Solved 8GB or 16 GB RAM - is 16 necessary?

May 11, 2013 at 03:37:14
Specs: Windows 7, Athlon II X4 640
Hi Everyone

I'm trying to decide whether to fit 8GB or 16GB of DDR3 1600MHz into a new build. For what it's going to be used for, (amateur image/photo editing) I don't think it really needs 16GB and it definitely doesn't need 32GB even though the motherboard will support that amount!

I thought that a matched 16GB kit of 4x4GB in dual-channel configuration would possibly be the best option as I've previously had a bad experience upgrading RAM at a later date only to find dissimilar modules causing problems. Alternatively, I could used a matched pair of 2x8GB.

For reference I'll be using an AMD FX-6300 and the motherboard will either be the:

Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3
or
Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3

Any suggestions/advice would be very much appreciated as I can't decide what to go with and the Gigabyte memory support list only details modules up to 4GB although it must obviously support 8GB!

Thanks

Borealis


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#1
May 11, 2013 at 04:21:20
✔ Best Answer
Although 8Gb would be more than enough for most people, if you are planning on editing hir-res photographs, the extra 8 Gbs would be useful.

If you are planning on running in dual channel mode, matched pairs are essential. That is not just two modules with the same spesc, it is two modules matched by the manufacturer.

Crucail will tell you exactly what RAM is best for you and sell you matched pairs. They do a 2x8 Gb pair for your motherboard.

http://www.crucial.com/uk/

Stuart


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#2
May 11, 2013 at 04:42:04
Cheers Stuart

That pretty much clears the issue up I think. The machine is actually for my dad, who's a budding amateur photographer and recently discovered Photoshop...

Thanks!


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#3
May 11, 2013 at 06:05:01
In that case 16 Gbs would be very useful. Photoshop will use all the RAM you can throw at it and still come back for more. If your Father ever gets into video editing, it will be even more useful.

Stuart


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Related Solutions

#4
May 12, 2013 at 02:22:31
Thanks again Stuart

16GB it is then! Having run the crucial and kingston memory finders, it seems just about any 1600MHz DDR3 module will work, so I'll get a matched pair of 8s. Looking on Ebuyer at the moment, the cheapest solution is actually a 16GB kit of Kingston HyperX Black.

If there's any stuff to avoid like the plague, let me know!

Also, is there going to be a big difference between using CAS 9/10 performance RAM or CAS 11? I know CAS 9 or 10 is faster, but for what it's going to be used for is it necessary to have the fastest latency?


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#5
May 12, 2013 at 05:41:42
I purchase lower numbers ('tighter timings') for better memory and there will be more 'headroom' if you ever decide to overclock the memory by going to the looser timings. (Memory that can run at the tighter timings are probably better 'binned' memory chips and probably better matched so if the price is close, it is my choice.)
I agree 16GB (or more for high resolution photos) for Photoshop.

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


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#6
May 12, 2013 at 05:51:31
I have always bought my Memory from either Crucial or Kingston. I have never bought anything off E-Bay, but then that is just me. I like to be certain I have some come back in case anything goes wrong.

The only thing to avoid is memory that is a lot cheaper than normal. There are only a handful of memory manufacturers. Sometimes memory does not quite come up to spec and that is sold to other suppliers, while the manufactures keep the full spec memory themselves. The cheaper memory may well work well enough but it is not quite full spec and could fail at a critical moment.

The difference between CAS 9/10 and and CAS 11 is likely to be negligible. It is more important to get all memory modules using the same CAS rate, after all, we are taking about nano seconds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAS_la...

Stuart


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#7
May 12, 2013 at 06:14:35
This machine won't be getting overclocked, so I'll probably stick to the cheaper stuff - Kingston, Crucial or Corsair generic RAM.

I'm currently comparing prices and I'll probably be going to either Scan, Amazon or Ebuyer. I personally wouldn't go near eBay either for something like this because I have had to return faulty RAM before.

Cheers and thanks for the help.

Andy


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#8
May 12, 2013 at 20:40:56
If you are in US or Canada, try NewEgg.com for memory.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

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


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#9
May 14, 2013 at 06:28:33
Thanks for the suggestion. I wish I did live in the US or Canada...

Unfortunately I'm in the UK! For my dad's rebuild, I've ordered 2x8GB of Kingston HypeX Black which ought to work just fine. For bmy own rebuild, I'm probably going to go for either the HyperX again, Corsair Vengeance, or Patriot Black Mamba.

PS Fingers - love the sig, it's too true by far!


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#10
June 18, 2013 at 11:50:46
Use 2X8 Gb sticks instead of one 16 Gb stick. Off- course of same frequency and same brand.

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