Question Advice on upgrading RAM (and possibly the monitor) ?

slick88gt

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Jan 29, 2017
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Approximate Purchase Date: about 2-1/2 years ago

Budget Range: $500ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: solely for gaming

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: ram, monitor, another SSD

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: doesn't matter

Parts Preferences: n/a

Overclocking: no idea

SLI or Crossfire: what?

Your Monitor Resolution: what are people using these days?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Mainly I play Skyrim. Recently tried a new list that's very heavily modded and my game struggles a bit. I think I need more memory. Currently I've only got 16g and I'd like to upgrade to 32g (I know I'll have to buy two 16g sticks and toss my current 8g sticks out). Y'all helped me build my PC back in Nov of 2019 so here I'm back asking you fine folks for help again. I'm not terribly savvy with PC knowledge but I'm smart enough to follow YouTube videos and build my current setup.
Anyway, what RAM should I get?
My monitor is also an old piece of garbage (Gateway FHX2300), what should I get for that? Currently have a 23", something larger would be nice.
My SSD is only 1T, I'd like to add a 2T - unless you think something larger is more cost effective.

Lastly, am I on the right track? Is the ram my bottle neck given my other pc specs? According to userbenchmark.com it's supposedly a good setup for gaming.

Thanks!

Current Specs:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
Motherboard: Asus Tuf Gaming X570-Plus
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600
Storage: Adata SX8200 Pro 1TB
Video Card: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB
Case: Cougar MX330 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
This memory is compatible and validated for your motherboard. It's also probably about the least expensive 32GB 3600mhz kit you're going to find that's pretty easily recommendable as well.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL18 Memory ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $114.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-21 16:49 EDT-0400



As for the monitor, what size, resolution and refresh rate are you looking to move to?

In regards to the SSD, once you go past 1TB on solid state drives, the prices jump considerably. You might want to consider simply getting another 1TB SSD for games and backups and sticking with the 1TB drive you have now for the OS unless you are prepared to pay 200+ dollars for a decent 2TB SSD.
 

slick88gt

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Jan 29, 2017
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Awesome, thank you. Is this the same thing via Amazon?
https://www.amazon.com/G-SKILL-Ripjaws-PC4-28800-288-Pin-F4-3600C18D-32GVK/dp/B081374T3G/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1BQEQPEQF66ZI&keywords=g.skill+ripjaws+v+32gb+(2+x+16+gb)+ddr4-3600+cl18+memory&qid=1653179303&sprefix=g.skill+ripjaws+v+32+gb+2+x+16+gb+ddr4-3600+cl18+memory,aps,53&sr=8-1


Also, I have no idea what's "ideal" for a monitor. Just looking for the best I can get for a few hundred bucks, is 4K on the table? Looking for 16x9, I don't like the "ultra wide".

What kinda price difference we talking on the SSD? I'm not broke, just trying to avoid future hassle. If it's less than or close to double for a 2TB vs 1TB that sounds like it's worth it.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Yes, that's the same memory.

As far as monitors go, what size are you looking for? 24"? 27"? 32"?

On the SSD, are you looking for it to be the primary SSD, hosting your Windows installation, or as a secondary drive to store backups and game files and such? Just trying to figure out whether another M.2 drive makes sense, as it would if the OS is going on it, or if a standard SATA 2.5" SSD is good enough?
 
Approximate Purchase Date: about 2-1/2 years ago

Budget Range: $500ish

System Usage from Most to Least Important: solely for gaming

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: ram, monitor, another SSD

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: doesn't matter

Parts Preferences: n/a

Overclocking: no idea

SLI or Crossfire: what?

Your Monitor Resolution: what are people using these days?

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Mainly I play Skyrim. Recently tried a new list that's very heavily modded and my game struggles a bit. I think I need more memory. Currently I've only got 16g and I'd like to upgrade to 32g (I know I'll have to buy two 16g sticks and toss my current 8g sticks out). Y'all helped me build my PC back in Nov of 2019 so here I'm back asking you fine folks for help again. I'm not terribly savvy with PC knowledge but I'm smart enough to follow YouTube videos and build my current setup.
Anyway, what RAM should I get?
My monitor is also an old piece of garbage (Gateway FHX2300), what should I get for that? Currently have a 23", something larger would be nice.
My SSD is only 1T, I'd like to add a 2T - unless you think something larger is more cost effective.

Lastly, am I on the right track? Is the ram my bottle neck given my other pc specs? According to userbenchmark.com it's supposedly a good setup for gaming.

Thanks!

Current Specs:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
Motherboard: Asus Tuf Gaming X570-Plus
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600
Storage: Adata SX8200 Pro 1TB
Video Card: AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB
Case: Cougar MX330 ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Gold 550 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply
When you run the game is the ram usage pushing up near the top?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Or, in other words, when you think your game is lagging because of a lack of memory, do you even have any idea how much memory the system is actually using? That would be, as Bob has indicated, a pretty good thing to know before bothering to buy more memory because if you are only using, say, 10GB total, just as an example, then memory is almost certainly not your problem ALTHOUGH I HAVE seen systems that wouldn't push more resources to certain games or applications if the system knows it is limited and adding more, even though it wasn't using it all previously, did allow the system to allocate more to that usage which did in fact improve performance.

