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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
5 years ago I built an X99 system with Crucial Ballistix 32GB DDR4 2400 CAS16 memory (BLS4K8G4D240FSA). A couple years ago I upgraded to a X299 system and carried the memory forward. I've seen videos showing barely a ~5% difference in making big memory speed leaps (2133 to 3600) and so the idea of spending hundreds of dollars to upgrade my 2400 stuff seemed like a no go.

Fast forward to the new AMD announcement and it's got me thinking of upgrading to the 5950X, which clearly will need a new memory upgrade. To be honest though, I had the same thoughts about the 3950X and decided to do nothing. I have even less of a reason to go 5950X as Zen3 (and likely DDR5) is right around the corner but those IPC gains...

That brings me to yesterday. Someone offered to buy my Crucial Ballistix 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 2400 CAS16 memory kit making (2X) Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) 3600 CAS18 kit about $30 more so I jumped on it. Then I decided to go 64GB instead an the cost is $145 more, then I fell down the, quad channel vs 2x dual channel kit, single/double ranked, and B-Die worm holes and was being suggested $400 kits and now I'm wondering if I should just do nothing.

What am I missing here? I know if I plan to go 5950X, I should probably get faster memory, but if I plan to stick it out to DDR5, then I should keep what I have. Does that sound about right? Even though $30 seems like a no-brainer, I'm partially concerned about potential stability issues and none of that is worth it for ~5%.

I ordered 2x of these kits for $115 each, but now I'm rethinking my choice:

TL;DR, Does upgrading DDR4 speed make sense if DDR5 is right around the corner ready to stomp DDR4 anyway?
 

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god loves ugly
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For AMD, the relationship between memory speed and the infinity fabric leads me to highly suggest the upgrade.

I wouldn't worry too much about stability, stick to around 3600Mhz and get it as a kit and you'll likely be fine. The motherboard memory validation list can prove really helpful

The conventional wisdom is that 3600Mhz memory is about the highest the fabric can handle - it runs at half memory rate I think. Also, running a higher number of sticks, or modules that are rather dense can be difficult.

Two 16GB sticks at 3600Mhz is the sweet spot, in my opinion. It should perform pretty well given the speed, and not give any speed/timing-driven stability problems as the modules aren't that dense.

On Ryzen there's no need to jump for four sticks right away, given the lack of quad channel. I'd save that option for later should capacity be needed, considering a reduction of speed (or increase in voltage) may be necessary when that comes.

I wouldn't really let DDR5 sway your decision, personally. There's always going to be something to 'wait for' in that situation. Can never get ahead of it, and there's plenty of life left in DDR4.
 

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You probably could have gone with some cas 16 3600. If it fit your budget anyway. But you should be fine with the kit you got. However in my experience corsair ram is a bit harder to tweak with ryzen.
 

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Yes
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I grabbed those Corsair kits because they fit easily under my heatsink/fan. Whatever I buy it needs to be 4 sticks because my current board supports quad channel.

The reason for my hesitation now is the only real reason to upgrade is if I end up on DDR4 Ryzen. If I go straight from X299 Intel to Zen3, then buying anything other DDR4 seems like a waste, no?

I’m open to suggestions but I don’t want to spend a ton. Open to about $250ish max if going to 64GB and around 125ish max if sticking with 32GB.
 

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I grabbed those Corsair kits because they fit easily under my heatsink/fan. Whatever I buy it needs to be 4 sticks because my current board supports quad channel.

The reason for my hesitation now is the only real reason to upgrade is if I end up on DDR4 Ryzen. If I go straight from X299 Intel to Zen3, then buying anything other DDR4 seems like a waste, no?

I’m open to suggestions but I don’t want to spend a ton. Open to about $250ish max if going to 64GB and around 125ish max if sticking with 32GB.
value ram. 👍..
 

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I think your gains once you hit 3200-3600mhz diminish rapidly while cost increases disproportionately. i would probably upgrade from 2400 assuming it's not xpm 2 with a faster profile than it's base clock.
 

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The answer is it depends.

As an example, Sandy Bridge got a huge performance improvement going from DDR3 1600 to DDR3 2133

Also, higher RAM frequency does not always mean it is faster.
The more important factor is the memory rank (number of chips on the PCB).

In fact, benchmarks show that a dual ranked DDR4 3000 is faster than a single ranked DDR4 4600.
https://www.reddit.com/r/hardware/comments/7vy2zs
Unfortunately, manufacturers do not disclose what memory rank they are selling.
The only sure way I found to get dual ranked memory is to buy the highest capacity DIMM (like getting a 2x32GB module).
 
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In general, faster RAM is better, but it depends on the workloads. If you aren't limited by RAM bandwidth, you probably won't see worthwhile gains. There definitely comes a point of diminishing returns. If I were in your situation, I wouldn't bother getting new/different RAM until you actually pull the trigger on the upgrade. Whether that's Zen 3 or whatever platform in the future that will use DDR5.
 

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For AMD, ram speed makes a difference due to it's infinity fabric system. 3600mhz CL16 is optimal for Ryzen 2 if I remember correctly. We're not sure what is optimal for Ryzen 3 yet. Wait until official reviews to know for sure.
 

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Edgy & on the edge
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Quick, cancel the order. That's literally the worst memory. Look at those timings. EWW.
 

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In fact, benchmarks show that a dual ranked DDR4 3000 is faster than a single ranked DDR4 4600.
No, it's not. That's such bullsh t.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It is just information overload. The more I look into this the more I don't like what I see....crazy binning to peel apart the suckers and forum hyperbole. I was fully in the "not worth it camp" (which is 95% true for my current X299 Intel system) until two days ago when I found out I could get almost equal value for my memory to buy new/faster memory and planned to upgrade with very little money out of pocket...then I decided to double capacity to 64GB...then I started reading about all these little idiosyncrasies.

