Question RAM DDR3 Upgrade with ASUS Maximus V Extreme Motherboard

erfe555

Commendable
Dec 20, 2018
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Hello everyone,
I currently have a PC with this configuration:

  • Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Extreme (Chipset Z77 Ivy Bridge);
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K @ 3.50 Ghz (with XMP overclock at 3.90 Ghz)
  • Current RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum 2800 Mhz (XMP enabled) 8GB Total (2x4GB) in Dual-Channel mode, model code: CMD8GX3M2A2800C12
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • SSD: Samsumg 840 Pro 256 GB
For some time now the PC has started to suffer from the lack of RAM especially on games that require a lot of it (for example "Rust") in fact, in addition to filling up the ram completely, I find myself a page file of about 30 GB when I play ... I guess to make up for the shortage of ram.

Speaking of which, since I don't have a very large budget (around € 300), I can't afford a new PC but I thought an upgrade to the RAM would still be enough to play decently.

The RAMs I have in mind for the upgrade are as follows: TridentX DDR3-2400MHz CL10-12-12 1.65V 16GB (2x8GB).
I would like to take two then 4 modules in total to have 32 GB of RAM in quad-channel. (These RAMs would completely replace the previously installed modules!)

My question is: Is my motherboard compatible with this RAM? If i had to guess it should be but I wanted to ask just to be sure.
And more: Will the fact that these eventual RAMs will work in quad-channel and not in dual penalize me in any way? Will I need to make adjustments to the automatic XMP overclock profile?

Let me know and thanks in advance for the advice. :)

P.S.
Someone already told me that since my current processor (i7-3770K) does only have a dual-channel memory controller, the fact that i would try to install 4 modules in total will make the PC perform worse than if i would install only 2 modules.
2 modules would be 16 GB of RAM while 4 would be 32GB.
Is this a real concern or not?
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
My question is: Is my motherboard compatible with this RAM?
Look it from your MoBo Memory QVL,
link: https://www.asus.com/supportonly/maximus_v_extreme/HelpDesk_QVL/

Note: memory QVL lists those RAMs Asus have themselves tested. When your preferred RAM isn't there, it doesn't mean it doesn't work at all. It still does, at JEDEC rated speeds of 1066/1333/1600 Mhz, but you may not be able to enable XMP and get it stable, when RAM is rated for e.g 2400 Mhz.

Will the fact that these eventual RAMs will work in quad-channel and not in dual penalize me in any way?
Your MoBo doesn't support quad-channel RAM. Also, do not confuse having 4 RAM sticks as quad-channel. What your MoBo does support, are:
  • single channel (either 1 stick of RAM or 2 sticks of RAM, in different channel slots, e.g DIMM1A, DIMM1B)
  • and dual-channel (with 2 sticks of RAM, e.g DIMM1A, DIMM2A or up to 4, e.g DIMM1A, DIMM2A, DIMM1B, DIMM2B).
the fact that i would try to install 4 modules in total will make the PC perform worse than if i would install only 2 modules.
No.

Installing 4 RAM sticks gives you more responsive RAM, compared to having only 2 sticks, namely when both options equal same amount of total RAM.
However, it is true that memory controller has to work harder to send data between 4 sticks, but there is no evident proof that this slows the PC down.

Here's comparison of: same make, model, CL and speed RAM sets, where both are 16GB in total, but one is set of two (2x 8GB), while other is set of 4 (4x 4GB),
comparison: https://ram.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Corsair-Vengeance-LPX-DDR4-3000-C15-2x8GB-vs-Corsair-Vengeance-LPX-DDR4-3000-C15-4x4GB/3546vs3558

The set of four is faster since it is more responsive, compared to the set of two.

2 modules would be 16 GB of RAM while 4 would be 32GB.
Is this a real concern or not?
Only concern you have, is that you're buying the RAM as two sets of two, rather than one set of four.

Why this is a concern? Well;
When RAM DIMMs are made, they are tested with each other and those sticks that get along well are put into sets. First set to be made is the set of 8 RAM sticks and sold as 8x RAM sticks in a set. If the set of 8 doesn't work, it's divided into half which makes up two sets of 4. If the 4x RAM sticks do work together, the are sold as 4x RAM sticks in a set. But if the set of 4 doesn't work, it's again divided into half, making two sets of 2. Two RAM sticks that work well with each other are sold as 2x RAM sticks in a set. Those RAM sticks that doesn't want to work together at all are sold as single RAM sticks.

