[SOLVED] Should I buy DDR4 4400 MHz or 3200 MHz RAM for i7-12700 (non K) CPU?

Apr 21, 2022
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I'm planning to build a new PC with an i7-12700 non k processor since I don't plan to overclock the CPU. I've read that the (non K) CPUs don't have good memory overclocking support (You can't have the RAM frequency above 3600 MHz in Gear 1) as the VCCSA voltage is locked on (non K) CPUs. I found a 4400 MHz kit that costs about 17 percent more than a pair of 3200 cl16 RAM (not sold together as a kit), I just want to know whether the 4400 Mhz kit is worth 17 percent more for the performance that it would provide for gaming and general tasks and whether I'd be able to run the 4400 MHz kit at a lower frequency like 3200 or 3466 MHz with tighter timings like CL 14 on Gear 1 mode with a non K i7-12700 CPU. I'd also like to know whether 4400 MHz RAM would offer better (or worse) performance than the 3200 MHz RAM even at Gear 2.

Crucial Ballistix MAX 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 4400 MHz
Memory - Black (BLM2K16G44C19U4B) Extended timings - 19-19-19-43


(OR)

Crucial Ballistix MAX 16GB x 2 White (BL16G32C16U4W) DDR4 3200 MHz Extended timings : 16-18-18-36

Thank you in advance.
 
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Gear 2 mode slows memory access. so running gear 2 would mostly negate the faster speed. Depending on specific program you are running.
Some like bandwidth more. Some like tighter timings.
4400 speed is not guaranteed. It all depends on your CPU's memory controller and quality of motherboard. Lower end motherboard/chip-sets do not allow anything over stock speeds.
Too many variables to give an exact yes/no answer.
 
Reactions: Satan-IR
I'm planning to build a new PC with an i7-12700 (non k) processor, since I don't plan to overclock the CPU. But I've read that the (non K) CPUs don't have good memory overclocking support as the VCCSA voltage is locked on (non K) CPUs. I found a 4400 MHz kit that costs about 17 percent more than a pair of 3200 cl16 RAM (not sold together as a kit), I just want to know whether the 4400 Mhz kit is worth 17 percent more for the performance it would provide for gaming and general tasks and whether I'd be able to run the 4400 MHz kit at a lower frequency like 3200 or 3466 MHz with tighter timings like CL 14 with a non K i7-12700 CPU.

Crucial Ballistix MAX 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4 4400 MHz
Memory - Black (BLM2K16G44C19U4B) Extended timings - 19-19-19-43


(OR)

Crucial Ballistix MAX 16GB x 2 White (BL16G32C16U4W) DDR4 3200 MHz Extended timings : 16-18-18-36
Whichever way you decide to go get a kit.
 
Apr 21, 2022
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Whichever way you decide to go get a kit.
Will there be any compatibility issues if I buy a pair of RAM that are of the same model but sold separately?
I did find some 3200 MHz (16GB x 2) Kits sold online, but they seem to cost about the same as the 4400 MHz RAM kit that I have mentioned above and they seem to have worse latency when compared to the 3200 MHz RAM that I mentioned above. (3200 MHz with Latency 16-20-20 and 3600 MHz RAM with Latency : CL18-22-22-42 )
 
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kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Will there be any compatibility issues if I buy the same model of RAM separately?
I did find some 3200 MHz (16GB x 2) Kits sold online, but they seem to cost about the same as the 4400 MHz RAM kit that I have mentioned above and they seem to have worse latency when compared to the 3200 MHz RAM that I mentioned above. (3200 MHz with Latency 16-20-20 and 3600 MHz RAM with Latency : CL18-22-22-42 )
There could be compatibility problems. The reason manufacturers sell matched sets is that they guarantee that all the parts will work together. If you buy single DIMMs, there is no guarantee of compatibility between the parts. YOU have assumed the responsibility of making them work.
 
Apr 21, 2022
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There could be compatibility problems. The reason manufacturers sell matched sets is that they guarantee that all the parts will work together. If you buy single DIMMs, there is no guarantee of compatibility between the parts. YOU have assumed the responsibility of making them work.
Ok, I'll buy a kit then. Will the overall performance of DDR4 4400 MHz CL19 kit in Gear 2 mode be better when compared to 3200 CL16 kits that run in Gear 1? Which one of them should I buy? Will I be able to run the 4400 MHz kit at the advertised frequency and timings in Gear 2 mode on a non K i7-12700 CPU?
 
Gear 2 mode slows memory access. so running gear 2 would mostly negate the faster speed. Depending on specific program you are running.
Some like bandwidth more. Some like tighter timings.
4400 speed is not guaranteed. It all depends on your CPU's memory controller and quality of motherboard. Lower end motherboard/chip-sets do not allow anything over stock speeds.
Too many variables to give an exact yes/no answer.
 
Reactions: Satan-IR
Apr 21, 2022
36
5
35
0
Gear 2 mode slows memory access. so running gear 2 would mostly negate the faster speed. Depending on specific program you are running.
Some like bandwidth more. Some like tighter timings.
4400 speed is not guaranteed. It all depends on your CPU's memory controller and quality of motherboard. Lower end motherboard/chip-sets do not allow anything over stock speeds.
Too many variables to give an exact yes/no answer.
I'll most likely buy the MSI MAG B660M Mortar Wifi DDR4 motherboard, I guess that it's better to play it safe and buy the 3200 MHz memory kits.
 
Apr 21, 2022
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I read that article already, but I wasn't sure whether that frequency (4400 MHz) is guaranteed in gear 2 mode. Is it worth paying 15 percent more for the 12700k for good memory overclocking support? Entry level gigabyte Z690 motherboards cost just a little more than the MSI b660m motherboards. But I'm not planning to overclock the CPU, so I'm just not sure if it's worth it. If the increase in performance is worth the increase in price, then I'll get the K version.
 
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Like the linked article states.
For GAMING you need to get 4600+ speeds to get a benefit.
4400 is about equal in most games with a few doing better.
But the difference is less than 10% in all tested games. Most in the 1-2 percent range.
So instead of 150 FPS you would get 152 (1 %) to 165 (10 %) in best case scenario.
So in my opinion it is not worth it.
But some people pay the difference for bragging rights.
 
Apr 21, 2022
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Like the linked article states.
For GAMING you need to get 4600+ speeds to get a benefit.
4400 is about equal in most games with a few doing better.
But the difference is less than 10% in all tested games. Most in the 1-2 percent range.
So instead of 150 FPS you would get 152 (1 %) to 165 (10 %) in best case scenario.
So in my opinion it is not worth it.
But some people pay the difference for bragging rights.
Ok then, I'll just get the non K CPU and 3200 MHz RAM. I'm thinking about buying a pair of "Crucial Ballistix MAX 16GB White (BL16G32C16U4W) DDR4 3200 MHz" RAM with Extended timings : 16-18-18-36, but they are not sold as a kit, but I might take the risk since it's 17 percent cheaper than "ADATA 3200 MHz RAM with Latency 16-20-20 which is sold as a 16gb x 2 kit. I'll make sure to update the bios once I get the motherboard, perhaps that would improve compatibility.
 
Apr 21, 2022
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And when you add the price for the CPU, the motherboard and the RAM, what prcentage does this difference represent. Very small certainly, and could you preserve from some major headache .....
I understand, I'll try to get a kit. Will I get better gaming performance if I get a 4400 Mhz RAM kit with an i5-12600k instead of a locked i7-12700 and run it at 4000 MHz with tighter timings?
I plan to use this PC for several years, will 8 P cores be better?
 
Apr 21, 2022
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