3 Replies Latest reply on Nov 30, 2010 5:19 AM by Harm Millaard

    MSI Big Bang X-Power Memory Selection


      I recently purchased an MSI Big Bang-XPower LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard. It will accept DDR 3 memory:

      - Supports six unbuffered DIMM of 1.5 Volt DDR3 1066/1333*/1600*/1800*/2000*/2133* (OC) DRAM, 24GB Max
      - Supports 1GB/ 2GB/ 4GB DRAM size
      - Supports x8 / x16 data lines per DIMM
      - Supports up to 3 channel mode


      I will be purchasing 3 sticks of 4GB each as I will be doing primarily video processing (12 GB total). As this is my first build and I do not have overclocking experience (but will start to get my feet wet with this system), I have 3 very simple questions:

      1.) What memory mfgr. should I buy? I will most likely purchase either Corsair or G.Skill due to price / quality (please advise if I am wrong).

      2.) What should I get (1066 or 1333 or 1600, etc?). I belive if I do not overclock, 1066 will be the ticket. If I buy 1333 or 1600, etc., then I can only achieve this by overclocking - correct? I guess this is the question I need answered the most.

      3.) Lastly, if I buy 1600 for instance and do not overclock, it will perform at 1066 without any negative effects - is this correct?


      BTW - I have the Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950


      Thanks in advance...

        • 1. Re: MSI Big Bang X-Power Memory Selection
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          1. Both are good choices.


          2. 1600 is the fastest if you set the memory speed correctly in the BIOS.


          3. No need to overclock the CPU, but you can and should set the memory to the correct speed as stated above.

          • 2. Re: MSI Big Bang X-Power Memory Selection
            sldwaa Level 1

            Thank you for your response Harm.  One last question if I may.  In reading memory reviews, I came across this which seems logical.  Their test summary is as follows (this was done by benchmark reviews for the12GB Corsair Dominator 1600MHz DDR3 Memory Kit):

            Test Summary:

            Here's what the graphics benchmark tests have shown us:

            • Low latency triple-channel memory kits are good for CPU-dependant tasks, such as image manipulation in Photoshop, and can make up for memory speed differences in generated graphics.
            • High speed triple-channel memory has a small edge over lower-speed kits when compared in PC video games, but the difference is made minimal because of GPU-dependence. With ultra-high settings, there was only a 3 FPS difference between 1333 and 2002MHz.
            • Applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premier are all dependant on large amounts of system memory for to perform at their best. The 12GB DDR3 memory kits delivered excellent performance with these tasks, regardless of speed or latency.


            Their order of preference is:

            1. Low Latency (CL6 or lower) + High Speed (1600MHz or faster) = Most Preferred
            2. Low Latency (CL6) + Standard Speed (1333MHz) = More Preferred
            3. Standard Latency (CL7) + High Speed (1600MHz or faster) = Preferred
            4. Standard Latency (CL7) + Normal Speed (1333MHz) = Acceptable
            5. High Latency (CL8) + High Speed (1600MHz or faster) = Less Preferred
            6. High Latency (CL8 or higher) + Low Speed (1066MHz or slower) = Least Preferred


            As such, this confirms I should purchase 12 GB DDR3 (as I was originally planning on), however, as I am new to this, I did not consider the latency effects.  Here are the basic differences for the DDR3-1600 memory I am reviewing to purchase (I am sure you know this, but this may benefit someone else reading this post):


            Memory timing examples (CAS latency only)
            TypeData rateBit timeCommand rateCycle timeCLFirst wordFourth wordEighth word
            DDR3-16001600 MT/s 0.625 ns800 MHz 1.25 ns911.25 ns13.125 ns15.625 ns
            810 ns11.875 ns14.375 ns
            7 8.75 ns10.625 ns13.125 ns

            So, this leads to my last question.  It it worth the additional $110 (for running Premier Pro CS5) to purchase memory with a CAS Latency of 7 vs 9 or will it be transparent to me (I expect you will respond "it depends")?  The two I am considering are:


            CORSAIR DOMINATOR 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP12GX3M3A1600C9 $289.99

            • DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
            • Timing 9-9-9-24
            • Cas Latency 9
            • Voltage: 1.65V
            • Item #: N82E16820145321


            - VS -


            G.SKILL Trident+ Turbulence II 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-12GBTDD $399.99

            • DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
            • Timing 7-8-7-24
            • Cas Latency 7
            • Voltage: 1.65V
            • Item #: N82E16820231381


            Any thoughts will be appreciated.  I have read several of your posts and respect your feedback.

            • 3. Re: MSI Big Bang X-Power Memory Selection
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              I would definitely go for the Trident. Look at the Background Information page here: PPBM5 Benchmark


              It gives you an explanation in what kind of circumstances amount of memory is more important than speed and when speed is more important than amount of memory. The thing missing in the Corsair tests is a description of what they have tested with PR and with or without hardware MPE. Hopefully you can make a decision, using the link above, what fits best with your workflow.

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