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Which should I get?

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November 17, 2012 8:18:43 PM

I am going to MicroCenter today to pick up an Intel i5-3570k on sale and they also have a motherboard + CPU sale going on. I think its $40 off the motherboard so heres what I was looking at. I was wondering if you could enlighten me on which would be my best choice.



Gigabyte GA-Z77M: http://www.microcenter.com/product/394735/GA-Z77M-D3H-M...

ASRock Z77 Pro4: http://www.microcenter.com/product/387555/Z77_Pro4_LGA_...

ASRock Z77 Pro3: http://www.microcenter.com/product/387627/Z77_Pro3_1155...

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a c 1097 V Motherboard
November 17, 2012 8:23:01 PM

The PRO4 out of that selection.
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a c 151 V Motherboard
November 17, 2012 8:24:33 PM

^ +1 Agreed
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November 17, 2012 8:30:48 PM

Sweet thanks guys. Off to the store!
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November 17, 2012 8:34:28 PM

Sorry one more question. Would the Pro4 be able to use G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-2400 memory?
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a c 1097 V Motherboard
November 17, 2012 8:35:53 PM

Yes if it is 1.5volts.
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a b V Motherboard
November 17, 2012 8:46:14 PM

moes said:
Sorry one more question. Would the Pro4 be able to use G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-2400 memory?


Yes, but you're going to have to go into your BIOS and set the RAM timings and clock speed to what it's supposed to be. (That being said, if you haven't bought the RAM already, you'd probably see more benefit out of 1600MHz ram that has extremely low CAS timings.)
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a c 137 V Motherboard
November 17, 2012 10:12:02 PM

RAM vs BIOS:

The BIOS receives periodic updates, and one of the most common updates is RAM compatibility. If your exact model of RAM is in the BIOS then it can automatically apply the EXACT settings. One of the FIRST things you should do is:
a) Flash your BIOS, then
b) run MEMTEST (even before installing Windows; www.memtest.org )

See your motherboard manual.

*FYI, I recently bought new DDR3 RAM and did a lot of research. I found that 2133MHz was roughly 2x the price of 1600MHz but definitely could make a difference in several games that justified the cost.

However, with the current CPU's there appears to be no benefit in going above 2133MHz (with low timings) so I don't recommend buying 2400MHz if it costs much more.
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November 17, 2012 11:30:47 PM

Hey guys thanks for the information. I have not bought the RAM yet because I feel a bit confused. The reason I was going to purchase the 2400MHz is because I'm going to be using the integrated graphics on the i5-3570 for a month or two (until after the holidays most likely the end of January.) And I was told that faster memory would help with fps.

So I did some searching and saw that some faster 1600MHz (7 cas latency) is about the same price as the 2400MHz i was going to buy. I also saw that there was 1866 with 8 cas latency that was also the same price. This confused me so I'm now here trying to make sense of this.

My price range was originally $70 and I was planning on getting 8GB. Used for gaming and basic online stuff. Would it make much of a difference between the 1600MHz and the 1866MHz. BTW, the 2400MHz is 1.65v so I'm not sure if it will work with my motherboard.
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a c 1097 V Motherboard
November 17, 2012 11:46:00 PM

2400MHz will not make much of a difference over 1600MHz with lower latencies (faster timings). LGA1155 needs ram with 1.5volts.
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November 18, 2012 12:03:29 AM

Ok I guess I'll grab the 1600MHz with 7 latency.

Thanks for your help!
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a c 137 V Motherboard
November 18, 2012 4:53:17 PM

moes said:
Ok I guess I'll grab the 1600MHz with 7 latency.

Thanks for your help!


If your motherboard supports it, you can benefit from 2133MHz in many games (not most, but many) versus 1600MHz. You generally just select the XMP profile in your BIOS and double-check the frequency and stability with MEMTEST.

I'll say it again, 2133MHz definitely benefits in several games versus 1600MHz when paired with an i5-3570K or similar and good graphics card.

I don't have the links handy but I did a lot of research and found several different games that benefitted and I was quite surprised to see up to a 15% boost in some games versus 1600MHz (GTX680, i5-3570K/i7-3770K setup).
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a b V Motherboard
November 18, 2012 5:35:57 PM

^What sort of benefits? Framerates, or loading speed? I would be extremely shocked to see faster ram giving 15% better fps.
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a c 137 V Motherboard
November 20, 2012 11:58:00 PM

DarkSable said:
^What sort of benefits? Framerates, or loading speed? I would be extremely shocked to see faster ram giving 15% better fps.


