Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

16 GB or 8 GB RAM

Last response: in Memory
Share
October 16, 2012 11:21:59 AM

I'm building a new PC for Gaming, and was wondering if doubling the amount of RAM I'm buying to 16GB is worth it. It only costs $30 more from 8GB DDR3 to 16GB DDR3 from Corsair.

8GB: http://www.corsair.com/vengeance-8gb-dual-channel-ddr3-...

16GB: http://www.corsair.com/vengeance-16gb-dual-channel-ddr3...

I'm probably going to purchase the upgrade so I don't have to upgrade in future, but would I be better off buying a better video card with the money I'd save?

Seems to me that the RAM is cheaper, but I'm not sure about video card, because that will be more expensive to upgrade in the future. Which would you recommend?

More about : ram

a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2012 12:37:08 PM

Just so you are aware, you are looking at two different modules. The 16 GB kit is a tad bit slower than the 8GB kit. The difference is in the Cas Latency of the modules (where lower numbers are better) - 16GB kit has 9-9-9 timings, the 8GB kit has 8-8-8 timings. Since there is no real current need for 16GB in gaming, I'd personally go with the 8GB kit with the tighter timings - use the $30 for GPU improvement.
My $0.02
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2012 12:43:08 PM

Agree. 8GB is plenty of ram. Use the exra money for something else.
m
0
l
Related resources
October 16, 2012 12:47:39 PM

+1 for the 8GB kit.. :) 
m
0
l
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2012 12:49:07 PM

To be honest, a CAS latency difference of 1 will not affect performance. At all. Anandtech did a superb article on this back in 2009 and it stands true today.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2792

My advice? Save yourself the trouble and get the 16GB kit now. With DRAM being so cheap, there's no reason not to. It gets an upgrade out of the way, and since DDR4 is barely crawling onto the cutting room floor now, you'll have good RAM that'll last you a while (well into the Haswell microarchitecture).

Yeah, I know, I'm a rebel :) 
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2012 12:52:38 PM

nbelote said:
Save yourself the trouble and get the 16GB kit now. With DRAM being so cheap, there's no reason not to. It gets an upgrade out of the way,

I disagree. I don't see 16GB as necessary for the average desktop anytime in the next five years, by which time we will have moved on and be into a mature DDR4 technology wave.
m
0
l
a c 347 } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2012 1:51:04 PM

Granted for the vast majority of games 8GB is plenty, but that applies to 32-bit games (4GB limits). A few games can benefit with >8GB that are strictly 64-bit particularly with higher MP renders (3D, 2560x1600, 5760x1080); EA DICE is heading to the 64-bit in less than a year. However, those are clearly extreme cases.

Generic answer: Again, for now unless you have an extreme setup then 8GB is plenty.

There's plenty of games that can fully saturate 8GB: 1.0~1.5GB OS, 2.0~3.5GB Game and Maps, 3.0~3.5GB Shared Memory GPU(s) or 7.5GB+.

Also, there's no downside to having more RAM and folks that say it interferes with OC'ing simple don't know how to OC - http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=2320509 If I want an LN2 OC then 2x2GB with ultra fast RAM is preferred.

If you do Photoshop or Video (Premiere) then 16GB is really a minimum and 128GB Workstations aren't too uncommon.

Regrading DDR2 vs DDR3 vs DDR4 the performance gains are primarily due to the CPU's IMC not so much the RAM's Frequency/CAS. The problem is increasing both the Frequency and CAS yields real world results that are nearly identical. Mainly due to the following equation (latency):
(CAS / Frequency (MHz)) × 1000 = X ns
m
0
l
October 16, 2012 2:18:56 PM

8 GB is enough for any game at the opresent day and at least until all games come running in 32 bits, which I believe will be for more a couple of years at least. Get + 8GB a year from now.
m
0
l
October 16, 2012 10:09:51 PM

Thanks for all the replies guys, I'm still not sure what I'll get, leaning towards 8GB or 12GB maybe. I do use photoshop occasionally and I use 3DS Max as a hobby to make maps for games etc. Despite this I'll probably go 8gb, because my money will probably be better spent on a video card ATM, and If I need to upgrade it in the future buying more RAM will be cheaper. Also, should I get an i5 or i7 processor? I know i7 is more powerful, but I'm on a budget and I have heard I will be better off spending on a Video Card.
m
0
l
October 16, 2012 10:14:25 PM

so your thinking about 12GB.?

[8GB(2x4GB) + 4GB(2x2GB)] = all four RAM slots occupied.
if you do it that way will you still be in dual channel mode, I have never tried such a configuration of RAM.?

you definitely want dual channel mode and not single channel mode.
remember that.
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2012 10:39:36 PM

Rgrif9 said:
Thanks for all the replies guys, I'm still not sure what I'll get, leaning towards 8GB or 12GB maybe.

Going from 12GB to 16GB will cost you only ~$17 extra and if you go with a 2x8GB configuration, you also avoid running into possible stability issues due to some DIMMs/CPUs/MoBo combinations not liking quad-DIMM setups.

So if you think you are going to need more than 8GB, go with 16GB and spare yourself the potential trouble.
m
0
l
October 17, 2012 6:30:43 AM

InvalidError said:
Going from 12GB to 16GB will cost you only ~$17 extra and if you go with a 2x8GB configuration, you also avoid running into possible stability issues due to some DIMMs/CPUs/MoBo combinations not liking quad-DIMM setups.

So if you think you are going to need more than 8GB, go with 16GB and spare yourself the potential trouble.


So you are saying the 12GB RAM Kit is 3x4GB, not 2x6GB?
In that case I don't really want to get the 12GB kit, because I am going to get an i5 processor to start (budget) and I heard i5 can't run triple channel. I'm going to go 8GB, 16GB seems overkill and I would probably be better off purchasing a slightly up-spec video card instead.

Thanks for all the replies, you were all really helpful. Sorry I didn't respond quicker, but I had to sort out some issues with my router not connecting to my computers properly.
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2012 12:30:33 PM

Rgrif9 said:
So you are saying the 12GB RAM Kit is 3x4GB, not 2x6GB?

There is no such thing as 6GB DIMMs, DIMM sizes are always powers of two because they scale with the number of active row/column/rank address lines the DIMM's chips support.

a 12GB kit would be 3x4GB and is intended for LGA1366 CPUs (first-gen i7). For LGA1156/1155 i5/i7, you want dual-DIMM kits. For LGA2011 which has quad channels, you want a quad-DIMM kit or a pair of identical dual-DIMM kits.
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2012 1:27:46 PM

2 X 4 for 8 gigs newegg about $54 and 2 x 8 for 16 gigs is $89.

1) if you go with 8 gigs.
.. generally plenty for majority. For How long is anyones guess, it was Not to long ago that 4 gigs was plenty.
.. Leaves two slots open for adding 8 more gigs later if needed.
.. saves initial cost of about $36, BUT if later upgrades will cost $18 more than if initially goes with 2 x 8. and still leaves 2 open slots.
.. Max Ram for Windows 7 Premium is 16 Gigs, to go more than 16 gigs requires a higher end Windows 7 (pro, or Ultimate). NOT sure on limitations for Windows 8, have a feeling they will remove restrictons - BUT then Not planning on going wndows 8.
.. Can put extra $36 toward a Higher end Video card. But that depends on the spread between one looking at and then what does $36 more get you.

2 x 8 gigs.
.. Generally not needed - agree with what jaquith stated - completely.
.. If the $36 does not provide enought to go higher end GPU, then Go for it.
.. If current need is satisfied by 8 gigs, then you can use the other 8 gigs as a RAMDRIVE. a ramdrive is about 10 times faster than an SSD. It can be "turned on/off as needs daily needs dictate.

