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Worth it to go from DDR3-1600 to 1866+?

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November 15, 2012 5:59:57 PM

Hey all,

I just upgraded my mobo and CPU from an X48 chipset/Q9550 to an Z77/i5-3750K. I re-used the RAM I had before, which is 8GB (4x2) Patriot DDR3-1600 low-latency. I'm currently using the RAM's XMP profile to achieve 1600-7-7-7-20-2T.

I know that those are good, tight timings. My question is: Would I see an appreciable difference if I were to purchase RAM that was rated for 1866, or even 2000, even though the timings go to something more like 11-9-11-30? I heard that Intel procs like faster frequency more than they like tighter timings. I have an aftermarket Hyper212 Evo cooler on the CPU, so I'm not afraid to overclock a little, (though am not looking to go nuts.)

I game with the PC, though only at 1680x1050 with all the settings turned up. My GPU is a EVGA GTX 480 and I run Win7 Ultimate x64. My PSU is an Antec 750. Thanks in advance...

More about : worth ddr3 1600 1866

a b } Memory
November 15, 2012 10:59:30 PM

Pure and simple : No I do not think it is worth it as all, BUT performance does scale very well with faster MHz RAM, whereas timings barely provide any improvement at all.


It would be a very incremental upgrade to go to 1866 or 2000 but if you can find a very nice sale on faster RAM then sure. Go for it.
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a b } Memory
November 15, 2012 11:11:24 PM

Novuake said:
Pure and simple : No I do not think it is worth it as all, BUT performance does scale very well with faster MHz RAM, whereas timings barely provide any improvement at all.


It would be a very incremental upgrade to go to 1866 or 2000 but if you can find a very nice sale on faster RAM then sure. Go for it.


...I'm sorry, but that's pretty much wrong. On an intel rig, there is NO benefit gain between 1600 and even 2133MHz... you can't even see a real difference in benchmarks.

OP: You have a great rig. The bottleneck isn't the RAM, it's the video card.
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a b } Memory
November 15, 2012 11:19:01 PM

DarkSable said:
...I'm sorry, but that's pretty much wrong. On an intel rig, there is NO benefit gain between 1600 and even 2133MHz... you can't even see a real difference in benchmarks.

OP: You have a great rig. The bottleneck isn't the RAM, it's the video card.


It is not zero. Go read some benchies. You are just assuming because IB only has a 1600MHz controller... That doesn't mean you do not get ANY added performance through faster RAM.

Read 'em and weep. Hate it when people contradict me without proof.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ivy-bri...
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November 15, 2012 11:26:53 PM

Only if you have an APU. lol

Otherwise, no, don't upgrade your ram.
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a b } Memory
November 16, 2012 12:11:55 AM

Novuake said:
It is not zero. Go read some benchies. You are just assuming because IB only has a 1600MHz controller... That doesn't mean you do not get ANY added performance through faster RAM.

Read 'em and weep. Hate it when people contradict me without proof.

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/memory/display/ivy-bri...


Yes... benchmarks testing the speed of ram WILL tell you that faster ram is faster.
That being said, there is pretty much no point in spending the premium on that, because there isn't any application that is bottlenecked by RAM. (Except perhaps for a ramdisk, but...)
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November 16, 2012 12:29:17 AM

Don't bother upgrading it, u won't see much of a difference unless of ocz u have lots of spare cash to blow.
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a b } Memory
November 16, 2012 11:07:40 AM

DarkSable said:
Yes... benchmarks testing the speed of ram WILL tell you that faster ram is faster.
That being said, there is pretty much no point in spending the premium on that, because there isn't any application that is bottlenecked by RAM. (Except perhaps for a ramdisk, but...)


If you look very closely at those benchies I posted, they include REAL world performance too, even games, Farcry, Crysis and Adobe CS5.

"We must admit that gaming applications differ somewhat in this respect. Memory subsystem performance has a larger effect on them. By preferring high-bandwidth DDR3 SDRAM for your Ivy Bridge platform, you can get an additional 5-10% in terms of frame rate. You don’t always achieve this even by installing a faster CPU!" quoted at end of page.

That's 5-10% FPS increase for minimal cost.

