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RAM recommendation for i5-2500K gaming build

Last response: in Memory
January 9, 2011 7:22:18 PM

I am trying to decide what memory kit to buy for an i5-2500K build intended for gaming.

RAM prices have decreased substantially this quarter. Low latency seems to be the consistent recommendation. From what I’ve read (see below), it looks like I want 8GB 1333-1600MHz CL7-8.

What if I got two identical 4GB kits, i.e. how relevant is the memory controller stress difference between 2 DIMMs and 4? Is is true that overclocking the 2500K doesn’t involve RAM because it’s just a multiplier increase?

I also need to consider clearance issues with my shiny new Venomous X.
The tallest DIMMs in my list, the Ripjaws, apparently go from 40mm at the ends to 38mm in the middle, which should be fine.
A related question: could I (and would I want to) mount two TY-140s on the Venomous X? If not, the fans I will use are 120mm Slip Streams.

I’d also appreciate clock speed and latency recommendations.

The motherboard I want to get is the ASUS P8P67 PRO, which supports RAM clock speeds up to 2200MHz.

4GB (2 x 2GB) kits:
1600MHz CL9: $47.99
1333MHz CL7: $48.99 (Only three eggs on Newegg)
1600MHz CL6-8-6-24: $64.99 (This is my favorite)
2000MHz CL9: $72.99 (Could I underclock in order to lower latency?)

8GB (2 x 4GB) kits:
1066MHz CL7-7-7-18: $79.99 (Attractive price)
1333MHz CL7-7-7-21: $109.99
1600MHz CL9-9-9: $109.99
1600MHz CL8-8-8-24: $139.99 (Only one review on Newegg)
1600MHz CL7-8-7-24: $159.99

Here’s my reading list:
These two articles (June 2009) recommends low latency RAM, 1600MHz for enthusiasts and 1333MHz for “others.” Does that mean that I would have a faster computer if I went for a 1600MHz kit, or does enthusiasm mean expenditure without noticeable performance gain?

This article (June 2009) seems to indicate that 1066MHz at low latency won’t be much different from 1333 or 1600MHz.

This article (July 2009) says that “faster clock speeds are only justified by better overclocking flexibility,” which, correct me if I’m wrong, is irrelevant with the 2500K.

This article (December 2009) likes 1333MHz, low latency RAM for LGA 1156, but recommends 1600MHz.

This article (November 2010) recommends 8GB at a minimum, while this one (April 2009), which describes itself as “forward-looking,” recommends 4 and 6 for dual- and triple-channel systems respectively. Looks like a simple case of Moore’s Law.

Thank you for your help!

Best solution

a c 347 } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
January 9, 2011 8:58:29 PM

Welcome to Tom's Forums! :) 

First, you want to stay current. The best RAM is High Speed with Low + Tight CAS Latency {9-9-9-24 is often faster than 7-8-7-24; the tight numbers are a sign of a quality IC}. If you're going to OC then I would look at 1600 MHz or faster RAM, and 4GB is recommended for 64-bit OS, and 8GB or more if rendering {CAD, HUGE Photoshop files, Video rendering, etc}. $113 for 8GB of RAM is very good!

Therefore, with gaming + SB + OC, 1600 MHz or 1866 MHz and 2X2GB or 2X4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X {sold-out since yesterday and today} ; I really like the new Ripjaws X series, and keep in mind I'm a big fan of Corsair.
Newegg -

Bang for the buck:
$113 / $14.13/GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
1600 MHz 9-9-9-24 @ 1.5v
$145 / $18.13/GB CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8
1600 MHz 8-8-8-24 @ 1.5v

$53 / $13.25/GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-12800CL9D-4GBX
1600 MHz 9-9-9-24 @ 1.5v
Corsair only has 1.65v in 1600 MHz 2X2GB Dominator
January 9, 2011 10:58:35 PM


That’s new information about timings. What is IC?

I didn’t even see Ripjaws X, that’s exciting. I can’t seem to find information about their height, which looks like it might have changed. Do you know if they’ll fit under my Venomous X with either of my fan choices? Same question for the Vengeance kit.
Related resources
a c 347 } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
January 10, 2011 12:23:50 AM

IC - Chip {Integrated Circuits}

The regular Ripjaws are 38mm~40mm, but the Ripjaws X 'seem' to be deliberately shorter.

To know 100% -> I don't see the dimensions officially published.
January 10, 2011 12:57:28 AM

Best answer selected by Nim Chimpsky.
January 10, 2011 12:59:30 AM

Looks like I'm going with 4GB of 1600MHz Ripjaws X!
a c 347 } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
January 10, 2011 2:05:24 AM

Enjoy! :sol: