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16GB DDR3 1600Mhz OR 8GB DDR3 1866Mhz RAM?

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by popflier, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. popflier

    popflier Notebook Enthusiast

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    Quick question...hopefully...

    Which is better to get?

    1) 16GB - DDR3 1600MHz Dual Channel Memory (4 SODIMMS)

    OR

    2) 8GB - DDR3 1866MHz Dual Channel Memory (2 SODIMMS)

    I am a 3D artist and am purchasing a new laptop to function as my primary workstation. I will need to render (for several hours at a time) and run particle and fluid simulations. I'm customizing a new laptop, but when I got to the RAM choices I wasn't sure if the higher Mhz (1866) would be equivalent to more RAM (16) at a lower Mhz (1600.)

    Any info is much appreciated!
     
  2. Fat Dragon

    Fat Dragon Just this guy, you know?

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    If your work involves low memory usage, the 1866MHz RAM will be a little faster. However, if your work could use more than 8 GB of RAM then the excess will be handled by a pagefile, which is much slower than any DDR3 RAM, whereas 16 GB of slightly slower RAM would not have to resort to that and thus offer faster overall performance.

    I don't know much about 3D rendering and particle simulations, but my guess is that they would take advantage of more than 8GB.

    You might also consider getting the minimum RAM option factory-installed and buying 16 GB of 1600/1866 DDR3 and installing it yourself. A lot of the time that will save you tens or even hundreds of dollars.

    Oh, and depending on what CPU you're getting, it may or may not be able to use RAM at speeds over 1600MHz, so that's worth asking about as well.
     
  3. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    3D modelling and simulations can definitely benefit from more than 8 GB of RAM. Also, in most cases, more RAM is better than faster RAM; the latter will only make a difference in synthetic benchmarks.

    I'd definitely recommend getting 16 GB of RAM. Or better yet, as the above poster mentioned, get the minimum amount of factory RAM, buy 16 GB of RAM from a quality brand (Crucial, Corsair, Kingston, Mushkin, etc.) and install it yourself.
     
  4. James D

    James D Notebook Virtuoso

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    I add that you can buy Corsair 1600 RAM and OC it to 1866. But even without OCing Corsair iss the fastest 1600 ram. 44 bucks on Amazon for 8gb now. grab till you can.
     
  5. lidowxx

    lidowxx Notebook Deity

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    Depending on the extent of your usage, 3D modeling and rendering can take advantage of more than 8Gb.

    Higher frequency RAM sticks can even hardly make a difference in benchmarks(usually 1-5%) compared to lower frequency sticks, in real world scenario, the difference will be a lot smaller than that, there is no way you can perceive such a miniscule difference. 16Gb RAM will give you far more benefit if your 8GB RAM ever runs low.

    If you going to do lots of 3d modeling/rendering, fluid/particle simulation, make sure you get a i7 quad core(model number ends with QM, like i7-2630qm, i7-2670qm), they will significantly hasten the rendering process, as well as helping the simulation.
     
  6. Cloudfire

    Cloudfire (Really odd person)

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    16 GB 1600MHz for shure.

    You won`t have any performance increase at all with going from 1600 to 1866MHz RAM. 3D software take a huge toll on RAM which means that more RAM is always better.
     
  7. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    I vote for 16GB as well, even if your modeling software isn't that much of a RAM hog (it'll be a RAM hog, but how much will vary), you won't have to close your other apps just for the software to run properly.

    Particle and fluid simulations are definitely RAM hogs, depending on the software you use and precision you need/want you can easily use up most of 16GB. I mean i went over 12GB just by simulating a rectangular duct once because i had an insanely fine mesh. That's a bit extreme, but should you ever find yourself in a similar case, you'll appreciate the extra RAM or you'll have to go through the trouble of finding a lighter solver algorithm.
     
  8. long2905

    long2905 Notebook Virtuoso

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    Corsair or Kingston XMP 1600 and flash to 1866MHz :p
     
  9. popflier

    popflier Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thank you everyone for the information. One of the things I love about this board is that I can always find quick, reliable information.

    I do have three other questions. I did plan on buying the min RAM set and then purchasing the RAM I want and installing it myself. One of the other options for RAM is to bump it up to 32GB of 1600Mhz with 4 sodimms. I figured that if I had the option to buy 32GB of RAM then the CPU I chose should be able to run it. So for my question...

    Would you go with:
    Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333

    OR

    CORSAIR 16GB (2 x 8G) 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1333

    btw...is laptop memory 204 pin and desktop RAM 240pin?


    Last question:

    I was wondering about which one to get and haven't followed notebook CPU's since I bought my last notebook 4 years ago. I want to obviously get the best value, but don't want to overspend hundreds of dollars if I will only see a small fraction of improvement.

    I had decided to get this one until I read lidowxx's post:
    2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM, 2.2-3.1GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache)

    But I'd like to know if getting this one is really worth $160 more?

