The Most Common DDR DRAM Myths Debunked

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Tradesman1

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:bounce: How true ! and even before then and ever since it's still being said, the only thing that changes is the amounts - look at gaming and DRAM - 5-6 years ago, you'll never use more than 2GB of DRAM, then about 4 years ago it was 4GB, and people have been saying 8GB for a couple years now and do to this day even with games that are already calling for 8GB - I especially laugh when people say "8GB will keep you good for the next 5 years"
 
"...I think you'd be surprised at how may people will exceed 20GB at a given time, granted people doing single operations at a time aren't going to, but these days muti-tasking is more the norm, people are running VMs even on lower end rigs, video editing is common place. There's obviously many that do and it's accepted by the marketing people, last I looked the Egg was offering over 200+ 32GB sets in 4x8GB alone (and if you want to include DRAM + page file, they have over 700 16GB offerings....and 64GB offering continue to grow, there is now 128GB sets available and soon to be available.."

Steam survey. 86% of windows systems in the survey have have 11GB or less of ram. (12 GB and higher 13.71%) None of those system will be able to run 20GB of application virtual memory without changing windows default pagefile size.

http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey

Good article.

p.s. the LIMIT on physical ram supported by win 7 home premium is 16GB so I hope those newegg kits are going to win8 buyers.
 

Tradesman1

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Well Steam is more gaming oriented, not production working rigs, and the majority around there run 8-16GB. You're thinking of the 16GB limit on Win 7 Home premium, I know about 9-10 of my clients with new builds go Win7 Pro or Ultimate the Enterprise Edition doesn't get a lot of players, nor do many go Win 8-8.1. Have many running the Win 10 tech preview as a dual boot or by itself on rigs (secondary). Do know some that take a portion of their DRAM , create a RAM disk and run games from the ram disk ;)
 

alidan

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i just want to say this, i don't believe there will be much need for most people to have more than 8gb of ram unless programs get some serious bloat going on. even in games, there is little reason to have more than 4gb dedicated to the game if its handled correctly even if you use all 4k textures (which also don't need to exist because how often will a single texture have all 4k of its texture on scree to the point you would see the pixelation)

the bloat could be serious though... i personally use my computer with 8gb of ram as though it had 32gb, so in my case i could easily use more, but i'm not most people, i essentially live on the compute and internet.

its true that a long time ago if someone said 2gb or 4gb was enough and you wouldn't need more, they weren't forward thinking, but now... unless some serious bloat happens i can't see the average person needing more than 16gb ever... also, please note that i make a distinction between need and could use. i personally need 24gb (stuck on 8gb because ddr2 as 4gb sticks would cost more than a new computer and 16gb because windows 7 limit) and could easily use 64gb.
 

Tradesman1

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"can't see the average person needing more than 16gb ever." , saw very similar quotes from many about 5-6 years ago but they were saying 4GB, people just continue to use systems more and more and software (and games) are using DRAM more and more.
 

synphul

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Nice article. I think some things get said in an attempt to try and help others with little to no experience. For instance the 2 different speed ram sticks running at the speed of the slower sticks can often be true with default handling. There's always the chance that they won't work at all (though I've been lucky mixing ddr2 and ddr3 both with different speed and brand without issue). By both I mean ddr2 or ddr3, not 2 and 3 together. They seem to default to the speed/timings of the slower ram in my experience. If someone wanted to play with voltages and timings they may likely run at the higher speed with timings somewhat loosened on the lower performing stick. The trouble is a lot of people asking for help in the forums have difficulty locating or navigating the bios much less altering ram speed/timings. It can become easier or simpler to suggest that mixing ram will likely default to the lower settings.

I also agree with jshoop, I've also mentioned that which ddr3 they get in terms of manufacturer matters very little. Not that all ddr3 is the same, but more or less it matters little if all else being the same (speed/timings) if comparing corsair to g.skill or even team branded for that matter. Maybe if a motherboard has a picky compatibility issue and requires 'approved' brands only or during extreme memory overclocking (competitive). Pcpartpicker shows 2x4gb kits ranging from $60 to $80 both at cl9 and there's little to no difference between a $60 kit and an $80 kit.
 

merikafyeah

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Both, there are numerous companies that make the actual ICs or RAM chips (i.e. Hynix, Samsung, Micron, Kingston etc, then too there are numerous companies that manufacture DIMMs (Direct Inline Memory Modules) or the actual sticks of DRAM that are used in a computer. You mention Corsair, they long manufactured their sticks in CA in and around the Fremont area. Think about 10-12 years ago they set up a large production facility in Taiwan which is where most is now manufactured.
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You really should have included that as part of the original response. It would've made a mediocre response into an excellent response. The differentiation between ICs and DIMMs is crucial as I believe that to be deeply tied to the source of the myth, such that a more "accurate" myth would be "There Are Only A Few IC OEMs". Since there are not as many IC OEMs as there are DIMM manufacturers, people mistakenly believe there are only a handful of IC OEMs. The AMD modules are a good example of a repackage but I don't think people believe there are only a few DIMM manufacturers because they think repackaging is rampant.
 

djsvetljo

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If that is the case, how am I able to run G3258 (which has locked MC to 1333mhz) at 1866 ? I swear I've read on this website that Z97 motherboards (at least some) have a dedicated MC and can be used instead of the one in the CPU. Also, why do motherboard manufactures still widealy advertise RAM support 2400+ and etc. It usually boldly advertised. Something doesn't make sense.
 

