard:
    Here it goes. Do you SLI? What speed of RAM should you have? If heavy overclocker that you are, say, to 4 Ghz, you will want a mobo that supports up to 2,000 Mhz memory. If you're not overclocker, go for 1,600 Mhz Low Latency. It's simpler to set up, and stable better. If you're heavy gamer, SLI video card.
    4. Memory:
    If you're not heavy overclocking/OC, 1600 Mhz with low latency is better, and stable. Buying 1866 or more just costs more money if you don't OC. You also have to tweak voltages, test your system stability, etc. Well i'm just telling. Imho that's just for enthusiast that have those spare time, I'm a gamer not overclocker, btw :D
    4. VGA card:
    Well, you will want to get a bang-for-buck, mostly, for this one. As of today (Nov 29th, 2010), the bang-for-buck card is 6870/GTX 460 1GB. What consider do you have so you cannot decide between 5870 & 6870? Series 6870 is the next gen of 5870, is it not?

    Maybe this article will help
    http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1444 It includes setting up heatsink and expansion cards aswell.
  6. Yes, as andrern said, the actual construction comes alot out of experience. But it does help to have someone helping you through it. I know that after my first build, I realized that I had made a lot of silly errors. It really comes down to what you want/NEED your computer to do. Do you NEED a 5870, or will a 5750 suffice? Do you plan to upgrade? What's your price range? Again, I'd recommend the 5870 over the 6870 in terms of performance. The 5870 is more powerful, but the 6870 is cheaper and still a good card. Also, I would strongly recommend this over the OCZ ram. With experience, I have noticed the OCZ ram to be more unstable than corsair. It is definitely better RAM for the extra 10 dollars.


    Make sure you also choose the right case (Cooling is VERY important) and include a DVD Drive. Let me know if you have any other questions. If it would be easier, we could speak via email.
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