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Old 08-15-2013, 05:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DDR3 RAM and GPU question

Hey all,

I am looking to upgrade my budget gaming rig with some DDR3 RAM. I'm currently at 4GB 1333MHz (2x2GB). I am either going to add another 2x2GB of the same DIMMs or just bust out and go all in with a new DIMM kit. Either 4x2GB or possibly 4x4GB. Not sure as of yet. So here lies my question:

I am currently running a ZOTAC AMP! GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 card. Is it possible to allocate half of my DDR3 RAM to my graphics? I don't know why I thought of that but it would be sweet to help out the performance of my GPU. I have to manually set the GPU fan to 100% before gaming because it gets so hot. Upwards of 65C and I have even seen it go to 72C and still work but that crap is not good. I have fans and I'm going to get another for the case. But would allocating RAM to the graphics help my card?

No hurry on an answer. I'm just kicking around the idea because if I can do it... I am going to go with the 4x4GB DIMM kit. Allocating half or atleast a quarter of the RAM to the graphics.

BTW... my mobo supports dual channel memory and if I go with the 4x4GB setup it will be one of the following:

Kingston HyperX or G Skill RipjawsX <--- which is best????

Thanks for any/all answers or suggestions.
Mark W.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

Most graphics cards already use shared graphics memory on top of the dedicated VRAM that comes with it. My card has 2GB dedicated and shares another 2GB making the total graphics memory 4GB.

The dedicated graphics memory is really the only one that matters though, and no you can't do what you're talking about with your system memory. The card is set at what it's set at.

As far as memory brand is concerned, as long as it works it's fine in my book.
If your system heats up, make sure the RAM you buy has heat spreaders to dissipate the heat. Personally, I prefer GSkill just because it's generally cheaper.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

To answer your first question, if you could actually do that it would hamper the performance of your card. So the answer here is no. GDDR5 provides a substantial amount of bandwidth over what any DDR3 could provide meaning that allocating system RAM to a card with dedicated RAM with a much lower speed, if it's actually used the amount of bandwidth is greatly decreased. This is why things like higher end APUs get a boost in speed when you provide faster system RAM because their RAM is system RAM.

Your second question, if your specs is true to what your about me provides, then do not go with a 4 stick setup. Phenom 2 chips have a weak IMC and require more voltage to utilize 4 sticks. If you want 16GB, go with 2x8GB and if you only want 8GB go with a 2x4GB setup.
As to the best, there isn't a "best" anymore. Overclocking of the RAM has pretty become an extinct art for regular desktop users because it isn't necessary. That being said, any brand running 1600MHz and is the cheapest is the winner. You don't need anything else.

Oh yea to your temps, 75c is perfectly fine for a GPU.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

Thanks for the replies. I will take that advice about the RAM and run with it. I didn't know that about AMD Phenom II's.

That is good to know about my GPU heat. It heats the hell outta my room.

I guess my upgrades will be consisting of 2x8GB GSkill and another case fan just to help with any additional heat.

PP Mguire - As for graphics and gaming... how significant would replacing my x4 CPU with the x6 (1100T) give me? Would it be worth it for strictly gaming? I only play GTA type games (GTA IV, MAFIA II, SLEEPING DOGS) but mostly iRACING online racing sim. And going from 2x4GB to say 2x8GB 1600MHz CL7 Ripjaws?

Thanks in advance,
Mark W.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

Phenom IIs weak IMC and require more voltage?
Is this a "real" problem that would throttle the CPU or memory? I was just thinking that a 4 stick setup would allow me to utilize the dual channels on my mobo.

So 2 sticks running single channel would be better than 4 sticks running on dual channel?
I'm just trying to understand why this is. The voltage pull defeats the dual channeling? Help me understand this PP Mguire.

Thanks,
Mark W.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwwwilson View Post
Thanks for the replies. I will take that advice about the RAM and run with it. I didn't know that about AMD Phenom II's.

That is good to know about my GPU heat. It heats the hell outta my room.

I guess my upgrades will be consisting of 2x8GB GSkill and another case fan just to help with any additional heat.

PP Mguire - As for graphics and gaming... how significant would replacing my x4 CPU with the x6 (1100T) give me? Would it be worth it for strictly gaming? I only play GTA type games (GTA IV, MAFIA II, SLEEPING DOGS) but mostly iRACING online racing sim. And going from 2x4GB to say 2x8GB 1600MHz CL7 Ripjaws?

Thanks in advance,
Mark W.
If you think those temps are high, you should try running my overclocked GTX580 which pushes 90C every time I game lol.

The X6 is simply giving you 2 extra cores instead of more IPC. 4 cores is all that's really most necessary in gaming unless it's an older quad like a Q6600, or Phenom 1 (like a 9650). So a simple answer is no, not unless you can get one of those X6 chips for like 50 bucks. Anything higher and you're wasting money.

The extra 4GB of RAM will help with any background tasks that may be paged due to a high demand game, and will also help with future next gen games. 1600Mhz is fine, but the CAS doesn't necessarily have to be that low. The brand you chose is up to you, anything will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mwwwilson View Post
Phenom IIs weak IMC and require more voltage?
Is this a "real" problem that would throttle the CPU or memory? I was just thinking that a 4 stick setup would allow me to utilize the dual channels on my mobo.

So 2 sticks running single channel would be better than 4 sticks running on dual channel?
I'm just trying to understand why this is. The voltage pull defeats the dual channeling? Help me understand this PP Mguire.

Thanks,
Mark W.
2 sticks runs in dual channel, you need 1 stick to run in single channel. Having 4 sticks adds extra strain on the IMC and most Phenom 2 chips require extra voltage increase to NB and NB-Vcore to prevent BSOD or any other random crashing. Either a 2 stick or a 4 stick setup will run in dual channel, 2 sticks puts less strain on the weaker IMC. (which is the memory controller)

Oh and I'll add, if you're looking for more FPS you won't really get that with any of these things you're buying.
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

Cool, thanks again for the info.
So one last question... which I think I know the answer to.

More FPS = More VRAM and/or better card... than my 550 with 1GB?

I can get a 560 Ti for $100 but I didn't really think that it would be worth the upgrade. It's used but I know that it works and has been well kept (my cousin's).
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

More VRAM doesn't always necessarily mean more performance. It's the GPU that gives you the performance, and typically higher end cards come with more VRAM but not always.

The 560ti is a significant bump in performance compared to the 550ti, and IMO worth the 100 bucks. Just sell your card behind that and it'll make it more worth it.
Here is a quick comparison between the two.
AnandTech | Bench - GPU12
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: DDR3 RAM and GPU question

Sweet! I'm gonna jump on that. I can probably get $75 out of my 550 because my nephew is looking for a better card. He doesn't know about the 560... LOL. That's mine.

Thanks a ton.
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