Solved How should i Install my RAM?

G.skill Sniper 8gb pc3-14900 1866mhz ddr...
December 19, 2013 at 17:10:21
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, AMD FX 6300 3.5GHz / 8 gigs
Well, second time i have to type this since my first post got deleted, so this one will probably be a lot shorter than my last one. Hopefully i don't forget anything this time...

OK SO, i just bought 2x4gb of G.Skill Sniper 1866MHz RAM to replace the 6gb of OCZ Platinum that just shot out on me and is causing a lot of computer issues... Well, looking over the compatible RAM page on gigabytes website, i found this little piece of text:

"Only one DIMM per channel supported for 1886mhz RAM and faster"

I have done quite a bit of research on this subject over the past couple of days and have come back even more confused than when i started. BUT, from what i have been able to learn is, There are 4 slots on my mobo (Gigabyte 990fxa ud3). Slots 1, 2, 3, and 4. Slots 1 and 2 are a single channel, while slots 3 and 4 are a single channel, correct?

And from what i can tell is this...I am able to either able to install one 4gb card into slot 1, and one into slot 3 at 1866 MHz OR HIGHER in single channel mode, correct? OR both cards into slots 1 and 2 at 1600MHz OR SLOWER in dual channel mode, correct?

so, assuming that i am correct and dual channel does actually mean have two cards into either slots 1 and 2 OR 3 and 4 running at 1600mhz or slower...WHICH WOULD BE BETTER?

Running both cards in dual channel (slots 1 and 2) at 1600mhz?
OR running both cards in single channel (slots 1 and 3) at 1866mhz or higher?

sorry for the messy post, it was much cleaner and easier to read before it got deleted...oh well, the basic questions are there. Also, i dont really care about if i can tell the difference in speed or not, i just want to milk the fastest speeds i can get out of these things without stressing anything too much (for OCD reasons lol). Here are the rest of my specs:

Win 7 64-bit
Thor v2 Full Tower Case
Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 Mobo
AMD FX-6300 3.5 GHZ CPU
MSI Radeon HD-7870 2GB GPU
Rosewill Bronze 1000w PSU
(Soon to be) 8GB G.Skill Sniper 1866mhz
2x500GB WD Green in Raid 0
2x34 GB Sandisk (not in raid with OS on one, and APPs on the other)

Thank you all in advance for whatever help you can give me, i get my RAM tomorrow so hopefully i will have a good idea of how i should set them up! (:

See More: How should i Install my RAM?

Report •

December 19, 2013 at 20:43:36
✔ Best Answer
What revision of that motherboard do you have? I looked at the RAM installation instructions in the manual for rev. 4 and didn't see any notation about the 1866 RAM.

I suggest you install the RAM in slots #1 & #3, which is what the manual recommends when using 2 sticks in dual channel. If the RAM doesn't run in dual channel mode then manually set the RAM down to 1600 and tighten up the timings.

I assume you did order a dual channel kit?

I don't like your PSU choice either. 4- +12V rails is not the best way to go. A single large +12V rail is preferable. The specs are fudging the numbers too. Adding up the amps on all the rails comes out to over 1300W, not 1000W. See the link below.

Your CPU is 95W, your graphics card will pull a max of under 14A@12V. Even using 2 of them plus RAM and drives you don't need 1000W.

I suggest you buy a good brand PSU in the range of 54/ 70A@12V.

I am not a fan of bottom mount PSU cases. Also you don't need all those fans. Top mount PSU plus a 140MM rear fan is all you need.

Larger SSD drives are faster than smaller ones. Better to use one larger one IMO.

Why would you use RAID 0 for your storage needs? RAID 0 has no fault tolerance. Green series WD drives are slow, why did you buy them?

message edited by OtheHill

Report •

December 19, 2013 at 21:19:19
It is in fact a revision 4 board. On the list of compatible RAM on gigabytes website for thar board, it states that it only allows one DIMM per channel of 1866 RAM. I will do what you say and just try to run in dual channel. I was hoping for something more of an explaination, but oh well.

I got this power supply and this case not because I needed it, but befause I got both for half off on black friday and it allows for larger upgrades that i plan on making in the future.

