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RAM, Timings and all that jazz........

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  • RAM, Timings and all that jazz........

    I too am considering a build, spured on by BC2 and also Napoleon Total War, my poor Dual Core is struggling with the sheer scope of 4 vs 4 games. I already have:

    850w PSU
    1 x 7,200 500GB HDD
    1 x 7,200 320GB HDD
    Creative X-Fi Titanium
    NVidia GTX 275
    Core2Duo E6700 2.66GHz
    6GB Corsair DDR2

    Those are all fine to stay, apart from the CPU as it sucks now and the RAM as it will not be up to scratch. Although I have been considering a new case thanks to E-Male and his case porn in his upgrade thread, and also a SSD, for the sheer relief it brings to poor HDDs in things like ArmA. So far I settled my self on these:

    i5 750 - This I intend to overclock to bejaysus, until I get to around 4.00GHz. Also, with the Turbo Boost feature it will rock out existing games that do not have multi-core support.

    Corsair H50-1 - Will keep said overclock cool as ice.

    Gigabyte GA-P55A-UD3 - USB 3.0 and SATA 6GB/s FTW!

    So some questions.

    1.) Does a LGA1156 MoBo exist that offers Triple Channel? Or is it JUST dual channel? The reason I ask is not for the negligible extra performance, but the lower cost for 6GB of RAM as opposed to 4GB with Dual Channel unless I buy ANOTHER 4GB, which is expensive!

    2.) RAM timings. Does 8-8-8-24 really mean much different to say 7-7-7-24? And is Brand all THAT big a deal? I see plenty of RAM manufacturers offering Lifetime guarantees (except Corsair in the UK for some legal reasons)

    For Example, would this G.Skill RipJaw be much better than this Corsair Dominator

    No lifetime warranty on the Crucial but full life cover on the G.Skill sort of means there is no risk, and you save some money, PARTICULARLY if you get 8GB, as would be my intention, at least in the long run.

    Then to complicate more there is always the option to step up to 2000MHz RAM, even though the timings are slower.

    G.Skill 2000MHz

    Now I would like to think I am pretty technical, at least enough so to get by, but these timings things need explaining, and the aforementioned differences bashed out so I can get the killer rig I need, as I have been doing piecemeal upgrades, and now want to blitz my system too last a few years without work.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: RAM, Timings and all that jazz........

    1. No. Not sure I follow your ram comments btw. 1156 is DDR3 and 4gb should certainly be cheaper than 6gb.
    2. I'm not informed enough to give a detailed explanation but I haven't seen much indication that lower timings help in any way that mandates giving it much thought. Don't overpay for a minor change you won't notice. Brand? IMO not really but everyone tends to have their favorite.


    • #3
      Re: RAM, Timings and all that jazz........

      Thanks Mantis. To clarify on number 1.

      I will not settle with 4GB of RAM, I run W7 now with 6GB and think that would be a good minimum to keep, 4GB just feels like too little now. So what I meant was, is Dual channel all I get the option of with that socket 1156? If yes I will need to go for 8GB ram, whereas if a triple channel LGA 1156 board exists I could instead get 6GB of ram and save a few quid.


      • #4
        Re: RAM, Timings and all that jazz........

        1.) No, only the i7 1136 boards have tri-channel with a different CPU type. The difference between 4-6 is small. 8 is great, but don't take budget away from a SSD or videocard for it. You can use 6GB, but you lose dual channel for it. FWIW, on my i5 rig i had, I couldn't see a difference in arma2 between 4 and 8, for obvious game engine limitation reasons)

        2.) Tighter timings help more than raw clock, and are a good indicator of the quality of chips being used. Go with whichever 1600mhz chips have the best timings at the price you like. The differences here are miniscule though and not noticable in game frame rate. 2000mhz ram will take your OC farther without using odd ratio's and without needing voltage or timing modifications, but again, price will justify need.

        G.Skill ram is excellent, I would look at the ECO line, lower voltages that work better at default settings. Also, unless your rather expereinced in OC'n, your proabably going to stick with minor RAM setting changes (ratio's, voltage, those base timings at most).

        At the end of the day, if your new to overclocking, don't sweat too much the small details and go for a good, solid, but not extreme OC. You will spend a lot of effort and fustration gaining that extra 5% on the benches after the easy OC, so keep things in perspective.

        EDIT: I would get a 5850 instead of the 275, and DEFINITLY get a SSD if your putting ARMA2 on that jeepo. Kingston SSDNow V Gen II 64/128GB is a good choice, as it has TRIM.


        • #5
          Re: RAM, Timings and all that jazz........

          The i5 CPU is dual channel memory. It's one of the differences between the i7. The other is no hyper threading. The P55 also does things a little differently with the dual channel memory so it'll utilize the channels better than DDR2.

          You should be good with 4GB RAM and you can always upgrade with another 4GB when you have the money. I built my current system almost 4 years ago with 2GB RAM and bought another 2GB about a year ago. It's the same model and manufacturer so I didn't have any problems with compatibility.

          - It's who you game with.


          • #6
            Re: RAM, Timings and all that jazz........

            That cooler is ok but not king of the heap.


            I believe the i5 and i3 cpu's only support 16 pipes the i7 supports 2, 16 pipe GPU's or x16 + x8 + x8. There is a nivida mother board that has a nivida made chip that only works with nivida GPU's that offers an extra 16 pipes so on that MB alone you can get true x16 pipe 3 way SLI (take this with a grain of salt, I have an AMD GPU so only glanced at it).




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