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prime Z370-A i7-8700K deciding on 32GB 2x16 ram choice

Musician
Level 7
I'm looking for more ram. I currently have 16GB Ballistix Sport DDR4 2400. The timing is overclocked at 16-16-16 @ 2900 MHz.

The Z370-A BUS Clock stats are:
2133 MHz, 2800 MHz (O.C.), 2666 MHz (O.C.), 2400 MHz (O.C.), 3000 MHz (O.C.), 3200 MHz (O.C.), 3300 MHz (O.C.), 3400 MHz (O.C.), 3333 MHz (O.C.), 3466 MHz (O.C.), 3733 MHz (O.C.), 3600 MHz (O.C.), 3866 MHz (O.C.), 4000 MHz (O.C.)

So it looks to be fine up to 4000 MHZ overclocked. I don't think though, the higher required timings at 4000 MHz would be as productive for me as lower timings and lesser MHz, but which RAM to give me the best results of maximum MHz with lowest timings?

I am doing a lot of conversions of video files which the software uses the CPU and not the EVGA 1080 GPU for encoding. To help this I want to increase the FSB as much as possible and offer more RAM than 16GB, with that, 32GB is a good option. I would rather get two sticks of RAM than add two more of the current RAM, filling the slots. If I someday decide I need yet more RAM, I want to leave those extra two slots open.

So with that I have been considering the Ballistix Elite 3Ballistix Elite 32GB Kit (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 UDIMM
Specs are: DDR4 PC4-25600 • 16-18-18 • Dual Ranked • Unbuffered • NON-ECC • DDR4-3200 • 1.35V

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/prime-z370-a/CT10998170#productDetails using the G.Skill compatablilty chart, this seems about the fastest I've found.

Any thoughts or other suggestions for me to look into?

Thanks!
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9 REPLIES 9

Silent_Scone
Super Moderator
The 370-A is an entry level board, and as such I would recommend opting for 3600MHz or below if looking for plug and play compatibility at XMP. Beyond this will likely need additional tuning.

I would recommend sticking to Corsair or GSKILL kits from the QVL.

https://www.gskill.com/en/product/f4-3200c14d-16gtz
13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Silent Scone@ASUS wrote:
The 370-A is an entry level board, and as such I would recommend opting for 3600MHz or below if looking for plug and play compatibility at XMP. Beyond this will likely need additional tuning.

I would recommend sticking to Corsair or GSKILL kits from the QVL.

https://www.gskill.com/en/product/f4-3200c14d-16gtz

I use such a G.Skill C14 kit and never had a problem with it on my z370-A. I simply select XMP and done.

Musician
Level 7
Thanks for the reply. I don't mind making adjustments to the bios to get better performance. I haven't been overclocking much as of late but I've been overclocking since the 80's and willing to make modifications. That said, there are many featrures in the bios that I have no idea how to use, I've been reading & watching youtube clips to get an understanding. I think that's what you mean by tuning?

It's fun to experiment with the bios and get benefits so any suggestions on where I might look to learn more about tuning this board's BIOS to get the most from the fastest RAM, I'd appreciate it. Plug & Play has its place but I've got time to play.

Musician wrote:
Thanks for the reply. I don't mind making adjustments to the bios to get better performance. I haven't been overclocking much as of late but I've been overclocking since the 80's and willing to make modifications. That said, there are many featrures in the bios that I have no idea how to use, I've been reading & watching youtube clips to get an understanding. I think that's what you mean by tuning?

It's fun to experiment with the bios and get benefits so any suggestions on where I might look to learn more about tuning this board's BIOS to get the most from the fastest RAM, I'd appreciate it. Plug & Play has its place but I've got time to play.


No worries. With the 370-A, though, I wouldn't be looking at purchasing kits beyond 3600. Also, I would recommend sticking to a 4 DIMM kit like suggested above.

Whatever you decide, feel free to come back if you have any questions.
13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Musician
Level 7
Thanks for the reply. I don't mind making adjustments to the bios to get better performance. I haven't been overclocking much as of late but I've been overclocking since the 80's and willing to make modifications. That said, there are many featrures in the bios that I have no idea how to use, I've been reading & watching youtube clips to get an understanding. I think that's what you mean by tuning?

It's fun to experiment with the bios and get benefits so any suggestions on where I might look to learn more about tuning this board's BIOS to get the most from the fastest RAM, I'd appreciate it. Plug & Play has its place but I've got time to play.

Musician
Level 7
I really appreciate the advice. With the suggestions and trying to read what's available, I have found options to decide from and would appreciate the feedback.