That is the exception though and not the rule. Download HWinfo or even use (cringe) resource monitor, and get an idea of what resources are actually getting used the most during the times you think it's having problems because to be honest there are VERY FEW game titles and situations where 16GB isn't enough, even on modern games.
 

slick88gt

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Jan 29, 2017
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So while in game I check task manager and "memory" and it says 15.4 out of 15.9G in use. According to the discord for this mod list it's not uncommon to need 32G of ram, it's a stupidly huge mod list (over 2000 mods) on a game that isn't exactly optimized.

Monitor I would like a 32".

The SSD will just be for additional storage for game files and such, my OS will stay on my current SSD.
 
So while in game I check task manager and "memory" and it says 15.4 out of 15.9G in use. According to the discord for this mod list it's not uncommon to need 32G of ram, it's a stupidly huge mod list (over 2000 mods) on a game that isn't exactly optimized.

Monitor I would like a 32".

The SSD will just be for additional storage for game files and such, my OS will stay on my current SSD.
That is showing more ram is needed.

An option for storage.
Get a 500GB ssd for the OS and apps.
Use the 1TB ssd for game storage.
Only you know how much game storage you need.
 
I would simply purchase second kit of 2 x 8GB RAM as that board has 4 Slots with 2 being empty I don't see the reason to throw away old kit when simply you can add second 2 x 8 kit and save half the amount. DDR4 is very consistent with addition of modules over time instead of using a single kit. The stability and compatibility improved tremendously on DDR4 over DDR3 and that is an issue of the past now. Similar to how AIOs were unreliable a decade ago.

And spend that saved even little amount towards the Monitor.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I would simply purchase second kit of 2 x 8GB RAM as that board has 4 Slots with 2 being empty I don't see the reason to throw away old kit when simply you can add second 2 x 8 kit and save half the amount. DDR4 is very consistent with addition of modules over time instead of using a single kit. The stability and compatibility improved tremendously on DDR4 over DDR3 and that is an issue of the past now. Similar to how AIOs were unreliable a decade ago.

And spend that saved even little amount towards the Monitor.
This is 200% wrong. DDR3 had far better compatibility between unmatched sets of DIMMs than DDR4 has proven to have, especially the further you get from the baseline profiles. The higher speed the kit is, the more likely it won't play nice with DIMMs from another kit, even if they have the exact same part number. I can link page after page after page showing proof of this, not to mention my own experiences with it on the bench. And the fact is, which I've shown, repeatedly, that OFTEN at some point in the life of a memory kit part number, what that model's makeup consists of may change including the use of different IC's, different rank or row configurations and/or IC population on one or both sides.

As seen here, in just one example. Same part number, three different potential configurations that have been verified as being different in the wild:

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/amd-ram-compatibility.3210050/post-19785792

That's not to say that it can't work together, but when you mix kits, even identical part number kits, you are rolling the dice. It might work ten times that you mix memory on the same board, and the eleventh time, there are problems whether minor or major. You might also buy three different kits that are different, but all of them work with a fourth kit, or you might find that all of four different kits won't work with the original kit you have. The best option if you MUST add memory, is to use the identical part number, but even that is no guarantee since they often reuse part numbers from discontinued kits or change the configuration of an existing kit to accommodate the use of more readily available parts they have on hand that are not the same as what was being used previously to build that specific module.
 
This is 200% wrong. DDR3 had far better compatibility between unmatched sets of DIMMs than DDR4 has proven to have, especially the further you get from the baseline profiles. The higher speed the kit is, the more likely it won't play nice with DIMMs from another kit, even if they have the exact same part number. I can link page after page after page showing proof of this, not to mention my own experiences with it on the bench. And the fact is, which I've shown, repeatedly, that OFTEN at some point in the life of a memory kit part number, what that model's makeup consists of may change including the use of different IC's, different rank or row configurations and/or IC population on one or both sides.

As seen here, in just one example. Same part number, three different potential configurations that have been verified as being different in the wild:

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/amd-ram-compatibility.3210050/post-19785792

That's not to say that it can't work together, but when you mix kits, even identical part number kits, you are rolling the dice. It might work ten times that you mix memory on the same board, and the eleventh time, there are problems whether minor or major. You might also buy three different kits that are different, but all of them work with a fourth kit, or you might find that all of four different kits won't work with the original kit you have. The best option if you MUST add memory, is to use the identical part number, but even that is no guarantee since they often reuse part numbers from discontinued kits or change the configuration of an existing kit to accommodate the use of more readily available parts they have on hand that are not the same as what was being used previously to build that specific module.
I have used a lot of Mixed Kits(same Model I never mix Models) on many Motherboards Intel and AMD DDR4. Specially AMD in past few Years and never had any issue at all. Not a single time. DDR4 RAMs are extremely compatible. Hundreds of Kits and not a single issue. Everyone has upgraded their 2 x 8 config to 4 x 8 config by adding second kit in just past Year as the price on Kits have gone down tremendously. It is half of what it used to be. So everyone jumped onto it and second High-capacity SSD.

