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MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon + CMD16GX4M4B3400C16?


cyrylthewolf

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I just want to know if I would expect any issues in using the following memory with the newer MSI X99A Godlike Gaming Carbon. It is my assumption that though this memory was specifically made for a Gigabyte board, it shouldn't be an issue.

 

BOARD:

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MSI X99A GodLike Gaming Carbon LGA 2011-v3 Intel X99 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

Core i7 (LGA2011-v3)

DDR4 DIMMs 3400(OC)/ 3333(OC)/ 3110(OC)/ 3000(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2750(OC)/ 2666(OC)/ 2600(OC)/ 2400(OC)/ 2200(OC)/ 2133

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MEMORY:

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CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 16GB (4 x 4GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3400 (PC4 27200) Memory Kit - Limited Edition Orange, Airflow Platinum Dominator Fan Assembly Included Model CMD16GX4M4B3400C16

 

DDR4 3400 (PC4 27200)

16-18-18-40

1.35V

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I would prefer to find the same memory without the orange but I will eventually replace the orange parts with the light kits.

 

Please advise. Purchase pending.

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I should add that I have chosen an alternative. I am determined to make full use of the board.

 

Here is the alternative:

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CORSAIR Dominator Platinum 32GB (4 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800) Memory (Desktop Memory) Model CMD32GX4M4B3600C16

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I assume that this memory would be compatible.

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You are pushing the limit of the board and IMC, so as long as you you know what you're getting into. It's rather doubtful you will be able to one-click XMP and be done. You didn't mention if you were planning on HW-E or BW-E on the CPU. On HW-E, 32GB at 3200MHz+ can be tedious. 3400 is a hard target. BW-E appears to be improved in both capacity and frequency capabilities, but either way it's not going easy. 3600 is pretty doubtful for HW-E with 32GB.

 

I don't see the second kit on the NA Corsair website. Given the timings, it is surely brand new and likely intended for Skylake or BW-E.

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You are pushing the limit of the board and IMC, so as long as you you know what you're getting into. It's rather doubtful you will be able to one-click XMP and be done. You didn't mention if you were planning on HW-E or BW-E on the CPU. On HW-E, 32GB at 3200MHz+ can be tedious. 3400 is a hard target. BW-E appears to be improved in both capacity and frequency capabilities, but either way it's not going easy. 3600 is pretty doubtful for HW-E with 32GB.

 

I don't see the second kit on the NA Corsair website. Given the timings, it is surely brand new and likely intended for Skylake or BW-E.

 

I was trying not to burden with too much detail. (As I am frequently told I do...) Sorry about that. The CPU would be relevant info.

 

I'm still on the fence about the CPU. I had settled on the HW-E i7-5930K but last night found that, arguably, I 'might as well' go with BW-E i7-6850K. (At these outrageous prices; the price difference between them isn't that great to me. But that's not what I'm here to discuss.)

 

I've got a brand preference for Corsair with memory so I'm sticking with it - unless someone can show me something that is both efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

 

However, I'm having a ridiculous time trying to narrow down to memory that will match the board's specs 'near-perfectly' but also have the most minimal latency possible.

 

I'm settled on the board. I'm LIKELY going with the BW-E i7-6850K.

 

I guess... I'm just a little frazzled after spending nearly the entire week researching and trying to come to definitive, educated conclusions. I rarely ask for help... But I'm at that point.

 

Please help me figure out the best, most sensible, low-latency Dominator RAM to use for this mobo/CPU combo?

 

Also... Please advise what challenges I should expect in trying to achieve the advertised 3400 frequency with this board. I'm being basic in my thinking it seems and I'm simply looking for low-latency RAM to match that advertised capability. In my mind, if I can manage to do that, I shouldn't have much problem and should be able to minimize time in messing with it to get it working.

 

Thanks in advance.

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3400MHz on Haswell-E is hard to achieve. You likely will need to hand tune all of the secondary and tertiary voltages. It's a lot of work and requires a lot of patience. I don't particularity enjoy memory tuning, despite tinkering everywhere else. It's a high time consumption, low performance return for most people. If you have memory critical applications where gains can be made, then that should be taken into consideration. Most people do not. BW-E shows more promise and it will be better, but right now people considerably more adept at this than me are fighting their way to 3400. It is still a tough nut to crack on these early BIOS and CPU support stages.

 

When MSI says the board supports 3400MHz memory, they don't mean you can plug it in and it will work. In fact, if you were to call them for help when your 3400 kit won't boot, they might tell you the kit is not on their QVL list or they don't support overclocking and therefore you are not entitled to their help. That doesn't mean the 3400 kit is a bad choice, but I think you should temper your expectations a little. 32GB at 3200MHz is a reasonable target. On Broadwell-E, you might be able to stretch it further in time. Right now, those speeds above 3200 are that last tenth of a percent that require an extraordinary amount of work for a tiny return.

 

My advice is always to look for the highest speed kit, with the lowest latency. Most Corsair kits can easily drop one C-latency value for each standard speed reduction. So my 3200C15 kit will do 3000 at C14, 2800 C13, 2666 C12, etc. So that marks the 4x8GB 3333C16 kit as the highest ranked set in the 4x8GB category. XMP settings are overvalued on the new boards, but anyone can set their 4 primary timings and voltage, letting the board do the rest. You could also make an argument for the 2400C10 kit and increase the frequency. A 2666C11 speed might be the best possible setting, as I'll explain below.

 

Your orange kit is 4x4GB. If you only need 16GB of memory, this opens up some brand new kits intended for BW-E with speed over 3400. I don't know if these will be attainable now, but it is reasonable to believe they will be in the future. 3200MHz 4x4 would be a piece of cake and near certainly XMP one click and done. If you compare the frequencies available in 4x4 versus the 4x8GB, it becomes clear where the sticking point is right now.

 

The kicker is this... when DDR4 first came out, frequency trumped latency every time. My 3200MHz kit will be faster will less overall latency at slower timings than a lower frequency kit with tighter timings. Higher frequency, better benchmarks. As it always does, that gap between latency and frequency is starting to shrink. On my particular set-up, the recent BIOS changes for BW-E reduced the gap from 3200C15 and 2666C12 to almost nothing in benchmarks. It was so minimal I turned down my frequency and shaved a tenth off my DRAM voltage. It goes without saying real use differences are absolutely non-existent. Rather than offering this up as a reason to buy a lower frequency kit, it is more cautionary about paying for that last bin of frequency capability. It may not be any faster the kit the next rung down.

 

I suppose what you need to figure out first is whether you need 16GB or 32GB of memory. At the present time, there is a difference is what top frequency you may be capable of reaching. Performance is mostly going to be a toss up, but I can understand wanting to have the capability.

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3400MHz on Haswell-E is hard to achieve. You likely will need to hand tune all of the secondary and tertiary voltages. It's a lot of work and requires a lot of patience. I don't particularity enjoy memory tuning, despite tinkering everywhere else. It's a high time consumption, low performance return for most people. If you have memory critical applications where gains can be made, then that should be taken into consideration. Most people do not. BW-E shows more promise and it will be better, but right now people considerably more adept at this than me are fighting their way to 3400. It is still a tough nut to crack on these early BIOS and CPU support stages.

 

When MSI says the board supports 3400MHz memory, they don't mean you can plug it in and it will work. In fact, if you were to call them for help when your 3400 kit won't boot, they might tell you the kit is not on their QVL list or they don't support overclocking and therefore you are not entitled to their help. That doesn't mean the 3400 kit is a bad choice, but I think you should temper your expectations a little. 32GB at 3200MHz is a reasonable target. On Broadwell-E, you might be able to stretch it further in time. Right now, those speeds above 3200 are that last tenth of a percent that require an extraordinary amount of work for a tiny return.

 

My advice is always to look for the highest speed kit, with the lowest latency. Most Corsair kits can easily drop one C-latency value for each standard speed reduction. So my 3200C15 kit will do 3000 at C14, 2800 C13, 2666 C12, etc. So that marks the 4x8GB 3333C16 kit as the highest ranked set in the 4x8GB category. XMP settings are overvalued on the new boards, but anyone can set their 4 primary timings and voltage, letting the board do the rest. You could also make an argument for the 2400C10 kit and increase the frequency. A 2666C11 speed might be the best possible setting, as I'll explain below.

 

Your orange kit is 4x4GB. If you only need 16GB of memory, this opens up some brand new kits intended for BW-E with speed over 3400. I don't know if these will be attainable now, but it is reasonable to believe they will be in the future. 3200MHz 4x4 would be a piece of cake and near certainly XMP one click and done. If you compare the frequencies available in 4x4 versus the 4x8GB, it becomes clear where the sticking point is right now.

 

The kicker is this... when DDR4 first came out, frequency trumped latency every time. My 3200MHz kit will be faster will less overall latency at slower timings than a lower frequency kit with tighter timings. Higher frequency, better benchmarks. As it always does, that gap between latency and frequency is starting to shrink. On my particular set-up, the recent BIOS changes for BW-E reduced the gap from 3200C15 and 2666C12 to almost nothing in benchmarks. It was so minimal I turned down my frequency and shaved a tenth off my DRAM voltage. It goes without saying real use differences are absolutely non-existent. Rather than offering this up as a reason to buy a lower frequency kit, it is more cautionary about paying for that last bin of frequency capability. It may not be any faster the kit the next rung down.

 

I suppose what you need to figure out first is whether you need 16GB or 32GB of memory. At the present time, there is a difference is what top frequency you may be capable of reaching. Performance is mostly going to be a toss up, but I can understand wanting to have the capability.

 

Incredible. Much respect for your apparent knowledge and your willingness to take the time to explain so much. (I know it is tedious.) I believe you have filled in a lot of blanks for me here. Although I'll need a little time to solidify the information in my brain. (You'd think a Data Center Engineer such as myself could simply have it all figured out, eh? I just haven't had the time over the last few years to keep up on it and, frankly, the various opinions out there have left me quite overwhelmed.)

 

I will try keep it simple here in the meantime and cut to the chase so as to save time.

 

It honestly does not matter to me whether it's a 16GB kit or a 32GB kit. I recognize that having more than 16GB is really not going to make any difference. (I actually laugh at those who go out of their way to climb to 64GB or even 128GB on a consumer-grade system.) I would take 32GB as a maximum amount that I would even care to put into my system. But only IF the price difference is negligible. Otherwise, I have found no reason to believe that 16GB is less than sufficient for anything.

 

That said, I have apparently misjudged the information that I have been reviewing. If what you say is true (and you've given me reason to have faith that it is) then I fully believe and accept that the return on performance gained from insistence on being at the very edge of the hardware is not worth my time. As long as it is FAST and EFFICIENT (enough) then it is sufficient.

 

1.) While I have done so, I am not well-practiced in making adjustments to RAM voltages/timings. I do understand the concept, however.

2.) I am willing to put forth the effort to learn to do so but am not overly motivated with the realization of small returns on performance gain resulting from that kind of tedium.

3.) That said... I have chosen to purchase the BW-E i7-6850K for the MSI X99A GodLike Gaming Carbon motherboard. May I simply ask of you 2-3 recommendations on Dominator kits for this combination? Perhaps one with a "set it and forget it" mentality then maybe 1-2 that may require some minor, manual adjustments?

 

I'm sure that whatever you can recommend will be sufficient for even gaming. (Which is obviously my point of focus here. I'm not purchasing these upgrades for word processing, of course... Hehe...)

 

Thanks again for your pragmatic replies. They are precisely what I need, it seems. :)

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Interesting... I just came across some Corsair Vengeance LED memory that I've never seen before. The aesthetics are quite pleasing, the tech seems to be there and the pricing is pretty good. This RAM doesn't seem too far off the mark from Dominator RAM, either.

 

If the possibility exists that Dominator really is overkill, I would likely consider some of these if that helps broaden my options. Looking at both types of memory, there doesn't seem to be a whole hell of a lot of difference.

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I am afraid the website just vacuumed up my rather lengthy response, so the short version is going to have to do.

 

LED models just hit the Corsair page yesterday. We don't know much about them and they aren't going to be on any QVL lists yet, but the binning looks good and those are nice speeds. They are probably targeted for Skylake, but the 4x8 kits are compelling versus the current Dominator line for X99.

 

32GB - Dominator 3333C16. Don't know if 32GB will run 3333 straight out of the box, but I think 3200 15-17-17-35 is attainable on BW-E.

 

Vengeance LED 3466 C16 - Same as above. 3466 may not be one click possible, but this kit may be able to run 3200C14 or better, making it the best frequency/latency combination in the 32GB kits regardless of model. A compelling choice if you want 32GB. Heatsink height is unknown and not listed. It looks a little bit taller than my standard LPX, but not as tall as Dominators. Not too many air towers can fit over Dominators.

 

16GB - Lots of choices in the 3400/3333C16 range. Take your pick. This includes your original orange kit. These might be able to run XMP right out of the box, although that can be a double edge sword. Some boards force BIOS changes on you when XMP is enabled. Sometimes these can be overridden. Other times not. I am not familiar with your future board, but in general I have found XMP to be more of a hassle than a time saver on X99. Given the nature of it, I would expect manual controls are available for everything on that MSI board.

 

All of these recommendations are based on the prices listed on the Corsair page. Other markets may differ. I don't consider a $10-20 difference meaningful in light of the overall system cost. However, if you find a 3333C16 kit that sells for $100 less than a 3400C16, save the money. The difference will only be visible in benchmarks and not very impressive at that. Watch out for price inflation on the red and orange kits.

 

On that note, some little island in the Atlantic voted to ruin my weekend, so I may not be able to respond for a few days. All of these kits are going to run, just perhaps not at the XMP speed right out of the box. These things change in time. It wasn't that long ago I was crying about having to use the 125 strap to run 2666. Now we are a 1000MHz over that mark. All of these are good kits, but differences in memory performance at this level can be elusive. You are more likely to derive more pleasure from looking at the memory than staring at an AIDA benchmark showing your 59990 vs 59880 read speed.

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