I'm going to buy DDR3 RAM...

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Rasheed187, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Is there anything to look out for, will any DDR3 RAM module work? I currently have 8GB of RAM and I want to double it, I'm using an Acer Predator desktop. This is my current specification: 2x: 4 GB DDR3-1600 DDR3 SDRAM.

    https://www.coolblue.nl/ram-geheugen/type-geheugen:ddr3
     
  2. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Reputable RAM sources have compatibility checkers, and they'll let you exchange RAM, if you've accidentally bought the wrong type.
     
  3. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No. You need to make sure the RAM is compatible with your motherboard. As mirimir noted, reputable RAM sources have compatibility checkers. For example, see this one from Crucial. Note if you buy from them, they guarantee suggested RAM is compatible.
     
  4. __Nikopol

    __Nikopol Registered Member

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    And if you want to use the new RAM together with your old one, picking RAM that is slower will slow down the faster RAM. That also counts for the timings. So don't just buy the fastest, as it wont be fast if the old isn't.
     
  5. act8192

    act8192 Registered Member

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    Crucial is perfect. I've used them four times on Toshiba, 2 Compaqs, ThinkPad laptops. They examined what I have and listed what I should buy. One of my relatives used Crucial for her Mac computer, got the report and correct RAM.
     
  6. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    Thanks guys. I must say it's a bit of a bummer, I assumed that RAM would work on every system. BTW, I will probably buy 4GB of RAM, this should be enough for the Vivaldi browser. Here are my specs (they forgot to mention the 128GB SSD), it seems I have 2 open slots and 4 in total:

    https://www.coolblue.be/nl/product/...ator-g3-605-i8811.html#product-specifications
     
  7. itman

    itman Registered Member

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    Another thing to watch out for is some motherboard manufacturers will that state a faster memory specification that can only optimally be used by overclocking the memory bus speed in AMD CPUs for example which have a separate memory controller not related to the CPU bus.

    Case in point. My AMD CPU stock specification only supports DDR3-1333. However, I am running DDR3-1600 by changing BIOS memory bus settings on my Gigabyte motherboard.
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    You almost always can install faster RAM in the system with no problems. It will just toggle down to the fastest speed supported by the board and hum along just fine.

    To take full advantage of the motherboard's "dual channel" memory capability, you should install sticks in matched pairs. So if you want to add 4GB, installing 2 x 2GB would yield better performance. If me, I would add 8GB (2 x 4GB).

    That said, more RAM always trumps faster RAM. And while dual channel does provide better performance, it is not twice as fast as some early marketing hype promised.
     
  9. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I am not sure what is your CPU, but go for RAM that is rated lower in voltage. 1.65 V RAM is not as reliable in long term as 1.5 V and below, and with certain Intel CPUs, can cause irreversible damage to the CPU.

    Since it's a desktop, don't go for RAM that says SO-DIMM. Use CPU-Z on Windows to check the specifications of currently installed RAM (specifically, CAS Latency), and buy RAM that has the same latency or lower latency.

    As for brands, the only brand I've had fail on me till date is Corsair with their XMS3 sticks. The rest all are fine. For memory products, I do prefer Kingston and Transcend over others.
     
  10. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Depends on the quality. I've been running some Mushkin DDR3 overvolted to 1.65 for 7 years with the same CPU (overclocked) with no issues. Most any brand name RAM is fine. I've only ever had issues with generic RAM that was cheap.
     
  11. Firecat

    Firecat Registered Member

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    I've never had any CPU fail on me either, but Intel gives an advisory regarding higher voltage modules for a reason after all.....

    As for RAM, I think generics and brands are all just chips sourced from the same plants - just that brand names are tested better and are more compatible. Failure rates should be about similar IMHO.
     
  12. xxJackxx

    xxJackxx Registered Member

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    Yes, I've never seen a CPU fail in person. I've seen overclockers fry them, but it takes quite a bit to do so. You need good cooling, and Intel will not warranty them if you fry them.

    I disagree on the RAM. They may all come from the same plant but when they test the chips the better ones go for a higher price. The ones that don't meet the specs go into lesser modules. Some brands won't buy the chips if they don't meet their expectations.
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    So does AMD. But that is most likely lawyer speak to give them a way out if someone pushes clocking/voltages too far and smokes a device then tries to claim it was defective under warranty.
    The thing is, they don't test each one anymore. Years ago they did, but RAM became so reliable, it became way too expensive to test them all. So they might test a small sample out of 1000s and 1000s, but no way do they test them all.

    Same with assembled sticks. They used to test each stick and then pair them with other sticks to market them as "dual channel". But today, the manufacturing techniques are so precise, and the raw materials so pure, it is easy to make memory chips and sticks that are well within design tolerances. So it is much cheaper to deal with the rare post-sale failure than it is to deal with all the logistics costs of testing at the factory. Memory packaged and marketed as "dual-channel" are just two sticks that came off the line and stuffed in a single package for marketing logistics savings.

    This is how it is for just about all computer components. Years ago, the big factories would run "burn in" tests for 24-72 hours on every computer that came off the production line. But failure rates dropped so dramatically, that was no longer cost effective.

    Also note too that improved manufacturing techniques is why it is very difficult to fine RAM, even cheap generic RAM that is not warrantied for life.
     
  14. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    OK thanks, I noticed that RAM nowadays have higher clock speeds, but apparently it's not a problem. And I don't want to use all slots in case I might want to add even more RAM in the future. So I will probably buy 1x 4GB of RAM.
     
  15. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    If me, I would install now as much RAM as you think you might need for the life of the computer. RAM tends to get more scarce and more expensive as time passes. So it may cost you a little more today to fully populate the board instead of just 1 x 4GB. But it could cost you a lot more in a couple years. So in the long run, it is typically cheaper to do it now, rather than later - and that's assuming you can even find compatible RAM in 2 or 3 years.

    RAM makers don't keep producing legacy RAM forever.
     
  16. __Nikopol

    __Nikopol Registered Member

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    And the more you have the bigger the RAM-Disk you can have on the side. :D
     
  17. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    OK I see, good point. Will think about it, but I need it only for Vivaldi, I don't play high end video games on this machine.
     
  18. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    That's today. Do you really know what your computing needs will be in 2 or 3 years?
     
  19. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

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    I will buy a new machine in about 2 years I think, I've seen that prices have stabilized currently. Hopefully they will drop even more, but you never know.
     
  20. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Okay. Same advice applies when you buy your new machine - buy as much RAM as you think you might need for the life of that new computer.
     
  21. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Indeed! Back in the day, RAM was very expensive, so you only bought what you needed. Also, RAM prices were dropping gradually. And for a while in the late 90s, they were dropping fast. So it made even more sense to wait. But now, prices of new RAM are relatively stable. As as Bill has noted, the major factor is that prices of legacy RAM are increasing substantially.
     
  22. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Ummm actually, RAM prices have fluctuated, often dramatically, over the years, and even skyrocketed in the last couple years. The fact is, prices are very volatile, and worse, unpredictable.

    And right now, as seen here, they are still pretty high, in part because new smart phones are hogging DDR4. Though fortunately, the last couple months has seen some relief.

    The problem is, as noted, the market is very volatile. Just rumors of a factory fire can increase prices. So yeah, you can wait it out and hope prices will drop, but that's a gamble. And worse, you are gambling RAM compatible with your motherboard and current RAM will be available some time down the road. Sadly, that is not a given.
     
  23. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Huh. I guess that I'm out of touch. It's been a few years since I had to buy any hardware ;)
     
  24. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I hear you, but since prices can change (often dramatically! :() literally overnight :eek:, it is important to never assume what was, still is - good or bad.

    Fortunately, many sites (like Newegg) have "Price alert" features. So for example, if you have your heart set on this RAM but it is just too expensive for your current budget, you can click the Price Alert option (found under the "Add To Cart" button) and set a price point you are looking for. If it drops to or below that point, you get an email. I have done this several times for things I just "wanted", but didn't really "need", so I couldn't really justify spending money on it. But when the price dropped and it became a deal too good to pass up, I jumped.
     
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