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Does 4 Sticks Put Extra Strain on Intel IMC?

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Tyerker

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
I currently have 2x8GB of DDR3-2133 running in XMP. No stability issues.

The same kit is currently on Newegg for <$60. I know 32GB of RAM is just silly, but it seems like a way to make this PC last for... As long as you can hope a PC can last for. And it's a cheap upgrade.

My only concern is if the 4 sticks will put any unnecessary strain on the IMC. I don't plan on OCing to 5 GHz or anything crazy. I'm perfectly happy with my current performance at 4.3GHz, and I still have voltage and temprature headroom to upgrade further in the future.

Is there any drawback to using all 4 DIMMs? I know the benefits may not be much right now, but I want to make sure I don't actually make performance worse by having more RAM than I need.
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
As far as the IMC is concerned, no issues as the chipset is designed to handle it. As far as need is concerned, we all enjoy our systems and know what we use them for, so it's a matter of desire and dollars after that.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I currently have 2x8GB of DDR3-2133 running in XMP. No stability issues.

The same kit is currently on Newegg for <$60. I know 32GB of RAM is just silly, but it seems like a way to make this PC last for... As long as you can hope a PC can last for. And it's a cheap upgrade.

My only concern is if the 4 sticks will put any unnecessary strain on the IMC. I don't plan on OCing to 5 GHz or anything crazy. I'm perfectly happy with my current performance at 4.3GHz, and I still have voltage and temprature headroom to upgrade further in the future.

Is there any drawback to using all 4 DIMMs? I know the benefits may not be much right now, but I want to make sure I don't actually make performance worse by having more RAM than I need.
Yes, it does put more stress on the IMC. You may need to add some System Agent or VccIO voltage to support that much. It will not bother your CPU overclock.

While it is cheap, it isn't really an upgrade until you can actually use the capacity. ;)
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Yes, it does put more stress on the IMC. You may need to add some System Agent or VccIO voltage to support that much. It will not bother your CPU overclock.

While it is cheap, it isn't really an upgrade until you can actually use the capacity. ;)

All of this, +1.
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
A couple of articles relating to the integrated voltage regulator of the Haswell family, both produced by smart people:

First up an Intel .pdf, about 1/3 of the way down the RAM chart is colorful and informative; second is from EETimeswith a layperson's article.

It appears that manual voltage selection isn't necessary. But perhaps you guys have discovered otherwise?:confused:
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
A couple of articles relating to the integrated voltage regulator of the Haswell family, both produced by smart people:

First up an Intel .pdf, about 1/3 of the way down the RAM chart is colorful and informative; second is from EETimeswith a layperson's article.

It appears that manual voltage selection isn't necessary. But perhaps you guys have discovered otherwise?:confused:

Can you tell us the exact page of the Intel PDF?
I see nothing in the second link about the IMC.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I missed any mention of voltage (in a 'you shouldnt need to adjust it for 32gb' context) in the first link (intel pdf). Because he is only wanting to run 2133 though, he may not have to.

Edit: I don't see anything in the second link either...reading again...

Edit2: Nope this is FIVR stuff. Not sure what you are getting at roger...

The 1.8 feeds the FIVR, but you can still adjust each voltage domain (if that is what you were suggesting?). Please clarify the po8nt of those links. :)
 
Last edited:

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
A couple of articles relating to the integrated voltage regulator of the Haswell family, both produced by smart people:

First up an Intel .pdf, about 1/3 of the way down the RAM chart is colorful and informative; second is from EETimeswith a layperson's article.

It appears that manual voltage selection isn't necessary. But perhaps you guys have discovered otherwise?:confused:

So I read the entire pdf and web page article and did not see anything in their about the ability of the imc to handle varying amounts of ram and the affects on voltage needs. What am I missing?

- - - Updated - - -

Apparently I read slower than everyone else.
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
I had looked for a page number on the .pdf and none of the pages have numbers, the graphic is about 1/3 of the way down when scrolling, best I can do.

