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memory compatibility


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#1 millipede

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 09:02 PM

I am considering adding some memory to my system and I am just a little confused/curious about something.
In the past, all I ever paid attention to was making sure the ram speeds were compatible...   I was always told that if it was too fast it would simply clock down to match the system.
Long story to where I'm getting to...  (I'll try to highlight the actual questions...) but in all my searching today, I ran across conversations about some memory not working with certain motherboards, etc. 
So, I searched and found a site that listed my motherboard and compatible memory...  I am certain that the list is not all inclusive... and many conversations I read stated that...  but while looking at the list, I noticed that the ram they suggested was compatible was different than what I had been looking at... which brings up other questions/concerns.

The other day I used the "crucial scan" to see what kind of memory I needed.  It suggested

 

DDR3 PC3-12800 • CL=11 • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR3-1600 • 1.5V • 256Meg x 64 •

So, I had been searching for pc3-12800, or actually ddr3 1600.  I was just about settled on "G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600"

 

I do not remember what prompted me to do some searching on that...  I think I was searching g.skill vs kingston, etc...  and found people talking about memory not always being so friendly...  some even being picky about whether you had 2 or 4 sticks in...  I was a little confused about that so I tried to do more searching... 
That's when I looked up my mb and found >>This page<< 

There you can see it recommended a variety of memory that did not include the ones I was looking at.  Depending on brand you had 10600 and 10666 and most of it was 1333mhz. 
So, I wondered why crucial would tell me one thing and this page that supposedly shows what's compatible would show me another.
So I opened up speccy to see what I have...  what I saw was "PC3-10700 (667 MHz)"
something slightly different from either.

My gut, and my past experiences, tell me that the ddr3 1600 will work...  but, will it?  should I just shop for the 1333?  Does any of it matter?
Looking at that page again...  I know the system max is 8gb... but as far as I know(could be wrong) I can only do 2GB per slot...  actually, I'm not sure where I got that idea...   If 2x4gb can work, I wonder what's better...  whatever is cheaper?

Another page from the same website shows that the compatible ram is 1066 and 1333 mhz... 
Will the 1600 work?  for certain?  I'm asking because even if it has to clock itself down...  if one is cheaper than the other, it's probably the way I'd go.
 



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#2 Buzzsaw

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 10:16 PM

** Rest of post deleted for brevity **

 

Another page from the same website shows that the compatible ram is 1066 and 1333 mhz... 
Will the 1600 work?  for certain?  I'm asking because even if it has to clock itself down...  if one is cheaper than the other, it's probably the way I'd go.
 

 

Your motherboard accepts maximum of 8 GB DDR3 1333 RAM modules. Look it up in the motherboard manual.

 

Always follow what your motherboard specs state, not some stupid memory scan thing like Crucial uses.

Crucial has been known to be wrong before. Don't bother getting DDR3 1600 RAM modules, it's a waste of money.

 

Always upgrade the RAM modules in pairs for best results.


Edited by Buzzsaw, 11 July 2015 - 10:20 PM.


#3 jonuk76

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 11:01 PM

Memory can run at a range of speeds.  Faster memory can be run at lower speeds than it's rated speed.  Below for example is a screenshot (CPU-Z) from the system I'm on at the moment.  This is read directly from the memory modules SPD chip.  Basically what this chip does is tell the computer the range of speeds the memory will run at, and the correct timing and voltage to use at each of these speeds.  What this should mean is that when you power on the system, it reads this, and sets the most appropriate speed and memory timing accordingly.

 

LBe94Q7.png

 

As you might note it has a number of JEDEC standard memory timings programmed into it for use at different speeds.  I could plug it into a computer that only supported 533/1066mhz DDR3 and it should work just fine on the JEDEC #2 settings (which should be picked up automatically by the BIOS).  One interesting thing to note is that this is actually a 1600mhz Kingston module despite it identifying itself as "PC3-10700" (quite an old one, manufactured in 2011) but it does not have a 1600mhz profile programmed into it at all.  What this means in practice is if I wanted to run it at 1600mhz, I have to manually set it to 800/1600mhz and input the correct timings.  If I don't change anything, it runs at 1333mhz.  I've had stability problems in my current system when trying to raise it to 1600mhz (more frequent BSOD's, although it still passes all the usual memory tests) so I've left it at 1333.  Going from 1333mhz to 1600mhz memory speed doesn't make any detectable difference in performance IMO...

 

Tl;dr - yes faster memory should work fine if its from a quality, reputable manufacturer. 1600mhz memory usually has an "SPD speed" of 1333mhz.  This is what it will run at by default.  Take this G. Skill RipjawsX  for example (click the specification tab) and note the SPD speed.  If you wanted to run it at 1600mhz, this would involve either manually setting the speed at 1600mhz in BIOS, or selecting the XMP Profile in your BIOS, if it supports it.


