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12GB ddr3 1333MHz or 6GB ddr3 1866 MHz?

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November 14, 2011 10:08:55 AM

Which is better for my system? All I do is play games. With dual monitor, MSI afterburner, coretemp,fraps and crysis2 at max settings running my RAM usuage never exceeds 4MB. I have read lot's of threads where some people say more RAM and some people say faster RAM. I am leaning towards faster RAM. I currently have the 12 GB 1333 MHz RAM installed and have a chance to pick up 6GB 1866MHz for next to nothing. Any thoughts?
November 14, 2011 10:42:26 AM

Most application and games don't actually need more than 4 Gigs of RAM. If you are just a gamer and uses normal applications a high clocked RAM is better but if you gonna use professional designing applications like 3dsmax,Maya etc capacity matters as it requires a lot of RAM and is less sensitive to speed and timings of the RAM... :sol: 
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November 14, 2011 10:56:44 AM

Thanks. I was thinking that was the right answer!
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 11:08:18 AM

I have a very similar ring as yours.

Depending on what I am doing I config my machine with 6Gb or 12GB.

However when using 12GB I have to downclock the RAM from 1600MHz to 1333Mhz, but then I work with a more agressive timings. I reduce the latencies from Cas 8 to Cas 7, having a gain in performance.
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November 14, 2011 11:18:57 AM

Interesting that you have to downclock the RAM. I Occasionally get a random restart with a POST error stating overclocking has caused system instabillity and my RAM underclocks to 1066MHz automatically with latencies and voltage set to manufacturer spec. I was getting this error with my CPU running at stock speed aslo. It may only happen once overy 3 or 4 days but it is a little annoying. Hopefully, switching to 3x2GB 1866MHz RAM solves this problem.
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 11:30:11 AM

The issue with 1600Mhz is that you can´t populate all dimms as the memory controller may not handle 12GB at this speed, but it should not be happening with 1333Mhz 12GB Kit.

How have you set up the memory in the Bios? XMP, D.O.C.P. or Manual?

What I sugget you to do is to have a look at the Windons 7 Events Log in order to find out what kind erro it is.
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November 14, 2011 12:40:22 PM

I set it up manually in the BIOS. I set each slot up to 9/9/9/24 I believe with a voltage of 1.5 according to G.Skill specs. My PC is at home so I cannot check the event log but I will when I get home. Not sure if there are any other settings I need to check.
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 12:52:00 PM

Try XMP.
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 2:12:28 PM

alrobichaud said:
Which is better for my system? All I do is play games. With dual monitor, MSI afterburner, coretemp,fraps and crysis2 at max settings running my RAM usuage never exceeds 4MB. I have read lot's of threads where some people say more RAM and some people say faster RAM. I am leaning towards faster RAM. I currently have the 12 GB 1333 MHz RAM installed and have a chance to pick up 6GB 1866MHz for next to nothing. Any thoughts?


Since you failed to mention what your system is, nobody could possibly answer that question. The only way you could run 6GB on anything other than a X58 is if you either were running an improper configuration or mismatched dimms.

There's no way you could run dual channel with 6GB unless you had 2x2GB sticks and 2X1GB sticks. 3x2GB sticks would not be dual channel, it would be single channel. To run all the same size dimms and come up with 6GB would be an improper configuration (single channel) unless you had a X58 motherboard. EVerything else requires dual channel.

So......your choices need to be either 8GB or 16GB, not 6GB or 12GB.

I would recommend DDR3-1600, not 1333 or 1866.
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 2:28:18 PM

All of the latest Intel CPU's, starting from the original Core2's, are relatively insensitive to RAM speed and timing.

A good memory benchmark program can detect the difference in performance from 1333, 1600, and 1866 RAM, whether at at CAS7 or CAS8. Unfortunately, that small difference in memory i/o does not translate into any significant difference in overall system performance.
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 2:57:20 PM

^ +5
The Sweet spot for SB is DDR3-1600. However as jsc pointed out, the difference between 1333 and 1600 is Nill in terms of real life performance with some very isolated exception, gaming not one of them. Since the cost diff beween 1333 and 1600 is so small, 1600 is the beter choice.

