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16 GB Memory Question - 4x4 or 2x8

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June 11, 2012 9:17:26 AM

Hello, I'm planning to build a new computer for games (especially Guild Wars 2 MMORPG) and other productivity activities: I am planning to get a Corsair Vengeance Dual-Channel memory totaling 16 GB. But I'm wondering which is better in terms of performance, speed, reliability, integrity, etc. 4 DIMMS of 4 GB Modules, or 2 DIMMS of 8GB Modules leaving the other two slots open. I don't think I'll be planning on expanding into 32 GB right now. (I had that idea earlier, but I decided that I won't be using all that extra memory space anyway)

Cost is a factor, but if the values are better, I'm prepared to take it easy. My proposed specifications are below. Please let me know if there are incompatibilites with the specs as well. Thanks :) 

Intel Core i7 3770 3.4Ghz Cache 8MB [Box] Socket LGA 2011
ASUS P8H77-M PRO (LGA1155, Intel H77, DDR3, SATA3, USB3)
Corsair DDR3 Vengeance PC12800 (1600 Mhz) - 16 GB Total
Transcend 256Gb 2.5 Inch Sata 3 - MLC SSD SSD
EVGA GTX 670 4GB Superclocked+ w/Backplate
Asus XONAR ESSENCE STX
LG DVDRW 24X SATA - GH24 [BOX]
NZXT Tempest 210
Corsair CX Series 600W CMPSU-600CXV2EU
Cooler Master HYPER 212 EVO
a c 146 } Memory
June 11, 2012 9:35:47 AM

Since u are not planing to go beyond 16GB, 4x4GB is fine and cheaper.

Your choice. But with 2 sticks there is a 50% less chance of 1 dying on you : )
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June 11, 2012 11:11:29 AM

H77... That is just sad... :( 
With those hardware and zero overclocking? :(  :(  :( 

Since you cannot overclock anyways, it would not matter if you go for 4x4GB or 2x8GB... The reason why overclockers use 2 dimms only is because it's way easier to tune them when there are less "common factors" to deal with.

And the person above me? I can't tell if he is trolling or not, it's difficult to wreck your memory modules... Unless you are determined to do so...

Personally, I would purchase the 8GB sticks, and 4x of them... make a ram drive, and use 16GB of them as super fast storage space. :D 
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June 11, 2012 2:25:57 PM

KelvinTy said:
H77... That is just sad... :( 
With those hardware and zero overclocking? :(  :(  :( 

Since you cannot overclock anyways, it would not matter if you go for 4x4GB or 2x8GB... The reason why overclockers use 2 dimms only is because it's way easier to tune them when there are less "common factors" to deal with.

And the person above me? I can't tell if he is trolling or not, it's difficult to wreck your memory modules... Unless you are determined to do so...

Personally, I would purchase the 8GB sticks, and 4x of them... make a ram drive, and use 16GB of them as super fast storage space. :D 


Yes, no overclocking. I don't like to overclock because I'm too paranoid that I would mess up everything. I'm a factory default kinda guy. Even when I buy cars I never modify anything else beyond factory recommendation. I believe having computer components to perform on factory default, it would have longer lifespan than if I overclock the components, which is forcing the components to perform more than what they're designed for.

Besides, I don't need blazing speed. I just want the fastest industry-standard components. Hence the non-K Ivy bridge and H77 chipset. And they're cheaper overall too.

If it doesn't matter between 4x4 or 2x8, does the latency matter? Corsair Vengeance dual-channel 2x8 GB modules is a C10 (I understand that it has something to do with its 10 valued latency) apart from the dual-channel 2x(2x4 GB) modules which has C9 in their product code. (It should have latency with 9 values on them) Does this make any difference in the performance of the computer overall?
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June 11, 2012 2:33:50 PM

Latency rarely matters, the bonus speed has marginal effects on most applications. Most higher speed, e.g. 1866MHz modules have a slightly higher latency, e.g. CL10 instead of CL9, this is because it's just more expensive and "harder" to produce. However, in day to day applications, it's too fast to be notice. between CL9 and CL10 speed, you are talking about with "10ns" difference. (MOST OF THE TIME.)
Source: http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/topower_black_x_4g...
From this page, you can tell the difference is minimal.
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a b } Memory
June 11, 2012 2:53:43 PM

KelvinTy said:
Most higher speed, e.g. 1866MHz modules have a slightly higher latency, e.g. CL10 instead of CL9, this is because it's just more expensive and "harder" to produce.

Memory is made almost the exact same way as CPUs are. A broad range of models come from the same process line, wafers and dies so all models based on a given set of masks cost effectively the same to manufacture.

Where things become different is minor process variations from chip to chip that cause some dies to have better characteristics than others which is what binning leverages and that is where the different prices branch off of with the better dies commanding wider margins due to lower availability of parts that meet or exceed the bin's specs.
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June 11, 2012 2:56:13 PM

KelvinTy said:
Latency rarely matters, the bonus speed has marginal effects on most applications. Most higher speed, e.g. 1866MHz modules have a slightly higher latency, e.g. CL10 instead of CL9, this is because it's just more expensive and "harder" to produce. However, in day to day applications, it's too fast to be notice. between CL9 and CL10 speed, you are talking about with "10ns" difference. (MOST OF THE TIME.)
Source: http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/topower_black_x_4g...
From this page, you can tell the difference is minimal.


Well, with that being said, I guess I should just get whichever's the cheapest to get right? Without noticing anything different in daily applications and gaming.
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a b } Memory
June 11, 2012 3:08:09 PM

Rameyuk said:
Well, with that being said, I guess I should just get whichever's the cheapest to get right? Without noticing anything different in daily applications and gaming.

Between 1066MHZ RAM and 2166MHz, there is only a ~2% performance difference in most everyday real-world tasks so yes, memory performance is not worth breaking the bank over with unless you have cash burning holes through your pockets and need to get rid of it.
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a c 347 } Memory
June 11, 2012 3:48:11 PM

OC'ing or not, I would look at a MOBO that at MINIMUM will support SLI -- just in case down the road you need more GPU horsepower.

For consideration the ASUS P8Z77-V LK (ATX) or ASUS P8Z77-M PRO (mATX).

As far as 4x4GB or 2x8GB that entirely depends on the kit. I just noticed these Corsair Dominator's CMP16GX3M2A1600C10 on sale for an incredible $90 - http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Ideally, DDR3-1600 CAS 9 is best for either SB or IB, and as a fractional trade-off 8GB/stick density has a higher CAS --- but the data is localized on 2x vs 4x sticks.

Further, what you've selected is IMO all over the place and while I 'get' some of it most of it I don't -- the mixture. Reminds me of some funky Dell or HP on steroids.
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