TipsGeeks | Guide to Choosing RAM

Gone are the days that 2400Mhz are enough to get us by. With the amount of workload our PCs have to get through, we don’t wonder why you’d be choosing to upgrade your RAMs. This is basically the short-term memory of your computer. RAM data can be recalled without having to access the hard drive, therefore, having the right amount of memory directly correlates with performance. Today, we test 3 different RAMs on an ASUS Motherboard and AORUS Motherboard.

 

Why Upgrade your RAM?

Making a RAM upgrade is all about performance. Normally, this affects rendering times or FPS in gaming. If you notice that the performance of your PC is slower than the pace you regularly work at, the Task Manager in Windows is the easiest way to check how taxing your current workload is. A good rule of thumb is that if the Available Memory is less than 25% of the Total Memory, a RAM upgrade is pretty much necessary in providing a performance boost for the end user.

Finding the right RAM upgrade for your PC

*Quick note: SODIMMS are for Laptops while DIMMs are for Desktops. They are different and not interchangeable. Two components that most affect the type of RAM you should be wary about are your motherboard and operating system.

Here are the basic requirements for installing Windows 10.

Processor:
1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
RAM:
1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Hard drive space:
16 GB for 32-bit OS 32 GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card:
DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display:
800×600
Internet Connection:
Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates and to take advantage of some features. Windows 10 Pro in S mode, Windows 10 Pro Education in S mode, Windows 10 Education in S mode, and Windows 10 Enterprise in S mode require an internet connection during the initial device setup (OOBE) as well as either a Microsoft account (MSA) or Azure Activity Directory (AAD) account. Switching a device out of Windows 10 in S mode also requires internet connectivity.

The motherboard also determines RAM capacity because it normally has a limited number of DIMM slots which is where the RAM goes. You would see this off the website or on the manual. Other things to note when picking your RAM include:

  • Speed (MHz) – The only time you would notice the difference between a 3000 MHz memory module and one that is 3200 MHz is when you are benchmarking. Speed considerations are more important for larger computing loads.
  • Timings (Latency) – Timing or latency of RAM is represented as four numerals separated by dashes. Typically, lower numbers mean better performance.
  • Multi-Channel Kits – Normally, if the motherboard supports multi-channel memory, it would go hand-in-hand with matching kits to optimize performance.

Selecting the right brand to start your search

Testing the RAM

Luckily, we have 2 motherboards here at the TipsGeeks HQ to test the RAMs with. From being a non-tech person to a tech-savvy individual, we normally just place the RAMs and test if it works. The most basic troubleshooting is taking out the RAMs and just putting it on slot 2 and 4 to check for faulty RAMs. One of the things we forget is frequency compatibility.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F Gaming

The ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F Gaming is quite similar to the Strix Z390-E gaming with the main difference being in integrated networking capabilities and that the F version only has a single M.2 heatsink included.

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Elite

The Z390 Aorus Elite is more basic in terms of aesthetics compared to the Master series. The Z390 Aorus Elite belongs to the low to mid-range of Z390 options available. This replaces the Z370 Aorus Gaming 3 in the low-end Z390 entry segment.

Testing Performance

Test System
Processor Intel Core i7-8700K
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F Gaming
GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Elite
Memory CORSAIR Vengeance RGB 2x8GB 4000MHz
HyperX Predator 2x8GB 4000MHz
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 4266MHz
Storage WD Blue SN500 500GB
CPU Cooler
ASUS ROG RYUO 240mm
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti
Power Supply Corsair HX1200i Platinum
Operating System
Windows 10  with October 2018 Update
Display
BenQ EW3270U

Z390 AORUS ELITE RAM Compatibility

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Elite (OOB) CORSAIR Vengeance RGB 2x8GB 4000MHz HyperX Predator 2x8GB 4000MHz G.Skill Trident Z RGB 4266MHz
2400MHz Stock Voltage Good Good Good
3000Mhz 1.25v Good Good Good
3200Mhz 1.25v No Boot No Boot No Boot
4000Mhz 1.35v No Boot No Boot No Boot
4266Mhz 1.35v No Boot No Boot No Boot

Out of the box, the Z390 AORUS Elite showed no support for higher frequencies above 3000 MHz out of the box. We tried different voltages and couldn’t get to Windows. Hence, we tried the latest Bios Updates and here are the results:

GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Elite (F7 Bios Update) CORSAIR Vengeance RGB 2x8GB 4000MHz HyperX Predator 2x8GB 4000MHz G.Skill Trident Z RGB 4266MHz
2400MHz Stock Voltage Good Good Good
3000Mhz 1.25v Good Good Good
3200Mhz 1.25v Good Good Good
4000Mhz 1.35v Good Good Good
4266Mhz 1.35v Good Good Good

 

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F Gaming

On the other hand, the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F, out of the box has better memory support in terms of higher frequencies and didn’t seem to have any issues. As you would see, the voltages are lower on the Z390-F. This is because of their integrated OptiMem II technology that carefully maps memory signal across the PCB layers. MemOK! II also helps in automatically fixing boot failures that happen during RAM overclocking and instability.

ASUS ROG Strix Z390-F Gaming (OOB) CORSAIR Vengeance RGB 2x8GB 4000MHz HyperX Predator 2x8GB 4000MHz G.Skill Trident Z RGB 4266MHz
2400MHz Stock Voltage Good Good Good
3000Mhz 1.25v Good Good Good
3200Mhz 1.25v Good Good Good
4000Mhz 1.30v Good Good Good
4266Mhz 1.30v Good Good Good

Performance Difference

Here is the difference in performance boost depending on the frequency of your RAM. and OC capabilities

Performance difference Rendering Office and productivity 1920 x 1080 Gaming
2400MHz 100% 100% 100%
3000Mhz  105.42% 102.83% 109.36%
3200Mhz 106.83% 102.98% 112.65%
4000Mhz 109.39% 103% 116.36%
4266Mhz 115.45% 104.36% 118.69%

Overclocking Problems and their Solutions

There are certain risks involved in any overclocking process. It needs to be done cautiously. Things to be wary about are problems like:

  • Blue Screen of Death
  • Restarting/Shutting down Automatically
  • No Boot

Should you face such problems, then you can be sure that your RAM’s overclocked frequency is not suitable for your PC. You can always try flashing new BIOS updates. Another thing to note is that you should adjust the clocks between the default speed to the rated speed along with certain voltages accordingly because you might fry your RAM. Avoid the use of excessive voltages.

 

 

Post Author: Christian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *