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Advice on choosing memory

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December 20, 2012 12:38:02 PM

Hi. I am going to be building my first gaming rig and have questions concerning RAM.

I am going to get the Intel i5 3570k cpu, EVGA GTX 670 FTW gpu, ASUS P8Z77-V PRO mobo and NZXT Phantom 410 case. I eventually intend to overclock to a beginners level, nothing extreme but maybe 4.5GHz max at a later stage. I want to get a 8GB (2x4GB) ram kit (corsair vengeance looks pretty good).

My questions:

1. Does a RAM speed of over 1600 MHz provide a significant preformance boost for gaming if cas latencies are equal?

2. The mobo is compatible with 1600/1333 MHz when not overclocked. If I am overclocking by increasing the fsb speed should I buy ram of a higher speed (e.g. 1866 or 2000 MHz) that will run at 1600 MHz until I overclock it; or should I buy a 1600 MHz model and overclock it? Which would be more stable when overclocked?

3. Is a high profile heat spreader important if i want to overclock the ram? The difference between high and low profile will determine which aftermarket CPU cooling I will use. With low profile RAM I would use the Coolermaster Hyper 212 Evo and with high profile ram I would use the corsair hydro series h60 closed loop water cooling. Which setup would be more stable when overclocking (guessing the low profile RAM and 212 evo but not sure)?

Thanks very much to anyone who can answer any questions.


More about : advice choosing memory

December 20, 2012 1:02:17 PM

1.The performance difference wont be huge so don't be expecting toooo much.
2.You don't actualy OC the ram manually, there are ram profiles in the bios that set the oc ram speeds. You select a profile and the ram will run at the speed it should.
3.The cpu cooler should be selected carefuly and after some checking. Be sure to select a cooler that has been tested by pros or at least someone you know has it and it does a good job. Also be sure the case is well ventilated and cooled correctly that way all the internal coolers will do their job well also.

One thing you could think about is rather than spending a load on high end cooling etc. you can put that cash into getting a faster cpu and run it on a stock cooler to begin with... :D 
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December 20, 2012 2:14:59 PM

ngrego said:
1.The performance difference wont be huge so don't be expecting toooo much.
2.You don't actualy OC the ram manually, there are ram profiles in the bios that set the oc ram speeds. You select a profile and the ram will run at the speed it should.
3.The cpu cooler should be selected carefuly and after some checking. Be sure to select a cooler that has been tested by pros or at least someone you know has it and it does a good job. Also be sure the case is well ventilated and cooled correctly that way all the internal coolers will do their job well also.

One thing you could think about is rather than spending a load on high end cooling etc. you can put that cash into getting a faster cpu and run it on a stock cooler to begin with... :D 


Thanks for the suggestion but i have further questions.

1. By not huge do you mean something like a few fps while gaming?

2. Are the profiles you are referring to the intel XMP, found at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-co..., and cant I overclock the memory in the BIOS by adjusting the memory multiplier or the base clock frequency?

3. Will a 2000MHz RAM module running at 1600Hz be stable?

3. Th next step up in CPUs is an i7 which I cant justify the extra money for as I am on a budget. Are you suggesting that I should make the decision about the cooler/RAM profile combo based on the efficiency of the cooler?
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December 21, 2012 8:01:49 AM

1. Possibly...
2. Yes the profiles I suggested are the XMP profiles, you should have the option to select a profile in your BIOS to allow the ram to run at higher speeds. These profiles are preset and stable. OCing the ram manually may not be stable if not correctly set up.
3. If the mobo doesn't support 2000Mhz ram OCed or natively, I would say probably not. If the manufacturer states that the mobo supports 2000Mhz OC then I would say yes. If 2000Mhz ram is indicated as OC then the mobo should have the XMP profiles available for election.
4. The i5 3750k sells for ~220$ and the i7 starts at ~300$ so the price difference is about 80$-100$.
So I wonder why spend the 80$ on a hydro cooler and not on the cpu? If you haven't bought any of the stuff yet then it is an option... You will have the extra processing power and wont need to OC, just a thought.
You mentioned low profile ram, did you mean speed profile or a smaller heat sync?
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December 21, 2012 1:55:30 PM

ngrego said:
1. Possibly...
2. Yes the profiles I suggested are the XMP profiles, you should have the option to select a profile in your BIOS to allow the ram to run at higher speeds. These profiles are preset and stable. OCing the ram manually may not be stable if not correctly set up.
3. If the mobo doesn't support 2000Mhz ram OCed or natively, I would say probably not. If the manufacturer states that the mobo supports 2000Mhz OC then I would say yes. If 2000Mhz ram is indicated as OC then the mobo should have the XMP profiles available for election.
4. The i5 3750k sells for ~220$ and the i7 starts at ~300$ so the price difference is about 80$-100$.
So I wonder why spend the 80$ on a hydro cooler and not on the cpu? If you haven't bought any of the stuff yet then it is an option... You will have the extra processing power and wont need to OC, just a thought.
You mentioned low profile ram, did you mean speed profile or a smaller heat sync?


Thanks. Im going to get the CM hyper 212 EVO for cooling and put CM excalibur fans on it. I am going to get the crucial 1600MHz tactical RAM with the low heat spreader so that if I fill the RAM slots it will fit under the CPU cooler. BTW I have not bought any of the stuff yet. I am waiting until after christmas for boxing day/january to see if there are online sales, do you know of any sites that do this?
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December 21, 2012 1:59:22 PM

Best answer selected by HAMiiSH.
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December 28, 2012 6:23:02 AM

Glad to be of assistance!
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