    2nd Generation Intel® Core™ i7-2760QM, 2.4-3.5GHz, (32nm, 6MB L3 cache)

    I was thinking all along that more RAM would be the answer instead of faster and less RAM so I'm glad that I was on the right path.

    As always...thanks again for any info you can provide.
     
  10. tijo

    tijo Sacred Blame Super Moderator

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    Unless you need the extra features provided by the 2760qm or the few minutes per hour of rendering that you'd save are enough to justify the cost, then yes. Otherwise, stick to the 2670qm.
     
  11. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    Both are good, reliable manufacturers that offer lifetime warranty. I'd say get whichever is cheaper.

    Correct (at least for DDR3 RAM).
     
  12. popflier

    popflier Notebook Enthusiast

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    Great! I think that I have all of my questions answered for now.

    I sent an email a few days ago to Sager asking them if they were going to release any new notebooks in the next couple of months. I received a reply a few minutes ago from them saying that they would be in April. So I'm going to wait to make my purchase until I can see what they release. Otherwise, I'm ready to go.

    Thanks again to everyone who responded.
     
  13. trvelbug

    trvelbug Notebook Virtuoso

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    how complex are the 3d animations you do? when i was using after effects cs5.5 with fluid simulations it rendered painfully slow on my cpu which i basically equivalent to the 2670qm you are planning to get.

    if you are using this for work and have the technical know how to use it, you may want to consider getting an extreme edition laptop cpu, and overclocking it. you will basically have desktop performance in a laptop making it a true workstation. imho, the difference between the price of a 2920xm (or its replacement, the 2960xm) as compared to the 2670qm is well worth it in your situation.
     
  14. Krane

    Krane Notebook Prophet

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    When it comes to animation the GPU is most important since it can significantly improve rendering times as well as dramatically boost real time effects. Get the best GPU you can afford; and the more RAM the better.
     
  15. Deks

    Deks Notebook Virtuoso

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    Most 3d programs need to support CUDA technology in order to switch rendering over to the GPU in the first place - which leaves the OP with Nvidia since developers won't even touch AMD as of yet.

    As for RAM, get the cheapest option with most RAM (16GB most definitely).
     
  16. popflier

    popflier Notebook Enthusiast

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    My 3D work varies in complexity so it's really a difficult question to answer. I've been able to model, texture, render, and simulate on my current laptop pretty well and it's a centrino 2 with a 900m graphics card and 4GB of RAM. Where I see it come to a halt is when I try to open certain projects that are several million poly's with full hi-res textures. I have one environment that I've been trying to render and am having to do it in small sections. It's pretty frustrating.

    I built a great workstation (desktop) about a year ago and it's incredibly fast, but I haven't been able to use it much due to an injury and I have had to use my laptop instead. Also, I primarily need this new laptop to remain mobile, but with power, so I need to find a compromise. I'm leaving the country and don't know when I'll have access to my desktop again.

    I'm just going to wait now to see what Sager releases in April and then make my purchase after that.
     
  17. Krane

    Krane Notebook Prophet

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    You don't have to wait (unless you're a fan of Sager?), as there are plenty of machines that will satisfy all your needs on the market right now.

    Just pick a workstation that can support a CUDA card and you shouldn't have any problems.
     
  18. LaptopUser247

    LaptopUser247 Notebook Consultant

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    Sager or not there's no point in buying the 1866MHz RAM if the laptop you end up buying has the overclocking options in its BIOS/UEFI to go above the standard 1600MHz DDR3 level in high-end 2nd generation Intel i7 mobile CPU's.

    If you're an artist then the GPU is first and foremost with CPU and RAM in 2nd and 3rd (close) place. Depending on the type of artist you are. i.e. CAD then you're better off with a Quadro/FireGL rather than standard GeForce/Radeon GPU.

    If given the choice I would go 16GB PC3-12800.
     
  19. Deks

    Deks Notebook Virtuoso

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    A quadro card won't do anything for render times (only viewports) unless the software used can offload rendering to the gpu in order to significantly expedite the process, plus it will be far more expensive compared to a gaming gpu.
    My advice would be not to mess around with 'pro cards' (seeing how they are merely modified gaming gpu's anyway with exact specs that have been optimized to use OpenGL).

    I'd rather go with 16GB 1600MhZ RAM (faster RAM won't show anything in terms of performance gain - and even now, it's better you get 8GB in 2x4 sticks and upgrade by buying 2x4 GB sticks yourself seeing as that option is cheaper), an Nvidia CUDA gpu such as the GTX 580M, and a relatively decent SB quad core to boot.

    Given that new gpu's are quite literally right around the corner (which should be released with IB cpu's), my advice would be to wait and see how much of an increase in performance they'll bring over the current generation and then decide if they are worth buying.
    The CPU alone will be only 10% increase in performance over the current SB generation with slightly better efficiency - so that much is not worth the trouble.
     
  20. HopelesslyFaithful

    HopelesslyFaithful Notebook Virtuoso

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    How urgent is this laptop? Can it wait? Can you wait til Ivy bridge? Another question to consider.
     

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