The first thing you need to do is get the memory stable.
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November 14, 2011 3:06:01 PM

I hate to sound rude but JEMM managed to find my system info with 2 clicks of the mouse. Here is the info:

i7920@3.36GHz with hydro cooler, 12GB ddr3 1333MHz tripple channel RAM, gigabyte ex58-usb3, Dual MSI Fermi Cyclone GTX 460\'s, PCIE sata 3 controller, Win7 64, 120GB sata 3 SSD(OS) 500GB sata 3 7200RPM(storage), top power 800W, cooler master stacker 830 case with 6 12mm fans and a fan controller, dual 22\" LED monitors

If you had in your left hand 12GB PC3 10600 and in your right hand 6GB PC3 15000 and you were only using your computer for gaming/word processing/surfing the net which RAM would you use? I am picking up the OCZ Gold PC3 15000 triple channel kit for $35. The cost in peanuts so what I am wondering is will this be an improvement or not. Even it is only 2-4 FPS or an extra 200 on my 3dmark11 score, all I am wondering is will this kit be better than what I am using.

Thanks
Al
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 3:10:58 PM

That's 2 clicks more than you should make anyone do when your the one asking the questions.

I would see almost zero reason to trade up 12GB of 1333 for 6GB of 1866. The difference would only be measured by a benchmark, you would never notice anything.

If you were building the machine now, I would most definitely say go for the 6GB of 1866, but if you already have the 1333 I would not spend $1 to change it at all.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 14, 2011 3:11:42 PM

The original question is 12GB DDR3-1333 vs 6GB DDR3-1866 -> The 64-bit Games perform better on 8GB+ so the 'Best of 2 is 12GB'. However, IMO look for 3x4GB kit of DDR3-1600 which costs little more than 'most' DDR3-1333 *BUT* DDR3-1333 CAS 7 performs better than DDR3-1600 CAS 9.

I noted you current rig is an i7-920/X58, and you listed 12GB of DDR3-1333 -- so IMO leave it alone.

RE: overclocking has caused system instabillity and my RAM underclocks to 1066MHz... -- this can be caused by many things and generally it's a BIOS issue: 1. Update your BIOS to that latest version, 2. Don't use XMP; manually set both the DRAM Frequency and CAS Timings (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS-CMD) per spec, 3. Clear CMOS (corruption), and 4. Run Tests/Benches e.g. Memtest86+ and or Prime95 + Blend.

Q - What EXACT changes have you made to your BIOS (above Defaults)?

RAM GB to FPS:


RAM Frequency vs CAS:
[/img]
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November 14, 2011 3:13:14 PM

When I built this system, the RAM defaulted to 1066MHz. At that speed I ran 3dmark11 and my performance score was 7211. I set the RAM parameters in the BIOS as per G.Skill specs which brought the speed to 1333MHz and my score increased to just under 7400. It was a small increase but my score did go up. So I was assuming another increase in RAM speed would give me a small boost in performance.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 14, 2011 3:21:05 PM

The 'score' would go up IF the RAM Frequency is increased AND the CAS is the same. *Problem - the 'scores' if correct are a measure of BOTH Frequency and CAS Timings.

Simplified Analogy:
You have to look at RAM as a whole Frequency {bandwidth} and CAS {pauses} with transmission. Think of is this way a car can instantly go 100 MPH but the Stops are longer (9 sec) vs 75 MPH but the stops are shorter (7 sec) both with a 100 stops in a mile. Further, the CPU however says you can run only 85 MPH.

How long does the car take to drive a mile?