I know I dont need all those fans, I keep them turned almost off most of the time with the fan controller. I am also not a fan of bottom mounts since it allows for alot of dust and hair to be picked up more easily...but I cant have everything I want.

I have my two hdds in raid because it has all my games, therefore faster loading times. They only hold my games, I have the rest of my files on an external. I did not buy these drives, they were ones i pulled from other computers...and the might be the blue version, i dont remember.

Yes larger ssds are faster, but guess how much money I have? Not enough for the perfect setup like what I want. So sorry that my build doesnt meet either of our standards.

Sorry if I come across rude, but I was not asking for a critique of my setup

Thank you for the advice though(:

message edited by Sanztrack

Report •

December 20, 2013 at 05:19:32
You missed the point.
A single WD black series drive would have been a better choice for speed and reliability and less expensive (if you purchased it).
Why not install the games on the SSD drive since loading times are what you are looking for? A single 120GB SSD drive should have plenty of space for Windows and your primary programs and games, the other programs can go on the slower conventional drive as well your data and a back up image of the SSD drive in case it is ever needed.
A quality 750Watt power supply like Corsair (or others made to the same standards) will meet your future needs much better and if you shopped carefully, you would have seen they were also on sale on Newegg at the same time. It would have appeared to have been less off the 'original' price, but would have been nearly the same or less in the end and been a much better deal in the long run.
Don't just turn down most of the fans, unplug or remove any side fans, keeping one or two rear exhaust fans and up to one front intake fan.
Install the bottom mounted power supply up-side-down so you draw cleaner air from inside of the case and you do not have to worry about dust from the bottom or the filter (if any) getting clogged.
A matched set of 1600MHz memory would have save you money over the 1866MHz set if you end up using it at 1600MHz anyway and running dual channel should be better than two single channel sticks at the higher speed (check the Gigabyte forums for other's experiences if you like).
Yes, you were rude. Try reading the intention behind the actual words, the intent was to educate you on your choices and if any are not yet finalized, make your machine better and possibly save you some money on product that will not perform the way you want and need replacing that much sooner.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

message edited by Fingers

Report •

Related Solutions

December 20, 2013 at 07:37:45
I know you didn't ask for a critique of your build, but the thing that jumped out at me was the HDD configuration. Just as OtH said, green drives are slow & RAID-0 has no fault tolerance so it's an odd setup.

As for the RAM, if your CPU is an FX-6300, you should be running DDR3-1866. If you looked at the CPUs specs or checked any reviews, that's what the CPU officially supports & what will give you the best performance. But be aware that it most likely won't run at 1866MHz unless you manually configure the memory settings in the BIOS.

What speed was your OCZ Platinum & how did you determine it was bad? Did you run memtest86 & errors were found? Most all memory manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty so you can probably get it replaced for free if you RMA it.

Why you can only run one stick of DDR3-1866 (or faster) per channel is something that would have to be addressed by Gigabyte. The CPU supports it so it must be a limitation of the board.

This comment left me scratching my head: "i dont really care about if i can tell the difference in speed or not, i just want to milk the fastest speeds i can get out of these things without stressing anything too much"

message edited by riider

Report •

December 20, 2013 at 07:48:34
"to replace the 6gb of OCZ Platinum that just shot out on me and is causing a lot of computer issues..."

I'm betting there was nothing wrong with the ram and you will still have "issues" after your done.


Report •

December 20, 2013 at 09:52:37
Ok, lets clear some things up here...i do not doubt anything you guys are saying, and i would have done it years ago if i had the money. You have to realize that i am slowly building up my pc to what i want, and most of these parts i have gotten just for super cheap, not the ideal parts (which i will get eventually). And sorry for being rude, but its kinda annoying when someody online tells you "i dont like what your doing here" and "you should do this instead" even if the underlying meaning is to help...undehill could've came across a little differently on that.

I know i can flip my psu upside down, but then the power cable wont be long enough to reach the pins on my mobo (which was why i bought this one in the first place, because people in the comments were saying the cables were pretty long).

I know i can get a 120gb ssd which would be faster, but i got these two ssds for $25 from a friend. The thing about the hard drives is, i pulled them from another computer and i have 750gb's of games, so i cant exactly install all of that on one of my ssds. I put them in raid and i haven't had any problems with it, so i shall leave it that way.

