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What to look for when buying a memory kit

Silent_Scone
Super Moderator
When looking for memory kits, some users will often leave this till last when adding all the components to their basket. Eager to checkout, it's easy to just pick up the density you're after, and perhaps speed, at the lowest available price. On occasion, I've even seen retailers comment on their message boards with things like "memory is memory". So you'd be forgiven for thinking this is the case, too. DRAM is by no means an easy subject to grasp, especially when talking about overclocked kits.

We now have over eight enthusiast platforms and counting that support various levels of overclocking with DDR4, it's certainly come of age rather quickly. With that in mind, this also means there are now a large number of memory kits circulating. It can be a minefield for those of us who aren't well versed in DRAM overclocking, or haven't used a DDR4 platform till recently.

If you haven't cottoned on just yet, memory isn't *just* memory. Much like everything else in this industry with an integrated circuit, DRAM and it's capability improves with time as manufacturers hone what's possible with the technology. In a nutshell, what this means is some memory kits aren't as flexible in terms of compatibility as others when one is talking about XMP, or overclocking the memory kit beyond the XMP profile (See here for more information on XMP).

If we go by example, a lot of older DDR4 memory kits are based on Hynix MFR that, at the time, were capable of the higher frequency ranges and qualified for Intel's X99 platform. These kits are still being sold to this day, and can be found quite easily on most big retail sites. These older memory kits in their 4x4GB capacity and reasonable price make them very appealing to gamers looking to shave the cost of their system down. This is where things get tricky: by today's standards these kits are a far cry from what newer ICs are capable of in terms of achievable frequency and memory timings. It may often be necessary to relax the primary and sub timings on older kits merely to past POST stress tests at XMP settings. This can also include older kits that are on the MB QVL, as each CPU and individual memory kit are not identical.

Fast forward to today, and we have Samsung b-die IC in 8GB DIMM form, that are capable of running at or close to the minimum required timings needed by the chipset at speeds as high as 4000Mhz in tandem with Intel's newer CPU architectures. What this means to us laymen is that purchasing newer memory kits in the form of GSKILL Trident-Z range, means we're getting much newer memory with a far greater chance of not only success with XMP stability, but with much further overclocking range also.

Lastly, for sake of example here is my F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4x8GB 3200Mhz) kit which is Samsung b-die IC, running at CAS16 4000Mhz and 1T. Far and beyond what GSKILL qualified it for. Something that would be impossible with much older memory kits. I hope this goes some way to help those who were unsure.


69691
13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090
4,090 Views
6 REPLIES 6

gogo974
Level 7
Silent Scone wrote:
When looking for memory kits, some users will often leave this till last when adding all the components to their basket. Eager to checkout, it's easy to just pick up the density you're after and perhaps speed, at the lowest available price. On occasion, I've even seen retailers comment on their message boards with things like "memory is memory". So you'd be forgiven for thinking this is the case, too. DRAM is by no means an easy subject to grasp, especially when talking about overclocked kits.

We now have over eight enthusiast platforms and counting that support various levels of overclocking with DDR4, it's certainly come of age rather quickly. With that in mind, this also means there are now a large number of memory kits circulating. It can be a minefield for those of us who aren't well versed in DRAM overclocking, or haven't used a DDR4 platform till recently.

If you haven't cottoned on just yet, memory isn't *just* memory. Much like everything else in this industry with an integrated circuit, DRAM and it's capability improves with time as manufacturers hone what's possible with the technology. In a nutshell, what this means is some memory kits aren't as flexible in terms of compatibility as others when one is talking about XMP, or overclocking the memory kit beyond the XMP profile (See here for more information on XMP).

If we go by example, a lot of older DDR4 memory kits are based on Hynix MFR that, at the time, were capable of the higher frequency ranges and qualified for Intel's X99 platform. These kits are still being sold to this day, and can be found quite easily on most big retail sites. These older memory kits in their 4x4GB capacity and reasonable price make them very appealing to gamers looking to shave the cost of their system down. This is where things get tricky: by today's standards these kits are a far cry from what newer ICs are capable of in terms of achievable frequency and memory timings. It may often be necessary to relax the primary and sub timings on older kits merely to past POST stress tests at XMP settings. This can also include older kits that are on the MB QVL, as each CPU and individual memory kit are not identical.

Fast forward to today, and we have Samsung b-die IC in 8GB DIMM form, that are capable of running at or close to the minimum required timings needed by the chipset at speeds as high as 4000Mhz in tandem with Intel's newer CPU architectures. What this means to us laymen is that purchasing newer memory kits in the form of GSKILL Trident-Z range, means we're getting much newer memory with a far greater chance of not only success with XMP stability, but with much further overclocking range also.

Lastly, for sake of example here is my F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4x8GB 3200Mhz) kit which is Samsung b-die IC, running at CAS16 4000Mhz and 1T. Far and beyond what GSKILL qualified it for. Something that would be impossible with much older memory kits. I hope this goes some way to help those who were unsure.