.. On cost. if you went with say 2 x 4 now and 6 months to a year you opt for a 2nd set of 2 x 4 (now have 16 gigs) Then 2-> years later find even more would be better. 1) You would have to pitch one set and Buy a 3rd set as you have limited yourself to the 16 gigs. There is a another factor and that is 3 years from now DDR3 prices could be much higher. This depends on inflation and demand vs availability. 3 years is like infinity when it comes to Ram/SSDs/HDDs/GPUs. If DDR3 becomes obsolete in 3 years it's cost could skyrocket - NO crystal ball here. On the flip side 3 years from now the advances in all the catagories I mention would make a "NEW" system more advantages.

My take/bottom Line. If the cost Differencial can be best used on say the GPU go for the 2 X 4, if not GO for the 2 x 16.

Have two systems, i5-750 (8 gigs) and an i5-2500k 16 Gigs - 8 gigs for normal use and 8 gig Ramdrive for a Temp/working) directory. When not needing the Ramdrive I turn it off and have 16 gig available. Ram for Both systems is G-Skill Ripjaws DDR3-1600 CL7. But as jaquith stated The only difference is in benchmarks- NO REAL life performance difference. NOTE There is very little differnece between 1333 and 1600.

Side comment as I did not see which CPU you have. So for:
SB CPUs running ram at 1600 voids intel's warranty. Spec for SB is 1333. ONLY applies if CPU dies and depends on Rep that you talk to.
For IB the spec was raised to 1600, so no problem here for DDR3-1600
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a c 171 U Graphics card
October 17, 2012 1:43:30 PM

I agree that 8GB is enough. Check your most demanding game(s) however and see if they report as running better with 16GB.

I bought 2x8GB recently. Basically however only because I could. And so that I was using the max my OS currently supports. And so that I wouldn't have to worry about ram upgrades ever again.
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2012 2:17:12 PM

RetiredChief said:
There is a another factor and that is 3 years from now DDR3 prices could be much higher. This depends on inflation and demand vs availability. 3 years is like infinity when it comes to Ram/SSDs/HDDs/GPUs. If DDR3 becomes obsolete in 3 years it's cost could skyrocket - NO crystal ball here.

When manufacturers stopped manufacturing SDRAM, SDRAM prices doubled.
When manufacturers stopped manufacturing DDR1, DDR1 prices doubled.
When manufacturers stopped manufacturing DDR2, DDR2 prices doubled.

No crystal ball required. Once manufacturers begin axing DDR3 production as they ramp up DDR4 in about two years from now, DDR3 prices will increase substantially. With RAM prices being at a record low, buying 16GB now to make sure I won't have to upgrade after DDR3 prices bounce back would be an easy choice.
m
0
l
a c 347 } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2012 2:48:50 PM

InvalidError said:
When manufacturers stopped manufacturing SDRAM, SDRAM prices doubled.
When manufacturers stopped manufacturing DDR1, DDR1 prices doubled.
When manufacturers stopped manufacturing DDR2, DDR2 prices doubled.

No doubts prices will go up, but DDR3 is long from being 'dead' at least for a few more years. Haswell (consumer) will use DDR3, and only the server variants (Haswell-EX) will be DDR4.
m
0
l
a b } Memory
a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2012 3:16:25 PM

jaquith said:
No doubts prices will go up, but DDR3 is long from being 'dead' at least for a few more years. Haswell (consumer) will use DDR3, and only the server variants (Haswell-EX) will be DDR4.

Haswell's successor (Broadwell) which should come out in 2014 is expected to support DDR4 as well so DDR3 has about two years left before DRAM manufacturers start converting their production lines in bulk. Once that happens and existing DDR3 stocks dry up, DDR3 prices will skyrocket.

This is assuming no other events (such as DRAM manufacturer bankruptcy without buy/bail-out) cause prices to bounce back before then.
m
0
l
!