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Memory advice - best performance options for heavy use


stilez

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I'm upgrading to a P67 or - more likely - Z68 board with an i7 2600K and 16 GB since my existing quad core2 and 8 GB is struggling with the work I'm doing (it includes multitasking, several virtual machines and heavy duty applications).

 

As long as the system stays rock solid, I want to get the most I can out of the memory subsystem of any rebuild. The only 16GB kit is 9-9-9-24, not on the Asus QVL. I could get two 8GB kits, allowing a choice of CAS9 or CAS8, probably can't afford the CAS7, and they aren't Asus QVL either. I need advice!

 

 

1. I'm a bit unsure about which way to go, given that Corsair 2x4GB kits generally have both SPD and rated speed, and both SPD and rated latency. Different memory is rated from 1333 to 2000+ speeds, with CAS7/CAS8 as low as 1333. What are my best Corsair options?

 

2. Am I likely to have problems with the 4 DIMMs not being QVL or should the QVL list be taken with a "pinch of salt"?

 

3. I'm inclined towards Asus because of experience of good support and excellent stability. What are Gigabyte and ASrock's P67/Z68 reputations for rock solid workhorse performance when pushed hard with 4 sticks of RAM?

 

Thanks :)

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1. I'm a bit unsure about which way to go, given that Corsair 2x4GB kits generally have both SPD and rated speed, and both SPD and rated latency. Different memory is rated from 1333 to 2000+ speeds, with CAS7/CAS8 as low as 1333. What are my best Corsair options?

Your best options for sandybridge builds are going to be the Vengence series modules. If you are looking for a larger capacity then i wouldn't sweat lower latencies over higher capacity. In terms of real world performance you wouldn't notice much difference if any between cas8 or cas7. Also take into consideration that higher speeds are going to boil down to each individual CPU's memory controllers. I have seen many chips achieve 2000mhz and some of the exact same chip fall short and have a hard time running 1600mhz.

 

2. Am I likely to have problems with the 4 DIMMs not being QVL or should the QVL list be taken with a "pinch of salt"?

I would stick to the QVL. And/or the memory configurator here. Choosing not to follow the QVL can cause instability or just a system that wont boot , or not be able to run at rated speeds.

 

3. I'm inclined towards Asus because of experience of good support and excellent stability. What are Gigabyte and ASrock's P67/Z68 reputations for rock solid workhorse performance when pushed hard with 4 sticks of RAM?

I cant speak for gigs or ASROCK (im partial to ASUS myself) but if you are thinking of running with all four slots populated do your self a favor and buy a 4 stick matched set. Even two sets with the exact same part number can also cause problems and may not work together. Corsair uses nine different IC manufacturers and a few different PCB configurations that can be swapped out at any given time. So to ensure they all run the same buy one kit that has all been tested together.

Good luck on your build. Hope this helps some! :)

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Very helpful and thank you!

 

The only annoyance is that Corsair for some reason don't seem to do 16GB matched modules above 1600, though they do 8 GB ones.

 

A tough choice - buy a 16 GB kit and be sure at a lower speed, or 2 x 8 GB kits and take a chance on how well they work together. A bit sucky, for this kind of CPU.

 

Is it as simple as that? What's the odds that 2 x 1866 8 GB Vengeance kits would at least work at 1600 (ie, no worse than a 16 GB kit)? How big is the risk of failure with 2 x 8 GB 1866?

 

Alternatively, do you think the vendor might be able to check the ICs or boards and pick two of the same batch/source, if asked? (They've been helpful in the past!)

 

Apart from that, I'm good to go :)

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Is it as simple as that? What's the odds that 2 x 1866 8 GB Vengeance kits would at least work at 1600 (ie, no worse than a 16 GB kit)? How big is the risk of failure with 2 x 8 GB 1866?

Realistically, you have less than a 50/50 chance they will work together at rated speed. Or not at all. You can look through the forums here and find all kinds of posts that others have tried the same thing . Most of them find out that individual kits work by themselves, but as soon as they add the second kit they have problems. At best you would have to lower the frequency to get them to work together. But i really boils down to each individual CPU and the strength of the IMC as to how high you can get the frequencies.

 

Alternatively, do you think the vendor might be able to check the ICs or boards and pick two of the same batch/source, if asked? (They've been helpful in the past!)

Highly unlikely. Even batches with the same exact part number and version number can be made with up to 9 different chips. There really is no way to check unless you pull the numbers of of the chips themselves and those are under the heat spreaders. And if you try to remove those that voids the warranty

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Thanks, Peanutz.

 

It's better to have checked than to explore the further regions of anguish :)

 

So I guess 1600 is all I can be sure of.

 

It isn't just Corsair - nobody seems to do 4 x 4 GB matched modules at a higher speed.

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