Using G.Skill & their selection for this motherboard & chipset https://www.gskill.com/en/configurator?manu=29&chip=3471&model=3483 I'll select from these.

1. I'm looking at 32GB of RAM. Is there a practical difference between 4 sticks of 8GB and two sticks of 16GB if they have the same speed and CAS rating? For instance, from the QVL, G.Skill F4-3200C14D-32GTZSW is 3200 @ 14-14-14-34 and comes in 8GB or 16GB. What advantage is there in getting 4 sticks over 2? I may someday look at 64GB, but I doubt it.

2. Something I've never honestly been able to predict is CAS vs speed. So using F4-3200C14D-32GTZSW above as an example, What is the difference between that and G.Skill F4-3600C15D-16GTZ which is @ 3600 15-15-15-35. Would the faster speed and higher CAS make this a better option, or the lower speed and lower CAS? In the past, the goal was the lowest latency but now the speeds are much faster than I have used, over 4000 overclocked but with yet higher CAS. There has to be a trade off where the higher CAS affects the value of the higher timing.

I think knowing these things will help me decide which RAM to order.

And thanks.

Musician
Level 7
I really appreciate the advice. With the suggestions and trying to read what's available, I have found options to decide from and would appreciate the feedback.

Using G.Skill & their selection for this motherboard & chipset https://www.gskill.com/en/configurator?manu=29&chip=3094&model=3095 I'll select from these.

1. I'm looking at 32GB of RAM. Is there a practical difference between 4 sticks of 8GB and two sticks of 16GB if they have the same speed and CAS rating? For instance, from the QVL, G.Skill F4-3200C14D-32GTZSW is 3200 @ 14-14-14-34 and comes in 8GB or 16GB. What advantage is there in getting 4 sticks over 2? I may someday look at 64GB, but I doubt it.



2. Something I've never honestly been able to predict is CAS vs speed. So using F4-3200C14D-32GTZSW above as an example, What is the difference between that and G.Skill F4-3466C16D-32GTZ which is @ 3466 16-18-18-38. Would the faster speed and higher CAS make this a better option, or the lower speed and lower CAS? In the past, the goal was the lowest latency but now the speeds are much faster than I have used, up to 3866 overclocked but with yet higher CAS of 18. There has to be a trade off where the higher CAS affects the value of the higher timing.

I think knowing these things will help me decide which RAM to order.

And thanks.

Musician wrote:
I really appreciate the advice. With the suggestions and trying to read what's available, I have found options to decide from and would appreciate the feedback.

Using G.Skill & their selection for this motherboard & chipset https://www.gskill.com/en/configurator?manu=29&chip=3094&model=3095 I'll select from these.

1. I'm looking at 32GB of RAM. Is there a practical difference between 4 sticks of 8GB and two sticks of 16GB if they have the same speed and CAS rating? For instance, from the QVL, G.Skill F4-3200C14D-32GTZSW is 3200 @ 14-14-14-34 and comes in 8GB or 16GB. What advantage is there in getting 4 sticks over 2? I may someday look at 64GB, but I doubt it.



2. Something I've never honestly been able to predict is CAS vs speed. So using F4-3200C14D-32GTZSW above as an example, What is the difference between that and G.Skill F4-3466C16D-32GTZ which is @ 3466 16-18-18-38. Would the faster speed and higher CAS make this a better option, or the lower speed and lower CAS? In the past, the goal was the lowest latency but now the speeds are much faster than I have used, up to 3866 overclocked but with yet higher CAS of 18. There has to be a trade off where the higher CAS affects the value of the higher timing.

I think knowing these things will help me decide which RAM to order.

And thanks.

One can even argue why an intel system should use fast RAM at all because it scales not to well with higher speeds and the next SPECTRE patch will certainly cost more speed as the expensive RAM brings ;
One article i found after short google https://us.hardware.info/reviews/8269/5/the-benefits-of-fast-ram-with-intel-coffee-lake-a-amd-ryzen-...

Musician
Level 7
I received the RAM today 32GB of G.Skill F4-3200C14D-32GTZSW CL14-14-14-34

There seems to be a problem. It appears to be fine in the BIOS and XMP sees the CL14-14-14-34 and displays that but when I run CPU-Z the timings are 16-16-16-39, the same as the Ballistix 16GB 2400 ram. The CPU-Z on the left is the new ram, the old RAM is on the right.

Why would CPU-Z show slow timings when BIOS shows what the RAM is supposed to be?

77162

Any ideas what I need to do?

Thanks