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What are the tiers in terms of quality of RAM?

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December 2, 2012 4:59:49 PM

I was reading a post and I was curious if there is a tier table that shows the Memory manufacturers? Who's on the top etc? Did I read correctly that Corsair is Tier 3 ram? Where does Ballistix rate?
December 3, 2012 1:53:14 AM

my 2 cents:

Ballistix is Crucial, one of the oldest and best ram MFGS. No question about quality there, even though all ram is made in the far east. Its like anything else, the better companies demand better quality no matter where it is made.

Corsair is another, and you pay dearly for those supposed hand picked kits with LEDs (Dominator Platinum).

The only MFG I don't like is just a personal preference from experience is Kingston.

If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, my vote is Mushkin who have some great Redline ram with hard to beat latencies.

Pegger 3D :sol: 
December 3, 2012 11:37:14 AM

Pegger 3D said:
my 2 cents:

Ballistix is Crucial, one of the oldest and best ram MFGS. No question about quality there, even though all ram is made in the far east. Its like anything else, the better companies demand better quality no matter where it is made.

Corsair is another, and you pay dearly for those supposed hand picked kits with LEDs (Dominator Platinum).

The only MFG I don't like is just a personal preference from experience is Kingston.

If you are looking for the best bang for your buck, my vote is Mushkin who have some great Redline ram with hard to beat latencies.

Pegger 3D :sol: 




Thanks. I was shocked when I heard Corsair wasn't at the top. I heard Crucial is on the very few RAM guys that manufacturer there own. I was reading about Avexir but heard they are just coming out into mainstream but are considered a 4th tier maker of chips. I never really payed attention to Crucial and Ballistix but I see that Ballistix has nice "tracer" LEDs and timings....9-9-9. Ill check Mushkin but Ill check which the motherboard support; Im moving to the MSI mPower z77 board.
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December 3, 2012 7:15:09 PM

I sort of view Corsair along the same lines as Antec. They have generally above-average quality products, but they really don't seem to have a niche focus on any specific component type, they tend to simply farm out the production of most items to other companies who are very good at making those specific items, and generally speaking their mindset always makes them the "safe" bet, but rarely the "best' bet when comparing against performance-oriented brands.

The perception I've had about Crucial has always been that they are essentially the gold standard for memory and are essentially the Western Digital of the memory market. I think the first time I purchased their products was to add something like 128gb of RAM to my 484 processor. They know their stuff. Their Ballistix lineup is thoroughly impressive on paper too. Check out these- I just ordered a set for my own system. 8gb modules that run CL8 timings at 1600mhz and use only 1.5v- that's a tall order to match: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin makes some pretty strong contenders in performance in both the Redline and Blackline variants. I still am yet to see a 2x8gb setup from them which impresses me nearly as much as their 2x4gb or 4x4gb kit specs, but benchmarks show they may well at the top of the pile right now.
December 3, 2012 9:07:47 PM

ocmusicjunkie said:
I sort of view Corsair along the same lines as Antec. They have generally above-average quality products, but they really don't seem to have a niche focus on any specific component type, they tend to simply farm out the production of most items to other companies who are very good at making those specific items, and generally speaking their mindset always makes them the "safe" bet, but rarely the "best' bet when comparing against performance-oriented brands.

The perception I've had about Crucial has always been that they are essentially the gold standard for memory and are essentially the Western Digital of the memory market. I think the first time I purchased their products was to add something like 128gb of RAM to my 484 processor. They know their stuff. Their Ballistix lineup is thoroughly impressive on paper too. Check out these- I just ordered a set for my own system. 8gb modules that run CL8 timings at 1600mhz and use only 1.5v- that's a tall order to match: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mushkin makes some pretty strong contenders in performance in both the Redline and Blackline variants. I still am yet to see a 2x8gb setup from them which impresses me nearly as much as their 2x4gb or 4x4gb kit specs, but benchmarks show they may well at the top of the pile right now.


What's the difference between the tactical tracers and tactical?
December 4, 2012 6:14:25 AM

mikeny said:
What's the difference between the tactical tracers and tactical?


