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New RAM for X58 but upgrading soon


dnLL

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Hi guys,

 

I actually have a i7-950 on a Rampage III Formula with 3x2GB G.Skill DDR3-1600 CL6 kit (PIS) but I'm planning to upgrade my whole platform soon because I know that the X58 chipset is a little bit power hungry and hey, I've some cash to spend now on my PC (and my hardware actually starts to get old).

 

However, neither the Z77 and the X79 chipsets are impressive. None of them do offer anything over my actual X58 chipset, so I might just upgrade my RAM for now, waiting for a better Intel chipset with fully integrated USB 3.0 and SATA 3.0 (I know Z77 should be right for PCI-E 3.0 and has 2 USB 3.0 / SATA 3.0 integrated).

 

Anyway, just looking to buy some modules for my R3F. Probably a 4x4GB kit that I would use on my next build in the next few months. I'm really tight with my actual 6GB of RAM, and while my G.Skill kit is really fast, I really need more RAM and plan to go with Corsair this time (not that I don't like G.Skill, just want to try something different, and I like the look of the Vengence and Dominator modules).

 

Now, I'm not sure whether I'm better grabbing some 1600CL7 or 2133CL9 (1.65v) or 2133CL11 (1.5v). I think the 1600CL7 will be more suitable as far as compatibility goes with my actual X58 platform. I was actually looking at this kit:

 

CMP16GX3M4X1600C7

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233253

http://www.corsair.com/memory/intel-memory-upgrades/quad-channel-intel-memory-upgrade-kits/dominator-with-dhx-pro-connector-1-5v-16gb-quad-channel-ddr3-memory-kit-cmp16gx3m4x1600c7.html

 

Great price actually. What I want to know now is if I'm better with the Dominator modules or with the Vengence that are 15$ cheaper and at the same specs here:

 

CML16GX3M4X1600C7

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233252

 

I prefer the look of the Dominator, obviously. One another question, I don't understand the Corsair spec's page for the Dominator (see above link). RAM spec is DDR3-1600 CL7, right? Part number is 1600C7 too, but on the Corsair's page, it is listed as PC3-16000 (2000MHz). Why? Also, what's the difference between SPD latency and spec latency? I think my X58 mobo does support XMP.

 

Thank you.

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Now, I'm not sure whether I'm better grabbing some 1600CL7 or 2133CL9 (1.65v) or 2133CL11 (1.5v). I think the 1600CL7 will be more suitable as far as compatibility goes with my actual X58 platform. I was actually looking at this kit:

Just keep in mind that anything over 1333mhz is overclocking. The I7-950's are not the best overclockers in the I-7 family when it comes to memory speeds. Most struggle with anything above1866mhz. And 1600mhz being the sweet spot. You can of course get the 2133mhz modules but more than likely you will have to downclock them.

 

Even at that you would not notce any real world performance difference between 1866+ and 1600mhz without a benchmark. So if you are primarily gaming save some coin and go with the 1600mhz kits

 

And Yes, I would go with the Dominator CL7 with X58 as well. You just cant beat em. !

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I'm planning to use 3 sticks as long as I'm on X58 and then take the 4th stick as soon as I switch the whole platform. I will keep my actual 3x2GB kit to sell it with my motherboard/CPU in the next few months. DDR3 will still be used for the next 2-3 years and 16GB should be enough until we see DDR4 modules.

 

Thank you Wired for noticing Corsair, the product page was really confusing me. I've honestly read A LOT of reviews on RAM latency vs frequency actually. As I consider myself a geek or at least an enthusiast, I still want a big ePen you know (let's face it, my PC is overpowered lol, I have a RAID0 of SSDs and a SLI lol). I was actually quite happy with 1600C6, it's blazing fast, but those kits almost don't exist in 4GB sticks (only 2GB modules). That's why I was considering the 4x4GB 1600C7 that runs at 1.5v.