While it's true that it's better to buy your RAM as a set to minimize the risk of them not working together, individual sticks or sets (e.g 2x + 2x) still can work together when they are put in the same system.
Good example is my main build (Skylake, full specs with pics in my sig). At 1st, i bought a set of 2x Kingston HyperX Savage 3000 Mhz DDR4 RAM since at that time, i didn't have money to go with 16GB off the bat. A year later, i bought the same set of 2x Kingston HyperX Savage 3000 Mhz DDR4 RAM to get 16GB in total. Of course, i was well aware that there was a risk that both of my sets won't work together in my system. While i don't like to take a risk when it comes to the RAM or PC hardware in general but when i didn't have the money to go with 16GB right away, there was little what i was able to do. Also, before picking RAM, i made sure from my MoBo memory QVL, that this very specific RAM is supported at rated speeds in all 4 slots of my MoBo, by greatly reducing chances of two sets of two not working together. Luckily, both of my RAM sets worked together without issues and i enjoy looking my MoBo with all RAM slots filled.

Here, i can't tell you what are the chances of individual sticks working together since it varies between brands and models. Best you can do to minimize the risk is getting same brand, model and part number of RAM you currently have. Though, DDR3 RAM is more forgiving than DDR4 RAM since i've seen builds where there are 3 different RAM brands within one system with different sizes and speeds for each RAM stick. I have yet to see same diversity with DDR4 RAM in a single system which also works without issues.

So, there is a chance that two sets of two doesn't work together. Albeit the chance is minimal if you buy the exact same RAM sets, especially for DDR3, there still is a chance. It's something to keep in mind.
 
Last edited:

erfe555

Commendable
Dec 20, 2018
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1,510
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Well, first of all let me say thank you for such a detailed reply. :)

Secondly, the only thing which i need a clarification of is this one:

Look it from your MoBo Memory QVL,
link: [...]

Note: memory QVL lists those RAMs Asus have themselves tested. When your preferred RAM isn't there, it doesn't mean it doesn't work at all. It still does, at JEDEC rated speeds of 1066/1333/1600 Mhz, but you may not be able to enable XMP and get it stable, when RAM is rated for e.g 2400 Mhz.
I think that the memory that i chose isn't there since it's a new one while my MoBo is quite old so i cannot really use that document as a reference unfortunately.
But still, since right now i have a 2800 Mhz Memory with XMP and a voltage of 1.65 V and it works fine i guess that these new RAM modules should even have less of a problems since their frequency is lower that what i currently have or am i mistaken?
Shouldn't i be able to up the voltage a little bit more if i verify that the RAM is for whatever reason unstable or there's also something else that i can do?
 
Finding good and new DDR3 these days can be tricky, especially with high capacity and from a good vendor.

Luckily, this top option is available:

https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-32gb-240-pin-ddr3-sdram/p/N82E16820231590?Description=gskill 32gb ddr3&cm_re=gskill_32gb ddr3--20-231-590--Product&quicklink=true

There may be other options or cheaper options from sellers with poor feedback reviews, make sure to avoid those as there is a good chance of fake modules. Beware, and when possible, purchase from an authorized seller or at least one with solid 90%+ feedback.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Ambassador
Shouldn't i be able to up the voltage a little bit more if i verify that the RAM is for whatever reason unstable or there's also something else that i can do?
Depending what options you have in BIOS, you could be able to manually OC your RAM, if the XMP isn't stable. That includes adjusting RAM timings, frequency and voltage.
Maybe you can't get the RAM stable at 2400 Mhz, without exceeding safe voltage range. But perhaps you can get it stable at 2133 or 1866 Mhz. I don't know how it would be.

In my DDR3 build (Haswell, full specs with pics in my sig), i also upgraded RAM, from 1x 8GB to 2x 8GB 1866 Mhz RAM. (Bought new set, while left the old one as backup, just in case). I had 0 issues setting and keeping the XMP stable. Then again, my MoBo is newer, Z97 chipset and made by MSI.

This is actually pretty good set for OP. However, 32 GB of RAM is max what the old Asus MoBo supports and there could be problems getting all 4 running and/or at highest rated speeds.
 

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