The on-board voltage regulator, according to the article, eliminates the need for 7 different other-vendor chips. My understanding of the article is that the DIMM voltage range is controlled by a signal from the IMC. Outside of that the BIOS can be manually adjusted for other purposes such as overclocking or stability outside of a built in range.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that using 32GB of RAM wouldn't stress the system, just that the chipset is built to handle 32GB of RAM which his board supports.
 
OP
Tyerker

Tyerker

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
I know I won't always use it, but I might start doing stuff that requires more VMs and/or live game capture stuff for work and/or pleasure so maybe I'd tap into it some day.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I had looked for a page number on the .pdf and none of the pages have numbers, the graphic is about 1/3 of the way down when scrolling, best I can do.

The on-board voltage regulator, according to the article, eliminates the need for 7 different other-vendor chips. My understanding of the article is that the DIMM voltage range is controlled by a signal from the IMC. Outside of that the BIOS can be manually adjusted for other purposes such as overclocking or stability outside of a built in range.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that using 32GB of RAM wouldn't stress the system, just that the chipset is built to handle 32GB of RAM which his board supports.

Your PDF reader should tell you the page number...

He's well past Intel spec at DDR3-2133, their papers will refer to their recommended speed of (IIRC) DDR3-1600 for this chipset.

We're not suggesting to change the DIMM voltage past what needed for XMP, for the record, but to change the IMC voltage (typically VCCSA and/or VCCIO) because of the strain of having to communicate with all four DIMMs at a rate of speed higher than spec.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
I had looked for a page number on the .pdf and none of the pages have numbers, the graphic is about 1/3 of the way down when scrolling, best I can do.

The on-board voltage regulator, according to the article, eliminates the need for 7 different other-vendor chips. My understanding of the article is that the DIMM voltage range is controlled by a signal from the IMC. Outside of that the BIOS can be manually adjusted for other purposes such as overclocking or stability outside of a built in range.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that using 32GB of RAM wouldn't stress the system, just that the chipset is built to handle 32GB of RAM which his board supports.

We're more or less on the same page I guess? He will be fine with 32gb, but he may need to increase SA and IO because of the increased stress on the IMC.

I know I won't always use it, but I might start doing stuff that requires more VMs and/or live game capture stuff for work and/or pleasure so maybe I'd tap into it some day.
I'd get it when you need it. ;)
 

Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Page 10, (thanks, somehow I missed seeing it at the top where it is Always located).

If the Intel VRM maxes out at 1.8 volts, and regulates according to DIMM calls, wouldn't that limit the OC profiles to the MB recommended modules (which IIRC is about 3600) so that 1.8 would be the max draw no matter the DIMM's profile?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
You can raise input voltage. 1.8V is stock. ;)

DDR3 is 1.5-1.65v so there is plenty of headroom anyway.
 
Last edited:

Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I'd get it when you need it. ;)

Playing devil's advocate here, but what if DDR3 RAM starts to increase in price? Right now, DDR3 and DDR4 in the same capacities seem to be in the same relative price range, but my guess is that as more companies start to end production on DDR3, prices will start to increase quite quickly. I don't remember off hand, but I think something similar to that happened with DDR2, didn't it?
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
It could surely. Depends on when he expects to max out his current 16. I'd weigh it out against his expected use over time. Certainly something to consider. :)
 
OP
Tyerker

Tyerker

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2012
Playing devil's advocate here, but what if DDR3 RAM starts to increase in price? Right now, DDR3 and DDR4 in the same capacities seem to be in the same relative price range, but my guess is that as more companies start to end production on DDR3, prices will start to increase quite quickly. I don't remember off hand, but I think something similar to that happened with DDR2, didn't it?

This was part of my thought process. I went all out in every regard on this build (without going to a 2011-3 build, and DDR4 was still at a high premium when I started) in order to get YEARS out of it, instead of the usual 6-9 months I had gotten with previous builds. So, by say holiday 2017, will DDR3 be at a premium the way DDR2 is now? Buy low, sell lower is the best you can hope for in the tech world, so with the large SSD, high-end CPU, large HDD, reliable motherboard, and room for RAM expansion, I was hoping this build could last for 3-4 GPU generations, the way some people still run a 2500k and are happy with it.