 

About my computer usage, well... I do rip some blurays that I've bought, I do a lot of gaming also but I would say that I'm really a heavy-multitask user as my computer is usually powered on 24/7 and I could have something like 30 tabs open in Firefox and/or Chrome with a bluray playing on another screen, and then the ftp client with some notepad++ programmation or even Visual Studio 2010 (not to mention skype/facebook/msn and A LOT of other stuffs running in background). In short, that's why I actually need more than 6GB of RAM. I have 3x22" with a surround setup for multitasking and gaming.

 

So, do you guys still recommend me the 1600C7 Dominator series? What's the difference with the Vengence LP exactly (besides the heatsink)? The quad-channel Dominator kit has been tested by a certified owner on Newegg on a X58 MB (he bought it because triple-channel kits are actually more expansive lol) and he didn't have any problem setting it to 1600C7 (while I know I could have some problems running at 2133 MHz on X58 and even on further chipsets).

 

My 950 is at 4 GHz btw (something like 200x20, don't remember exactly, but it was perfect to set my RAM to 1600 and the next step is like 1933 or something crazy). But most enthusiasts buy 2133 memory, I'm pretty sure they feel great with their ePen (as I said) but I guess that 1600C7 is still somewhat crazy as most 4x4GB kits do CL9 at 1600 MHz (or even some worst at CL10).

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So, do you guys still recommend me the 1600C7 Dominator series?

Yuppers! I would!

What's the difference with the Vengence LP exactly (besides the heatsink)?

Nothing, just the heatsink is smaller, except the LP white are rated at 1.35v

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Nothing, just the heatsink is smaller, except the LP white are rated at 1.35v

the Dominator isn't better for overclocking or something? I thought it might be a little bit underrated in comparison with the Vengence LP.

 

Anyway, I prefer the model a lot and with the Newegg special, it's almost the same price, so I will get the Dominator while it's still not too expansive. 160$ for 16GB feels okay, I remember paying the same price for my actual 6GB kit 2 or 3 years ago.

 

I would still have prefered the new red/black Dominator DHX Pro heatsink (would have fit great with my R3F) but it seems reserved to higher frequency models.

 

I guess I'm better with 1600C7 than 1866C9 as you guys didn't even tried to suggest me that route (something like CMP16GX3M4X1866C9)? Or even 1866C8 or 2133C9 1.5v like CMT16GX3M4X2133C9? And, just to be sure, the 1600C7 Dominator kit (CMP16GX3M4X1600C7) is really rated at 1.5v, is it? Just want to be sure because of the little mistake I've found on the product page. The Dominator GT of the last kit (CMT16GX3M4X2133C9) feels even more beautiful. But it's a little bit more expansive and not sure for the compatibility on X58 (or even on further chipsets).

 

Thank you very much by the way, your help is appreciated, choosing RAM today is harder than ever, and as I will probably keep this kit until the DDR4 release, it's important for me to get the right kit. I'm still not sure why companies (even such as Corsair) are releasing DDR3-2400 or DDR3-2600 modules if it's completely useless (maybe some of you can give me a different opinion on this).

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I would encourage you to go with X79 it looks to hold a lot of promise, and we have modules made for and tested on X79 Platforms.

But if you go with Z77 any of our dual channel Vengeance sets will be a good choice.

What does it mean? I might wait for the chipset AFTER Z77. This thread has nothing to do about the next computer I will buy. This thread is about the RAM I want to buy today to give my X58 chipset another few months of live before switching to a new Intel platform.

 

Quad-channels memory kits are less expansive than their triple-channel counterpart, and this is the purpose of this whole thread: choose the right kit that will fit my actual X58 chipset but also my next computer build later this year. DDR3 is DDR3, and we will live for the next few years with DDR3 (DDR4 shouldn't be released before 2015). I would probably keep my 6GB kit even for my next build (using only 2 sticks for 4GB) if I would have enough memory, but that's actually not the case. But I feel pretty confident that with a 16GB kit, I will be okay for my next build.

 

I know that some kits are certified to work in dual channel and others in quad channel modes, but stop this whole marketing thing, we all know that the RAM sticks are exactly the same whether the motherboard runs in dual or triple channel.