It is not worth it at all if I have to deal with stability issues though and now I'm even more likely to not upgrade until DDR5, especially if that is only 12-18 months away. Then I start reading about Micron E, Samsung B, Dual Ranked, Single Ranked. What a mess. No way am I paying $400 for memory. That's half way to a 5950X.
 

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@Dreamliner, your final analysis makes good sense, but then again on a quad-channel CPU wouldn't faster memory get you more of a performance boost than on a dual-channel setup?

Here's a polish website that made a comparison (using 23 different benchmarks) of performance using memory running from 2666Mhz. all the way up to 4133Mhz. on a 7820x running at 4 Ghz.:
Test pamięci DDR4 Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 3600 MHz CL16 | PurePC.pl

Interestingly the 4133Mhz 2x8GiB kit doesn't always come out on top either, but sometimes it does even though it's running dual-channel on a quad-channel CPU.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@Dreamliner, your final analysis makes good sense, but then again on a quad-channel CPU wouldn't faster memory get you more of a performance boost than on a dual-channel setup?

Here's a polish website that made a comparison (using 23 different benchmarks) of performance using memory running from 2666Mhz. all the way up to 4133Mhz. on a 7820x running at 4 Ghz.:
Test pamięci DDR4 Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB 3600 MHz CL16 | PurePC.pl

Interestingly the 4133Mhz 2x8GiB kit doesn't always come out on top either, but sometimes it does even though it's running dual-channel on a quad-channel CPU.
Wow, that is an interesting review!

In a quick AIDA64 test this is what I am seeing:

16GB Dual Channel 2400: 36446 MB/s Read, 35000 MB/s Write, 32657 MB/s Copy
32GB Quad Channel 2400: 68836 MB/s Read, 70213 MB/s Write, 65313 MB/s Copy

This is why I am looking at buying 4 modules, to take advantage of that bandwidth. Based on what I'm seeing with availability, it will probably be 2X dual channel kits.

I guess it really comes down to this: In my particular situation, I'm trying to decide if I should:

1) Spend nothing and keep what I have and definitely need to upgrade if I ever go Ryzen.
2) Sell, spend $110-130 total and get another quad (or maybe dual) channel 32GB and be Ryzen ready.
3) Sell, spend $220-260 total and get a quad (or maybe dual) channel 64GB and be Ryzen ready.

Truth be told, my PC is already way overkill for what I do (basic work/web stuff). When I occasionally game it's at 4K and there is a 3080 in the future (probably). This entire scenario is trying to best leverage an opportunity, that's it. The potential 32GB 'upgrade' will cost $45 out of pocket (which is where this entire idea started...$45 is cheap), the potential 64GB 'upgrade' would cost $175 out of pocket.

I'm not spending $400+ on memory, but I'm open to suggestions.
 

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Faster memory will give you the ability to pull information from your ram faster. For example, opening Firefox a 2nd time. Loading a game that is already in memory... etc... thats the only real work difference you will notice from it. When it comes to gaming you could still be using DDR2 and wont notice a difference in FPS. Faster memory makes your PC snappier. Thats it..... Also you can have 4 channels of DDR3 and it will beat a 2 channel DDR4 system in terms of memory performance. Not latency.... but when it comes to pulling information from the ram, more channels is better than faster ram.

For example if you have 2 channels of DDR3 1333mhz. Than you have 2 channels moving at 1333mhz. If you have 4 channels of DDR3 it could compete with 2 channels of DDR4 at 2666mhz. For example DDR3 Xeons that have quad channels.

Anyway when it comes to memory speed nowa days there you wont see much different if you were comparing DDR4 2666mhz ram to DDR6. Unless its on a video card..... If you catch my drift.... We are hitting that point in memory performance where we have more than we can use. Same goes for the CPUs... Bottle neck is all video cards and hard drives nowadays. Unless you want high fps 1080p gaming, than you still want that IPC for the CPU. I can still max anything with my old Xeons and crunch numbers at the same time.

in terms of memory performance my old 8 channel Xeon system is up there with the thread rippers.

If you want a really snappy computer, you want high speed ram with low latency, good ipc cpu and a high hz monitor so your eyes can attempt to keep up with whats going on while zombies are running around with masks before they get on a treadmill. aka too much Netflix and chicken nuggets. Have a nice night guys!! iam out!
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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If you plan on upgrading to a 5950X, simply buy the memory (2x16gb DDR4 3600) when you buy the rest of the parts. You can eBay your old stuff. Memory is dirt cheap right now and GPUs are just now being refreshed so it is a good time to build.

Don’t try to go for quad stick with Ryzen, you won’t have a good time.
 

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There are some papercrafting pages on the webs that shows that ddr4-4000 is the sweet spot for the aformentiond ryzen. The prices have came down quite a bit. I would wait before pulling the trigger.
Jayztwocents showed that with gaming performance, an 1866, 2133, 2400, 3200 kit had major changes to game performance. I would stick to at least 3200 mhz ram and the lowest cas you can afford. I wish there was a 32gb 3600 cas 15 kit that was more readily available....not about to take the plunge in 4000 or higher speeds just yet.
 

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i can tall you as one who bought 4000 mhz on amd platform for me its not worth it
i ended up 3600mhz cl 14 fclk 1800 1.45v that gave me around 6-7% other settings bearly gave me 2-3% gains
 
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