Question Selecting Z390 Ram

KD18

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Aug 4, 2010
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Hey guys,

I've built a few PC's in the past but haven't really kept up with hardware; so, now that my PC finally died (after 10 years!), I'm coming back up to speed with everything for a new build. If I'm going with an Intel I9-9900K processor on a Gigabyte Aorus Ultra Z390 motherboard, what kind of ram would you recommend purchasing?

Right now, I'm thinking of trying out the G. Skill Trident Z (have always gone with corsair in the past though) but am running into a few issues I'm not 100% sure on:
  1. If I want to go with 32 gb of ram, what kind of configuration should I use? Should I go with 2X 16 gb modules or 4X 8 gb modules? My gut is telling me to go with the 4X 8 gb modules (assuming it would be using two double-channels). If I go with 4 modules, will I have to get a kit of 4, or can I get 2 kits of 2 (I know they need to be paired up properly). What makes me nervous is that the QVL for Gigabyte's mobo only lists out 2X8 gb options, and I'm not sure if that means I can't use 4 (G. Skill's ram configurator lists the 4X8 kit for this mobo though)
  2. How should I select the frequency and CAS timings? Should I shoot for higher frequencies or timings? Based on what I've read, I know that they're actually both tied together. Am I thinking of this right? The delay time for a 3200 MHz module with 14 CAS would be: 1/3,200,000,000 * 2 (2 messages per cycle) * 14 = 8.75 nanoseconds. If I used 3600 MHz modules with 17 CAS, then the delay time would be: 1/3,600,000,000 * 2 (2 messages per cycle) * 17 = 9.4 nanoseconds. So, in this situation, the 3200 MHz module is better than the higher frequency module, because it has a lower delay?
If it helps at all, I'm building the PC both for gaming and video editing / audio production purposes; however, I barely do any gaming these days anymore. The most intensive software I've used before is Adobe After Effects - which could sometimes be SUPER slow on my old build (first gen I7 920).

Thanks for any help you can provide :)!!!
 
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I have a very similar setup and I would say 4 x 8GB DDR4 3200 which is the sweet spot....though 3600 will also work if the price is not too bad. You can also buy 2 separate 2 x 8GB dual channel kits and it will work fine so long as they are the exact same brand and speed. As an example, this is the RAM I bought and I purchased two of them and have them running perfectly.

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/corsair-vengeance-rgb-pro-16gb-2x8gb-ddr4-pc4-24000c15-3000mhz-dual-channel-kit-white-my-4c2-cs.html

As to configuration, with Intel's XMP you do not really have to worry as you just go into the Gigabyte BIOS and set XMP and it will automatically clock the RAM to its best settings and to its rated speed. I have the Z370 Gigabyte Auros Gaming 7 so very similar to yours. Of course you can play around and tighten the timings or go for an overclock. On my DDR4 3000 I managed to get them to 3200 with ease but had to go to CAS 16 for stability. I am sure I could go higher but RAM has never been my strongest arena.

The Trident Z RAM is very good and they have a great set of DDR4 3200 at a low CAS of 14...

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/g.skill-trident-z-rgb-16gb-2x8gb-ddr4-pc4-25600c14-3200mhz-dual-channel-kit-f4-3200c14d-16gtzr-my-10c-gs.html

With the 9900K you will be in a whole new world compared with your old i7 920 and the motherboard in the Gigabyte Aorus Z390 Ultra is a great match for the 9900K...have fun.
 

KD18

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Thanks for the reply; greatly appreciate it!!! Now, I feel more confident in going with the 3200 and CAS 14 latency.

Fortunately, the serial for that same exact kit you picked is on the G. SKill ram configurator, but I couldn't find it in the Gigabyte QVL list. Do you think that still poses any compatibility problems? I'm thinking it's just due to the fact that the QVL may be a bit dated.

Also, I noticed that there's a HUGE price difference between buying two 2X8 gb kits versus just a 4X8 gb kit on Newegg. Any reason for that?

2X8 gb kit: https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820232485

4X8 gb kit: https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-32gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/0RN-001W-00459

I hear you on the comments for the motherboard too. Honestly, I've ALWAYS gone with ASUS boards and wanted to choose them this time around, but it sounds like their Z390 boards are complete shit. The Strix looks really nice, but the temps and quality control nightmares I read about made me reconsider. Choosing the motherboard was actually the hardest part for me this time around. Hopefully Gigabyte doesn't disappoint though.

Thanks again!!
 

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