 

In short, my question is only the following one: am I better (futureproof, let's say for the next 2 years, until we see some more developments on DDR4) with a DDR3-1600 low latency (let's say CL7) kit or with a really high frequency kit? We know that the high frequency kit will have to be downclocked to work on my actual X58 chipset (doesn't matter). We know that actually, there is no noticeable difference between those 2 kits. But could we suppose/guess that it will be the same on the next Intel platform? Z77 will support higher clocks and so will probably the next chipset. Does it mean that faster RAM will really have an impact on gaming for example? You see the idea.

 

My other question was about the Dominator vs the Vengence LP series, both kits are almost at the same price and have the same specs (4x4GB DDR3-1600 CL7) except for the heatsink (that looks really more agressive on the Dominator sticks). Is there any of these kit supposed to be a better overclocker than the other?

 

Thank you!

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  • Corsair Employees
For memory you want to buy the memory for the specific MB you want to use the memory in; buying memory and using it for future MB's is not really going to work. If you need memory for a X58 MB then please get memory for that MB and get new memory when you purchase the MB that is made for said MB.
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Wow... every other company are saying that DDR3 is DDR3 and that the RAM I actually have (DDR3-1600 CL6) will work on any DDR3 enabled motherboard.

 

I'm really disappointed, not to say that the quad channel memory kit I was looking to buy has been tested on a X58 platform by some users on Newegg with everything working fine.

 

I guess I will be better buying from some other brands if you are actually making your RAM sticks not working on any other chipset than the one they have been designed foré.

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I guess I'm better with 1600C7 than 1866C9 as you guys didn't even tried to suggest me that route (something like CMP16GX3M4X1866C9)? Or even 1866C8 or 2133C9 1.5v like CMT16GX3M4X2133C9?

Because in real world performance your not going to notice anything above 1600mhz with out a bench mark. Also 1866mhz or higher is highly CPU dependent and those speeds are not always a plug and play sort of thing.

 

Besides for video ripping and encoding and that sort of thing you will see a bigger boost in performance from the increased capacity over higher frequencies.

 

For the X58 chipset 1600mhz is about the sweet spot.And has always been easily obtainable and stable overclock. Even most games today are not going to benefit from anything over 1600mhz as well.

I'm really disappointed, not to say that the quad channel memory kit I was looking to buy has been tested on a X58 platform by some users on Newegg with everything working fine.

But Corsair can not guarantee compatibility from user reviews. Unless they physically test that particular kit on that particular MB they cant say it's guaranteed compatible.

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  • Corsair Employees

No that is not what I am saying exactly, but you are making some assumptions that are not correct and you are welcome to do whatever you want that is your choice.

You asked for our suggestions which we made based on what you provided.

 

Some MB's have specific requirements for memory in the case of X58 they support DDR3 memory but must be installed in pairs of three for proper operation. And will support a higher memory voltage than memory made for Sandy Bridge chipsets which take dual channel memory and suggest the max memory voltage of 1.5 Volts. X79 Chip[sets will have similar voltage requirement to Sandy Bridge but will have to installed in pairs of four modules for proper operation. We do not suggest mixing memory on any system as it is hit and miss getting memory to work together that is not matched.

Now that being said be my guest and purchase what ever you like and try it any MB you want that is your choice and it is your money. However, if you use a module that is out of Intel Specs for voltage they will not honor the warranty should your CPU fail. So if you are of the mind set that memory is memory and it does not matter then I am sorry but you are miss informed and you may find out the hard way like many others have. It is your choice.

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DDR3 voltages actually vary from 1.35v to 1.65v. As far as I know, all high end motherboards (whatever chipset you want) do support those voltages.

 

By the way, X58 does actually support dual channel. Install 2 or 4 sticks properly and it will work in dual channel mode; put 3 or 6 sticks and it will run in triple channel mode.

 

As an official rep, I thought you would at least know that. And also know that there is no physical diff at all between the sticks in a dual channel kit and the same sticks in a triple channel mode (except obviously the tests that have been done). If there are any (this is what it seems you're saying), please tell me which one.

 

Dual/triple/quad channel is only the way the MB communicates with its memory.

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  • Corsair Employees
By the way, X58 does actually support dual channel. Install 2 or 4 sticks properly and it will work in dual channel mode; put 3 or 6 sticks and it will run in triple channel mode.