Frame Rates.
I was surprised too when I read that, but then I did some research and discovered that yes, there are several games (again NOT MOST) that run better with 2133MHz low-latency vs equivalent 1600MHz DDR3.

Loading times are not affected as the weak link is the Hard Drive or SSD.

I'll post this and see if I can find the links. (the ones I found were for a high-end CPU like the 2700K/3570K/3770K and a GTX680/HD7970).

Price difference:
I believe it's about 2x the price for good 2133MHz low-latency RAM over 1600MHz. But that only amounts to maybe $40 more on a system that might cost $1600. In other words, under 3% of the total cost for quicker RAM that can actually benefit in some scenarios.
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a c 137 V Motherboard
November 21, 2012 1:16:27 AM

RAM benchmarks:

First of all, like MOST games, 1600MHz is more than adequate:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...

So there's almost NO difference as the bottleneck is the GPU and/or CPU.

However, there are a few games (usually CPU intensive) like World In Conflict:
http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/best...

1600MHz isn't on the list (only faster) but still there's a 13% difference in frame rate from best to worst (probably 15% for 1600MHz vs 2133MHz).

*Another missunderstood issue is that, in some games even if LOCKED at 60FPS, the faster RAM might make the game run a little better. Basically the faster DDR3 RAM can send data to the CPU faster which can in turn send it to the GPU faster.

If games were BETTER CODED, RAM would not need to be nearly as fast to make up for the coding bottlenecks.

**AGAIN, there are a LIMITED number of games that actually benefit in the benchmarks in terms of frame rates, but in actuality it's more complicated than that and again, two identical machines both playing the same game locked at 60FPS can actually have slightly different subjective experiences due to the different latency (delays) of screen items being updated.
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November 21, 2012 1:22:30 AM

Related Question: I'm essentially in the same purchasing position as the OP (Core i5 3750K and a new motherboard), but if I'm only looking at DDR3 1600 mhz memory, will there be huge performance differences in going 2x4Gb or 2x8Gb, enough to justify the extra cost?
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a c 137 V Motherboard
November 21, 2012 1:24:35 AM

rolli59 said:
Hardly worth the money unless you are using an IGP with shared ram (ram used as Vram) with IGP http://www.anandtech.com/show/6389/gskill-tridentx-revi...
With discrete GPU http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-...


It's misleading to test only one or two games and conclude that there's no benefit to faster RAM. As I've said, there are a few games that do benefit (primarily CPU intensive games). If it costs $40 more for faster RAM on a $1600 system (2.5%) which benefits other applications and possibly some future games as well I think that's a reasonable benefit.

No big deal.
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a c 137 V Motherboard
November 21, 2012 1:26:25 AM

kwhitejr said:
Related Question: I'm essentially in the same purchasing position as the OP (Core i5 3750K and a new motherboard), but if I'm only looking at DDR3 1600 mhz memory, will there be huge performance differences in going 2x4Gb or 2x8Gb, enough to justify the extra cost?


There will be ZERO performance difference in gaming. Unless you do video editing or have some other need, 16GB is a waste of money.

(I've even been monitoring this. I've never gone above 6GB when I had 8GB or with 16GB. I've ONLY ever used it for video editing.)

You'd be better to get 8GB of 2133MHz low-latency DDR3 for about the same price of 16GB of 1600MHz.
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November 21, 2012 1:27:32 AM

Cheers thanks :D 
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a c 1097 V Motherboard
November 21, 2012 1:28:08 AM

kwhitejr said:
Related Question: I'm essentially in the same purchasing position as the OP (Core i5 3750K and a new motherboard), but if I'm only looking at DDR3 1600 mhz memory, will there be huge performance differences in going 2x4Gb or 2x8Gb, enough to justify the extra cost?

For gaming currently 8GB is plenty.
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a c 137 V Motherboard
November 21, 2012 1:33:19 AM

rolli59 said:
For gaming currently 8GB is plenty.


SKYRIM actually uses about 1.7GB of System RAM and it's more demanding than most. Torchlight uses under 600MB. I don't think there are ANY games that even use 3GB.

PC RAM usage will also be influenced slightly by the next-gen XBOX/PS consoles. Rumour has it that the PS4 planned to use 4GB of System RAM but might go up to 8GB if the next XBOX does. Personally, I would think 4GB of SHARED RAM would be plenty.

I better stop talking...
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