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Need some help choosing RAM

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December 16, 2012 9:36:16 PM

I'm running this mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ( Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R )
and this CPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (Intel I7 950)


and I'm looking to upgrade from 6gb of ram to 12gb. Right now I'm trying to choose between these 3 options:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
vs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
vs.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'd also like to consider Mushkin since they are an American company but I have no idea if they are any good or which sticks would be best for my system, I've tried using their configurator but I couldn't find my mobo listed.

I'll probably be running stock and just want something fast and reliable out of the box that will work well with what I already have.

More about : choosing ram

December 16, 2012 11:18:57 PM

All of your links appear to be returning "bad request." Are you sure you copied them in correctly?
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December 16, 2012 11:29:24 PM

jrgray93 said:
All of your links appear to be returning "bad request." Are you sure you copied them in correctly?


Thanks for the heads up, they should be fixed now.
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December 16, 2012 11:54:24 PM

Dupontrocks11 said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Why not 16GB? $69.99 is a good price not to mention there's a 10% discount code. Great RAM.


Thanks! I'll have to check that out and make sure it's compatible. The reason I went for 12 over 16 was because I just figured 12gb would cheaper. Although I just saw it was 4 sticks instead of 3. I've read 3 sticks puts a lot less strain on things then 4 sticks. Is this true?
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December 16, 2012 11:59:41 PM

It truly depends.

1. Do you have any intent on ever installing a Aftermarket CPU cooler?
a. If so you may want a low profile kit of ram.

Low profile ram examples
G.Skill Ares
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile
Crucial Ballistix Tactical
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December 17, 2012 12:08:40 AM

bigshootr8 said:
It truly depends.

1. Do you have any intent on ever installing a Aftermarket CPU cooler?
a. If so you may want a low profile kit of ram.

Low profile ram examples
G.Skill Ares
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile
Crucial Ballistix Tactical


1. I already have an after market CPU cooler (http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Plus-RR-B10-2...)
I just took a look and I should be fine as long as I go with 3 sticks, there is plenty of room, however if I move up to 4 sticks it might get a little tight.
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December 17, 2012 12:26:52 AM

Yea, that doesn't sound too bad I would stick to 2 sticks honestly unless you can populate all 4 to retain the dual channel memory. Which in that case you may want to get a lower profile memory. Either way you may want to look into that at least to see if it fits in your budget I just find leaving yourself some headroom in case things change CPU cooler as a prime example may be a good way to go.
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December 17, 2012 12:56:08 AM

bigshootr8 said:
Yea, that doesn't sound too bad I would stick to 2 sticks honestly unless you can populate all 4 to retain the dual channel memory. Which in that case you may want to get a lower profile memory. Either way you may want to look into that at least to see if it fits in your budget I just find leaving yourself some headroom in case things change CPU cooler as a prime example may be a good way to go.


You mean 3 sticks? The thing with the cooler isn't really a height issue, I have tons of room height wise on all slots, it's just that 1 of the ram slots is really really close to the cooler so if I stick to 3 sticks the empty slot is the one closest to the cooler so there is no issue, but if I go to 4 sticks I'd have to use the close slot.
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December 17, 2012 1:01:52 AM

Well what I mean't was in the event that you wanted to populate more then the 2 slots of memory that it would be better to populate them all so you would retain the dual channel memory setting.
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December 17, 2012 1:10:55 AM

bigshootr8 said:
Well what I mean't was in the event that you wanted to populate more then the 2 slots of memory that it would be better to populate them all so you would retain the dual channel memory setting.


ah ok, my mobo actually has 6 ram slots, so would I need to populate all 6 to get the dual channel effect, or would 4 do it also?
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December 17, 2012 1:20:54 AM

nono 4 would do it. I see you are working on a x58 platform. 2 on each side to retain the quad channel memory setup.
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December 17, 2012 1:24:17 AM

It is triple channel, X58 I believe?

They are most likely talking about dual channel sets not triple channel.

Stick to the 12GB.
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December 17, 2012 1:25:40 AM

^ I would listen to bigshooter, I personally have no idea about triple channel. Good luck.
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December 17, 2012 1:43:18 AM

Now I'm even more confused lol. I'm pretty sure my mobo only does triple channel not quad, but I could easily be wrong. In the manual it also says it can do triple channel with 4 sticks? So does this mean basically there would be no difference whether I go with 3 sticks or 4?

