Question RAM Upgrade "Assistance"

Apr 17, 2019
Hey Guys,

I'd really like to get some help with my setup. I think about upgrading my RAM, since I assume, that the single 8GB Ram is the "bottle neck" of my PC (90-95% workload during gaming, eg Anno 1800) when it comes to performance.

This is the setup I currently use:
Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 3 (7918-001R)
CPU: INTEL Core i5-4690, 4x 3.50GHz
GPU: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 970 Gaming G1, 4GB GDDR5:
RAM: CRUCIAL Ballistix Sport VLP DIMM 8GB PC3-12800U

The problem (at least I think it is one) is, that I cannot find another RAM that fits with my current one. Most of the RAM's I find on Amazon are 1.5V and as far as I read, is not compatible with my 1.35V.
So my questions would be, and I'd be delighted if someone would lend their time and help me:

1.) Is my assumption, that the RAM is the bottle neck of the PC, at least not wrong? If I am wrong - what is "the real" bottle neck?
2.) What would you recommend me to get, as far as RAM is concerned?

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated!
OKay, what resolution are you gaming on?

To answer your questions briefly:

1. Yes, it's very possible (game dependent) that your ram could cause issues, but not necessarily a bottleneck. There could be a couple of things holding you back if you were playing on 1080p. And again this is game dependent. Yes, 8gbs of ram is on the short side for some games. 16gb is the sweetspot. Some games like BF1/V/COD WWII/BO use upwards of 9gbs of system ram at 1080p. Also, at that res, the 4gb vram on your 970 could have problems, which might cause stuttering. And then on top of that, in those games I've mentioned, your CPU will also max out. So you have three pieces of hardware that are right on their limits for 1080p high in game settings/high fps gaming.

2. Here's the QVL for your mobo:
You can find compatible ram on this list. Adding another DIMM to the one you have is not a good idea. You've already pointed out one of the reasons why. The voltage difference. On top of that it also comes down to timings of the DIMMS to determine if they work together. It's very tricky. The best advice is always to buy a 2 x matched kit of DIMMS. This way you ensure they will work. Then you may be able to sell your current 8gb stick to offset the cost.
Reactions: Martey
Apr 17, 2019
Thanks for the quick answer first of all!

I am currently playing on 1080p.

So if I am going to upgrade my RAM, I am going to replace my current one with a 2x 8GB DDR3 Kit. Regarding that, I would have one more question: Would you have a recommendation for me in aspects of Frequency? Would 1600MHz for games nowadays suffice, or should I look for some "faster" RAM?
Good question :) In fact, your mobo is highly capable. It will take faster ram up to 3300mhz (OC Profile). You could very well get faster ram, and it will help some in general terms, a little for gaming, but not so much. A balance with your current system might be around 2133/2400mhz. But the faster the ram, the more expensive. Plus DDR3 cost more now, than it did when it was released!! :( Don't figure. Specially new. Second hand might be a consideration, but I wouldn't advise that personally.
Apr 17, 2019
So, I went ahead and looked for some fitting RAM. I found one, which was also in the compatibility list, which is this one (sorry for German Amazon!):

Yet I wasn't able to find a RAM with 2133/2400MHz from the official list, and so I just went ahead and looked for some other ones, and I found this one:ÅMÅŽÕÑ&keywords=ram+ddr3+2x8gb+2133mhz&qid=1555527307&s=gateway&sr=8-2

Now my question is: Can someone tell me, whether this (the HyperX one) is compatible with my Mobo? If you can't assure that it works (which I think will be the case), can you tell me, whether there is a problem with the RAM in connection with the Mobo? Like something that makes them working together a 0% chance?
Thanks in advance!
Those DIMMS are not on the QVL for your mobo. That's not to say they won't work. It may require a bit of playing around, and by that I mean setting timings and voltage manually. It's not that hard to do, and there will be online guides to help you. It's a risk you take. They may not work as expected though. Just be prepared for that.