The X series are designed for the 1155 platform. With the finicky nature of the memory controller on a 2011 platform, you are better off with the Z series. The main considerations are Voltage (max 1.5V), quad channel, speed rating (DDR3-1600 or higher) and high CAS latency. I know, we have always preached low CAS latencies, but with the memory controllers in the new SB chips, Micron is not advised and they are usually known for low CAS latencies.
The G.Skill RipjawsZ F3 series (11-11-11-31) DDR3-2133 perform quite good on a X79 motherboard.
This question of RAM choice is a major reason (price being another) why I'm shying away from choosing the 2011 platform for my planned build, and am now considering a 1155 based system.
Choosing the correct RAM kit, and setting it up seems to be trickier for an X79 board, than say- a Z77.
I lack the knowledge to do so, plus there's not many 64GB kits to begin with.
What components did you end-up choosing for Harm's monster, Harm?
I've been reading your blogs on planning and building said machine, but I can't find the specific model number for the RAM you installed.
P.S. Your advice is deeply appreciated.
Edit - I managed to find the parts list for your build. The RAM you listed is out of stock in the Australian stores I've checked so far.
However, I did find a similar 64GB kit in stock--
The Latency figures are different to the kit you built with. What kind of problems would that cause ?
But so it the speed, DDR3-1600 versus DDR3-2133. However this kit you selected will work great. Sorry that it is not clearer that the parts are mentioned on the http://ppbm7.com/index.php/the-price-tag page, including links to the manufacturer. I have been writing all those pages in a long time-span and may have lost clarity and logic in the process. Anyway, my system now also ranks #1 on the Passmark 8 benchmark with a score of 6,919.7 See http://www.passmark.com/baselines/top.html
The GSkill RipjawsZ F3 series memory appears to be 1.5 - 1.65 V? So those people who have been telling us that 1.35 V memory is essential for the X79 Sandy BridgeE have got it wrong?
You will be using it with a 3960K CPU of course, but I assume as GSkill say it is designed for X79 motherboards it will be fine with the reputedly more fussy 3930K.
Thanks for the info, Harm and that PC you built sure fast: a Monster indeed.
I'm also curious to know how well your machine performs in other Adobe applications (such as After Effects and Photoshop). If you've tested Harms Monster in those applications as well, please let me know. I'm keen to see the results.
Alan, Knowing about the finicky nature of the memory controller on the i7-3930K, the one I have, I can only suggest the following approach for choosing memory sticks:
- Consult the QVL for the motherboard you have. Pay special attention to the number of sticks supported.
- Consult the QVL of the memory manufacturer.
- Limit your search to 1.5V modules or less only. For instance G.Skill Trident at 1.65V are no good on a fully populated board.
- Carefully consider the height of the memory sticks, including heat-sink, in relation to the CPU cooler of choice. It can be a tight fit, or even too tight, requiring modding.
- Check experiences of others that have used memory of the type on your short-list.
- Give Technical Support of the motherboard manufacturer and the memory manufacturer a call or e-mail and ask them whether the memory will work reliably in the quantity you want at the speed you want.
I have followed all these steps and up-to-now have no regrets, but before you can run reliably, you have to update your BIOS to the latest version. I have reported this here: http://ppbm7.com/index.php/final-results
Thanks for that Harm! As you may have noticed I have posted regularly on the virtues of using the latest BIOS on the X79 boards.
I am presently using 8 x 4GB of Corsair XMS3 PC3-12800 and have had no problems since a BIOS update in April. I would like to use some faster RAM, though.
Gigabyte list only one memory faster than 1600 for a fully populated GA-X79-UD5 motherboard- Crucial BLE4G3D1869DE1TX0.16MFD . They do not list the favoured Samsung 1.35V at all, or the GSkill F3 faster than 1600. GSkill say that the F3 range from which your recommendation comes is designed specifically for the X79 chipset
All of this confusion, of course, illustrates where Neil is coming from with his concerns.
Very few manufacturers test Samsung with their boards but the LV Samsung works fine. Alan's ram works because it was likely tested again by the systemboard manufacturer back when they were updating the bios for the new ram chips shipping at that time. Harm's suggestions are absolutely the way to follow right now because of the flux in parts used by the manufacturers. Remember the Ram chips used for LV are DDR3 2000+. SO if you get ram that is rated for those speeds or higher and tested in Quad channel, those should work at 1600 in the 2011 platforms.
That figures, Eric. I had problems with the available BIOS in March (F8, I think), but no problems since Gigabyte released F9 in early April.
Thanks for the comment about Samsung, I was going to try that looking for improved performance, but was swayed towards GSkill by Harm's recommendation.
GSkill recommend 4 x 8GB of RipjawsZ F3-12800CL9Q2-32GBZL for my motherboard. This has lower latency than my present Corsair.
