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Requesting info for new RAM

KhrymsonKhrymson Eorzea, MOPosts: 3,090Member Uncommon


So I'm looking into upgrading my PC over the next few months.  Planning to get a new Ivy Bridge CPU and accompanying Z77 MB, as well as a new nVidia GPU ~ the GTX 680.  Figured I might as well get some new RAM while I'm at it too.


So whats a good brand that you suggest, with good performance and whatnot!?  I'm wanting 4x 4GB sticks for a total of 16GB this time.  I'm currently running 8GB from A-DATA, and have considered using them again, but figured I should get some suggestions and more info first.


I would really like to know more info on the numbers too, like the Timings, Cas Latency and that last number in brackets after the speed, {ex. PC 12800, 14900, 16000, etc?}  Any RAM suggestions also has to be kinda short like what I'm currently using, as I have a fairly large heatsink that is ever so slightly over the 1st RAM slot, thus its be a tight fit or not at all.




  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 17,367Member Epic

    The PC 12800 or whatever is the number of millions of bits of data that the memory is rated as being able to send per second.  It's 8 times the clock speed (well, 16 times the real clock speed, but it conventionally gets doubled for DDR).  So PC 12800 is 1600 MHz memory, PC 10666 is 1333 MHz memory, etc.  There's probably no point in getting memory clocked above 1600 MHz unless you're trying to feed a GPU, too.

    Latency timings are how many clock cycles it takes memory to do something.  They're in numbers of clock cycles, so a CAS latency of 5 at 800 MHz is the same latency as a CAS latency of 10 at 1600 MHz or a 15 at 2400 MHz.  Lower latency is better, but it doesn't make that big of a difference, as most of the latency in getting data out of system memory isn't waiting on the memory itself.  9-9-9-24 seems to be pretty typical on latency timings.

    1.5 V is the stock voltage for DDR3 memory.  Some memory is rated at 1.65 V, which basically means, here's the clock speeds it can handle if you overvolt it.  I'm not a fan of that approach.  You'd rather have memory that can hit a given clock speed at 1.5 V than memory that needs 1.65 V to hit the same clock speed, for about the same reasons that you'd rather have a processor that can hit a given clock speed at 1.3 V than one that needs 1.4 V for the same clock speed.

    Why do you need 16 GB of system memory, anyway?  One can make a case for 8 GB just because it's so cheap, even though 8 GB doesn't offer much advantage over 4 GB.  But 16 GB?  If you're doing something unusual that really does need a lot of memory, then go ahead.  But otherwise, I think it makes more sense to buy 8 GB now, and then another 8 GB later if you ever discover that you need it.  Which you probably won't.

  • KhrymsonKhrymson Eorzea, MOPosts: 3,090Member Uncommon

    Alrighty, thanks for the info, but does anyone have any brand recommendations?  I've never followed RAM very much and usually just bought what was suggested with a new MB purchase from Newegg, or from another reviewers build.  

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 5,544Member Rare

    G.Skill has been a favorite as of late. I'm a Kingston fan myself, although it tends to be overpriced compared to other brands. Crucial, Mushkin, and Corsair are all fairly popular with enthusiasts too.

    Warranty and aesthetics are about the only thing you are paying for really, once you have the tech specs picked out. Make sure you do get a decent warranty - name brand and good reputation or not, RAM is extremely fragile and the single most likely part to be DOA and require a return.

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