My ocz cards have gone bad, as soon as i put them in the computer i get a bios errer asking me to switch to default settings (which i have tried and such)...i have gone through that mess already. Very simply, two of my cards are fried and my computer is running super running on one stick of 2gb ocz at 1333mhz.

the reason i bought this certain RAM was because it was on sale for $10 cheaper than the 1600mhz RAM i was going to buy...faster RAM on sale for cheaper? i took it.

as for the limitations of the cpu/mobo...from what i have seen online, most gigabyte boards have this limitation. why? i dont know, i am simply restating what i have seen and asking what would be the best route here. I dont know much about RAM and i bought the G.Skill on a whim to get my computer running back up to speed. Sorry to all that i havent made the best buying decisions, but eventually they will all be worked out...i will have this computer for years and years, plenty of time to fix all the quirks i have with it. But all i want to do right now, is learn about how i should set up my ram...which so far has come down to just sticking them in slots 1 and 3, and trying different things from there.

The reason I'meven asking this question is the fact that many of things that i have seen online is that dual channel doesn't even really do much...theoretically yes, it should double my speed but from actual benchmarks, it only shows up increasing performance by about 1%, if at all. Some people have said that you should run in single channel at faster speed... But Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, and that's why i am here, to gain opinions on which would be better.

Thank you all for you opinions, i hope i have addressed them all.(:

And sorry for the rudeness, i appreciate the opinions that udehill gave me, but telling me he doesn't like my choices is a little rude in me at least.

(this message still sounds sorry guys, im just typing fast and trying to get simple sentances out there...only in the first message was i actually being rude :P )

message edited by Sanztrack

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 07:23:47

I gave you my opinion on how to proceed with your RAM question. Then I also gave you my opinion of the hardware you listed. If you don't like what I have to say then ignore it. The issue with the single 1866 module should have given you pause before buying that board.

You didn't state how you came to own any of this hardware. I assumed you made your buying decisions on knowledge at hand. Responses from myself and others that posted in this thread might help you to make better decisions in the future.

The power supply is the heart of any system. All manner of issues can be traced back to a low quality of undersized power supply.

Had you explained that you cobbled things together on a budget then my responses would have been different.

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 08:26:05
Yes and thank you, I understand the nature of evryones comments, and I apologize for my initial reaction. Im used to people judging me and the things I do and I took it for that too quickly :P

Anyways, I bought this board for its apparent overclocking potential. I almost bought the asus sabertooth, but decided it was out of the realm of what I wanted to spend. I just got my RAM Last night, so ill throw it in my board this morning and see whwt I can do with it, and if it actually does fix my problems lol. (:

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 08:28:19
I'm still confused about the RAM issue. For best performance, all FX-series CPUs (with the exception of the high end 9000-series) should be paired up with DDR3-1866. And according to your motherboard manual: "For optimum performance, when enabling Dual Channel mode with two memory modules, we recommend that you install them in the DDR3_1 and DDR3_2 sockets." So based on that, you know you should have DDR3-1866 & that it should be installed in slots 1 & 2 for dual channel mode.

You didn't answer my question(s) about the "bad" RAM - did you test it with memtest86 to confirm it's defective? When installing RAM (any RAM), do you manually configure the memory settings in the BIOS? Using Auto settings (or BIOS defaults) will NOT give best performance. And one of the main reasons your computer is currently running slowly is because you only have 2GB RAM (minimum for Win7 64-bit), it's the wrong speed, & it's running in single channel mode.

"dual channel doesn't even really do much...theoretically yes, it should double my speed"

You misunderstand how it works. Dual channel mode does NOT double the speed, it doubles the memory throughput (aka bandwidth). For example, 2 x DDR3-1600 in dual channel mode does NOT run at 3200MHz, it still runs at 1600MHz, but the amount of data it can potentially handle at 1600MHz doubles from 12800MB/s to 25600MB/s. It will only make a significant performance difference if you run programs that are so memory intensive that they exploit the potential of the added bandwidth.

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 08:47:22
If the RAM under clocks when installing in 1&3 then try configuring manually by using the advanced settings.

As riider pointed out above, the CPU you have should be paired with 1866 RAM. If you can't get it to run it dual channel mode, then try installing as single channel.

