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Looking for a little guidance with DDR3 purchase for gaming (speed)

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April 23, 2012 5:17:07 AM

Hi guys. I'm in the process of putting together a parts list for a new PC. My primary reason for upgrading from a Core 2 Duo is better gaming performance. I've settled on G.skill Ripjaws X DDR3 but I'm not sure if I should go with 1600MHz or 2133 MHz. I've read that gaming performance does not increase when going from one to the other (higher latency?) but I'm wondering if that'll change in the future and would it be smart to think about futureproofing. I'm also settled on 8GB but my friend is trying to convince me to buy 16 for futureproofing purposes. I don't think I'll ever need more than 8 for gaming. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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a b } Memory
April 23, 2012 8:35:10 AM

I don't think there's enough difference between 1333/1600 and 2133/2400 to warrant all the headaches. However I'm sure there are plenty of people that will disagree with that statement. :) 
With regards to future proofing, there really is no such thing in the PC industry. :)  But specifically with these speeds, if there was something in the future that magically brought the latencies down, it's probably going to be DDR4 or something like that. E.g., not compatible with your motherboard. Therefore, pick the speed you want today, and don't think about the future too much.
Regarding 8GB vs 16GB, 8 is plenty enough for any games. And many will say that more than 8GB actually slows games down ever so slightly.
But if you're worried about the future, buy 2x 4GB and a motherboard with 4 sockets. Then you have 2 slots extra to buy more in the future, should you feel that you need it. However, I doubt that you will, unless you start running virtual machines, or SQL databases and alike.

Hope that helps a little.
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April 23, 2012 8:37:23 AM

Your thoughts are along the same lines as mine. I didn't know that 16GB could possibly slow things down. Thanks.
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a b } Memory
April 23, 2012 8:45:44 AM

I've heard it can. But I think it's minuscule; only benchmarks would expose the speed difference.
I went from 6 - 24GB in my main system and didn't notice any slowing down. I went that large because I started using 4 VMs most of the day for testing purposes. :) 
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a c 131 } Memory
a b 4 Gaming
April 23, 2012 8:47:58 AM

The price difference between 8 and 16 is pretty low. However 2133 can be extremely stressful on the CPU's memory controller and is not guaranteed to be stable. Go with 1600 unless you know what you're doing.
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April 24, 2012 7:05:59 PM

Best answer selected by Chong Li.
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