Q - as asked - What EXACT changes have you made in the BIOS???
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November 14, 2011 3:21:46 PM

For now, everything runs fast and smooth aside from the odd reboot. Next time I will add system details when asking a question. Simply telling me to do that then looking with 2 clicks of a mouse would have been a better way IMO to answer the question. For everyday use my rig is fast and I know I will not notice any further improvement. I am looking to get better benchmark scores, add a few FPS without upgrading GPU's or CPU and say to my buddy ' my RAM is faster than yours'

Thanks again
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November 14, 2011 3:26:55 PM

Ok. If memory serves me correctly, the default BIOS settings were 7/7/7/20. I changed this to 9/9/9/24.
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November 14, 2011 3:30:08 PM

BTW, this is my second motherboard because I ruined the first one after I tried flashing the BIOS. I used a floppy and Gigbabytes BIOS utility and I have no idea what went wrong. The back up BIOS did not activate and the computer would not POST after the flash so I will not be doing that again.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 14, 2011 3:33:46 PM

The OC your RAM beyond it's 'specs'; in much the same exact way you OC the CPU. Clearly, 12GB of RAM is better for gaming! Most all, except some basic aka cheap, RAM will easily OC from DDR3-1333 -> DDR3-1600 at the same CAS, but may require a higher CAS (aka slower); see chart.

9.9/10 you can OC BOTH your CPU AND RAM. Example of Baby OC:
BIOS:
BCLK -> 160MHz ; will improve both CPU and RAM performance
CPU Multiplier -> 18 ; 2.88GHz
Memory Multiplier -> 10 ; 1600MHz

---
Math:
i7-920 default CPU Multiplier 20
20 * 133.33MHz = 2666MHz = 2.67GHz
18 * 160.00MHz = 2880MHz = 2.88GHz

DDR3-1333
10 * 133.33MHz = 1333MHz
10 * 160.00MHz = 1600MHz
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a c 347 } Memory
November 14, 2011 3:36:55 PM

alrobichaud said:
BTW, this is my second motherboard because I ruined the first one after I tried flashing the BIOS. I used a floppy and Gigbabytes BIOS utility and I have no idea what went wrong. The back up BIOS did not activate and the computer would not POST after the flash so I will not be doing that again.

Only use Q-Flash!!! You'll need a FAT-32 USB Flash Drive. BTW - all the Gigabyte X58's have Dual BIOS -- in case you screw up the flash; so 'bricking' your MOBO would be nearly impossible.

Use the Q-Flash procedure - video:
Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCCId1Mcrw4
Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qlx5GBkiaM0
Part 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX78S4qyHu0
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November 14, 2011 3:43:37 PM

Thank you for making this a little less foggy. My currently set up is:

CPU 21*160 = 3.36GHz
RAM 8*160 = 1280MHz

Let's just say I used the PC315000 to do this

CPU 21*160 = 3.36GHz
RAM 12*160 = 1920MHz

If the settings for the pc310600 were 9/9/9/24 and the pc315000 were CL 10-10-10-28 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) , which would be faster?
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November 14, 2011 3:47:21 PM

My old gigabyte ud3r is a brick now. I used the bios flash utility with a floppy drive and after what I thought was a successful flash, the computer continuously power cycled without ever showing a post screen. The backup BIOS did not activate. IDK what went wrong.
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November 14, 2011 4:14:53 PM

Also, it has been 4 days since I realized the default RAM latency settings were incorrect and changed them. I have not had a random restart due to system overclocking since then. Could it be because the RAM was set to 7/7/7/20 when it should have been 9/9/9/24?
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a c 347 } Memory
November 14, 2011 4:28:39 PM

Never seen it happen I had 10 GA-X58A-UD3R; Automatic see -> http://www.gigabyte.com/microsite/55/tech_081226_dualbi... but I don't want to argue -- RMA it's has a 3 year warranty!

Either could have caused a Post Failure: 1. 3.36GHz with no vCore adjustment, 2. CAS 7 vs CAS 9, 3. 1920MHz vs rated 1333MHz and/or with no DRAM Voltage.