69691


Bonjour vous pouvez s il vous plais me faire un pti tuto photos réglages g skill j ai les meme sur r6a merci

Menthol
Level 14
Silent Scone,
Thanks for your explanation, at the moment it is not to difficult to pick a memory kit with the infamous b-die chips but the industry moves fast and manufacturers don't list what chip manufacturer or specific chip is used in there advertising and can change without notice due to availability and pricing.
Gskill is not the only manufacturer to use b-die but it is easier to distinguish which kits do.
But as scone says a little time spent researching your components before purchasing goes a long way in making your building and general computing experience an enjoyable one instead of a headache

Menthol wrote:
Silent Scone,
Thanks for your explanation, at the moment it is not to difficult to pick a memory kit with the infamous b-die chips but the industry moves fast and manufacturers don't list what chip manufacturer or specific chip is used in there advertising and can change without notice due to availability and pricing.
Gskill is not the only manufacturer to use b-die but it is easier to distinguish which kits do.
But as scone says a little time spent researching your components before purchasing goes a long way in making your building and general computing experience an enjoyable one instead of a headache



Yep, most memory vendors will sell kits using Samsung b-die. That said, GSKILL's hand binning doesn't come cheap, and there's good reason for that. As with most things though, best not to tie yourself in with one vendor. Plenty of good kits out there.
13900KS / 8000 CAS36 / ROG APEX Z790 / ROG TUF RTX 4090

Marko911
Level 8
Silent Scone wrote:
When looking for memory kits, some users will often leave this till last when adding all the components to their basket. Eager to checkout, it's easy to just pick up the density you're after and perhaps speed, at the lowest available price. On occasion, I've even seen retailers comment on their message boards with things like "memory is memory". So you'd be forgiven for thinking this is the case, too. DRAM is by no means an easy subject to grasp, especially when talking about overclocked kits.

We now have over eight enthusiast platforms and counting that support various levels of overclocking with DDR4, it's certainly come of age rather quickly. With that in mind, this also means there are now a large number of memory kits circulating. It can be a minefield for those of us who aren't well versed in DRAM overclocking, or haven't used a DDR4 platform till recently.

If you haven't cottoned on just yet, memory isn't *just* memory. Much like everything else in this industry with an integrated circuit, DRAM and it's capability improves with time as manufacturers hone what's possible with the technology. In a nutshell, what this means is some memory kits aren't as flexible in terms of compatibility as others when one is talking about XMP, or overclocking the memory kit beyond the XMP profile (See here for more information on XMP).

If we go by example, a lot of older DDR4 memory kits are based on Hynix MFR that, at the time, were capable of the higher frequency ranges and qualified for Intel's X99 platform. These kits are still being sold to this day, and can be found quite easily on most big retail sites. These older memory kits in their 4x4GB capacity and reasonable price make them very appealing to gamers looking to shave the cost of their system down. This is where things get tricky: by today's standards these kits are a far cry from what newer ICs are capable of in terms of achievable frequency and memory timings. It may often be necessary to relax the primary and sub timings on older kits merely to past POST stress tests at XMP settings. This can also include older kits that are on the MB QVL, as each CPU and individual memory kit are not identical.

Fast forward to today, and we have Samsung b-die IC in 8GB DIMM form, that are capable of running at or close to the minimum required timings needed by the chipset at speeds as high as 4000Mhz in tandem with Intel's newer CPU architectures. What this means to us laymen is that purchasing newer memory kits in the form of GSKILL Trident-Z range, means we're getting much newer memory with a far greater chance of not only success with XMP stability, but with much further overclocking range also.

Lastly, for sake of example here is my F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4x8GB 3200Mhz) kit which is Samsung b-die IC, running at CAS16 4000Mhz and 1T. Far and beyond what GSKILL qualified it for. Something that would be impossible with much older memory kits. I hope this goes some way to help those who were unsure.


69691


Cool,Thanks for the info.very informative post!and wow for your DDR4 OC!!Damn!4000Mhz!

Thanks for your explanation

BigJohnny
Level 13
One more thing worth mentioning that is one of the biggest headaches users face after the fact. If funds are tight it is better to save and buy ONE entire kit for your intended capacity than to buy a smaller kit on the initial build then buy another kit later down the road even if it’s the same exact part number particularly in the X299 capable of 8 sticks. You will note that when shopping there are fewer 8 stick kits than 4 stick kits. There is a reason for this. After the manufacturer has binned sticks with similar properties they then bin them as kits making sure they all play nice together. More kids on the block makes for more of a challenge to get everyone to play nice and as mentioned comes at a cost premium.*

In my experiences I’ve found kits *8GB sticks easier to get a decent OC on over 16GB sticks. *Often it’s difficult to get 16GB sticks to run at XMP let alone with an OC above the XMP profile.*