I need help choosing 16gb RAM for Intel setup

thtran6

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Oct 2, 2018
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Hello guys,

I need your help in picking the best memory kit for my system.
Here's my current spec:

MSI Z370 A-Pro motherboard
Intel i7-8700k @5.2 Ghz
RTX 2080 graphic card
Evga 280 clc with custom noctua fans
500 gb ssd, 2 tb hdd
Evga 850w G2 psu
And.... 4 sticks of 8gb DDR4 Adata XPG 2400 Mhz ram (total 32 gb of ram)

I am planning on selling my ram and upgrading to a better one.
Since I don't use up 32 gb, I'm planning on cutting down to 16 gb of ram.

So my question is:
(1) For 16 gb of ram, which is better: 1 stick of 16 gb OR 2 sticks of 8 gb? I read somewhere that running like 4 sticks of rams put a lot of stress of the memory controller. So that's why I'm asking if runing a single stick of 16 gb would yield better performance.

(2) What is the absolute best/most reliable/trusted 16gb ram that you guys recommend? Please link if possible.
I'm aiming at 3200 Mhz ~ 3600Mhz or even above, but doesn't have to be crazy 4600 Mhz lol.
White color or RGB if possible.
Must be compatible with my mobo.
Budget is under $300.
(I know this question can get subjective, but I still want to see the general opinion)

Thank you so much for your help guys!
 
You want to run your ram in pairs to get dual channel. So dont get 1x16gb stick. Go for 2x8gb. Intel CPUs dont really scale well with high speed RAM and compatibility is really good. So you can really use just about any DDR4 RAM you want.

As I said, Intel CPUs dont scale well with higher RAM speeds, so dont expect much, if any, performance increase over your 2400mhz speed RAM. If it were my system, I would keep the RAM you have and look to upgrade something else because you wont feel any difference in performance.

Here is a good article that will show RAM speed vs performance with the 8700k

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i7_8700K_Coffee_Lake_Memory_Performance_Benchmark_Analysis/

If you want RGB, the gskill trident z RGB 3200 will be fine.

PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/zxkTtJ
Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/zxkTtJ/by_merchant/

Memory: G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $139.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-01-04 16:20 EST-0500
 
You want to run your ram in pairs to get dual channel. So dont get 1x16gb stick. Go for 2x8gb. Intel CPUs dont really scale well with high speed RAM and compatibility is really good. So you can really use just about any DDR4 RAM you want.

As I said, Intel CPUs dont scale well with higher RAM speeds, so dont expect much, if any, performance increase over your 2400mhz speed RAM. If it were my system, I would keep the RAM you have and look to upgrade something else because you wont feel any difference in performance.

Here is a good article that will show RAM speed vs performance with the 8700k

https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i7_8700K_Coffee_Lake_Memory_Performance_Benchmark_Analysis/

If you want RGB, the gskill trident z RGB 3200 will be fine.

PCPartPicker part list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/zxkTtJ
Price breakdown by merchant: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/zxkTtJ/by_merchant/

Memory: G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $139.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-01-04 16:20 EST-0500
 

thtran6

Upstanding
Oct 2, 2018
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Thank you for your quick suggestion!
May I ask this question:
When running 2 sticks of 8gb ram, should I put them in 2 consecutive (adjacent) ram slots on the motherboard? Or do I put them in every other slot? Would there be any difference?
(There are 4 ram slots on my mobo)
 

gunndykol

Prominent
Jan 7, 2018
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You mainstream systems you will want to use either 2 or 4 sticks of ram whenever possible. This enables Dual Channel mode, which splits the load and allows faster overall performance. So for 16 gb, 2x8 or 4x4 is optimal. The more sticks of ram you have, the less likely you'll be able to overclock the ram beyond it's rated limits. If you are just looking to run the RAM at it's stock XMP settings, you should have no problem with 4 sticks of ram. However; buying 4x4 vs 2x8 means that down the line if you want/need to go to 32GB of ram, you can't just buy another 2x8 kit to upgrade and would have to replace existing RAM modules. So generally 2x8 is a better option unless the 4x4 kit is an amazing deal.

A single stick would operate in single channel mode and provide worse overall performance. While not earth-shattering speed differences in a lot of games, any games or programs that are memory intensive will see a significant reduction in single channel vs dual channel scenarios. Similar to how quad channel memory further improves many workstation workloads on HEDT systems.

Corsair, GSkill, Micron, Team Group, etc. Just about any reputable memory manufacture is going to provide reliable memory. For Intel, 3000+ MHZ speed is not as important as it is for AMD Ryzen. 2666 vs 3200 on Intel platforms will yield a minimal performance improvement while on AMD it could be sizable. This is just because of the way the CPU architecture works. Look for the most aesthetically pleasing 2x8 kit in the 2666 - 3200 range for the best price. Team Group makes some nice White RGB RAM sticks that work with MSI Mystic Lighting software. Two different designs depending on which you prefer the looks of.

Only reason I recommend the Team Group ram over the Corsair Vengence white is that it can be controlled with MSI RGB software that controls the motherboard. The Corsair kit requires you to load Corsair Link or their new software to control the lighting. Using a single software to control all RGB in a system can be a HUGE advantage.

GSkill RGB are really good too, but their RGB sticks have a black base, and not white.
 

thtran6

Upstanding
Oct 2, 2018
167
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Wow that is very helpful! Thank you.
By the way do you know if, when taking out the old ram and putting in the new ram from a different brand, do I have to perform any sort installation/configuration in the BIOS or updating any driver?
I haven't changed ram ever so I just want to ask to be sure. :)
 

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