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SDRAM choice



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 19th 14, 11:58 AM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte
Haines Brown
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Posts: 14
Default SDRAM choice

In the past I've had no problem picking RAM according to motherboard
specifications and had no trouble, but this time the more I investigate,
the less comfortable I become.

I have a GA-H97-D3H motherboard (not overclocked) and need 16 Gb (4x4)
DDR3 SDRAM, preferably by G. Skill. The Gigabyte website recommends RAM
that I can't find, and a web search did not help. Your advice
appreciated.

Haines Brown
  #2  
Old September 19th 14, 02:01 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default SDRAM choice

Haines Brown wrote:
In the past I've had no problem picking RAM according to motherboard
specifications and had no trouble, but this time the more I investigate,
the less comfortable I become.

I have a GA-H97-D3H motherboard (not overclocked) and need 16 Gb (4x4)
DDR3 SDRAM, preferably by G. Skill. The Gigabyte website recommends RAM
that I can't find, and a web search did not help. Your advice
appreciated.

Haines Brown


http://www.gskill.com/en/configurator

GA-H97-D3H (Table seems to stop at DDR3-1600...)
http://www.gskill.com/en/configurato...147&model=2200

Example:

[RipjawsX] F3-12800CL9Q-16GBXL
DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800)
16GB (4GBx4)
CL9-9-9-24
1.50 Volt

$170 and still in stock
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820231429

The manual for the motherboard says:

http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList...h97)-d3h_e.pdf

"Support for DDR3 1600/1333 MHz memory modules"

If I go to ark.intel.com and select a 4790K processor, it lists

Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600

So the motherboard appears to stick with the Intel recommendation,
rather than going crazy with overclocks.

The XMP profile scheme can cover more than one RAM configuration,
but typically what seems to happen, is a two-DIMM setup the XMP
will work, whereas if you use four DIMMs, you have to set it up
yourself. I think I've seen some mention of some set of sticks
having a four DIMM XMP entry in the SPD table, but it probably
isn't all that common. In this case, since the memory stays
at stock voltage anyway (1.5V, rather than 1.65V needed for
the faster stuff), it's probably not that big a deal whether
XMP works or not. I have RAM here, that the XMP sets it to
1.65V automatically, the Intel recommended "max" for Vdimm.

*******

Your motherboard choice is a $93 motherboard.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128712

The dimensions 12.0" x 8.4" help indicate the class. The
more expensive a board, the wider it is. When they get
down to 12.0" x 7" or so, they're really cheap (probably
two DIMM slots). So if you didn't have pricing information,
the dimensions can give a hint where it is positioned in
terms of market tier. So your board is a "no fooling around",
"let's get this computer running" kind of board. When the
board gets too narrow, there is no mechanical support on
the right hand edge (as the mounting holes are missing
on that edge).

Your board has an extensive CPU support chart, and I don't
see any immediate danger signs there.

http://www.gigabyte.com/support-down....aspx?pid=4962

Notice the processor at the top of the chart requires BIOS
version B4.

The board appears to have four phase power, but since Haswell is
a two-stage powering scheme, not as much current flows in the first
stage as on other motherboards. The onboard regulator does 12V to 2.4V
regulation (and I've seen two different figures now for that voltage
and don't have a good reference on the subject). The Haswell has
FIVR, a thin film switching regulator system inside the processor,
that makes the ~1.0V for the CPU die. The advantage of FIVR,
is the power can be more steady in there (shorter distance from
regulator to distribution plane). The disadvantage is any heat
created by that regulator, adds to the thermal load of the processor
(part of the TDP).

A recent announcement suggests Intel is phasing out FIVR on the
next generation processor. And there was no indication of
why the change of heart. The scheme was extensively tested,
so it's not that it doesn't work. Maybe as processor power
levels drop in the future, FIVR is overkill, and an external
regulator is again "good enough" for Intel :-)

Paul
  #3  
Old September 19th 14, 04:27 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte
Haines Brown
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14
Default SDRAM choice

Paul writes:

Haines Brown wrote:
In the past I've had no problem picking RAM according to motherboard
specifications and had no trouble, but this time the more I
investigate, the less comfortable I become.


http://www.gskill.com/en/configurator


Thank you for your very informative post. It didn't occur to me to visit
Skill to see what they might recommend for my motherboard. I see they
offers a wide selection. My intuition is that the RipjawsZ is intended
for overclocking. The Sniper SDRAM is much shorter and it is not clear
how they can recommend it for the motherboard. Am I correct to assume
that the DDR3-1600s are faster than the DDR3-1333s? I gather that the
timing 9-9-9-24 and voltage will probably have to be defined in
Gigabyte's BIOS.

