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DDR3 recommendation

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  • Memory
  • DDR3
  • RAM
Last response: in Memory
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February 5, 2012 9:57:06 AM

Hello!

I'm about to put together a new system, based on an AMD Phenom II X4 960T, an Asrock 890GX Extreme4 and the hard drive, optical unit, case and power supply from my old computer.

I'll be buying new ram, cause my old system still uses DRR memory, and this build uses DDR3.

So, I have some options in mind, but I'm also looking forward for your recommendations.

These are my options:

Kingston HyperX 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL9 Dual Channel Kit - KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX

2xKingMax Nano Gaming RAM 4GB DDR3 1600MHz - FLGF6

G.Skill Sniper Dual DDR3 8 GB 1600MHZ CL9

Or Corsair Vengeance....

Anyway, there are a plethora of choices, an I need a little bit of guidance.

Also, how important is the ram's supply voltage for AMD systems?

More about : ddr3 recommendation

a b } Memory
February 5, 2012 11:42:46 AM

Voltage is important. You want to stick with industry standard 1.5 volt ram to avoid potential compatibility issues. Also, buy low profile ram (no tall heat spreaders), to avoid potential spacing issues in this or future build in which this ram might go.
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February 5, 2012 11:57:37 AM

abekl said:
Voltage is important. You want to stick with industry standard 1.5 volt ram to avoid potential compatibility issues. Also, buy low profile ram (no tall heat spreaders), to avoid potential spacing issues in this or future build in which this ram might go.


+1.

The only thing I'll add is that I prefer the Corsair memory due to their excellent customer service and general reliability. You might also check out some of the G. Skill kits, they're very popular and some of the best deals around if you don't mind they're goofy looking heat spreaders.
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a c 347 } Memory
February 5, 2012 12:14:55 PM

Voltage, stick with 1.50v~1.65v with your AMD; the ultra low voltage kits often don't work well with AMD. Most all current DDR3-1333 is 1.50v, 1.65v on AMD is fine for DDR3-1600 which requires either a FSB -> 240MHz or CPU-NB Frequency -> 2400MHz to operate properly on the Phenom II X4 line.

Kits 2x4GB:
> 'Blue theme'
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B ; DDR3-1600 ; incompatible Noctua NH-D14
G.SKILL F3-10666CL7D-8GBXH ; DDR3-1333

> 'Black theme'
Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 996995 ; DDR3-1600
Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 ; DDR3-1600 ; incompatible Noctua NH-D14
G.SKILL F3-10666CL7D-8GBRH ; DDR3-1333
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February 5, 2012 3:26:12 PM

In the beginning I'm planning to operate my system at stock speeds, I won't even used the extra cores if the CPU unlocks successfuly (I'll use the stock cooler for a good while).

I will also use the onboard graphics for some time...

Does it worth to choose a DDR 1600 ram or simply go for 1333?

I mainly use overclocking when the performance at stock speed is not enough (like I do today when I want watch a 720p movie as I don't have a graphics card with hd decoder) as the life span of the system is more important for me... (I usualy keep a build at least 3-4 years).

Since I upgrade rarely, I'dd like to make the best possible choices from the start (in this case the mobo was won, and the CPU I chose was rather at the top of the budget I had for it).

So, would I really benefit from DDR 1600 or not?

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a c 347 } Memory
February 5, 2012 3:36:56 PM

Your CPU Defaults to DDR3-1333 in either case, so it's up to you. Both of the DDR3-1333 G.SKILL kits I listed are purposefully CAS 7, DDR3-1333 CAS 7 is faster than DDR3-1600 CAS 9. Gleaming between the lines, get one of the G.SKILL DDR3-1333 kits I linked, install and forget.

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February 5, 2012 6:26:56 PM

jaquith said:
Your CPU Defaults to DDR3-1333 in either case, so it's up to you. Both of the DDR3-1333 G.SKILL kits I listed are purposefully CAS 7, DDR3-1333 CAS 7 is faster than DDR3-1600 CAS 9. Gleaming between the lines, get one of the G.SKILL DDR3-1333 kits I linked, install and forget.

http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/CAS_Frequncy_Chart.png


That table should be stickied some where. With only a tiny difference, it looks to me like which ever one is cheaper is the smart buy.
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February 6, 2012 12:21:27 PM

Okay, I'll go on a price hunt and I'll choose as follows: what's cheaper between DDR 1333 with CL7 (mainly the ripjaws recommended by jaquith) and DDR1600 with CL9 (and if I find reviews and user feedback that it can be opperated successfuly at CL7 - and i've seen that most will...).

I've checked my mobo's color scheme, and i'dd really like to find some DDR1600 modules with white heat-sink (by the way, have you heard of Excelram?), or DDR1333 in blue... :) ) but this just bling factor, it will weight almost nothing in my final decision.

I'll let you know what I've chosen. I hope to place the order today or tomorrow.
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February 6, 2012 12:28:53 PM

Okay, I'll go on a price hunt and I'll choose as follows: what's cheaper between DDR 1333 with CL7 (mainly the ripjaws recommended by jaquith) and DDR1600 with CL9 (and if I find reviews and user feedback that it can be opperated successfuly at CL7 - and i've seen that most will...).