It seems, that the QVL for the Asus P9X79 WS MB is a little outdated and have very few options for 32/64GB modules. Is there a newer version somewhere, I have overlooked?
I haven't been able to find it and that is exactly why I went to both manufacurer's (mobo and memory) Technical Support departments to ask for confirmation whether it would work and I took the plunge when both answered in the affirmative. Mind you, these were very costly modules, so you want to get all the confirmation you can get.
Many of the recommendations including those of Harm are items you should consider. Overall the important points to keep in mind are noted below.
The IMC memory controller is only validated at 1333 and 1600. While our UEFI and board have been developed to allow for support of higher dividers this supports varies on the quality of the IMC. Most IMCS will not have issues running up to 1866 in full population. Keep in mind though that the higher the density and the higher the frequency the hard it becomes for the memory controller to stability. Currently we have for normal users validated up to 2400 XMP but this requires an outstanding IMC ( with sheer luck in that a CPU will offer running this frequency and density ). Higher frequencies are of course supported whether it be overclocking a module or even using higher rated kits ( 2600+ )
If you are pursuing high density configurations whether it be 32GB or even 64GB to ensure the best level of compatibility and stability i would advise you run 1600. 1866 as well should be ok. In regards to vendors GSKill has outstanding SPD and XMP programming and we have an extremely close relationship with them during the development and validation of their modules ( this is why you will see our boards continually under there compatibility lists for kits ) Although keep in mind that for all memory vendors much of the higher frequency memory kits are validated on high performance IMCs on select CPUs. In this respect while that module has been ensured to run at that speed it is not a guarantee to run on your CPU ( unless the frequency is conservative and applicable to most IMCs )
Keep in mind also that not all memory manufacturers are using correctly defined XMP tables (meaning they can potentially make adjustment to voltages they should not be adjusting). Technically under the XMP 1.3 specification vendors are only allowed to define timings and frequency all MRC timings and voltages must be auto defined by the board ( excluding the primary DRAM voltage ). This is important as XMP in itself is actually defined to work on the worst motherboards this actually is not always ideal as it may have to work on vendor’s motherboards who have poor bios/uefis or lower quality trace layout which is key for optimal memory performance and compatibility. All in all XMP from a quality vendor will work on our boards but just keep in mind XMP may not always be "guaranteed or even the best settings for the modules".
Great vendors to consider for memory on X79.
GSKill, Corsair, Kingston, Patriot, Mushkin, Crucial,
In regards to compatibility we have currently validated with all active kits on the market for 32GB and 64GB. As of now we have no current compatibility or bit initialization issues ( can occur when vendors incorrectly code SPD or XMP information ).
Following up on your question in reference to QVL's these are outlined at the initial launch and generally completed 2weeks to a month prior to the launch as such you will find many newer kits not present. Additionally in transition periods of density increases ( like the commonness of 4GB or even now 8GB dimms affects considerations as these modules and even frequencies were not available at the time of the launch ).
Overall though we do compatibility and interoperability tests continually to ensure the best support possible. With that in mind there are factors that can influence initialization of memory.
- 1. Damaging of pins during installation ( even 1 pin slightly pin or damage can impact memory initialization )
- 2. Too much pressure from heatsink assembly can uneven pressure contact with the pin / pad ( socket to CPU )
- 3. Mixed memory revisions ( this can occur even with the same model memory kits ) Memory vendors change ICs over time as such memory while it should work at lower frequencies and more relaxed timings can have compatibility issues in higher densities due to sensitivities of the IMC. If possible also try to buy matched sets and ensure the revision number is the same across all modules.
- 4. Memory controller voltage this can be modified ( increased at times to help stabilize higher frequencies and higher densities ) this is more common for high speed kits 1866 and greater
Hope this helps!
Congrats Cocovanna, looks like you got the raid thing worked out. Couple of questions for you, as my build looks like its going to be nearly the same as yours. How do you have your disks set up? I'd like to avoid 2 RAIDs if possible, looks like you did. Are you OC-ing using the auto feature? What size/brand PSU did you go with?
Stu, I'm not the one with the top benchmark -- mine is around 5640.
I have an SSD for OS and 4 Barracudas for dat. I've kept two of these as separate disks, raiding the others in Raid0. My initial plan was to Raid3 all four disks, but there is very few disk controller cards available in Denmark (no Arecas).
I started OC with autotuning extreme (2 cycles) and got 4.5. It turned out, it set my BCLK to around 125 and my RAM settings were far to low (around 1100 for 1600 RAM). I then reviewed all OC settings and made a fair amount of corrections, among others reducing the core voltage significantly, getting 4.6 (which was my target). Now I can run AIDA64 for a long time, keeping my core temps at 70-72°C.
I opted firstly for the Corsair 850W Gold PS (which should be adequate for my system), but ended up with a 1200W as the price difference was low and it makes room for expansion. My case seems still almost empty (HAF X)