If I go to ark.intel.com and select a 4790K processor, it lists

Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600

So the motherboard appears to stick with the Intel recommendation,
rather than going crazy with overclocks.


Your board has an extensive CPU support chart, and I don't
see any immediate danger signs there.

http://www.gigabyte.com/support-down....aspx?pid=4962

Notice the processor at the top of the chart requires BIOS
version B4.


Yes, the 4790K is my CPU, which requires BIOS version F4. Is the
implication that the Intel H97 - GA-H97-D3H (rev. 1.0) has it, or will I
have to start by flashing my BIOS? :-(

The Haswell has FIVR, a thin film switching regulator system inside
the processor, that makes the ~1.0V for the CPU die. The advantage of
FIVR, is the power can be more steady in there (shorter distance from
regulator to distribution plane). The disadvantage is any heat created
by that regulator, adds to the thermal load of the processor (part of
the TDP).


Yes, I anticipated heat and bought a good after market cooler.

Haines
  #4  
Old September 19th 14, 05:10 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default SDRAM choice

Haines Brown wrote:
Paul writes:

Haines Brown wrote:
In the past I've had no problem picking RAM according to motherboard
specifications and had no trouble, but this time the more I
investigate, the less comfortable I become.

http://www.gskill.com/en/configurator


Thank you for your very informative post. It didn't occur to me to visit
Skill to see what they might recommend for my motherboard. I see they
offers a wide selection. My intuition is that the RipjawsZ is intended
for overclocking. The Sniper SDRAM is much shorter and it is not clear
how they can recommend it for the motherboard. Am I correct to assume
that the DDR3-1600s are faster than the DDR3-1333s? I gather that the
timing 9-9-9-24 and voltage will probably have to be defined in
Gigabyte's BIOS.


The dimensions in terms of the length of the modules, they
should all be the same length and pin count.

The height is tricky. Chips are available as TSSOP or fine pitch
BGA, and the BGA ones make short modules possible. Some of the Kingston
I've bought in the past, were "low profile" and didn't have heatsinks.
Those hurt your fingers to insert, as the bevel on the connector is
too blunt and means extra insertion force. But, the low profile
modules are not very tall, and will fit under more
different heatsinks.

Modules are made taller by various heatsinks. Sometimes the heatsinks
are so tall, they conflict with the CPU heatsink. On my latest build,
I used a cooler with "extreme headroom" and I can remove the DIMMs
while the heatsink stays in place. The RAM I bought, the "crown" of the
DIMM can be unscrewed, and it still has a lower section of cooler
over the RAM. But the CPU heatsink was tall enough, to clear the modules
fully assembled.

One mistake I made in purchasing, is I didn't notice the DIMM
slots were "one-latch" variety. Good slots have ejectors on
both ends of the socket. My sockets only have an ejector on
the end of the socket furthest away from the slot 1 video card.
And that makes the RAM hard to remove. At one time, the slots
were color coded (end of slot same color as body of slot), to point
out there is no ejector. But this board used camouflage, painting
on fake colors to make it look like a latch was present. And
that caught me and I didn't notice. I can live with it, but
I'm not happy about it.

DIMMs nave transfer speed, and they have latency. The 1600 is
faster than the 1300, as there are more "megabytes/sec". If you
were doing block memory transfers, the speed might help.

The latency, is proportional to the inverse of the clock period
(a measure of the 1600), as well as the CAS number (9). The
1600 DIMM has tinier-sized CAS staps. So CAS9 at 1600 is a
shorter period of time than CAS9 at 1333.

In some articles I've read, the authors of the articles
tried to downplay CAS and look at speed instead. They
presented benchmark data, in a 2D table of latency and speed,
and the speed buys you a bit more. Their recommendation is not
to spend an infinite amount of money trying to get low-latency
RAM. It might actually be hard to find low-latency chips, so
you couldn't buy a really low value anyway. And the processor
itself has a limit as to how low the CAS setting can go. I've
had one hardware setup, where hardware other than the DIMM,
prevented the lowest possible CAS to be used.


If I go to ark.intel.com and select a 4790K processor, it lists

Max Memory Size (dependent on memory type) 32 GB
Memory Types DDR3-1333/1600

So the motherboard appears to stick with the Intel recommendation,
rather than going crazy with overclocks.


Your board has an extensive CPU support chart, and I don't
see any immediate danger signs there.

http://www.gigabyte.com/support-down....aspx?pid=4962

Notice the processor at the top of the chart requires BIOS
version B4.


Yes, the 4790K is my CPU, which requires BIOS version F4. Is the
implication that the Intel H97 - GA-H97-D3H (rev. 1.0) has it, or will I
have to start by flashing my BIOS? :-(


Once you're aware of the issue, you try to buy from a vendor with
lots of hardware turnover.

