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32GB ram recommendations. 4 sticks vs 2

Vinny1001
Level 9
I'm currently looking to upgrade the RAM on my Asus Z170 Hero Alpha from G.Skill 2x 8GB DDR4 (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231878) to 32GB, either 4 sticks or 2.

The motherboard is dual channel IIRC, so would it be best to do 2 sticks of 16GB of dual channel RAM?

Looks like RAM prices got much higher from 2 years ago... oh my.. I spent 70 bucks then, and now they're 166.... O_O
Z790 Asus Hero Maximus on 0816 BIOS (0914 and 1202 crashes for me on XMP I), Intel 13900k stock clock, Asus 4090 Strix OC edition, FF3D532G720 Teamgroup Ram running XMP I, 16gb x 2, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB x 2, Seasonic VERTEX GX 1200W, Win 11 Pro 64, Deepcool LS720 AIO, NZXT H7 Flow. Comfortably using Armoury Crate for updates/fan xpert.
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8 REPLIES 8

Frostie36
Level 8
I'm running 4 sticks of corsair part no. CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 (not sure of version but purchased back in late 2015), Was originally running one pair when I first built the system but added another pair a few months later, all working fine at 3200. People say never to mix pairs of ram like that, even the exact same part numbers but I've been doing that where ram is concerned since I started building pc's back in 2002 & never had any problems.

Your not wrong about ram prices going up, I'm planning on jumping back to amd with a ryzen setup in the future & I'm hoping to get away with using the corsair ram with that build, I don't mind tweaking which I will have to do running 4 sticks as I looked at the gskill flare x 32gb 3200mhz ram (F4-3200C14Q-32GFX) and its over £400!!!!! on amazon uk

Korth
Level 14
A 4-DIMM kit with the same capacity uses half-density DDR4 silicon parts, which costs much less. At least for the manufacturer, lol.

A 2-DIMM kit will not offer any real advantage worth paying for unless it has double-density and half the ranks vs the 4-DIMM kit.

Raja's thread explains why you shouldn't mix and match memory kits.
Combined memory kits can work together - it's not impossible - at least if they're identical-rated parts - but much more finicky and not as stable, especially at higher frequencies. Two "exactly identical" 2-DIMM DDR4-3200 kits won't run as fast as one 4-DIMM DDR4-3200 kit unless you have a strong CPU part, expertly perfected configuration, and an unfair helping of luck.
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]

Vinny1001
Level 9
Thanks for the feedback. I didn't plan to mix kits or any of that. I've read before about mixing and meh.. I'd rather just buy two sticks of 16GB.

One build I had memory issues and I was on 4 sticks, and it took extra long to find the bad egg. I'd rather just run two sticks and then it's either one or the other, or both, if something was wrong.

Just wanted to see any other suggestions. Again, if I do upgrade, I'd purchase a new kit 2x 16GB, and sell my current 16GB kit.

My main question is then what are recommendations for a 32GB kit that has performed well and reliable. I'd like the faster speeds 🙂 But $300+.. vs $70 2 years ago.. killing me.
Z790 Asus Hero Maximus on 0816 BIOS (0914 and 1202 crashes for me on XMP I), Intel 13900k stock clock, Asus 4090 Strix OC edition, FF3D532G720 Teamgroup Ram running XMP I, 16gb x 2, Samsung 980 Pro 2TB x 2, Seasonic VERTEX GX 1200W, Win 11 Pro 64, Deepcool LS720 AIO, NZXT H7 Flow. Comfortably using Armoury Crate for updates/fan xpert.

NemesisChild
Level 12
Having all four dimms populated will put more stress on the CPU IMC versus 2 dimms populated.

This is why I chose my particular 2x16GB TridentZ kit, making sure I got the lowest CL available for 3200MHz.
Intel i9 10850K@ 5.3GHz
ASUS ROG Strix Z490-E
Corsair H115i Pro XT
G.Skill TridentZ@ 3600MHz CL14 2x16GB
EVGA RTX 3090 Ti FWT3 Ultra
OS: WD Black SN850 1TB NVMe M.2
Storage: WD Blue SN550 2TB NVMe M.2
EVGA SuperNova 1200 P2
ASUS ROG Strix Helios GX601

Menthol
Level 14
I haven't done any testing on this platform but on X99 8 stick kits of the same capacity as a 4 stick kit will give you more memory bandwidth because of ASUS Topology. This may also be true on the mainstream platform
The single rank 8GB modules are easier on an IMC than the 16GB modules , there have been several threads about issues with 16GB modules, I don't own any kits with 16GB modules to test any differences between the 2, personally I would go for a 4 8GB module kit but cannot confirm any pro's or con's either way other than purchase what you want in one kit

Korth
Level 14
I haven't done any testing of this sort either. Mostly because (unlike sir Menthol) I don't have ready access to dozens of high-end DDR4 kits, lol.

I did downsize from 4x16GB to 4x8GB because of very clear differences in stability and performance. Just couldn't find any 16GB stuff which would play nice with my (my boss's) Quadros, they're designed for enterprise/workstation platforms with more rigidly behaved memory than any 16GB DIMMs I tried in my consumer X99.

I couldn't find any useful information about "ASUS exclusive T-Topology circuit", exactly what it is and how it differs from "normal" memory topologies. 4 memory channels, 2 banks per channel, 8 DIMM slots (2 pairs on both sides of the CPU socket), obviously split/branched (in a "T" or "∏" shape) somewhere along the logic path ... but how does it actually affect memory compatibility, performance, or stability, lol?
"All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others." - Douglas Adams

[/Korth]

AKBAAR
Level 9
using 2x16gb g.skill 3200mhz

G75rog
Level 10
I normally use 4 Gskill 8gb 3200 sticks on the Max VIII Extreme to utilize all the board bandwidth.
At the moment it is populated with 4 16gb 3600 Trident Z sticks for testing before the x299 Apex arrives.