Question RAM Upgrade Questions


Feb 21, 2016
I have 16GB DDR3 1600 MHz CL9 RAM (8GBx2) in my computer. The motherboard is MSI Z97 PC Mate that supports up to 32GB. My CPU is i5 4590. I built this dude in 2016 and its still going great. I do very CPU/RAM intensive work and I need to upgrade my RAM from 16GB to 32 GB.

My only issue is that its been almost impossible to find CL9 DDR3 RAM. I can find CL11 easy but I just cannot find two 8gb sticks of CL9 DDR3 RAM that is 1600MHz. I can also find CL9 DDR3 1333 MHz, just not 1600 MHz. My understanding is that I cannot mix CL9 with CL11 otherwise I won't be able enable XMP and all 4 modules will run at 1333 MHz.

Here are my questions:

1. Should I buy a pair of 8GB DDR3 1600 MHz CL11 sticks and mix them with the other two that are CL9? Will I still be able to run them all at 1600MHz with XMP?

2. Should I buy a pair of 8GB DDR3 CL9 1333 MHz and run all 4 sticks at 1333 MHz?

What is the best of the two options? I understand that 32 GB at a bit slower speed will always be better than 16 GB at a bit faster speed but I would appreciate some guidance from the gurus here.

Thanks in advance!!


If you really need 32GB, get a pair of 8GB DDR3 1600 CL11 and run everything at 1600Mhz, but set both timings to the looser timings (in this case, the CL11 sticks). You could try tightening it to CL 9 but that's likely to require wierd subtimings.