My LGA775 board, the vendor still had stock from the first
container from China, a year and a half after introduction.
That would be an example of a "stale" source of motherboards.
If there were B3 and B4 boards, I could be assured that source
would sell me a B3 and I'd be stuck. I'd need to borrow a CPU
from somewhere, to flash it up.

My new Asus board, has one USB connector with a white ring
around it, and that USB port is the "flasher" port. You can connect
a USB key with a BIOS file on it, and the motherboard can flash
itself without a processor. It means there is a standalone chip
of some sort, which works the magic of flashing the serial EEPROM
for you. And that avoids the problem of "what do I do if I get a
B3 board". So Asus has a solution to that. I hope the chip is
available so others can add the capability to theirs. As it
eliminates the problem.

snip

Paul
  #5  
Old September 19th 14, 05:52 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte
Haines Brown
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14
Default SDRAM choice

Paul writes:

Haines Brown wrote:
Paul writes:

The dimensions in terms of the length of the modules, they
should all be the same length and pin count.

The height is tricky.


Yes, they should be the same length I would think. As you point out,
height is the tricky part, for the SDRAM can't be all owed to interfere
with the CPU cooler. I took that into account, and I if needed I can
switch the fan to make it a pull fan on the other side of the Cool
Master Hype 212 EVO cooler.

Notice the processor at the top of the chart requires BIOS
version B4.


Yes, the 4790K is my CPU, which requires BIOS version F4. Is the
implication that the Intel H97 - GA-H97-D3H (rev. 1.0) has it, or will I
have to start by flashing my BIOS? :-(


Once you're aware of the issue, you try to buy from a vendor with
lots of hardware turnover.


I purchased the MB from Newegg several weeks ago. You seem to imply that
if a vendor has high turnover, it is more likely to provide the Gigabyte
board with the updated BIOS. Other than asking the vendor directly, how
would one know what BIOS version a Gigabyte board has? My MB has dual
BIOS; does that have anything do do with version 4?

Haines
  #6  
Old September 19th 14, 09:06 PM posted to alt.comp.periphs.mainboard.gigabyte
Paul
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 13,411
Default SDRAM choice

Haines Brown wrote:


I purchased the MB from Newegg several weeks ago. You seem to imply that
if a vendor has high turnover, it is more likely to provide the Gigabyte
board with the updated BIOS. Other than asking the vendor directly, how
would one know what BIOS version a Gigabyte board has? My MB has dual
BIOS; does that have anything do do with version 4?

Haines


Dual BIOS is a form of protection against flashing accidents.
If you flash one chip, and the flash operation fails, the theory
goes that you can switch to the other chip and recover. Once
you trusted the new flashed BIOS, you could flash a second time,
overwrite the second chip, and have both running the same version.

It's possible the setup looks like this.

Chip #1 Chip #2
Boot block ---
Main code Main code

The Gigabyte scheme may still be relying on just one boot block.
And the redundancy is coverage for the main code block. It still
leaves an exposure of brickage of the boot block. Gigabyte is free
to change their scheme at any time and make it fully symmetric.

We had a scheme like that at work, only ours was fully duplicated,
not exactly a BIOS, and you could switch sides based on failure to
boot. It was used for software upgrade. Both of our chips had
the same content layout. And hardware decided which chip to run.
If booting from #1 failed and the hardware rebooted, it could
use #2 automatically, with no front panel intervention. I'm sure
the scheme had just as many exposures as the Gigabyte scheme.
Part of our testing, was "hammer" testing, where the equipment
would lose power in the middle of a software upgrade, to prove
the equipment would boot from the remaining good side.

*******

At one time, the BIOS version was indicated by adhesive label on
the flash chip. The flash chip is too small for that now. The chip
is an eight pin DIP, rather than being the larger square chip
in the removable socket they used to use. The chip is also soldered
into place, more than it should be. Some boards, a few years ago,
they had a seven pin serial flash header, but the programmer for
that costs around $150, so nobody is going to have one of
those for repair work (the manufacturer probably wouldn't
provide support long enough to make owning one pay off).

*******

If I check the Newegg reviews...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128712

"JK I.
6/22/2014 9:41:07 AM

One note: I don't know what BIOS version is shipping on the boards
now, but the newest BIOS is F4, 6/4/2014. Mine shipped with F3
and I updated immediately."

And that was for a 4790 processor, which runs on F3 anyway.

The only other thing I can suggest, is find a Gigabyte motherboard
similar to the one you got, with the same BIOS release scheme (F3 and F4)
and see if there is any evidence the board will run with F3 with
that processor. There aren't enough reviews on Newegg to do a good
job of figuring it out.

Paul
 




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