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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently built a computer for the purpose of playing SWTOR, and I intend to upgrade my RAM and possibly CPU soon. My question relates to these upcoming decisions.

Relevant current components:
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
Phenom II X4 965 BE C3
2x8GB DDR3-1333 Kingston ValueRAM (CL:9)

I bought the 1333 RAM because I didn't realize I could underclock memory (herp derp) and I thought stability might be an issue. Upon correcting both misconceptions, I realized that I should have bought DDR3-1600 with tight timings. So, I asked my wife if I could spend $100 on more RAM. She said I could. I then learned on these forums that upgrading to slightly faster RAM with the same timings as my current memory will have a negligible impact on my gaming performance.

However, as many of you can probably understand, when your woman tells you to go buy more computer hardware, you go buy more computer hardware. 'Nuff said.

So I got to thinking, I could buy some DDR3-1600 with tight timings, but if I want to upgrade my CPU in the not-so-distant future to, say, an FX-8350, I might want some DDR3-1866, which would be another $100 on top of the DDR3-1600.

Unless, I just bought the DDR3-1866 now (was considering this) and then underclocked it to suit my Phenom II.

I have also read here that Phenom IIs really fly when they've got some DDR3-1333 with insanely tight timings. However, I can't find any kits of 2x8GB of high performance DDR3-1333 on Newegg, and with the way browsers have been eating more and more memory in recent years, I'd really rather have 16 GB total with just two DIMMs.

So my question is, if I bought the G.Skill kit I linked two paragraphs ago, do you think I can really tighten up its timings if I underclock it to 1333? I mean, does the fact that it's rated for 1866 give me a bit of flexibility there? I don't expect to be able to get its CL down to 5 but it would be cool if I could get it down to 7 or 8.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks much!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frog7877 View Post

I recently built a computer for the purpose of playing SWTOR, and I intend to upgrade my RAM and possibly CPU soon. My question relates to these upcoming decisions.

Relevant current components:
ASUS Sabertooth 990FX R2.0
Phenom II X4 965 BE C3
2x8GB DDR3-1333 Kingston ValueRAM (CL:9)

I bought the 1333 RAM because I didn't realize I could underclock memory (herp derp) and I thought stability might be an issue. Upon correcting both misconceptions, I realized that I should have bought DDR3-1600 with tight timings. So, I asked my wife if I could spend $100 on more RAM. She said I could. I then learned on these forums that upgrading to slightly faster RAM with the same timings as my current memory will have a negligible impact on my gaming performance.

However, as many of you can probably understand, when your woman tells you to go buy more computer hardware, you go buy more computer hardware. 'Nuff said.

So I got to thinking, I could buy some DDR3-1600 with tight timings, but if I want to upgrade my CPU in the not-so-distant future to, say, an FX-8350, I might want some DDR3-1866, which would be another $100 on top of the DDR3-1600.

Unless, I just bought the DDR3-1866 now (was considering this) and then underclocked it to suit my Phenom II.

I have also read here that Phenom IIs really fly when they've got some DDR3-1333 with insanely tight timings. However, I can't find any kits of 2x8GB of high performance DDR3-1333 on Newegg, and with the way browsers have been eating more and more memory in recent years, I'd really rather have 16 GB total with just two DIMMs.

So my question is, if I bought the G.Skill kit I linked two paragraphs ago, do you think I can really tighten up its timings if I underclock it to 1333? I mean, does the fact that it's rated for 1866 give me a bit of flexibility there? I don't expect to be able to get its CL down to 5 but it would be cool if I could get it down to 7 or 8.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks much!
Do you really need 16gb of memory?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Four years ago one might ask "Do you really need 8 GB of memory?" but today, 4 GB is far from enough for an enthusiast's machine (Wirth's Law). I really hope my machine lasts longer than four years, because computers are expensive, and I'd rather just spend the money now, because I can, so I don't need to later. I don't expect the machine to be "future-proof" - there's no such thing. But I built the machine as an investment, instead of buying yet another laptop (I've found that I don't compute much away from home). I'd rather put off making the same investment again until I need to. Spending an extra $50 now might help a bit, or not at all, but I've got the money, and I'm willing to pay, so why not?
 

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You usually can. My KHX2000T1s are rated at 2000 CL8-8-8-24 1.65V, and I'm running them at 1666MHz 6-6-6-18 1.67V.
 

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To be honest, I don't see much reason to spend another $50-100 "just" on memory, unless you REALLY want (or are obliged) to. As you're gaming - you'll barely notice any difference from faster RAM, so I'd rather invest the money in better graphics.

Still, if you want the best sub-$100 2x8GB no matter what, I would recommend buying either these or these.
 

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I disagree with the above. You will notice a benefit from faster RAM, assuming you're not GPU bottlenecked. The faster your memory, the higher your minimum frame rate, generally. There are always exceptions, but I have not seen any of them.

Since you plan on upgrading to the 8350 (although I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that you get the upcoming Haswell 4770K and a decent board instead, as you will end up with a significantly faster processor, a much more mature and optimized architecture, and a far more energy efficient and cooler running computer; in fact you could likely get the CPU+MB with the money you intend to spend on the AMD CPU + what you would get from selling your current board and processor, and even have some cash left over)...
I would not limit myself to 1866, but rather look for a strong 2133-2400 kit. I run G.Skill Ripjaws Z DDR3 2133 9-11-10-27 16GB kit, and it will easily do 1866 8-8-8-24, 1600 6-7-6-21, and so on. The G.Skill Trident X 2400 kits use the same IC's and will overclock the same (I consider lowering speeds but tightening timings to be overclocking), and Mushkin 2133 CL9 kits are also fantastic.
Stay away from Corsair, as the only memory that competes with the other brands' faster stuff is their Dominator Platinum, but it costs 2-4x the price! Also, for whatever reason, the kits tend to not overclock well at all. The only reason to get them, IMO, is if you have taken far too much Ecstasy and the shining lights make you feel like you are at a rave, or if you simply need some e-Viagra to enhance your e-peen.
 
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