Question RAM, Motherboard, and CPU Compatibility

May 28, 2019
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I am looking at a EVGA Z390 Dark motherboard, as well as the Intel i9 9900k CPU. I am having difficulty selecting a compatible RAM stick for it. The motherboard supports DDR4 4600MHz and the CPU shows only DDR4 2666MHz. Am I completely limited to 2666MHz RAM, or can I go with something higher? If I am limited, why is all the 300 series Intel processors only able to support a 2666MHz at most when the 300 series motherboards can do nearly double that?
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
2666mhz is what the CPU, and platform, supports by default. That is inherent to the JEDEC specifications for the platform. It is NOT what the platform is CAPABLE of supporting.

I'd stick to something in the 3200mhz range as beyond that the performance doesn't actually scale much. There aren't any tangible gains to be had above that except in niche applications. If gaming is your priority then a 3200mhz CL 14 kit would be optimal. Low latency with enough speed to matter. 16GB is plenty unless you do some SERIOUS multitasking or are running some fairly demanding professional applications or VMs.

This has been true since Gen1 platforms that what is listed on the Intel site is what the CPU supports out of the box by default. Higher profiles will require setting the XMP profile in the BIOS, but so long as the motherboard supports that speed, it will work fine.

These would be an excellent choice on a superior memory kit.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: G.Skill - Trident Z 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($150.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $150.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-05-28 22:36 EDT-0400
 
May 28, 2019
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This helps out alot. I was aiming towards the max GB support (32GB) for the board. I do alot of 3D rendering and animation, and having better RAM seems to help with caching/baking renders and physics. I wasn't aiming the full 4600MHz, but around 4000MHz.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
These should work well. Keep in mind, anytime you go to extremely high frequency memory modules it may be necessary to either overclock the CPU slightly or tweak the timings in order to get two or more sticks working. Even one stick if the frequency is high enough. Since that 9900k is already a fairly high clocked processor out of the box that may or may not be required. Honestly I haven't tried to run any memory that high on a Z390 platform with an i7 part so I can't say for sure, but if anything is going to be plug and play at that speed it's likely those sticks right there.

PCPartPicker Part List

Memory: G.Skill - Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-4000 Memory ($331.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $331.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-05-29 16:13 EDT-0400
 

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