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Please help me choose used DDR3 ram

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have Athlon II X2 240e and MSI 790FX-GD70 and now I need to buy some DDR3 modules. Preferably used ones, two 1GB sticks or just one 2GB. I also would like to have them running with some tight timings and at 1T. As for overclocking the cpu, I'd like to hit ~3.5GHz - I think that should be enough for some DX9 gaming (mostly racing sims and some fps shooters) on my Windows XP machine. But I have no idea what ram to look for? I'd appreciate it very much if somebody could help me pick right modules.
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post #2 of 13
It has been proven again and again that except some corner cases RAM speed doesn't matter. As such I would advice you to get the most GB of the cheapest RAM you can find that works. Pretty much any brand is a good brand because they only package RAM, they don't actually manufacture the dies, so the biggest source of failure doesn't exist any more since quite a few years ago.
BTW, in DDR3 you should find 2GB modules for 10-15$ second hand. Get one 2GB module if you can't get two, but don't get 2x1GB as they'll fill your RAM slots and you won't have room to add more in the future.
Centurion
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Centurion
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
So, does it mean that even PC3-8500 (1066MHz) ram will be OK for me? I thought that I needed faster ram (like PC3-12800) for ocing that Athlon. And one more thing - won't 2x1GB (dual channel) be faster than 1x2GB?

p.s.
About 1T rate - any ram will do? Really?
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post #4 of 13
I forgot about the 1T, for good reason maybe. In the DDR1 days, this was primordial for performance; for DDR2 less so, and for DDR3 I don't really know if it's a thing any more. On my rig I have the DDR2 in 2T with tighter timings than I could afford on 1T; on my lady's it's just 2T DDR3, I didn't bother more than to run 3DMarks in various configurations. DDR3 timings impacted everything so little that I left them at 1333 and undervolted the dimms.
RAM speed is important, but again not that important. In games, one bin (say 1066 to 1333) could bring 1-2%, when the margin of error of the test is higher. Capacity is more important than speed as long as you have under 8GB, in my opinion. You don't need RAM speed to overclock, they're completely decoupled.
About 2x1GB being faster than 1x2GB - I'd put the performance advantage of the dual channel setup to 5%. A single channel DDR3 1333 can theoretically transfer as much as 2x DDR2 667; in practice it's lower, but still a lot. On an Intel setup this would matter, on AMD less because between the very first Athlon64 and the last Phenom II the memory controller didn't evolve quite as much as it should have. They started with DDR1, then 2 and 3, but the controller itself doesn't use the extra bandwidth. As such on DDR3 one can use 1 channel and not loose too much. This reasoning only works if you plan to add another 2GB DIMM later, otherwise there's no need not to have the extra 5% speed from the dual channel.
Centurion
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Centurion
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for your reply and all information provided - it was a great help for me. Since ram is pretty cheap these days I'll be buying used Ripjaws sticks 2x2GB like this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231303
I hope they will be as good for Amd as they are for Intel.
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junkbox
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post #6 of 13
Ooo..Those will be OK but..not very good for AMD...
eh..CAS7..not too shabby smile.gif
 
Thuban Powah!
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Thuban Powah!
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Why not very good for AMD? BTW, could you recommend me some good modules?
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junkbox
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post #8 of 13
I've dialed in my criteria for RAM on newegg, link below. Basically I've narrowed to 1.35V & 1.5 V and 2x2GB kits and ordered them from the cheapest. I'd pick one of the first two for all the reasons I've mentioned above and also because they have solid 5 stars reviews. I wouldn't count on reviews if they were only a few, but apparently tenths of buyers are very happy with them.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007611%20600006050%20600006066%20600000279%20600000261&IsNodeId=1&name=1.5V&Order=PRICE&Pagesize=20

That said, I have 2x4GB Gskill DDR3 1333 1.5V for Intel on an AMD Phenom II and it works just fine. On my gaming rig I have 2x2GB OCZ for AMD together with 2x2GB Gskill DDR2 for Intel on another Phenom II and they work fine too as 4x2GB. It's true some memory kits for AMD overclock better on AMD than on Intel, but the gain from memory OCing is often small...
Centurion
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Centurion
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Phenom II 940 @3.3GHz 1.25V Gigabyte 790X-DS4 XFX 5850 8GB OCZ DDR2-800 
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you once again for your help. Too bad I cannot say like Bruce Springsteen I was born in the USA (great song BTW). Here where I live (Eastern Europe) the selection of ram is very limited in both quality and quantity. But if low voltage is important for AMD, I managed to find some OEM modules:
Micron MT8KTF25664AZ-1G4

Will they work fine in dual channel if I buy 2 sticks?
junkbox
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junkbox
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Samsung HD502HJ Optiarc 7200S Scythe Andy Samurai Master Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit 
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post #10 of 13
Micron / Crucial memory is pretty good, in DDR1 days they were the best. Two should work together, though you may need to enable manually dual-channel mode in the BIOS. If the SPD are ever so slightly different the BIOS will not by default place them in dual channel, but you can force them and they should work, 90% sure; 99% if they're a good brand (crucial, kinston, corsair, gskill, muskin, etc...). There's always the odd possibility they just don't like each other, or the motherboard has a poor/pretentious BIOS, but I've never met it.
Centurion
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 940 @3.3GHz 1.25V Gigabyte 790X-DS4 XFX 5850 8GB OCZ DDR2-800 
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Corsair Force 3 TRUE Win 7 Pro x64 ACER 23" TN  
PowerCase
400W Silverstone Strider Antec P182 
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Centurion
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II 940 @3.3GHz 1.25V Gigabyte 790X-DS4 XFX 5850 8GB OCZ DDR2-800 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Corsair Force 3 TRUE Win 7 Pro x64 ACER 23" TN  
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400W Silverstone Strider Antec P182 
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