Firstly, I'd like to say this: Myself being a part of an internet forum not hosted by any specific computer company, and obviously not being in any way affiliated with a memory manufacturer, I don't see how the disclaimer you mention is necessary at all. I don't represent anyone; I don't need a disclaimer to say what I think to be true or what I have observed to be true.
And I don't see why we shouldn't be trusting the millions in the user base who constantly test situations and find and solve problems, over the few in the companies that might test something once and never again. Were everyone to be limiting themselves with RAM choices, we would have seen significantly emptier pockets back about when Sandy Bridge was out and DDR3 kits rated below 1.65V weren't that common. According to an Intel document you should not be using more than 1.5V memory on Sandy Bridge/LGA1155. Whereas, according to the experience and expertise of the thousands of overclockers on and off this site using the LGA1155 platform, it has been found that 1.65V memory can in fact be used safely on the platform so long as you increase a certain voltage to accompany the use of higher voltage RAM. This fact has put hundreds of dollars back into the wallets of consumers. What, should communities like this one be nonexistent just because we didn't make the particular kit? Then such communities should have no reason to exist. If we were to all trust the companies and not ourselves, then none of us on here would be risk takers and overclockers. After all, this is Overclock.net - we are all collectively in pursuit of performance.
I certainly don't have the power to stop memory companies from doing this because, of course, that's business and marketing. It's definitely possible to see "platform specific" RAM kits being marketed at similar prices where lower binned and competition between companies is a lot more apparent no matter what platform the RAM is for. Consider this though: you can sell a good RAM kit at a decent price to the mass buyer where competition is much more apparent, while where competition is much less apparent, charge more for the same or worse. Throughout, this marketing has been common in the RAM industry; with chipsets coming in several different flavours, compatibility issues were somewhat more prevalent. In the modern age of integrated memory controllers, however, one should be avoiding this kind of marketing.
There are definitely at least some limitations present in the deal of choosing your RAM kit (i.e. avoid kits rated more than 1.65V on LGA1156, 1366, 1155, etc.) and in no place in which you quote from me did I say or am attempting to convey the message that "any RAM kit will work". That was not the message I intended to deliver.
Dealing with RAM is not at all like dealing with which CPU goes in which CPU socket. One of the things I'm trying to point out is a trend between companies and rating for specific platforms, and how this becomes an issue when it starts to limit your kit choices. I haven't seen many higher binned (i.e. rated for performance) memory kits being approved for AMD systems, except perhaps for high-priced kits such as the G.Skill Flare kits that released about a year ago and then were forgotten by everybody - presumably, due to the irrevocably high prices for a kit that overclocked no better than (and provided performance no better than) a cheaper "Intel-rated" kit rated for the P55 platform, that companies would discourage from using on AMD platforms even though they worked in just the same way. That in particular I have a huge problem with and there's likely not a way I could come to peace with a particular RAM company for doing so.
Where have I caught companies doing this wrong?
Exhibit A: Even though the G.Skill ECO kits are rated for 1.35V, there should be nothing holding them back from operating at default 1.5V on JEDEC timings safely and permanently until they die. In my experience, the ECOs run cool and have probably not gone through any significant extra degradation - at 1.6V for more than a year. "The motherboard can't scale back the voltage" is hardly an excuse for a kit being excluded from a particular platform.
Exhibit B: User error. This person is quick to admit that "ohh it's not just marketing" just because it doesn't work on his platform, the kit is not really AMD-suitable whatsoever - even though the RAM happens to be on the QVL of his particular motherboard. He cannot make this claim because he did not bother to test the same memory on an Intel platform device to see if it worked at that particular setting. Therefore it is most likely that the IC binning went awry for one or more of his DIMMs and his kit is a dud. If it weren't a dud, it would work on his system as well as it does work on mine.
How this relates to my issue with QVLs nowadays: right now the QVL is really only there for the nitwits. If there wasn't a QVL, some would be confused. It's obviously better to have one than to not have one and cause the uneducated to go nuts about the RAM choice. If you're experienced or have been advised, however, don't fall for it! To be limiting yourself to QVLs is like limiting yourself to those kits that are "platform-specific" and may in turn cost more for your platform. With ICs not dissimilar and not in any way specifically tuned for a certain platform to the point where another will completely sputter and reject it, there's no reason you should be buying anything platform-specific or QVL-specific. And what if none of those particular kits are available for sale anymore? To date and in my experience, issues between specific RAM kits (QVL-present/platform-certified or not) and motherboards/platforms have been an extremity and a rarity, if not an impossibility. I'd like to see where platform compatibility has actually hindered a person from using a specific RAM kit. This is how I go about my parts shopping (including RAM shopping), and you have no obligation to continue in my footsteps: Know what you're buying and what risk you're taking, and only exclude a choice if you absolutely know it's going to be totally incompatible. Through this logic, I have saved hundreds of dollars.
And, as for the OP: I highly recommend that you don't limit your choices, and that you don't listen to those who recommend you do so either.
Edited by xd_1771 - 12/11/11 at 11:32pm