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Need more RAM - Compatibility?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I built my sig-rig in June last year, so roughly a year ago. Since then, what I require from it has changed quite a bit, using it more and more as a work PC first and a gaming pc second, and it's getting harder and harder to get by with the 8 gigs of ram I got for it back when I built it. After doing a quick check, though, I quickly realized that Corsair no longer produces the exact type of memory that I originally put in.

The model nr of the RAM currently in the system is CMD8GX3M2A2133C9, which runs at 2133MHz, with timings of 9-11-10-30 at 1.5V.

The closest I could find was CMD8GX3M2B2133C9, which seems to be the updated version of this SKU, also running at 2133MHz, but this time with timings of 9-11-11-31 at 1.65V.

So I've got a few questions here:

- If I picked up some of this newer RAM and put it into my system, how would it do compatibility-wise?

- If you foresee any trouble concerning compatibility, should I just go for a set of 2 (or even 4) 8gb modules instead? (Then I'd have 2 sticks of memory left over that I'd have to find a different use for, though...)

- If I did get a set of 2 8gb modules, could I run it side-by-side with my current memory?

- If I did swap out the memory I currently have, would Corsair even be my best option?

I guess, in short, my real question would be to see what you guys think, what you would recommend as the best course of action, knowing everything I've told you so far?
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post #2 of 9
The voltage requirements are so different between the two sets, I would be hesitant to mix and match them. I guess one option might be to find a workable lower frequency using tighter timings and settling for a dram voltage around 1.6v which should be safe and workable for both kits.

Running the 1.5v rated kit at 1.65v would work, but no estimate on when that might start to degrade the memory and cause stability problems.

If I were in your position I'd opt for two 8Gb sticks and keep your existing memory for backup if ever needed to get you by in a pinch.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
That does seem like the way to go, but that way I'd effectively lose the money I invested in those 2 4gb sticks of RAM I bought last year, keeping them in the closet "just in case".
I've already got a H100i and a 760W power supply in that closet, waiting for the day they're allowed out again. I get that it's probably the best thing to do, but it still feels like a bit of a waste money-wise.

It seems really weird to me though, that Corsair would loosen the timings and increase the required voltage on what is essentially the update SKU of the RAM I bought last year. Isn't technology supposed to advance over time?

If I do swap out my memory though, are there any sets you guys would recommend? I'd need at least 16gb, preferably in 8gb modules. I'm also pretty sure that I wouldn't really benefit from faster RAM that much anymore, so lower frequency modules would be fine as well.

Let me know thumb.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #4 of 9
When I see memory from the same mfg. rated at the same frequency, but with higher voltages and looser timings, I always assume that is because the ICs have changed.

In this case, the ICs being used in the new kits aren't as "cherry" as the ones that they were previously using. The only reason to up voltage and slightly loosen the timings would be because the new ICs aren't the same design spec. or maybe the quality as the ones used previously

Where will you be sourcing the new memory at? If we know where you can buy from, we can look at their stock and try to find your best options.

Can you sell your existing memory to recoup some of the cost?
Edited by wevsspot - 4/19/14 at 12:10pm
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'd most likely be ordering from alternate.be.
They're the ones that have the largest stock and the most reasonable prices in my area.

I could try reselling my current memory, yes. And I regularly build systems for friends and family, so I could probably plop it into one of those systems as well. The money isn't exactly lost, but it'll probably be tied up for a little while, though I guess I can live with that.
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Behemoth
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Small bump, since I'd like to reach a decision and place an order or go pick it up today.

Some of the options I was looking at:


As you can see, I'm in a bit of a dilemma here.

First of all, going with higher frequency RAM doesn't really increase the cost dramatically, but it does come with looser timings. Wether I'd benefit more from the tighter timings or the increased frequency, I'm really not sure. The software I'm using is proprietary, so as far as I know there's really no easy way to tell without a side-by-side comparison...

Secondly, I'm tempted to go for 32gb straight away, even if it probably doesn't get fully used with the way I'm using my system now, I just want to prevent being in the exact same situation X amount of time down the road, where I need more RAM capacity, but am unable to find the same SKU since they stopped making it. However, that does mean paying around double what 16gb would cost me, for something that may not be used (straight away).
Behemoth
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Behemoth
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post #7 of 9
Tough call. That is a lot of price difference when comparing 16Gb to 32Gb kits. It's your investment so it's really hard to recommend one way or another.

I guess that I would start by asking; In your current usage scenarios what is the maximum amount of RAM that you've ever seen utilized?
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wevs rig
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
The highest I've ever seen on my coworker, was a week or so ago when he was hovering around 14-14,5gb of RAM used.
That's why I was thinking about maybe going 32gb, since that's not a lot of overhead he's got left, especially looking towards the future, since I would be looking this software on this PC for at least a few more years...
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Behemoth
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post #9 of 9
Since it sounds like you're leaning towards 32Gb, personally I think it would be better to go with a DDR 1600Mhz kit. I have two primary reasons for this recommendation;

1. Cost
2. Getting 32Gb of high speed RAM running stable can be challenging

Your best bet for plug-n-play operation with 32Gb would be DDR3 1600Mhz
wevs rig
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Asus DVD / Bluray LG Bluray / Burner Custom H20 - Swiftech, XSPC Windows 7 Pro x64 
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wevs rig
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Crucial C300 128Gb x2 RAID0  SK Hynix SH910 128Gb x2 RAID0 Western Digital Black Edition 1Tb Western Digital Black Edition 640Gb 
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Asus DVD / Bluray LG Bluray / Burner Custom H20 - Swiftech, XSPC Windows 7 Pro x64 
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