Possible the RAM STILL may not automatically run a advertised speed of 1866. You may still need to use the advanced settings and loosen the timings to get it to run.

An analogy to understand dual channel is this.

You have a highway for cars that has 1 lane in each direction with a 55 mile speed limit. If the highway is filled to capacity and traffic is moving at posted speeds you can calculated the number of cars that pass at any point on the route. Now let us add a second lane in each direction.

Theoretically, there could be twice the number of cars passing any given point along the road. However, if it is not rush hour, the number of cars passing may not be any more than when there was only one lane in each direction.

So to apply that to your situation, double the lanes may be beneficial or not. Running at a clock speed to match the CPU frequency is almost always beneficial.

Best to try both methods and run some tests to see which works better for you.

message edited by OtheHill

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 09:07:16
Ok cool, thanks for the analogy on that haha.

SO...i plugged in my new RAM into slots 1 and 3 on my mobo (slot 1 being closest to cpu, on the right side). opened up my bios before it turned on and went into memory frequency settings.

It was defaulted at 1333mhz, however a new option had popped up that wasnt there before (or that i didnt notice), which was X.M.P. and was disable, clicked on the option which had two profiles in it. Clicked on profile1, which automatically set all settings to the default frequency and timings of the card (1866mhz, 9-10-9-28). Confirmed with CPU-Z running at ~2000mhz with correct timings in dual channel mode.

PC is running rock solid at the moment...though its only been running for a few minutes. I will go back and try profile 2 right now which auto tightens the timings down to 8-8-8-24.

as for my old RAM, what was happening was that i realized that my RAM was not running at the "correct" speeds and i went into the bios to try and change it. Guess i messed something up pretty bad because my computer stopped recognizing one of my cards, no matter what slot i put it in, another card was recognized but was not "usable", and one card was fine. My computer would not start up with the first card in the mobo, and it would start with the other two cards in but would only recognize one of them as "usable" (in computer properies> 4.00gb available, 1.75 usable).

i have no idea what i did, memtest came back fine for the two cards, the third card would get a bios error and i couldnt do anything about it.

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 09:18:24
Just tried profile 2 in xmp settings, and its working, but in cpu-z the timgs havent changed. It is still at 9-10-9-28? System is still stable (and a lot faster), though how would i go about tuning these timings? if the xmp profile isnt working correctly?

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 09:33:20
As I mentioned, you need to manually configure the Advanced Memory Settings. Do NOT rely on Auto settings, do NOT rely on Defaults, do NOT use XMP Profiles. All those things are an attempt to make things easier for people who have no idea what they're doing. Get the specs from the memory package or the manufacturer's website, then manually enter the memory speed, timings, & voltage in the BIOS.

Also, you have to install the RAM in the correct slots. See what I put in bold in response #9, that's taken directly from your manual, as is the following:

Channel A: DDR3_2, DDR3_4
Channel B: DDR3_1, DDR3_3

Notice that 1 & 3 are both Channel B, so if the RAM is in 1+3 it's running in single channel mode; 1+2 = dual channel mode.

message edited by riider

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 09:50:52
OK, gimme a sec, jeez lol. Just taking it one step at a time here. The XMP profile did work though, the specs are the same as the package/card. running at 1866mhz with 9-10-9-28 timings (confirmed with bios and cpu-z)

As for dual channel, I'm confused on why cpu-z is telling me its in dual channel, though i will switch the slots now and manually enter in the timings and get back in a sec.

Report •

December 21, 2013 at 10:14:22
Ok, so i switched the slots on the mobo to 1 and 2...then realizing that these slots were not actually 1 and 2. i was just calling them 1 and 2.

according to the manual, the slots go like this from left to right on the mobo: 4->2->3->1.

i had the ram plugged into slots 4 and 3, which i changed to slots 1 and 2. I manually entered all of the timings, and everything is running smooth. The only difference is the bank cycle time, which is now at 45...i think it was at 35 before, i cant remember though.

I have to leave for work now though, any comments that come along i will have to look at later tonight. Thank you all for your help so far in this, and thank you for the suggestions made earlier as well (:

message edited by Sanztrack

Report •

Ask Question