RAM

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by seekermeister, May 21, 2013.

  1. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    85
    I'm thinking about getting some new RAM, not because I usually don't have enough, but occasionally for reasons unknown to me, RAM usage will spike and cause the system to freeze. It doesn't even have to hit 100%, because when it exceeds 80% it may freeze or at least cause things to become sluggish.

    I started out to buy a couple of sticks matching what I now have (Patriot PGS34g1600LLKA) but it appears that version has been discontinued.

    I then found some used Corsair CMX8GX3M2A1600C92x8GB Kits available at the right price, but it isn't listed on the QVL for my motherboard. I know that other RAM will usually work fine, as long as it is within specs, but it still makes me a bit hesitant to buy something unknown.

    The Corsair RAM in the QVL that qualifies for my motherboard is of a lower CAS, but I think that the motherboard should handle it (9-9-9-24) 1.65v, but it never really has handled the Patriot RAM that I have very well, because I actually had to under-clock it slightly to get it to work.

    Should this work, or should I anticipate having problems with it?
     
  2. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,808
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    Normally I find Corsair RAM is pretty good with systems and I've yet to have a machine reject it. If you can post the make/model of your moBo I could perhaps be more exact with my answer. Another tip is try checking for forums which cover the make of your moBo. Usually there is a thread specifically for stuff like this.
     
  3. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    85
    I'll take your suggestion about trying to find a forum, but in the mean time, the motherboard is an ASRock 890FX Deluxe 4.
     
  4. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,808
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    Aah an AMD board... :) The RAM should work just fine. I run a Gigabyte 990FX board with the 1333MHz model of that RAM (8GB).
     
  5. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
    Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,069
    Likes Received:
    159
    First, you are very smart to check your motherboard's RAM QVL, but it is important to remember there are just too many RAM makers and RAM models for motherboard makers to test them, so you only need to buy RAM with specs matching listed RAM.

    All the major RAM makers have RAM wizards that will scan your system and recommend compatible RAM, or where you plug in your motherboard information and it will make "guaranteed" compatible recommendations.
    Crucial - Memory Advisor
    Corsair - Memory Finder (manual data entry only)
    GeIL - Memory Meter
    Kingston - Memory Search (manual data entry only)
    Mushkin - Advisor
    Patriot - Memory Search (manual data entry only)
    PNY - Memory Configurator (manual data entry only)
    SuperTalent - Memory Finder (manual data entry only)​
    The following retailers have auto-scanners and manual wizards. They sell brand name and/or "house" brand (re-branded) RAM.
    Newegg - Memory Configurator System Tool
    MemoryStock - Upgrade Configurator
    18004Memory – Configurator
    4AllMemory - Memory advisor (automatic and manual)
    TigerDirect - Memory Configurator (manual data entry only)​

    You are also wise to avoid unknown products but RAM is pretty unique when it comes to computer components as it is very difficult to find RAM that does NOT have a lifetime warranty. Still, I hear you and I generally like to stick with brands I know.

    Are you going to replace your existing RAM, or add more RAM? I generally like to keep the same brand in the same computer - that said, I have 4Gb (2x2Gb) of Mushkin and 4Gb (2x2Gb) of Crucial RAM in a Gigabyte board working perfectly together in dual-memory mode - thanks to better memory managers on today's boards that are great at making RAM play well together, and better RAM manufacturing techniques used today that make RAM tolerances MUCH tighter - and able to play well together.

    Out of memory errors are not always a sign you need more RAM since (in theory, anyway) you would have to run out all your RAM and all your virtual memory (Page File) too before you normally get those errors - unless something else is wrong. A "spike" in RAM use is NOT an indication of low amounts of RAM.

