Step By Step Guide To Ordering A Dell PC: The Tortoise RAMs The Hare

Part 4

That price doesn't scare me that much since if I ordered the 6 GB right from Dell I'd have to throw out all the six 1 GB sticks and replace them with six 2 GB ones. When you let your fingers do the walking down the etailer's aisles, you find that just about the least expensive kit of three 2GB DDR3 sticks available at newegg.com (USA) are the G.SKILL 6 GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ which cost US$169.99. Aha, but you say... this is faster memory! This kit is 1600 MHz while the Dell offering is just the pokey 1066 Mhz!

Keep in mind what I stated in my DDR1, DDR2, DDR3: Navigating The RAM Maze Hub:

It would take an encyclopaedia to list all the CPUs and all the chipsets and their "best-fit" RAM. Before finalizing your system configuration you should research your CPU manufacturer's RAM recommendations and fit that exact type of DDR to it. You would be just as foolish in using a PC3-12800 DDR3-1600 with an AMD Sempron 2800+ as you would be to burden down your Intel QX6800 with a PC1600 DDR-200. Every CPU/chipset combo has its proper DDR fit, and you should find out exactly what they are and stick to them. Fitting a slower than recommended DDR to your system will bottleneck critical RAM functions and could slow your otherwise very speedy system to a tortoise crawl.

There are currently three “mainstream” speeds for DDR-3 RAM memory units:

  • PC3-8500 (DDR3-1066 SDRAM); Clock Speed: 133MHz, Data Rate: 1066MHz, Throughput 8.53GB/s
  • PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333 SDRAM); Clock Speed: 166MHz, Data Rate: 1333MHz, Throughput 10.67GB/s
  • PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600 SDRAM); Clock Speed: 200MHz, Data Rate: 1600MHz, Throughput 12.80GB/s

All of them will work with the Core i7... but... yeah... so what? 1066 MHz RAM is a perfect match for the Core i7 920. The only reason why anyone would want to use the faster RAM is if they wanted to (gasp) overclock the system and Dell does one thing that I have to profoundly from the bottom of my heart congratulate them for: They lock the BIOS! It's well nigh impossible to overclock this Dell motherboard so eat that you crazed extreme overclockers and your infinite budgets for superexpensive and superfast RAM! Hey, I have nothing against a computer user trying to wring the most out of their system and to all the overclockers out there, I say, Go Fer It! But I do draw the line at patented lunatics who turn a beautifully engineered and sensitive masterpiece of electronics into a sparking conflagration with the half-life of Lawrencium.

If we go to find the cheapest 1066 MHz 2 GB DDR 3 RAM at newegg.com (USA), we find that the Crucial 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Desktop Memory Model CT25664BA1067 is available at US$49.99, therefore six of them would cost US$300. Considering that the upgrade to the 12 GB of 1066 MHz RAM on the Dell offering is CDN$300 or US$240, why would I want to do anything else?

Next: Breaking Up Is Hard Drive To Do

Or Start From The Beginning Again

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