Tradesman1

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In part yes, it's also aimed at those instances where say someone has 1866 and wants to try and mix with 2133, in those case all the DRAM often goes to the default of the mobo (either 1333-1600) where by inference a person would think all would go to 1866....then have to be manually set to 1866 or could possibly even set all to 2133

As far as the sticks themselves, many models of DRAM will OC better than other models giving them a bit of an advantage as for as being stronger, even at stock data rates ;)
 

Tradesman1

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Thanx, on my first response, was in a bit of a rush ;) Had no prior notice this was being published yesterday, (always the last to know, I got a few PMs and emails about the article, and I think it only proper to respond to all who offer comments ;) And it really came based on the modules, there are many instances in the forums here and elsewhere where people state that 'only a couple of companies' make DIMMs which is far from the truth
 

Tradesman1

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The G3258 isn't locked, 1333 is the recommended data rate for CPU, that's all, just recommended, much the same as Haswell is 'recommended' or 'native' to 1600....Many non-K Haswells can run 1866 or even 2133 with no problem where 2400 and up often requires a CPU OC to 'help' the MC in the CPU
 

TechyInAZ

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No problem tradesmen.

I have one question though, since not all dual channel configs work together. What if I wanted to add more RAM to my system? Would I buy the exact same kit and hope it works out well?
 

vern72

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I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Microsoft imposes different memory limits on the different editions of Windows. My question is why? Why impose different limits on different editions? I guess putting memory limits due to technical reasons would be too much to ask.
 

Tradesman1

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That what the design spec calls for at stock, and Intel is well noted for understating the capabilities of their CPUs (has been for years, remember the the Q6600, they even leaked at one point the 2.4 Q6600 migh OC to, think it was 2.8 or whatever, and people were running them at 3, 3.6 and 4+
 

Tradesman1

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If you have to mix, would try the same model or near same at same data rate, or even one data rate higher, then try and mix at the lower rate of the older DRAM, can often get them to play with timing/voltage adjustments...If you try and have problems give me a shout, no guarantees but think chances will be good, and I'm in daily ;)
 

Tradesman1

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Profits! Say Win7, they sell a bunch of the lower end versions to people and to OEMs figuring people will want more DRAM/power and later upgrade to fit the bill. They moved away from that a bit in Win 8 and again with Win 10

 

synphul

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I'm not sure how one 'performance' ram stick would be any 'stronger' than another at the same speed/timings. If timings were different, maybe. Also, it's very difficult to overclock ram and get to even the next full speed rating. Even if someone is successful it's about as useless as upping the baseclock. Ram performance real world has diminishing returns above ddr3 1600.

For instance, in anandtech's testing the difference between ddr3 1600 and 1866 is less than 5% in the winrar bench. If someone started with 1866 and pushed it to 2133 they'd get the same sub 5% improvement. There's about 2% improvement from stepping up a full ram speed group in x.264 hd.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6372/memory-performance-16gb-ddr31333-to-ddr32400-on-ivy-bridge-igp-with-gskill/11

Not to say buying faster ram won't help in some real world scenarios, but those gains come from buying vastly different ram - 2133 or 2400 vs 1600. Not from overclocking it.

Average performance increases in gaming are about nil, outside of a few rare cases like starcraft 2.
http://techbuyersguru.com/ramspeedgaming3.php

The biggest noticeable difference lies in synthetic benchmarks. It would make much more sense to just buy faster ram than go to the trouble of spending extra on high dollar ram and having to loosen the timings and push the voltage just in an attempt to get 2-5% more performance out of it. Toward the upper end of the scale (for intel/haswell anyway) it's liable to bottom out and be cpu limited/unstable. I'm not sure how well amd handles faster ram pushed to the limits.
 

Tradesman1

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It can depend on the platform being used -

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/dram-benchmark-fluctuations,4080.html

And in BMs you don't really 'see' much difference anyway, WinRAR is an example where you do and can see a measurable difference. The real advantage of the faster data rates is more in real world use, where people are multi-tasking, though even in gaming, depending on the game(s), Toms had an article showing gains of 10+ percent.

With clients I'll often sit them at a computer and have them use it as they would their own, then tell them I want to make a couple adjustments and while they go for a cup of coffee or whatever, change the DRAM to faster or slower sticks then have them try again without knowing what I had done to it, about 90% of the time they will say the preferred the setup that had the faster DRAM, and are surprised that the only change was the DRAM. Can also do as I did in the example in the article above and try runing multiple BMs and have a number of windows open in browsers etc and compare the differences in how long it takes to do something while having the rig be multi-tasking

On the sticks themselves for example, I find some, GSkill is a good example in many of their model lines, normally had enough OC headroom to go up 2 steps if OCed where others may go up 1 or not at all. Similar to Intel 'understating' CPU capabilities, they have their DRAM somewhat 'understated'
 

synphul

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Interesting the different results on the winrar tests done (esp the intel test with greater variances) from your first memory article. Some seemed to be affected by timing variations. Were all the various ram modules the same in terms of memory ranks as well? Aka, were the g.skill trident and sniper both single rank or are the snipers dual rank modules?

Not sure if there's an easy way to find out, but would be interesting since multiple rank memory designs can impact performance. Especially when all ram slots are loaded up. Used to be able to tell before they were covered with all the ramsinks and armor and even then it wasn't certain since having memory modules on both sides of the ram pcb didn't always mean dual rank.
 

Tradesman1

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Love it! (examining/testing single vs dual rank and more) It's on a list I have of pieces I want to do, along with a piece just on OCing DRAM, another in the works on true troubleshooting (step by step procedures) of DRAM problems, and a number of other more technical related pieces. I get input/ideas almost daily from responses in the forums/e-mails/PMs, etc.
 
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