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#4 millipede

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Posted 11 July 2015 - 11:49 PM

 

Look it up in the motherboard manual.

I hope you will be patient with me buzzsaw.  Something I did not explain very well last time that you may or may not be aware of...  while this is a computer forum, not everyone here is a computer geek.  I am explaining this to you so that you understand that you're going to deal with a LOT of people that don't know what they're doing.  Not everyone knows what you know and not everyone needs what you say they need.  I'm not picking a fight, just explaining...  The average computer user does not own a motherboard manual.  IF they built their system from scratch and/or purchased a motherboard brand new, it likely came with one.  But MOST people that own a computer do not have a manual for their motherboard laying around.
So, I tried googling for my specific motherboard...(actually, I don't do google 99% of the time, I use alternatives but it's the same idea).  found nothing.  Then searched for websites that had motherboard manuals and then tried to find mine specifically from there... still no joy.
Please be patient with me.  I don't have this info at hand like you do.
That's helpful info though.

I will say that what works best and what works can be two different things.  Faster memory does work... most of the time.  I've done it many times... I've also NOT paired memory and had no issues.
Usually when adding some to a machine with ram I had laying around.  Purchasing entirely new ram, pairing will be quite easy to do...
The crucial scan SHOULD show what will work...  of course, they're showing me what would work from THEIR memory...
 

 

Don't bother getting DDR3 1600 RAM modules, it's a waste of money.

define waste of money?  I'm trying not to start an argument.  The 1600 should clock down..  I've done such things many times.  It's how it works.  It should work.  Knowing that it will only operate at 1333 gives me more options though.  Because of the crucial scan, I made the assumption that my computer would operate at 1600.  Since I know that's incorrect now...  I can look at the 1333 memory...  But in doing so, if the 1600 is perfectly compatible and it comes up being a lot cheaper(likely wont, just a hypothetical thing here), I wouldn't find it to be a waste...  as far as money goes.

Knowing now that the motherboard would take up to 8gb modules(which would only be one...  )  Is there any difference in how that's done?  What I mean is... would there be any difference in performance between using 4x2gb and 2x4gb or 1x8gb?   When assuming I could not put more than 2gb in a slot, that's all I searched.  Comparing prices for other options, I am finding a few lower prices which is always good.  :)

 

 

One interesting thing to note is that this is actually a 1600mhz Kingston module despite it identifying itself as "PC3-10700" (quite an old one, manufactured in 2011) but it does not have a 1600mhz profile programmed into it at all.

That's quite interesting...  I just opened up speccy again...  mine identifies like yours... as pc3 10700...  only mine is a year older...  and if I look up the part number online, all I find is 10600.



#5 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 12:08 AM

 Millipede i do find your motherboard specification http://www.game-debate.com/motherboard/index.php?mot_id=2492&motherboard=Dell%20018D1Y. Unfortunately, on your motherboard there's nothing say about pc3-12800 or anything similar to what you describe, but what i find out that your motherboard support 8GB DDR3 RAM, Dual memory channel( of course computer won't turn on with one stick of ram duh), and the memory speed are DDR3 1066Mhz to DDR3 1333Mhz.

Non-ECC vs ECC by Crucial 

 

 

 

So this RAM module will run on your motherboard, http://www.amazon.com/Kingston-ValueRAM-2x4GB-1333MHz-DDR3/dp/B00BD7QKT4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1436677257&sr=8-4&keywords=1333+mhz+ddr3+non+ecc

 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006WAGGUK/ref=psdc_172500_t2_B00J8E91K4

 

Those two above will work on your rig, both of them are dual and non ECC as your motherboard state is non ECC.


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 12 July 2015 - 12:23 AM.


#6 millipede

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 12:20 AM

Jerky, I may be misunderstanding but, I think buzzsaw simply meant that the 1600 would be a waste of money for my system...  I asked all the questions I asked and said what I had to say because I don't know that I agree with it... depending on other factors.  Price for instance.  If the 1600 cost more than the 1333... then for my system, it would be a waste of money...  But if for some reason the 1600 would be cheaper and it would still work(which, it should), it wouldn't be a waste.

By the way, I want to explain me just a TINY bit.  I ask questions and poke and prod until I understand... and, it's a good thing I do that...  I learn that way.  :)

and if I read what I read correctly, I have to ask and make sure.  My mb is dual channel?  And that means that one stick will not work alone?
If that's the case, why would 8gb sticks be allowed in it at all since the max is 8gb for the entire system?
So, I need either 2x4gb or 4x2gb?  One 8gb stick wont work?
Am I understanding that correctly?
And thanks.

I have to go feed a baby and go to bed but, I'll watch that video tomorrow as I am curious about that whole ECC thing.



