11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 24, 2017 11:41 PM by nec_v20

    RAM Myth Busted

    nec_v20

      Scenario, you are building a system and you are on a budget. You come to the decision of what RAM to buy.

       

      Your board has four slots for RAM and the myth which is propagated is that you have to populate all those slots with identical RAM otherwise you will be doomed for all eternity.

       

      So instead of investing money sensibly, such as in a good PSU (Power Supply Unit - VITALLY IMPORTANT) or a better graphics card (optional) you waste your money and buy four sticks of RAM, just so that you can be sure your system runs in the future although it could run perfectly well on two sticks of RAM now.

       

      So here's what you do, you get two sticks of identical RAM and put them into separate RAM banks. Sometime along the way you want to increase the size of your RAM you then look for the best price for RAM which has the same timings as your original RAM and then take the original RAM you bought out of the second bank and put it into the rank of your first RAM and put the other two into the second bank and rank.

       

      SORTED! As long as you have not bought inferior RAM, the system will run NO DIFFERENTLY AND WITH NO PERFORMANCE LOSS, compared to you having bought all identical RAM at the same time at the higher price.

       

      To run optimally a system should have identical RAM in the same Bank. This does not however apply to RAM running in separate Banks.

       

      What you have to remember is though that the RAM in the separate Banks will only run as fast as the slower RAM installed, so although you don't need to get identical RAM from the same manufacturer, you do have to make sure that the RAM will run at the same timings and speed.

        • Re: RAM Myth Busted
          zealotki11er

          I never really had to upgrade RAM. I am due for an upgrade right now and still 8GB is mostly good enough. Yeah you do not want to go all out on RAM because in general RAM only enables and does not increase performance.

            • Re: RAM Myth Busted
              nec_v20

              That is both true and not true. The BS about RAM is palpable in the media which is bought and paid for by the hardware vendors.

               

              If you are not feeling the need then don't upgrade.

               

              Faster RAM will increase performance in the likes of an APU system like the AMD 7870K if you don't have a separate GPU - see my posts Optimize gaming on 7870K and Optimize gaming on 7870K - Part Two

               

              What pisses me off is the deliberate misinformation i.e. fraud, that companies, and paid off media put out to entice you to spend a lot more money than you need to on hardware you really don't require.

                • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                  zealotki11er

                  In general a lot of thing in PC gaming is about what you want and now what you need. If it was a need thing most people would just play in Consoles and they do. Speed matters for non APU applications too in the very higher end CPU limited games.

                    • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                      nec_v20

                      At the end of the day consoles are just elaborate toys.

                       

                      You are stuck with what you are given with a console whereas with a PC you can, for not much more money, ask the folks around here for tips to build or buy a PC which will piss on a console from a very great height for as much or a little more than the console manufacturer demands of you.

                       

                      Not only that, but you will not be locked into the exorbitant demands that console manufacturers demand of you to get the same service you would get from a PC for free (online charges).

                • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                  kxuping

                  There are at least a few games that benefit from faster ram, you can search the web for the article benchmarks. The games were Battlefield 4 and F1 2013/2014/2015 (the year that BF4 was released). The difference was big when comparing 1333 to 2400 DDR3, but was not so big when comparing 1866 to 2400. Currently all benchmarks are done with PCs using  DDR4 so I have not read articles about this anymore, maybe all current games have the same problem, maybe not. Ryzen will have DDR4.

                  APUs will benefit from faster ram.

                    • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                      nec_v20

                      Where in my post did I mention the speed of the RAM?

                       

                      I was dispelling the myth that you had to have identical RAM all bought at the same time from the same batch for your system to run correctly.

                       

                      I did expressly state that when buying RAM further down the line they should have the same timings and the same speed and that was all.

                        • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                          zealotki11er

                          Speed matters. Trying to run 2 different 2400Mhz kits is very hard. Trying to run 2 different 1600 is not that hard.

                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                              nec_v20

                              After reading your reply my first thought was to look at my desk, draw a circle and bang my head.

                               

                              There is nothing at all hard about running two different PC2400 kits IN DIFFERENT BANKS as long as the timings of the DIMMs are not different.

                               

                              The myth which is propagated by salescritters, marketdroids and the bought and paid for computer media is that your system will not run stably if you do not populate all your RAM banks with identical RAM at the same time.

                               

                              If you get PC2400 CL13 RAM and then get some PC2400 CL11 RAM the system will run both banks at CL13. If you originally got PC1600 RAM and then got some PC2400 RAM and populated your system with that then the system would run at 1600.

                               

                              What was so difficult for you to wrap your head around with regard to my first post?

                               

                              AT NO POINT WAS I TALKING ABOUT THE SPEED OF THE RAM.

                               

                              Not meaning to be cheeky, but is English your native language?

                                • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                                  kxuping

                                  We all have different hardware and software on our PCs. So our experience or problems can be different. And we are trying to help here.

                                  zealotki11er has a point. You need luck and the correct HW (motherboard, CPU, RAM, BIOS, OS) to be able to run RAM at higher speeds (DDR 2133, 2400), specially using more than 2 dimms. I have no problems running 4x8GB DDR 1866/2400  (G.skill/Cosair) on several Asus Crosshair V Formula Z motherboards with FX8350/9370/9590. But with the same ram kits and CPU on a Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 rev 3.0 motherboard (tested on three) you cant make more than 3 dimm work at 1866/2133 (max ram speed), You install the 4th dimm and it only boots at 1333. For my the 4 GPU slots were more important than running more than 2 dimms at full speed, so the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD7 was used. Before that motherboard I never had a problem using all ram slots with a kit or mix of rams dimms. The memory manufacturer only say that they tested the kit and worked at certain speed, but they dont guarantee that it will work on your PC at that speed or that is mandatory to buy a kit. You have more possibilities to run at high speed if you buy a kit.

                          • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                            red5

                            You can have issues running single sided and double sided dimms together even if they're in different banks also.  So while I agree with the general spirit of your original post, there are caveats. It's always safer to buy a 4 dimm kit I think we can all agree, but for the sake of saving money up front i could see where people would buy 2 sticks initially, and 2 more down the road. I've done this myself, but I try to match the memory when it's possible.

                              • Re: RAM Myth Busted
                                nec_v20

                                The whole "buy all the RAM in a kit" mantra is more like a religious invocation than a serious proposition.

                                 

                                If you cheap out on your PSU and motherboard (which as a rule most n00bs do even though those are the two most important components of a computer build) then you will have problems with your other components. RAM belongs in the bling category which the bought and paid for media likes to push on people.

                                 

                                My advice to people is to save the money on the four DIMM kit and buy two and spend the savings on a better, more efficient and minimum ripple PSU and a good, solid, dependable motherboard.

                                 

                                There is a reason why the computers I build run 24/7 for many years.