As an official rep, I thought you would at least know that. And also know that there is no physical diff at all between the sticks in a dual channel kit and the same sticks in a triple channel mode (except obviously the tests that have been done). If there are any (this is what it seems you're saying), please tell me which one.

A: Yes of course I know that but that was not your question...

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A: Yes of course I know that but that was not your question...

No, it wasn't.

Some MB's have specific requirements for memory in the case of X58 they support DDR3 memory but must be installed in pairs of three for proper operation. And will support a higher memory voltage than memory made for Sandy Bridge chipsets which take dual channel memory and suggest the max memory voltage of 1.5 Volts. [...] We do not suggest mixing memory on any system as it is hit and miss getting memory to work together that is not matched.

You just confirmed that the sticks made for dual or triple channel kits are most of the time the same (when it's the same specs, I mean the same frequency, the same timing and the same operating voltage). Now, I would like to comment on the operating voltages. When the X58 chipset was first released, most DDR3 kits were running at 1.65v, it's true. It's also true that now, most of the dual/quad channel kits run at 1.5v (some at 1.6v and 1.65v too). But I don't agree with you when you say that the max memory voltage is 1.5v for Sandy Bridge CPUs. Actually, 1.65v is officially supported but not recommended. As for the X58 chipset, both 1.65v and 1.5v are supported and recommended.

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  • Corsair Employees
You just confirmed that the sticks made for dual or triple channel kits are most of the time the same (when it's the same specs, I mean the same frequency, the same timing and the same operating voltage). Now, I would like to comment on the operating voltages. When the X58 chipset was first released, most DDR3 kits were running at 1.65v, it's true. It's also true that now, most of the dual/quad channel kits run at 1.5v (some at 1.6v and 1.65v too). But I don't agree with you when you say that the max memory voltage is 1.5v for Sandy Bridge CPUs. Actually, 1.65v is officially supported but not recommended. As for the X58 chipset, both 1.65v and 1.5v are supported and recommended.

Again I am sorry but you are making an assumption here and it would not be wise to make that dissertation for all memory because I can assure you they are not all the same. The specific Memory IC's we use for different memory parts may be the same but they may be screened differently for the specific part we are building and as such may behave differently on another platform. In addition, the SPD information will also be different IE modules made for X58 will have a value for X58 and for Sandy Bridge Chipsets they would have slightly different SPD values.

 

Bottom Line you asked and I made suggestion based on what I know of our current production. You can follow my advise or by all means if you feel you know better; then go for it. It is your money and your choice.

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It is your money and your choice.

This is the second time you say that. To be honest, I don't care that much when it's time to upgrade about my money. I just spend what I have to spend to be satisfied, and that doesn't mean getting an hexacore CPU with a DDR3-2600 ram kit and a GTX680 quad SLI.

 

Actually, I feel a lot better when I know that I've made a good investment. I can pay more if it lasts longer. 6GB isn't enough anymore for me. I need more. Triple channel kits are more expansive than quad channel kits, whereas the latest are obviously bigger. You're probably right, there might be some diff in the modules. About the SPD, I know for sure that 1.5v and even 1.35v ram works great on X58 at what CL you want. I also know that higher frequency memory could have to be downclocked on X58 (let's say anything over 1866 MHz).

 

And now? Is there any obvious reason why 3 sticks taken from a quad kit would not work on X58 when it's something like DDR3-1333 CL9 @ 1.5v? I'm building a lot of computers for my friends. I can say that I know what I do.

 

All of this because of my two initial questions: what's the real difference between the Dominator and the Vengence series (both coexist either in dual or triple channel kits by the way) and then, are supposed to be higher-end the 1600CL7 kits or the 2133CL11 kits (both at 1.5v). I have read a lot of reviews and tests everywhere. Conclusions aren't always the same, and the purpose of my thread wasn't to reopen a debate over memory latency against memory frequency, but just to know what you guys think about the 2 kits that are at the same price, knowing that I'm actually on X58 but want to keep that ram kit for my next platform (might be the next one after Z77 later this year or Q1 2013).

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