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Gigbyte GA-P55A-UD4P Memory Help Needed

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September 4, 2010 1:35:54 AM

I just purchased a GIGABYTE GA-P55A-UD4P with an INTEL i5-760.

I plan to use XP x32, XP x64 and Windows7. All on different HDDs of course.

I am going crazy trying to figure out how much RAM to install, what speed, what voltage, how many modules.

I am not worried about overclocking at this time but want to keep the door open if I choose to do so.

Things have changed a lot since I last built a system.....
a b } Memory
September 4, 2010 1:47:28 AM

As for how much RAM to get, there are very few cases where you'll need more than 2x2GBs. What do you intend to use this rig for?

As far as Voltage, you can go up to 1.65V. But the better RAM runs with less V. You should be able to find reasonably priced RAM rated at 1.5V, and there are some "eco" options around 1.35 V.

Look for at least 1333 MHz RAM with the lowest timings at a price that is reasonable to you. I.e., CL 7's are better than CL 8's are better than CL 9's, assuming the price is right.. With an i5 you will not be able to run at 1600 MHz unless you overclock your CPU. Of course even if you overclock your CPU there's no reason you can't keep your RAM close to 1333 MHz.

That being said, if the same model or type of 1600 and 1333 RAM are the same price, get the 1600 RAM. At that point you get the extra headroom "for free", you just can't use it until you overclock.

Also it's worth keeping in mind that there's very little difference outside of benchmarks between 1600 and 1333. There's a good article on Tom's comparing the difference. I'll see if I can find a link for you.

EDIT: Here's the article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,24...
Hopefully you find it as helpful as I do. The conclusion sums everything up well but the whole piece is worth at least browsing.
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a b } Memory
September 4, 2010 1:53:16 AM

I would recommend going with the G.SKILL ECO DDR3 1600 4GB (2x2GB). It is one of the best memories for Intel with the lower voltage requirement, which gives you room to overclock, if needed, and still increase voltage.
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Related resources
September 4, 2010 2:06:07 AM

Anandtech also has a good article on memory performance:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2792

You may be able to save some money if you realize that memory speeds and latencies are related. Usually you can lower the latency of a set of RAM if you lower the frequency at which it operates and vice-versa.

DDR3 1333 CL5 ~ DDR3 1600 CL7 ~ DDR3 2000 CL9

You can grade the overall performance of the memory based on the combination of the two (operating frequency and latency). This is why ever set of DDR3 2000 isn't more expensive than every set of DDR3 1600 and so on.

I bought a DDR3 2000 CL9 kit because, when I was looking, it was cheaper than any set of DDR3 1600 CL7.
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September 6, 2010 2:16:48 AM

This system will be used for photo processing with Adobe Photoshop CS4, along with other graphic software packages. I also do video editing sometimes.


What drives me nuts is that the manufacture quotes 1.5 volts or less in the UD4P manual but on their web site there test, and approve, 1.65 volt memory like the Kingston KHX1600C9D3k2. It is like the sign saying 25MPH and the cops do 45MPH.


I got the axe from Panasonic back in 1999 and I have not kept up with all the current technology changes in the computer field. This is why I need to ask some basic questions. I do not want to fry a $400 motherboard and processor.


Any advise on a mid-price graphics card for Photoshop and video editing? I do not want a two slot card and do not think that I need that kind of power.



THANKS,
Bill
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a b } Memory
September 6, 2010 9:21:06 PM

wleger said:
What drives me nuts is that the manufacture quotes 1.5 volts or less in the UD4P manual but on their web site there test, and approve, 1.65 volt memory like the Kingston KHX1600C9D3k2. It is like the sign saying 25MPH and the cops do 45MPH.


That's a good analogy. The 'reason' for most of the different specs is that the DDR3 standard is 1.5V. In Intel's datasheets they list 1.5V as Typical and 1.65V as the 'absolute max'. Intel has warned, since the Bloomfield i7's, that more than 1.65V can shorten the life of components.

Intel Datahsheet: http://download.intel.com/design/processor/datashts/322...
Table 7-6 shows that for "Processor I/O supply voltage for DDR3" the Min is 1.425V, Typ = 1.5, and Max is 1.575. However go back to Table 7-4 and you'll see the "Absolute Max" is 1.65V. (pages 68 and 67, respectively)
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September 14, 2010 1:51:14 AM

I have to thank everyone for the help. The new system is up and running.

I purchased 2 sticks of G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666). I decided to play it very safe for now.

I am not interested in over clocking at this time but will post a help request on this subject in the future.

The above memory is rated at 1.35 volts but the default on the motherboard is 1.5vdc. I think I can lower the voltage to 1.4 or 1.45. I have to look again.

I now have to clean up the cabling in side of the computer and close the case.

The biggest PIA is reinstalling all of my software....

THANKS AGAIN!!!
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a b } Memory
September 14, 2010 2:30:42 AM

Congrats. Enjoy the rig.
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