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Best RAM to go for with i7 3770K and Z77 chipset?

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November 10, 2012 1:37:16 PM

Hello,

I've read several articles here that said it's not worth going for more than 1600MHz RAM because the benefit of faster RAM is tiny. Then I realised that the article was dated back in January this year I think and with an older chipset. I'm basically wondering if things have changed since then.

I'm planning on getting 16GB although I've also read the articles that say it's not worth going for more than 8GB for most purposes. The thing is that I will be doing lots of heavy processing with the PC as I work with audio, both in production and post production. I believe that this will make use of the extra RAM, but if anyone can confirm that for me, I would appreciate it.

Many thanks in advance.

More about : ram 3770k z77 chipset

a c 128 } Memory
November 10, 2012 1:43:18 PM

No changes lately. Newegg carries some samsung ram that gets good reviews and is priced about the same as more popular brands. I can't confirm if 16 gb will benefit your music production.
a b } Memory
November 10, 2012 2:48:14 PM

How heavy the processing you do has little impact on how much RAM you need. What does dictate how much RAM you can make meaningful use of is how large your programs are and how large their working data set tends to grow. Even a single GB of spare RAM can hold over an hour of better-than-CD-quality audio so unless you do very complex audio mixing/processing, you are unlikely to bust 8GB with that alone unless you are working with multiple 7.1 PCM HD audio streams at the same time.

I usually leave my computer on 24/7 (or put it on standby) instead of turning it off and leave most of my programs open once I start them after booting since I am juggling multiple things all the time. I got 16GB to avoid having to worry about swapping and might end up going for 32GB if prices dip any lower than they already are.

How much RAM you need really depends on what you do and how you want to do it.
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November 10, 2012 3:14:47 PM

Thanks for the responses. I use audio plug in synthesisers and effects in Cubase so I believe that the more RAM I have, the more plug ins and samplers I can run at the same time. The high quality ones can take up as much as 7-8% of my current RAM although I only have 4GB at the moment and an old CPU.

As for the RAM, I was looking at some G-Skill 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 2133MHz RipjawsZ X79 Memory Kit sticks that run with CAS CL9 (9-11-10-28-2N). I couldn't find any lower rated CAS out there. They run at 1.65V and I read some articles here saying that it was risky running it at the voltage with an i7... is that right?

Also, would a 1600MHz kit with a lower CAS run quicker?

Many thanks again.
a c 347 } Memory
November 10, 2012 3:32:08 PM

Q - For 'Play' or 'Professional' use? ; using 'Cubase' I assume Pro use.

If that's the case then you're looking at the wrong equipment, and most Professional's for 'final product' encoding do it on a Workstation (Xeon, ECC RAM, Pro equipment) and not on a consumer 'gaming rig' oriented components. I 'Play' (testing/coding) on my X79 with SQL and anything for 'Production' is done on a Server or Workstation for our other production 'data.'

/edit - most encoding is accelerated with Frequency over CAS, but both are important and tighter CAS RAM is best.
a b } Memory
November 10, 2012 4:03:28 PM

Sheridan said:
As for the RAM, I was looking at some G-Skill 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 2133MHz RipjawsZ X79 Memory Kit sticks that run with CAS CL9 (9-11-10-28-2N). I couldn't find any lower rated CAS out there. They run at 1.65V and I read some articles here saying that it was risky running it at the voltage with an i7... is that right?

Also, would a 1600MHz kit with a lower CAS run quicker?

Considering how little difference CAS below 10 and RAM beyond 1600MT/s makes in most real-world applications and games (0-3%), I would simply stick to 1600-9-9-9 @ 1.5V.
November 11, 2012 12:26:07 PM

jaquith said:
Q - For 'Play' or 'Professional' use? ; using 'Cubase' I assume Pro use.

If that's the case then you're looking at the wrong equipment, and most Professional's for 'final product' encoding do it on a Workstation (Xeon, ECC RAM, Pro equipment) and not on a consumer 'gaming rig' oriented components.


That's all good if you're made of money, but I have a total budget of about £1500 and that includes a £450 sound card and some other audio equipment too. :( 

So I'm stuck with an i7 and around £200 for RAM. That's why I'm trying to find out the best RAM that I can get for this current setup.

Many thanks.
a c 347 } Memory
November 11, 2012 3:24:48 PM

The i7-3770K default IMC frequency is DDR3-1600 so the choices of Errors vs Performance knowing the differences are very small then I'd suggest sticking with DDR3-1600 vs much anything faster. In general, it's okay to step-up one notch in frequency with minimal (I didn't say none) impact on errors or DDR3-1866.

Few examples:
16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1600: Corsair CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 ; there's a few color variation kits but they're all the same IC's.

16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1866: Corsair CMZ16GX3M4X1866C9 ; same there's a few color variation kits but they're all the same IC's.

32GB (4x8GB) DDR3-1600: Corsair CMZ32GX3M4A1600C9 or Mushkin Enhanced Model 994069
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