#7 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 12:27 AM

Actually, you can run with one stick of RAM but you might lose performance around 10% if you really want, while your motherboard suggest you to run dual channel for the best performance value, because having two RAMs running together will help out your system process data quicker while one stick of RAM might struggling behind. It's like a human with two hands compare to one with one hand, just think about that.

 

Yes, your motherboard is dual channel RAM for the best performance value orientation. 


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 12 July 2015 - 12:36 AM.


#8 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 12:34 AM

Here is the wikipedia of ECC memory, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECC_memory

 

Man Google telling me i spell wikipedia wrong?! What?!



#9 Buzzsaw

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 07:55 AM

 

 

Look it up in the motherboard manual.

** Rest of post deleted for brevity **

 

 

One interesting thing to note is that this is actually a 1600mhz Kingston module despite it identifying itself as "PC3-10700" (quite an old one, manufactured in 2011) but it does not have a 1600mhz profile programmed into it at all.

That's quite interesting...  I just opened up speccy again...  mine identifies like yours... as pc3 10700...  only mine is a year older...  and if I look up the part number online, all I find is 10600.

 

 

Look at post #3 and re-read the 2nd paragraph.

 

In theory you *can* put in a DDR3 1600 in your motherboard and hopes that RAM modules won't muck up the motherboard. 

 

But... why risk a possible damage to your motherboard for a measly few dollars of savings?

 

Why not go with something that the motherboard manual specifically states? Maximum RAM speed that it can accept is DDR3 1333.

 

Even in that link in your 1st post, that clearly shows that majority of the RAM brands are stating DDR3 1333 RAM modules.

 

Just go with what Jonuk and I have stated... stick with the DDR3 1333 and you won't have any problems.

 

As Jonuk stated... "going from DDR3 1333 to DDR3 1600 doesn't make any detectable difference in performance."

That's precisely the reason why I have stated that it's a waste of money to buy a DDR3 1600 when your motherboard will throttle down the RAM modules anyways.


Edited by Buzzsaw, 12 July 2015 - 07:56 AM.


#10 millipede

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 10:18 AM

I'm looking at that pc part picker site as it's SO much easier to give the exact details you're looking for than at big shopping sites like amazon...  I have it sorted to find only 1333 and only the 4x2gb and 2x4gb options.
There's at least a dozen options under $50 so that's good.
My only question at the moment is likely rather trivial...
Is there any performance difference between 2x4gb and 4x2gb sets?  Are two sticks or four sticks better if the total is the same?  or is there no difference?
My gut is telling me that using both channels would give a boost to performance...  even if I'm right about that, I'm thinking it isn't a big difference... but, it does have me curious.



#11 Buzzsaw

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 10:45 AM

I'm looking at that pc part picker site as it's SO much easier to give the exact details you're looking for than at big shopping sites like amazon...  I have it sorted to find only 1333 and only the 4x2gb and 2x4gb options.
There's at least a dozen options under $50 so that's good.
My only question at the moment is likely rather trivial...
Is there any performance difference between 2x4gb and 4x2gb sets?  Are two sticks or four sticks better if the total is the same?  or is there no difference?
My gut is telling me that using both channels would give a boost to performance...  even if I'm right about that, I'm thinking it isn't a big difference... but, it does have me curious.

 

I would just go for the 4x2 setup. 

 

I believe that your motherboard has 4 memory slots... 2 GB maximum per memory slot.


Edited by Buzzsaw, 12 July 2015 - 10:51 AM.


#12 millipede

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 10:46 AM

The system can only handle 8gb total.  So whatever I put in will be maxing it out.



#13 Buzzsaw

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 10:52 AM

The system can only handle 8gb total.  So whatever I put in will be maxing it out.

 

Yeppers... isn't that want you wanted?



#14 millipede

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 11:01 AM

hmm, I was replying to the comment which is now edited, where you suggested using two slots and save the other two for more ram later.  Oh well.

Is there a difference between 2x4gb and 4x2gb?

Looking at the options, I also added 2x2gb because I can always purchase that double...  as the 4x2gb options seemed higher per gb than the 2x4gb. 
I almost forgot to set it to 240 pin only...  I was looking at more options than I needed to... ha.
Anyway...  This link should show what I've selected...  1333, 240 pin, ddr3, 2x2, 2x4, and 4x2... and it is sorted by price per gb...
Anything around or under $50 will be best for me... 

Anyone have any suggestions based on those options?  or would they all be fairly similar? 

And thanks.



#15 JerkyMcDilerino

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Posted 12 July 2015 - 11:27 AM

I would say 2 sticks because 2 sticks is slightly more easy on the memory controller, but most times larger sticks do not have as tight of timings as the smaller ones.

All things being equal, you will not feel the difference, but 2 sticks is more easy on the system and can sometimes give a better chance of using a command rate of 1. Also make sure the RAM is 1.5V as well.


Edited by JerkyMcDilerino, 12 July 2015 - 11:29 AM.





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