The Tracer series have LED lights on them.... otherwise, there is not really any difference between the two. You can find the same specs on models in either lineup. I just took a look at their website, and it at minimum there is at least one model in both styles that offers 8gb modules at 8-8-8-24 1600mhz specs with 1.5v power draw. The regular Tracers do come in a lower profile 8-8-8-24 1600mhz model that only requires 1.35v per their specs. Not sure if that would translate into anything worth pursuing in most cases; 1.5v is rare for quality spec ram these days, many companies are rating for 1.65v just to allow cheaper quality memory to still be classified as having performance-level speed and timings.
December 4, 2012 12:15:44 PM

ocmusicjunkie said:
The Tracer series have LED lights on them.... otherwise, there is not really any difference between the two. You can find the same specs on models in either lineup. I just took a look at their website, and it at minimum there is at least one model in both styles that offers 8gb modules at 8-8-8-24 1600mhz specs with 1.5v power draw. The regular Tracers do come in a lower profile 8-8-8-24 1600mhz model that only requires 1.35v per their specs. Not sure if that would translate into anything worth pursuing in most cases; 1.5v is rare for quality spec ram these days, many companies are rating for 1.65v just to allow cheaper quality memory to still be classified as having performance-level speed and timings.



I thought that was the difference. I think also, the tactical tracers have a program that allows you to change the "LED light configuration." I looked on the RAM support list for the mPower MSI motherboard and none of the Ballistix are there.
December 4, 2012 4:05:37 PM

Remember back when users used to think they had to buy the retail box from Microsoft instead of the OEM disk?

That may be before your time.

IMO, board MFGs are like consumer reports-they are all paid to plug a product. Most ram will work in most systems as long as:
1. The board accepts the clock speed and ECC.
2. The Bios is set to the ram stick voltage.

In my experience most bios default to 1.65v and you may have an issue with booting on a new system with 1.5v sticks.

Some new boards you can access the bios from a flash drive and change the voltage, or find a 1.65v stick just to post and then change the bios.

Don't ask the board MFG, call Crucial. If you have an existing system and want to add/change ram, Crucial's website will scan your system and recommend the sticks that are compatable.

my 2 cents.
December 5, 2012 1:12:41 AM

Pegger 3D said:
Remember back when users used to think they had to buy the retail box from Microsoft instead of the OEM disk?

That may be before your time.

IMO, board MFGs are like consumer reports-they are all paid to plug a product. Most ram will work in most systems as long as:
1. The board accepts the clock speed and ECC.
2. The Bios is set to the ram stick voltage.

In my experience most bios default to 1.65v and you may have an issue with booting on a new system with 1.5v sticks.

Some new boards you can access the bios from a flash drive and change the voltage, or find a 1.65v stick just to post and then change the bios.

Don't ask the board MFG, call Crucial. If you have an existing system and want to add/change ram, Crucial's website will scan your system and recommend the sticks that are compatable.

my 2 cents.


So email Crucial concerning the RAM for the mPower MSI motherboard? Got it. I just emailed them. I like how it was easy to email them. Simple click on RAM, Contact Us, clicked," I have a question about Ram before I buy" and let asked them about the tactical tracers and the mPower MSI board I was planning on buying. I saw the are non-ECC. I've seen also that a lot of RAM is about 1.5v. All the Ballistix Tacticals and Tracers are 1.5v. I like their timings though, 8-8-8-24. It was interesting to see on there site that having too much RAM can hurt your system. I didn't know that. It states that Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit can support max 16GB of RAM. Is it wise to get 2- 8GB RAM or 4- 4GB RAM or either will do.

I was looking at the Mushkin Reds and it says that they are geared more for LGA2011 with timings: 7-9-8-24 CAS is a nice: 7

And:


Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 16GB Kit (8GBx2) (PC3 12800) DDR3-1600 @1.5V UDIMM 240-Pin with LED OB BLT2CP8G3D1608DT2TXOB 8-8-8-24 CAS: 8
December 5, 2012 2:01:50 PM

Pegger 3D said:
Remember back when users used to think they had to buy the retail box from Microsoft instead of the OEM disk?

