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New Gaming Build - Compatibility Advice

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June 7, 2011 3:22:32 PM

Hello,

I have recently been looking at building a new gaming computer and I have found all the parts that I wish to use in the build but I would just like to make sure all parts are compatible within the build. For example, does the motherboard support that type of ram, does the ram work well with the CPU, does the motherboard support the CPU, Should I get a stronger power supply. I have done some research and I believe everything should work well together but I would like some advice from others, who are more knowledgeable in this matter.

System Specs:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K Quad-Core Socket LGA1155, 3.40Ghz, 8MB L3

GPU: : Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB GDDR5

Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 1000GB (1TB) SATA3 7200RPM 64MB Cache

RAM: Corsair XMS3 Classic 12GB (3x4GB) DDR3 2000MHz CL9 DIMMs

Motherboard: Asus Rampage III Extreme Socket 1366 Intel X58 + ICH10R Chipset CrossfireX / 3-Way SLI Triple-Channel DDR3 2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/1333/1066Mhz 4x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 Dual GigaLAN 8-CH Audio 6x SATA 3.0Gb/s, 2x SATA 6Gb/s 9x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, IEEE1394a ATX

PSU: : Corsair HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX EPS12V Power Supply

Sound Card: None, if there is sound integration in the motherboard.

Case: Antec DF-35 Dark Fleet Mid Tower Gaming Case


I would very much appreciate any feedback with regards to any issues that you might come across or any suggestions recommended.


Thanks!

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June 7, 2011 3:26:07 PM
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That is one powerful machine... All is good, but the memory. Sandy Bridge (LGA1155) is dual channel, so swap the XMS3 memory for a dual channel kit. 8GB (2x4GB) for now is fine and will allow you to upgrade later if needed.

EDIT: Also, DDR3-1333 @ 1.5 volt is all you need. If you have extra budget upgrade to CL7 modules instead of CL9. No need for the overclocking modules (DDR3-2000)...
June 7, 2011 4:09:59 PM

Thanks for the feedback! This leaves me with a few more questions now.

When looking up that type of ram it says "optimized for core i3, i5 and i7". Is this just false information to try and lure consumers into buying this product since in reality Sandy Bridge is only dual-channel?

And what are the differences between dual-channel and triple-channel (performance-wise)? Is triple-channel better?

And last, when I looked up the Sandy Bridge architecture it says it supports up to DDR3-1333. So does that mean that the current RAM I have chosen (DDR3-2000) would not be able to run at that potential? So I guess what I'm asking is would any DDR3 above 1333 have better performance or should DDR3-1333 be the max I get?


Thanks again!
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June 7, 2011 4:40:12 PM

"optimized for core i3, i5 and i7" is marketing crap. Don't pay attention to it. Triple channel memory is for the LGA1366 and some Xeon platforms. It just don't exist with Sandy Bridge (LGA1155).... Performance wise there is a very minimal difference between triple and dual channel setups.

Anything above the DDR3-1333 speed won't be noticed so the DDR3-2000 is way overkill even if you can get your motherboard to run it at those speeds. DDR3-1333 operating at 1.5v is what you are after.
June 7, 2011 5:01:18 PM

So if the motherboard can support DDR3-2000 but the CPU can only support DDR3-1333 what speed will it run at? Or does it vary? I probably will go with the DDR3-1333 but I'm just trying to get an understanding of how this works.

Also, now that I will be going with dual-channel RAM would it be wise to switch motherboards or can a motherboard that can handle triple-channel, also handle dual-channel?

I forgot to mention something in my original post. Right now I have a 750w PSU in my specs, but in the future I might upgrade to a second HD6970 graphics card, so will 750w be enough for this possible upgrade?
June 7, 2011 5:12:08 PM

Ah... now I see where some of the confusion may be coming from. I overlooked your motherboard is LGA1366 and mismatched with a Sandy Bridge CPU (LGA1155). You will need to change the MB to an LGA1155. The ASUS below is a good board...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

750w is enough for dual HD 6970 GPUs. No worries there...
June 7, 2011 5:18:19 PM

Thank you, that makes sense, and it also lowers the cost a little too, which is always a good thing!

Ok, so I think I just have one more thing to clarify. Is 8Gb the maximum RAM I will be able to get (2 x 4GB) that will work well with the CPU and motherboard because if possible I would like to get more.
June 7, 2011 5:25:35 PM

The maximum supported memory in that board is 32GB using four slots. You can max the board out with 4x8GB, but go with 8GB for now (2x4GB) and add another 8GB (2x4GB) later if needed. A total of 16GB is a LOT of memory and I am not sure how you would use 32GB of memory unless you were doing serious database work, hosting virtual machines, etc...
June 7, 2011 5:33:06 PM

Yeah, I was thinking more along the lines of 16GB max, I would never come across a use for 32GB.

I could be very wrong in my thinking but when I come across the term dual-channel I always see the ram coupled as 2 x some amount of GB. So if for whatever reason I did want 32GB of ram would 4 x 8GB still be dual channel and if I went with two (2 x 4GB) for 16GB, would that also still be dual-channel?

Thanks again, your posts have been very helpful and informative!
June 7, 2011 5:39:12 PM

Yep... If you look at the picture of that motherboard the memory slots are colored blue and black. One dual channel controller is for the black slots, and another dual channel controller for the blue slots. "Installing in pairs" refers to both the black, or blue, slots being filled with the 2x4GB modules.
June 7, 2011 5:41:05 PM

Best answer selected by dmarkell.
June 7, 2011 5:45:24 PM

Ahh ok, so if I decide to go with 2 x4GB then I would install both in the 2 black slots (or blue) then if I want to add another 2 x 4GB I would add them in the remaining color?
June 7, 2011 6:28:47 PM

In the case of the p8p67 Pro you would install in slots 1 only for 1 stick, 2 and 4 for two sticks, and all 4 slots for 4 sticks of RAM. So if you get 2x4GB RAM you will want to install it in the blue slots.
June 7, 2011 7:36:57 PM

So if I wanted two (2 x 4GB), total 16GB, would it still be compatible with the processor? I'm still a little unsure of how the dual-channel stuff works.
June 7, 2011 7:43:48 PM

Yes. As long as matching memory modules are in the blue, and / or black, slots you are good.

8GB of memory => 2x2GB in blue and 2x2GB in black, or 2x4GB in blue.
12GB of memory => 2x2GB in the blue slots and 2x4GB in black (or the other way around)
16GB of memory => 2x4GB in blue and 2x4GB in black, or 2x8GB in blue.
June 7, 2011 7:53:38 PM

Perfect, thanks!
July 16, 2011 6:04:52 PM

Very useful information provided in this discussion indeed.

I have a question regarding actual RAM speed in the combination of Intel motherboard DP67BG "http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/dp67b..." and processor i5 2500K "http://ark.intel.com/products/52210/Intel-Core-i5-2500K..."

Mobo supports DDR3 +1600 MHz RAM but in the specification of processor, it says
"Memory Types DDR3-1066/1333".

So if I use any RAM above 1333 Mhz, What will happen. What is the speed with which RAM will operate. And will any 2000MHz RAM ever run at that speed on this combination. if not then whats the use of these High MHz RAM?
July 17, 2011 5:53:02 PM

The way I understand that it works, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, is that the RAM will only run at the speed at which the processor can handle. So even though the motherboard in question can support up to 1600MHz, the fact that the processor can only support 1333MHz is the speed it will run at.
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