    So, how much RAM is installed now? How much free disk space do you have left? Have you scanned for malware? Is your system fully updated? Is your PF being managed by Windows (recommended) or have you set custom settings?
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    85
    Thanks for the links. The Corsair wizard suggested exactly the same RAM as the used RAM I've been considering. At first, that made it appear that RAM was a bargain, but then I noticed that Corsair sells it as a kit (2 x 4GB) and the used memory is being sold as individual sticks. The difference in price for a kit is only $32.09. That price differential wouldn't normally cause me to choose used over new, but then I'm wondering if Corsair would still provide the lifetime warranty, or would insist that the RAM were purchased first-hand from an authorized dealer?
    I would like to just add RAM, but I tend to doubt that the existing RAM would play nicely with the new. I will probably try it both ways.
    Currently there is 4GBs of RAM. I have the page file set at 8GBs. It wouldn't surprise me if the spikes were indications of underlying problems, but even if it is, it would seem that increasing available RAM should help relieve the problem.

    EDIT: The answer to my question is that the RAM's warranty is only good for the original purchaser and is sold by an authorized reseller. That leaves out the used RAM that I was thinking of, but I found another dealer offering new RAM kit at ~ $35.00 less than buying directly from Corsair. I'm now waiting for a response from that dealer as to whether he is an authorized reseller.
     
    #6 seekermeister, May 22, 2013
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  7. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    85
    One thing puzzles me, the ads that I've found for that memory says that they are 1.5v, but the corsair wizard says that they are 1.65v. I'm uncertain at the moment about the voltage range on my dimm slots, but even if that range were wide enough to encompass both of those voltages, it seems odd that all of the sources don't agree.

    Another thing I found odd is that the Corsair 1333 RAM was more expensive than the 1600, even though the CAS on both were the same. Would it be better than the 1600?

    The last irony is that while I was using the wizard, there was a BSOD, and Bluescreenview's diagnosis labeled the problem as memory management. I really don't know how to deal with assessing BSODs very well, but it makes it appear that the problem was something other than physical RAM. Does the attachment mean anything specific to anyone else?
     

    Attached Files:

    #7 seekermeister, May 22, 2013
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  8. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    85
    Digging a bit deeper, I found that the maximum RAM for my motherboard is 16GBs if 1600 is used, but not if 1333 is. I have no intention of using that much RAM, but it makes me wonder if the speed would have an effect on how well the system would be able to manage either speed. In other words, would slower be better?
     
  9. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    85
    Another issue has emerged...all of the RAM that I have found, either via the wizard or ads, have voltages between 1.35v and 1.5v. When I checked in the BIOS, the voltage selection was from 1.675 and 1.810. Something is awry if the RAM being recommended is outside of the available voltage selections...what?
     
  10. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
    Staff Member Premium Supporter Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Messages:
    31,808
    Likes Received:
    1,563
    The reason 1333MHz RAM is more expensive is because it's the most popular speed. Your voltage for RAM will start at the usual 1.65v but if you were going to overclock it and needed a bit more juice say then the next increase via your bios would be 1.675 and so on. That's why you see those figures.

    I would be extremely surprised if the the corsair RAM you mentioned didn't run in your machine.

    More importantly with AMD chips it's better to stick with 2 sticks of RAM as apposed to 4. This is because AMD's memory controllers are on chip and are not as robust as Intel's. You would probably be fine at lower RAM speeds but with higher speeds it's best to, for example, get two sticks of 4GB rather than 4 sticks of 2GB or 2 sticks of 8GB rather than 4 sticks of 4GB. Some users tweak the memory controller voltage but to be on the safe side just stick to that simple rule when it comes to AMD chips. (at higher RAM speeds)
     
  11. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
    Microsoft MVP

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    2,069
    Likes Received:
    159
    As you discovered, the Corsair Lifetime Warranty is non-transferable - only good for the original purchaser. I suspect that is the same for nearly any electronics hardware. And frankly, that seems fair.

    I would change that back to the default and let Windows manage your Page File. Nothing personal, and no criticism intended here, but it is not likely you are smarter than all the PhDs, engineers, and supercomputers who design and write the code for Windows memory management routines.

    The ONLY time users need to manually set the page file size with later versions of Windows is when disk space is critically low and that is only a temporary measure until disk space is freed up, or more disk space is purchased. Even if you have massive amounts of RAM installed, there is absolutely no documented evidence that even suggests there is any advantage to disabling the PF, or to set a specific size.

    Do not assume anything needed for XP is still needed with W7.
     

Share This Page

Loading...