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General RAM questions (not found in FAQ)

Last response: in Memory
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December 29, 2010 4:37:42 PM

I've looked on the internet for specific answers to these memory questions but can't find direct ones.
First, I'll describe my computer setup.
(Scroll to the very bottom for the list of questions I have and I thank anyone in advance for providing input!!!)

The Facts:
I built and use a Mainstream system for gaming with max graphics on: Battlefield Bad Company 2, Starcraft 2, Battlefield 2, and FSX.
System Specs:

OS: Windows 7 Professional 64 bit
Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965
GPU: nVidia EVGA GTX 465 (soon to be a GTX 580)
Memory: Gskill 6GB DDR3 1600 (Triple channel kit)
PSU: Antec 650W
Motherboard: ASUS M4A79XTD EVO (Max RAM possible = 16GB of DDR3 in dual channel)
Hard Drives: (Qty: 2) OCZ Vertex 2 60GB; WD 320GB SATA II 7200 RPM

The main question: I have 6GB of DDR3 1600 RAM in my computer. At idle, my machine uses about 1.2GB of RAM. When gaming, I use 3-4GB of RAM. Will increasing my total RAM to 16GB make any difference if I don't already use the full potential I have now? Is it just more of a future-proof kinda thing to get that much? In other words, applications may not use 6GB or "X" Gigabytes of RAM now, but will require more in the future??

I have a feeling the answer I'll get is "No, it would make no difference now, but you may need more than 6GB for more demanding applications/games in the future..."

I would like some input from others before investing $$$ in more RAM. I'll provide the links and specs below for easier reference.

A link to my current Motherboard:
A link to my current RAM kit:

Motherboard RAM specs:
- 4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 ECC,Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory
- Dual Channel memory architecture

Current System Memory
Quantity: 6GB (3 x 2GB)
Speed: DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Cas Latency: 9
Timing: 9-9-9-24-2N
Voltage: 1.5V – 1.6V
Triple Channel kit

The RAM I'd like to purchase is:
Potential RAM I would buy:
Capacity: 16GB (4 x 4GB)
Speed: DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Cas Latency: 9
Timing: 9-9-9-24-2N
Voltage: 1.5V
Quad Channel kit

Additionally: Question about CAS latency, timings vs. MHz (Frequency) on RAM.
I have read about CAS latency, timings and the speed but I've heard conflicting things about what really makes the difference... Furthermore I've also heard that AMD systems 'crave' better CL Latency/timings and Intel systems desire faster frequencies (MHz).

I'll summarize my questions below:

1. Will increasing my total RAM from 6GB to 16GB make any difference if I never use the full 6GB I have now?
2. Now for the general question for anyone else needing an answer: I have "X" Gigabytes of RAM and I don't 'ever' use it all; will getting more improve my computer 'now', or just future-proof my machine
3. Will buying RAM with a lower CAS latency and better timings provide any 'noticeable' performance gain at a speed of DDR3 1600 for use in high-end gaming and host game servers?
4. I've heard that higher frequency RAM such as DDR3 2500 is not good to use because it produces more errors - is this true? If not, why? (yes it is also pricey...)
5. Would there be any noticeable difference between DDR3 1333 and 1600? (I have seen the bandwidth charts on the actual numbers)
6. Do AMD chipsets really benefit more with having better Cas Latency and timings vs. higher frequency RAM? (ex: DDR3 1600 with low CL/timings vs DDR3 2200 with average CL and Timings).
7. Do Intel Chipsets prefer higher frequency RAM than Cas Latency and timings?

Again, I thank you in advance for any comments on the matter. If you need any more information on my system, just ask and I'll provide more links to the equipment. I've asked a lot of questions but I have a feeling many others will benefit once these questions are answered.

**update** 60+ views and still no reply :-/

Best solution

December 31, 2010 3:25:53 PM
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tennis129mph said:

1. Will increasing my total RAM from 6GB to 16GB make any difference if I never use the full 6GB I have now?
2. Now for the general question for anyone else needing an answer: I have "X" Gigabytes of RAM and I don't 'ever' use it all; will getting more improve my computer 'now', or just future-proof my machine
3. Will buying RAM with a lower CAS latency and better timings provide any 'noticeable' performance gain at a speed of DDR3 1600 for use in high-end gaming and host game servers?
4. I've heard that higher frequency RAM such as DDR3 2500 is not good to use because it produces more errors - is this true? If not, why? (yes it is also pricey...)
5. Would there be any noticeable difference between DDR3 1333 and 1600? (I have seen the bandwidth charts on the actual numbers)
6. Do AMD chipsets really benefit more with having better Cas Latency and timings vs. higher frequency RAM? (ex: DDR3 1600 with low CL/timings vs DDR3 2200 with average CL and Timings).
7. Do Intel Chipsets prefer higher frequency RAM than Cas Latency and timings?

Again, I thank you in advance for any comments on the matter. If you need any more information on my system, just ask and I'll provide more links to the equipment. I've asked a lot of questions but I have a feeling many others will benefit once these questions are answered.

**update** 60+ views and still no reply :-/

OK - here's a reply. Not sure what the quality of some of these answers is, but it will keep you from being lonely :D 

1) No.
2) Probably neither, unless your future includes massive Photoshopping or transcoding videos or...
3) No. It might up some benchmarks by as much as 5%, but you won't notice the difference. See recent Tom's benchmark tests - you don't necessarily see a big jump going from 1333 to 1600.
4) Not. Why - because it doesn't. Speed doesn't cause transient errors. High voltage can break things, cosmic rays can destroy bits, speed doesn't.
5) No (see 3)
6) AMD is out of my experience
7) The chips don't care in the least! :pt1cable: 

Happy New Year, and I hope that someone will provide you with better-documented answers. I'm probably right on 1-5.
January 7, 2011 12:57:32 AM

Best answer selected by tennis129mph.
a b } Memory
January 7, 2011 5:52:14 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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