Confused with kits versus individual sticks

Warpspasm

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May 28, 2003
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I'm building a system and so far I've ordered a Gigabyte P35-DS3L mobo and an Intel E4500 cpu. I downloaded the qualified vendors list for memory from the Gigabyte site and I'm trying to decide on memory. First, I'm torn between either getting 1066 or 800 speed RAM, but the bigger problem is I want the RAM to be compatible. The last time I built a rig, I purchased RAM not listed on the mobo QVL and had a terrible time getting it to be stable. When I look at the Module P/N listed for various RAM on the QVL it never matches up with the numbers I see for 2gb kits. Obviously, the vendors give kits different part numbers. I want to get the kit because, I assume it would be best to run in dual-channel mode and the memory is matched in kits. Also, is it worthwhile to go with the "high performance" RAM instead of the standard RAM? For example, Kingston's HyperX vs. Kingston Standard?

Can I get some guidance from those more knowledgable than myself? If you have a link to some good compatible RAM and a good price that would be even better.

Here's the link to the QVL: http://www.gigabyte-usa.com/FileList/MemorySupport/motherboard_memory_ga-p35-ds3l_1.0.pdf
 

ausch30

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Performance RAM tends to have better timings and can reach higher overclocks.

The CPU you listed has a 800MHz FSB but what you should look at is the target you would like to achieve while overclocking. If your goal is to try and get the CPU to 1600FSB then to run 1:1 with the RAM you would need to run it at 800 as well. The 800 speed can be achieved in a few ways
1. buy 667 RAM and overclock it
2. buy 800 RAM and run it at stock speeds
3. buy 1066 and run it at 800 and doing so should let you tighten up the timings
the choice is yours.

The RAM I'm running isn't on the QVL for my board but doing that does run the risk of incompatability.
 
DDR2-800 will perform as well as anything faster in real (vs synthetic benchmark) applications. Only for very high overclocks would anything faster be worthwhile. For any memory you are considering, go to the memory manufacturer's web site, and use their memory configurator. It will give you a list of compatible modules for your motherboard. Corsair, kingston, and other quality memory makers do this, and they should stand behind those recommendations. It is good to get matched tested kits of memory instead of individual sticks. Otherwise, the electrical characteristics of individual sticks can differ in subtle ways, and some mobo's will be sensitive to this. While you are at it, consider the value of 4gb. Memory is so cheap these days, it can't hurt.
 

singingigo

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Another thing to consider is this: Go to Newegg and use their memory configurator specific to your board. If you buy the modules they list for your board and they DON'T work, you can get your money back.

The thing that the kits provides over buying individual sticks is guarranted matching sticks, which does help prevent incompatabilities. I always recommend kits vs. single sticks now...
 

XMSYellowbeard

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Most good memory companies have their own memory configurator also which tends to be more complete than a MOBO maker QVL list. If you have picked a brand, then check out their configurator.