I think I'm definitely leaning towards either http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like the better timings on the Crucial, but I also like the 4 extra GB on the G.Skill

If it makes any difference I'm currently running 3 x 2GB Corsair Dominator's @ 1600 and CAS 8.
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December 17, 2012 1:53:27 AM

Sorry, again not meaning to confuse you. The X79 platform supports quad channel not the x58 yes so it would be tri channel memory
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Best solution

December 17, 2012 2:02:31 AM

jimbodan69 said:
Now I'm even more confused lol. I'm pretty sure my mobo only does triple channel not quad, but I could easily be wrong. In the manual it also says it can do triple channel with 4 sticks? So does this mean basically there would be no difference whether I go with 3 sticks or 4?

I think I'm definitely leaning towards either http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
or
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I like the better timings on the Crucial, but I also like the 4 extra GB on the G.Skill

If it makes any difference I'm currently running 3 x 2GB Corsair Dominator's @ 1600 and CAS 8.


I uploaded a screenshot from the manual of your motherboard. Either kit there will work, but I'd personally go with the G.Skill kit, because I trust the brand, and that gives you 16GB instead of 12GB. You aren't going to see any significant differences between a dual and triple channel kit, so I would just go with the dual.

http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh139/ugotpwnzored/m...

Buy whichever you want to spend the money on, and this image shows you just where to install them on the motherboard.

For the G.Skill kit, use the "Dual Channel - Four Modules" graph. For the Crucial kit, use the "Triple Channel - Three Modules" graph.
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December 17, 2012 2:02:40 AM

bigshootr8 said:
Sorry, again not meaning to confuse you. The X79 platform supports quad channel not the x58 yes so it would be tri channel memory


So now the $64,000 question. If it were you picking, which of the 4 options would you choose?
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December 17, 2012 2:18:30 AM

If I were you I would get a tri channel kit. Or I would buy 3 of the same memory module and populate slots 1, 3, and 5. Note: I took a look into your motherboard manual that is a configuration for your tri-channel memory setup. So you would end up with 12 gigs of ram.
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December 17, 2012 2:26:28 AM

of the two you listed I would go with the crucial kit to take advantage of the tri channel memory.
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December 17, 2012 2:42:39 AM

Triple channel memory will give you 2-5% better performance over dual channel. That's not worth giving up 4GB of RAM for, assuming you are actually going to be using that much of your RAM.


Which begs the question, what do you want do with your PC?

The timings are also a little bit better on the triple channel kit, but again, the difference there will be marginal at best. You won't even notice.

Honestly, it seems like it is six for one and a half-dozen for the other. There won't be a big difference between the two.
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December 17, 2012 3:13:04 AM

jrgray93 said:
Triple channel memory will give you 2-5% better performance over dual channel. That's not worth giving up 4GB of RAM for, assuming you are actually going to be using that much of your RAM.


Which begs the question, what do you want do with your PC?

The timings are also a little bit better on the triple channel kit, but again, the difference there will be marginal at best. You won't even notice.

Honestly, it seems like it is six for one and a half-dozen for the other. There won't be a big difference between the two.


Yeah I've been reading some articles and benchmarks and it seems like the difference between triple channel and dual channel is marginal at best. Right now I am running triple channel and I would hate to go backwards with an upgrade.

Right now what's really killing my ram is running 2 instances of World of Warcraft at the same time as well Chrome + Firefox with lots of tabs. I'm usually using between 90-95% of my ram, at least according to my monitor and I can definitely notice a lot of slowdown at times, especially if I go a few days without restarting and especially in Chrome and Firefox.
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December 17, 2012 3:20:51 AM

jimbodan69 said:
Yeah I've been reading some articles and benchmarks and it seems like the difference between triple channel and dual channel is marginal at best. Right now I am running triple channel and I would hate to go backwards with an upgrade.

Right now what's really killing my ram is running 2 instances of World of Warcraft at the same time as well Chrome + Firefox with lots of tabs. I'm usually using between 90-95% of my ram, at least according to my monitor and I can definitely notice a lot of slowdown at times, especially if I go a few days without restarting and especially in Chrome and Firefox.


If that is what you are using the computer for, 12GB will be plenty. The choice really comes down to whether you want the marginal raw speed on all tasks (triple channel, 12GB), or the ability to do more at once (dual channel, 16GB). But with the situation you described, 12GB should be more than enough. If you intend to push it further (more active programs), go with the 16GB.
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December 17, 2012 6:29:20 AM

Best answer selected by jimbodan69.
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December 17, 2012 6:30:11 AM

Thanks for the help, I decided to go with the 16gb G.Skill. Worst case I can always just use 3 sticks and have the 4th as a backup for just about the same price as the other 12gb kits.
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