That may be before your time.

~~~~

In my experience most bios default to 1.65v and you may have an issue with booting on a new system with 1.5v sticks.


I do remember that and I'll do you one better- I remember being the ONLY kid in high school who had a CD burner. I'd purchased it myself and spent almost 4 hours trying to figure out how to connect it in the proper master/slave drive configuration and get it working. (this was before I'd just pull out another computer to go online for a "how-to"). I pocketed money by selling copied versions of albums I owned since 1) nobody could believe it was possible to get a copy of a CD for $5, and 2) this was far before the idea of "pirating" had made this seem like any sort of moral dilema. :D 

One quick comment about your thoughts on the RAM...

Maybe it's just an AMD thing, or an Asus thing- if so, I wouldn't know since I am pretty brand loyal in that regard. However, I've taken it as gospel that 1.5v is the standard voltage for DDR3 memory. Lower is "energy-efficient" or "low-power" and higher is possibly not going to be okay with every board. I've always had 1.5v defaults in my BIOS screens, even the one time I purchased 1.65v sticks by mistake.

Like I said- this is entirely perception based on experience, so I may be totally incorrect.
December 5, 2012 5:33:10 PM

Ahhh! Master/Slave issues, those were the days!

I am not a hard core gamer (even though I have a PS3 with the Sony 24" 3D display) so I seldom bother OCing ram, just the CPU if I decide to play around. I am building a new system right now and have all parts except the CPU. I am waiting to see if the Intel i7 3930k goes down in price around the New Year.

Since I bought an Asus Rampage IV Extreme, I can play around without much concern as it has shutdown safety features.

I perhaps should not have spent the money, but since I have a white/black scheme on all parts, I bought 32GB (4x8gb) of Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400 mhz.

I am going to use the system more for Photoshop work and other rendering than gaming and will probably leave the ram setting alone. The kit is 1.65v. With this board, I can change the BIOS settings without booting the system, so the voltage is not an issue.

But I have in the past, run into a new system not initially booting with the wrong voltage setting.

:sol: 
December 5, 2012 8:49:50 PM

Pegger 3D said:
Ahhh! Master/Slave issues, those were the days!

I am not a hard core gamer (even though I have a PS3 with the Sony 24" 3D display) so I seldom bother OCing ram, just the CPU if I decide to play around. I am building a new system right now and have all parts except the CPU. I am waiting to see if the Intel i7 3930k goes down in price around the New Year.

Since I bought an Asus Rampage IV Extreme, I can play around without much concern as it has shutdown safety features.

I perhaps should not have spent the money, but since I have a white/black scheme on all parts, I bought 32GB (4x8gb) of Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400 mhz.

I am going to use the system more for Photoshop work and other rendering than gaming and will probably leave the ram setting alone. The kit is 1.65v. With this board, I can change the BIOS settings without booting the system, so the voltage is not an issue.

But I have in the past, run into a new system not initially booting with the wrong voltage setting.

:sol: 



Oh the master/slave setup, I remember that also as well as CD drives along with double disk drives....5.25" disks...DOS, BASIC :) 
December 5, 2012 10:48:43 PM

Hey guys, quick question, is it better to get 2 sticks of ram for (8GBx2) 16GB or 4 sticks for (4x4GB) 16GB? Or it makes no difference. Im curious because I see 4 sticks says Quad channel and Ivy Bridge utilizes dual channel so 2 sticks is better than 4 or doesn't matter?
December 8, 2012 10:22:31 PM

Some will suggest that 8gb x 2 channels is better for overclocking, mostly because of the reduced amount of variables involved in having two elements to stabilize as compared to four. However, you generally are going to find higher latency timings at higher density (lots of 4gb CL8 and CL9 at 1600mhz, more 8gb units at CL10 at 1600mhz).

If you aren't overclocking, then I think the 4x4 option is an easy pick- cheaper in most cases, and you can have your pick of CL8/9 kits. If you are going to overclock, I'd say my first option would be finding the same specs in a 8 x 2 kit, but to not compromise by settling on the 8gb modules with poor specs if cost is an issue.

In terms of "dual-channel" or "quad-channel", it's all a gimmick. Whether you buy four identical memory dimm's together, two packs of two, or four individual packages of the same model, they will all run dual-channel if your system allows and you install them correctly. :hello: 
December 9, 2012 3:33:03 AM

Thanks guys! I got 8-8-8-24 Ballistix Tactical Tracers ddr3-1600 16GB (8GBx2)
December 9, 2012 7:35:35 PM

Exactly what I just went for myself (sans the LEDs) :D  Very nice!
a b } Memory
December 9, 2012 10:45:11 PM

mikeny said:
I was shocked when I heard Corsair wasn't at the top. I heard Crucial is on the very few RAM guys that manufacturer there own.

Corsair is neither the largest nor the best. They do not make their own chips but merely assembles circuit boards from chips bought from other companies. The only RAM stick companies that make their own chips are the well known chip companies, like Samsung, Micron (Crucial), Hynix, and Nanya, but Kingston buys whole finished silicon wafers and dices and packages them in their own factories.
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