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More memory or faster memory?

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July 27, 2011 8:46:09 PM

I'm currently running with 16 gigs of 1333 mhz memory. I really don't know anything about memory so when shopping I just went with what crucial said and would plug what they say into amazon, so I found this memory:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003OSYW1S

They say it's performance memory: FOR GAMING / PERFORMANCE MEMORY 8-8-8-24

If I stay with 16 gigs of ram any recommendations of the best possible memory I can get?

My mobo says I can get 1866 if I oc. "(Note 2) To reach DDR3 1866MHz or above, you must install two memory modules and install them in the DDR3_3 and DDR3_4 memory sockets."

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

I'm running a chessbase chess playing engine that when I check, it uses 100% of my CPU and about 55% of my memory. So I'm assuming with 8 gigs I'll have to adjust some settings down, but at least the access to the memory will be a lot faster so it should benefit me I hope?

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a b } Memory
July 27, 2011 8:55:52 PM

What are the specs of the rest of your system?
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July 27, 2011 8:58:15 PM

Nothing uses over 4GB of RAM(if combine programs usage) but only Adobe CS5.5 could use more than 4GB but if your dont, you dont need 16GB, get 8GB at 1600MHz for lower price
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July 27, 2011 9:01:59 PM

Graphics card - Radeon 5770 - don't game so this should be fine.
HD - 7200 - Upgrading to an SSD this month
Processor - Phenom II x6 1100t
Sound card - xonar essence ST - to get sound away from cpu

I also have my databases on an external usb 3.0 drive and I'm hoping to transfer them to 3 raptor drives for a little more juice.

I know it's not the best system, so I'm just upgrading it piece by piece.
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July 27, 2011 9:03:55 PM

My chess software stores lines and evaluations in the ram so it doesn't recalculate when it doesn't have to. It does take advantage of whatever system hardware I can throw at it. I also work for a living solely online so if I can get a little more juice out of my computer while working I can pretend to be more productive.
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a c 347 } Memory
July 27, 2011 9:15:17 PM

Don't waste money on -> Raptor HDD's the IOPS are soooo low in comparison to SSD. Most HDDs now are maxed-out at 120~140 MB/s BUT the latency is soooo slow in comparison to SSD. See -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IOPS

Don't waste money on -> replacing your current "...currently running with 16 gigs of 1333 mhz memory" won't help much going to to DDR3 1866.

The slow is from your HD 5770 for gaming; I have 10 HD 5770 for 'Work' PC's because they can run 3 monitors for 'Office' work.

Q - Gaming or Database?

IF the databases are SQL/PHP then the IOPS of either the USB HDD or Internal HDD are the killers.
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July 27, 2011 9:24:44 PM

Yeah I'm running 5770 for work also. It is "gaming" but for chess, so it doesn't use the graphics card. It just does a lot of calculations. If you don't think the raptor drives will make much of a difference that's $600 I can save for now. I'm mostly just considering ram right now because of all the potential upgrades, either for work or my chess engine, that seems like it would be cheapest if faster ram is better. And as legend said, most software doesn't use over 4 gigs unless you are using professional software like cad, so that's why I'm thinking that maybe I'll actually get more out of my system dropping from 16 gigs to 8 gigs but looking for faster ram.

Crucial has the "most expensive" upgrade for 8 gigs:

DDR3 PC3-16000 • 9-11-9-27 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-2000 • 1.65V • 256Meg x 64 •

I'm wondering if that would be worthwhile to get? I just don't know what all of them numbers mean. I suppose I could just get it after I upgrade to an SSD and see if it appears to run better and if not then find a friend to donate it to.
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a c 347 } Memory
July 27, 2011 9:51:23 PM

If you smoke then you'll have more satisfaction from lighting your cigarettes with dollar bills.

A few months back I replaced my SAS drives with enterprise SSD on my primary SQL servers; big bucks. I don't waste money...

The difference between DDR3 2000 and DDR3 1333 is at best 2~3% and in gaming maybe 2~4FPS. Replacing = CrAzY. DDR3 2000 MHz is a hit or miss and often is problematic to run.

Improvements:
1. Gaming = Better GPU + 8GB RAM ** you already have 16GB!
2. Overall Performance = SSD ; don't get one smaller than 120GB.
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July 27, 2011 10:10:19 PM

Thanks everyone for your responses! Here are the conclusions I'm running.

1. First upgrade should probably be the vortex 240 ssd I want. I picked this one out because I think I read it on this site that it was the best bang for the $500 buck.

2. Raptor drives, while they will be faster, is probably not worth it for accessing a database. Normally I wouldn't mind spending the extra money if I get improved performance, but now I'm thinking about potential heat issues and all that stuff might not be so great. So, I think I'll just stick with an external usb 3.0 drive

3. Sounds like the downgrading to 8 gigs of faster memory might be something to consider. Sounds like not as much of an improvement, but I should probably make all other upgrades first, make sure my system is stable, then grab some higher performing ram.

***

Mainly posting this to make sure my thought process is right and in case anyone else stumbles on this thread in the future.
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a c 347 } Memory
July 27, 2011 10:19:52 PM

No, what I am clearly saying is KEEP your 16GB (4x4GB). Your Chess gaming won't improve - period. If anything OC your CPU to 3.8GHz ; you can probably get by with increasing the CPU Multiplier -> 19 without a vCore being touched.
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July 27, 2011 10:21:41 PM

Saved me $130. Thanks! I'm just trying to get the most out of my system so doing what I can.
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July 27, 2011 10:21:54 PM

Best answer selected by dreamscaper.
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July 28, 2011 4:15:02 PM

I searched for "fritz" also on toms, and there were reviews from the past year that I found that showed the faster memory being like .01 better than my 1333 for deep fritz (one of the chess engines I use). I did see one or 2 examples where faster memory just killed slower memory, but that's not what I do, and what I do do they showed as no real significance.

Lastly, I ran my chess benchmarks last night with different hash tables. Out of 16 gigs it said I had 9 gigs available to set. I started at 4 gigs, 6 gigs, and finally 8 gigs. The highest performing I got was at about 8 gigs, though 8 wasn't that much difference than 6 gigs. If I dropped down to 8 gigs total, 4 gigs would probably be the sweatspot. 4 gigs wasn't that far off of 6 gigs, but enough to prefer 6 over 4.

So, for my exact example, I'm thinking that my chess software is going to hold the analysis in memory no matter if it's super fast or super slow. So the only time the speed of the memory might help would be when my computer is going up against the clock and is about to lose the game because of time. Even then, I'd think that a faster (ssd) drive would simply be better because I doubt at that point it will even want to access the memory.

I'm sure other people might have applications where faster memory is better than more memory. I don't think a number crunching chess engine is one of them.
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a c 347 } Memory
July 28, 2011 4:28:00 PM

There is a slight loss in 4X4GB vs 2X4GB, but it's such a small amount it's negligible.

What you need to do is to try to OC your CPU, the permutations are in the 'CPU'. I doubt an SSD will improve the overall speed especially once it's loaded into the RAM.

You can also try to OC your RAM:
IF it's DDR3 1333 MHz CAS 9-9-9-24 then try setting OC'ing the CAS manually 8-8-8-24. You can also try raising the DRAM Frequency -> DDR3 1600 MHz / Memory Multiplier -> 8 {GA assuming FSB 200 MHz}.

Then Test the RAM with Memtest; create a bootable CD/DVD using the ISO/zip file and run the test for a minimum of 4 passes or 1~2 hours {not 16GB takes a longtime to test} -> http://www.memtest.org/
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