IMO try the DDR3-1333 9-9-9-24:
RAM: 10 * 160.00MHz = 1600MHz
CAS: 9-9-9-24-2N (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS-CMD) @ 1.65v

BIOS:
BCLK -> 160MHz
CPU Multiplier -> 18 ; 2.88GHz
Memory Multiplier -> 10 ; 1600MHz
/CAS Timings = 9-9-9-24 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
Command Rate -> 2
DRAM Voltage -> 1.64v
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a b } Memory
November 14, 2011 8:52:03 PM

alrobichaud said:
Also, it has been 4 days since I realized the default RAM latency settings were incorrect and changed them. I have not had a random restart due to system overclocking since then. Could it be because the RAM was set to 7/7/7/20 when it should have been 9/9/9/24?


If you set it to what it's supposed to be from the start, you won't have any issues at all. I can't believe it took you this long to realize the specs on the sticker do not match your settings in the bios.
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November 15, 2011 9:08:06 AM

Was that comment really nescesarry, geekapproved?
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a b } Memory
November 15, 2011 2:55:48 PM

What comment?

There is a sticker on your dimms that tells you what the settings are supposed to be.......if you fail to set those settings, then you can expect trouble.......so yes, the comment was necessary obviously.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 15, 2011 3:02:22 PM

My question - I assume the settings I provided solved your problem aka worked. Keep in mind the BCLK is not required for up to DDR3-1600, but instead it's geared to improve your 'benchmarks' BCLK 133.33 vs 160MHz in conjunction with your i7-920; the increased BCLK does cause the CPU to run hotter but improves the IMC on the LGA 1366.
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November 15, 2011 4:09:03 PM

Yes, jaquith, your help solved my issues and is greatly appreciated! For the record, geekaproved, the last computer I built had jumpers on the motherboard and was probably around 1998. I don't recall having to make any BIOS changes back then. The comment you made ' I can't believe it took you this long to realize the specs on the sticker do not match your settings in the bios.' was a bit of a dick thing to say. We all can't be as informed as you are that is why I came here to ask. If I knew that I had to even change those settings I would have done it on day one. For the most part, the people who come here and read these threads appear to be quite helpfull and understanding of those of us who lack the experience and generally offer good advice. I can't say that you are one of those persons. 'Since you failed to mention what your system is, nobody could possibly answer that question' WTF was that for? You could have just read it and moved on or simply asked me what my specs were and I would have gladly copied and pasted it from my public profile. Even better you could have just said eventhough you put your system info in your public profile, we generally retype our specs on each new thread so that no one has to spend time looking it up.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 15, 2011 4:21:58 PM

Glad to hear! :)  If you have any problems i.e. instability you can also increase the {CPU's IMC voltage} QPI/VTT Voltage -> 1.25v~1.30v. Stress tests like Prime95 + Blend, in particular Test #7, stress the CPU's IMC.

I too assume your scores went up as well.

In any case, Good Luck! :) 
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November 15, 2011 4:47:34 PM

I downloaded prime95 last night but I have not tried it yet. I plan on running a stress test when I get home. I first OC'd the 1333MHz to 1600MHz and ran memtest86 for an hour with no errors. I did get an improvement of almost 140 on my 3dmark11 score. I did pick up the OCZgold pc3 15000 triple channel kit. Paid $35 for it so I really couldn't pass on it. Also got the original reciept for 209+tax from the guy. Unfortunately, lifetime warranty may not be possible since OCZ no longer makes RAM. I plan on giving the pc3 15000 a try to see what kind of numbers I get. I will keep the 12GB kit just incase I have any issues with 64 bit games down the road.

Thanks again

Al
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a c 347 } Memory
November 15, 2011 5:01:09 PM

OCZ quit producing RAM for a reason; problematic. OCZ is honoring replacements -- at least until they're out of RAM -- after that -- ??

Good Luck!
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November 17, 2011 9:43:45 AM

Best answer selected by alrobichaud.
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