I've checked my mobo's color scheme, and i'dd really like to find some DDR1600 modules with white heat-sink (by the way, have you heard of Excelram?), or DDR1333 in blue... :) ) but this just bling factor, it will weight almost nothing in my final decision.

I'll let you know what I've chosen. I hope to place the order today or tomorrow.
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February 6, 2012 12:31:59 PM

Okay, I'll go on a price hunt and I'll choose as follows: what's cheaper between DDR 1333 with CL7 (mainly the ripjaws recommended by jaquith) and DDR1600 with CL9 (and if I find reviews and user feedback that it can be opperated successfuly at CL7 - and i've seen that most will...).

I've checked my mobo's color scheme, and i'dd really like to find some DDR1600 modules with white heat-sink (by the way, have you heard of Excelram?), or DDR1333 in blue... :) ) but this just bling factor, it will weight almost nothing in my final decision.

I'll let you know what I've chosen. I hope to place the order today or tomorrow.
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a c 347 } Memory
February 6, 2012 12:56:34 PM

DDR3-1333 CAS 7 should work, but if it gives you any grief then either PM me and/or post the problem here and I'll post the manual BIOS settings; absolute worst case is it'll run DDR3-1333 CAS 8.

Good Luck! :) 
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February 7, 2012 7:28:08 AM

Almost finished with my hunt...

The G.Skill modules just jumped over my budget due to exchange rate fluctuations, I'll think I'll go for Corsair Vengeance.... Is there any notable difference (overclocking or timing wise) between the tall heatsink modules and the low power, normal height modules?

But one more thing came up: what about the AMD branded memory? Has anyone any experience with it?
I found some 8Gb kits at DDR1600 and 8-9-8 timings. The price is somewhat in-line with corsairs's modules....





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a c 347 } Memory
February 7, 2012 11:10:10 AM

Every set has it's own Frequency, CAS Timings, and Voltages so the obvious differences is, assuming CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9(B), is that they are DDR3-1600 CAS 9 sets and DDR3-1333 CAS 9 by default (they can run DDR3-1333 CAS 8); see below. The Corsair Vengeance are tall and might interfere with some HSF e.g. Noctua NH-D14 as mentioned, you'll need to go to the HSF OEM site and check compatibility.

AMD 'Branded' memory is Patriot RAM which has gotten better over the past year or so. It's no better or worst, Patriot memory with AMD 'sticker.'

CPU-z 'SPD' info:
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February 10, 2012 12:00:25 PM

So, I finally made my choice, and i must thank all of you who posted, especially to jaquith.

I decided, in the end, to stick with Kingston (KHX1600C9D3K2/8G).

Here's how they look like: Kingston HyperX Genesis.

Now, why have I made this decision?

1. After spending lots of hours, mostly late at nigh, comparing specs of different modules, checking for prices and availability, I finally did (I must shamefully admit) what I should have done in the first place, even before posting here: I searched a number of DDR3 reviews. I did not have to look to far, as right here at Tom's Hardware I found a handful of useful articles. Below i named only a few, and linked theme for your reference:
Seven 8 GB DDR3 Memory Kits For Your AMD A75 Motherboard
Scaling Summary: DDR3 Memory On Core 2, Core i7, And Phenom II
DDR3 Memory Scaling On AMD's Phenom II X4

The bottom line is - for me, at least - that I'dd better save and invest the money into better hard drive and VGA card. These are the next on my shopping list.

2. The memory I chose is also listed in the Memory QVL of my motherboard: AsRock 890GX Extreme4 memory QVL
This means it should work right out of the box with no side effects, unless, of course, the're a fault in the mobo or ram modules.

3. Pricing and availability:
These modules were among the cheapest choices, very good availability as opposed to other brands. I had to make my purchase from an on-line retailer so I searched for a retailer that provides free shipping and has the item on stock. if every thinks goes OK, I should have them on my desk tomorrow morning.
To get a better picture: I'm living in Romania, and the popular choices here are somewhat different. Kingston has a very good reputation here as well as very good availability (as opposed to G.Skill for example).

4. Kingston also seems to have somewhat better documentation of their ram modules. But I guess this is my subjective opinion. Corsair also have rather good tech specs descriptions, but not as detailed as kington's.

5. I was very close to getting the Corsair Blue Vengeance modules (1600MHZ, 1.5V), but in the end I deiced to go for normal height modules. I have no idea what aftermarket cooler I'll buy in the future, how much money will be able to spend on it, so I took the safe route.

This is how and why I decided to get the Kingston ram. I hope that by sharing my experience I'll be helpful in some way.

Probably by Monday I'll have my new build up and running and i'll ty to make time and post some benchmark results. If you want to see a specific test result, let me know.

So, thank all of you, once more, for your help! I really appreciate it!
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a c 347 } Memory
February 10, 2012 12:55:46 PM

Note to all, be careful comparing 2012 modules with 2009 articles; the IC's used then an now are totally different -- lower nm lithography. The newer IC's, smaller litho, are 1.50v whereas the older are 1.65v in most Frequencies.
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February 17, 2012 6:59:45 AM

Best answer selected by Blueridge.
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a c 146 } Memory
February 17, 2012 10:24:41 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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