Not a single one of those had any kind of issues with adding the second kit.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
I get it. Things have worked out for you. But, you are a sample of one, while the (at least) hundreds and maybe thousands of others out there (And for myself alone, the at least dozens and dozens of threads just on this one forum) that it didn't work out for that way says that what you are saying, while perhaps true for you, is not the reality. Again, it's one of those things that could go multiple directions and you've seemingly been fortunate in that regard, but MANY, MANY people have not. It won't be an argument because the reality is irrefutable. I could literally post a full page of links for people who were not fortunate like you, but I won't, because it's senseless to do that in a thread where somebody is not seeking this answer, but only some help. Glad to do so somewhere else though if you are not a believer.
 

slick88gt

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Jan 29, 2017
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Thank you all so much for the help! I've already installed the memory (the 2x16) and holy cow did it make a difference! My game runs smooth as silk now, I never thought it could run so well. I've ordered the SSD (just stuck with another 1TB), and am currently waffling on the monitor. Some guys on discord are pushing me in this direction https://www.amazon.com/LG-27GN800-B-Ultragear-Response-Compatible/dp/B08LLD2QXJ/?th=1 which seems to be a common favorite on reddit.
Anyway, I'll land on a monitor soon, just wanted to say thanks again for the help
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Glad it worked out. Personally, my favorite "budget" recommendation, if you have the real estate for a monitor this large, is this. I have four, because after buying one I liked it so much I bought another, then figured why not have a surround display, and then needed a new monitor for my test bench and figured I'd go with what I know so that if one of my others ever fails I already have one to plug in it's place. So far I've had them all for like four years and have had no problems with any of them at all.

For under 300 bucks, it's practically, and almost literally, impossible to find a better option.


https://www.amazon.com/LG-32GK650F-B-Monitor-FreeSync-Technology/dp/B07FLGR2PN
 
Thank you all so much for the help! I've already installed the memory (the 2x16) and holy cow did it make a difference! My game runs smooth as silk now, I never thought it could run so well. I've ordered the SSD (just stuck with another 1TB), and am currently waffling on the monitor. Some guys on discord are pushing me in this direction https://www.amazon.com/LG-27GN800-B-Ultragear-Response-Compatible/dp/B08LLD2QXJ/?th=1 which seems to be a common favorite on reddit.
Anyway, I'll land on a monitor soon, just wanted to say thanks again for the help
Would have advised the ASUS TUF Monitor over it. Because of its resolution in pairing with that GPU. RX5700XT is really good at 1080p but at 1440p it starts to fall off on newer titles. And gonna become worse over period of time. Unless you plan to upgrade the GPU in coming Year or Two. I would recommend sticking with 1080p. Visually that TUF monitor has very good colors out of the box and supports Gaming Features you need. LG does too. But Colors out of the Box are not so great on it.

Well if you can't swap it out at this point it is fine. If you can would recommend to do it. But then again if you plan to upgrade the GPU in coming short time then you are fine with it.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Actually, I have a 1440p display, and an RTX 2060 Super, and it does just fine on pretty much everything at that resolution. Sure, there are some titles that aren't going to give you a consistent 60fps or more with Ultra settings, but for those games that don't it's really not a big deal to drop a few sliders or even stick to the High quality preset. As you can see at the following link, the 5700xt actually performs BETTER than my 2060 Super on just about every game whether at 1080p or 1440p, and those results ARE at Ultra settings. Drop a few sliders or drop to High and those numbers will increase significantly.


But yeah, if you're looking for a bazillion FPS then you will likely want to stick to a 1080p display, unless you're primarily running games that aren't very demanding.
 

slick88gt

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Jan 29, 2017
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OK, so now my computer won't boot. Here's the chain of events:
Put in new ram recommended here. Computer boot just fine and I played games for several hours with no problems.
Go back to it the next day and it crashes immediately when starting the game (the whole PC, not just game) and I get the BSOD with system_service_exception and amdkmdag.sys failed.
Fiddle around doing driver updates for my Radeon GPU, and do a windows update. Then it would crash sometimes immediately, and sometimes it would only crash after playing for like an hour, and once it crashed after I exited the game.
Here's the different errors I've seen:
kmode_exception_not_handled and ntfs.sys failed.
page_fault_in_nonpaged_area
pfn_list_corrupt
pfn_list_corrupt
It's always a different error message, and all of the googling says driver issues. I've used the DDU and uninstalled the radeon drivers and downloaded them again and installed again. Game played great for about 20 minutes then crashed to one of the above errors.

It's worth noting that I notice my graphics card is very heavy and the corner sags a bit, doesn't seem right so I supported it with an appropriately sized item. I removed it, put it back, with a support and my PC worked for a solid hour of gaming before crashing to the above messages (pfn_list_corrupt on this one). I've tried re-installing the ram, no luck. Now PC won't boot at all - the keyboard lights up but monitor never comes on.

Not sure what to do, should I start a new thread about this?
 

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