I am not saying its worth it as in my original reply. If he has excess money and can get a good deal then yes I think he should do it. But only then.
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November 16, 2012 12:43:48 PM

Thanks all for the replies. For now, I am going to sit tight and use my leftover money on a 256GB Vertex4 SSD I saw for $189.99. The articles referenced were helpful, and it is nice to know that I have more "room" to go faster with my current setup by just popping in some new RAM, (if I find the right sale.) I bought the i5-3570K/Hyper212 Evo cooler for this reason, even though I am doing no OCing currently.

I realize my GTX 480 is probably the limitation in my box now for gaming, but it's still a pretty hefty card according to the Hierarchy Chart. And remember, I don't game at more than 1680x1050 anyway. (Maybe I should be saving for a new panel so that I can...!!!) Anyway, I'm going to wait and see what 2013 brings as far as my GPU goes...

Thanks again for the replies!
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a c 104 } Memory
November 16, 2012 12:54:25 PM

Novuake said:
If you look very closely at those benchies I posted, they include REAL world performance too, even games, Farcry, Crysis and Adobe CS5.

"We must admit that gaming applications differ somewhat in this respect. Memory subsystem performance has a larger effect on them. By preferring high-bandwidth DDR3 SDRAM for your Ivy Bridge platform, you can get an additional 5-10% in terms of frame rate. You don’t always achieve this even by installing a faster CPU!" quoted at end of page.

That's 5-10% FPS increase for minimal cost.

I am not saying its worth it as in my original reply. If he has excess money and can get a good deal then yes I think he should do it. But only then.


An interesting and informative link.

I read it carefully and think it is accurate, but the conclusions drawn might not be.

1. They say "Bridge platform, you can get an additional 5-10% in terms of frame rate. You don’t always achieve this even by installing a faster CPU!" But, so far as I know, the only purpose of faster ram is to improve cpu processing speed.
If one had less than a top end cpu, I would think you would get more from a faster cpu.

2. The tests were done with a top of the line GTX680 to reduce graphics as a limiting factor. ... good.
True, the FPS improvements improved by 5-10%.
But this was at frame rates in the 100-200fps range. FPS improvements for those with lesser cards may well be much less. And.. I don't think I care much once you get past a steady 60fps.

3. Ram speed does make a nice difference with integrated graphics. But, spending more on very fast ram as they suggest may not be the best way to get a 20% boost. Even a cheap dedicated graphics card will probabaly be a better way to improve fps.

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November 16, 2012 1:11:42 PM

I say no. In all the benches I have seen, the increase in bandwidth does not help software go faster. It barely increases fps in games. You won't be able to see any difference. Don't waste your money.
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November 16, 2012 1:25:18 PM

anything above 1600mhz is for show, there is virtually no real world performance increase in high mhz ram
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November 16, 2012 1:28:46 PM

For gaming: no.
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a b } Memory
November 16, 2012 1:33:02 PM

One point No ones mentioned, Does using Ram above 1600 void Intel's stanard warranty.

With SB Intel deamed the use of Ram above 1333 (spec for SB) as Overclocking and therefore the standard warranty did NOT cover a CPU when the Ram used was above specs. This also covered Ram that required higher than 1.575 Volts, Note, when SB first came out there was a large number of Ram Modules with tight timings that used 1.65V. Intel came out with a OC warranty, ie $20 Bucks for the i5-2500K

IB, which uses the same design, may have the same constraints in that Ram Over DDR3-1600, or Ram operated over 1.575 V will void the standard warranty.
Bottom line here is is the slight increase worth it, probably NOT.

Added (sounds like it did care over to the IB CPUs):
Found a Ref: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5442/intels-performance-t...
And: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/114695-intel-offer...
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November 16, 2012 1:40:35 PM

I just wanna points.... :D , I wouldn't upgrade.
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a b } Memory
November 16, 2012 2:48:03 PM

All i'm saying is there is an improvement, didn't say he should upgrade.

@OP good decision...
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a c 347 } Memory
November 16, 2012 3:23:45 PM

Okay, fact vs fiction and considerations:

Xbit has some decent articles and in their review the critical flaw is using one set of RAM set to a variety of Frequencies & CAS Timings other than the optimized IC's design (Rated). The 'problem' is the IC's on ultra-high kits perform horribly and have horrible 'SPD' encoding for slower Frequencies. Some for taking DDR3-1600 and ramping up the Frequencies, lowering the CAS and throwing high voltage.

In other words, Lower Rated Frequency RAM OC'ed provides relatively horrible OC results and same for Higher Rated Frequency RAM under-clocked.

Further, in Xbit's article the CPU(s) is/are overclocked to 4.5GHz, Games are not running @ HD (1920x1080) and worst the gaming sample is only two games.

Next, many games are GPU bound (e.g. BF3) where the CPU/RAM to a degree has very little impact, and some are CPU/RAM bound (e.g. Skyrim).

Performance, generally most Rendering (16GB or more) will benefit from higher frequency and same with an e.g. RAM Drive, but in Gaming (8GB) CAS timings also play an important role. Performance, in HD 1920x1080 you can see a +0~+4FPS increase going a step-up.

However, the trade-off is increased error rate meaning instability (BSOD, Application i.e. game or System drop-out 41/63). Also, as you mentioned DDR3-1600 CAS 7 kits are almost equally unstable as a DDR3-2133+ kit. CPU longterm damage, I really don't recommend anything greater than a DRAM Voltage of 1.60v and VCCIO/VCCSA greater than 1.20v. There's two things that kill a CPU, three things if you include temps, but the quickest are excessive CPU and CPU's IMC voltage.

Value you are by far spending more money on a GPU than on a high frequency kit regardless of your CPU or GPU OC.

Gaming + RAM, I recommend DDR3-1600 to one step up whatever you CPU's rated frequency is or in this case either DDR3-1600 (CAS 8 or 9) or DDR3-1866 (CAS 9) and with tight low CAS kits in 2x4GB.

Example of two optimized RAM kits, Batman is CPU/RAM bound:
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November 23, 2012 12:19:47 AM

All,

I just wanted to update and say that the reason my RAM was able to get those tight 7-7-7-20 timings was because the XMP profile had it running at 1.90v. (it's from 2009). That's way too high for my IB proc in my opinion, especially at 1600. So, I WILL be buying new RAM, thus answering my own question. I'm going with Corsair Vengeance 1866 @9-10-9-27 at the standard 1.5v. It was only like $10 more for 1866 over 1600, so I'm going with it, even if I won't notice any improvement in most cases. To me, this was more about treating my new IB proc right than about any performance gain. It seemed from the previous posts that the increased frequency will offset the looser timings.

Thanks again for all the input; it was most helpful.
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a c 347 } Memory
November 23, 2012 12:32:06 PM

pure_guava said:
I just wanted to update and say that the reason my RAM was able to get those tight 7-7-7-20 timings was because the XMP profile had it running at 1.90v. (it's from 2009). That's way too high for my IB proc in my opinion, especially at 1600.

No argument from me.

Safely you're okay with 1.60v and maybe up to 1.65v if you can keep the VCCIO/VSSCA @ 1.20v or less. My 'personal' preference are the DDR3L (1.35v-1.50v) kits. Long run they're the easiest on your CPU's IMC; anyway I love my kits.

Good luck! :sol: 
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a b } Memory
November 23, 2012 9:36:46 PM

^ I think Intel's spec is 1.500 ± 5% (1.425->1.575 V) Outside of this voids Intels standard warranty. Although I've been running Ripjaws DDR3-1600 CL7 @ 1.600 V
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November 27, 2012 3:54:02 PM

Just to kind of wrap this up, I wanted to update and say that I received my 2x4GB Corsair Vengeance and installed it successfully last night. It defaulted to 1333, and after enabling the XMP profile, went right to 1866-9-10-9-27 @1.5v.

I didn't see any tighter-timed RAM out there that wasn't insanely expensive or requiring major voltage. I look back at this upgrade (total cost: $50) as more about getting back to within voltage specs on the CPU's memory controller than about a performance increase, (I had been running my RAM at 1.9v to achieve 1600-7-7-7-20!) Too high, IMO.

Thanks again for all input. Cheers
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November 27, 2012 3:57:34 PM

Best answer selected by pure_guava.
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