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Picking RAM for AMD 5900x and 6800xt

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Bar Weinig

New Member
Nov 16, 2020
Hi all,
This is the second part of the questions I have about my new (first) self build. You can find the build itself in the first part.

I can understand the numbers, but I do not get the practical implications.
So, my build will be a workstation/gaming-rig, but workstation-speed is not the main concern, making gaming-speed slightly more of a priority. But when it comes to video-editing, I think RAM-size is a priority. I think this means I should stick to a minimum of 32GB RAM and because of the CPU, 3600MHz RAM should be my goal. Next to that, staying non-RGB is a sub-goal. I'm pretty sure those are the requirements I can stick to.
What size should I aim for? I've considered 3 options: 4x8GB (not upgrade-able), 2x16GB (later upgrade-able to 4x16GB) or 2x32GB (later upgrade-able to 4x32GB). But what do I need? Is 128GB total overkill? And is upgrading even a thing? Do you get used to your system and never truly reconsider?
What does the cas-latency amount to? The first option could result in a CL14-16, the second CL16-18 and the last CL18-20 (just about?), but what does this do? Does this mean my frame-rate is going down? Is my video-encoding going to be slower?
How much does "playing it safe" matter? I've read a lot about RAM and it has become clear that AMD + RAM has some compatibility challenges. Things don't always work as you'd expect. But with what I'm trying to do, most QVLs aren't up to date. Wouldn't I be better off relying on proven tech, in stead of trying "new" stuff?

Play it safe with the G.Skill Trident Z RGB 2x16GB CL16 €250 link. As far as I understand it, this set is everything I want, except they don't fit my esthetics (which is important to me).
Use the new G.Skill Trident Z RGB 2x16GB CL14 €300 link. Sounds great, but same problem with esthetics.
Preferred choice: Team Group Dark Pro "8Pack" 2x16GB CL16 €250 link. As far as I can judge this, this appears to be the same specs as the Trident Z RGB, and they are non-RGB!
Taking the gamble with Patriot Viper Blackout 2x32GB CL18 €280 pdf-link. These cost only 30 Euros more than the above, with double the size. They are non-RGB and on paper they're awesome. But reading some of the customer-reviews is terrifying, especially this one, making me weary to even consider them...
Or should I do something completely different and go with 4x8GB. Or get 2x16GB or 2x32GB from Corsair Vengeance, or G.Skill Ribjaws V or yet some other set? These feel like big concessions, but I can't really judge that...

FYI: I'm not in a hurry. I am going to wait for tests of the main brands for the GPU, so I don't expect to build the PC before January. Waiting for components that you might know about coming out, wouldn't be a problem either.
Thank you for any insight you can give me!
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I don't know how much RAM you will really need but if you need 32GB then pick or Team Dark Pro or TridentZ/RGB/Neo/Royal 2x16GB CL16-16-16. All of them use the same Samsung B IC and will run about the same. You can also take a look at Crucial Ballistix 3600 CL16-18-18 as they run well on Ryzen too.
If you need more than 32GB then I recommend the new Crucial Ballistix 3600 CL16-18-18. It's probably the best 2x32GB kit you can get. I just finished testing one and it runs great on Ryzen. The mentioned Patriot Viper Blackout (and Steel) 2x32GB 3600 uses Hynix M-die and it barely overclocks but except that it's still good. I also tested it a while ago. If you need cheap 64GB+ then it's probably a good option.

The idea of 4 memory sticks is that the motherboard sees it as a dual-rank (in the case of 8GB modules). If you use 2 dual-rank modules then it will act the same way. I have no idea if it's a matter of motherboards, BIOS, or something else but so far I have problems stabilizing 4x 16/32GB memory modules at DDR4-3600 or above on Ryzen 5000. One kit works, another one is crashing from time to time. The same memory can make up to 4200+ with Ryzen 4650G. I expect some BIOS updates soon so maybe it will fix all the problems.

Answering one of the questions from your other thread; if you invest a lot in a new PC then get at least something like MSI X570 Unify as it has better memory support and updates are more frequent. This is pretty much the same motherboard as MSI top models. It simply doesn't have all add-ons, flashy RGB LEDs, etc. Memory overclocking on this motherboard is pretty much limited by the CPU memory controller. As far as I'm happy with results on Ryzen 4650G, then results on Ryzen 5800X are quite bad. Looks like it's my luck to CPUs as on ASUS is the same. Anyway, up to DDR4-3600, everything should work fine with 32-64GB kits, 128GB can be tricky as barely anyone sells 128GB kits and even two matched 64GB kits not always work and may require manual adjustments. In this case it's better to check something from the QVL (support page).
Thank you Woomack. That was fast!
I'll look into those other RAM sets. And maybe I should compare the Tomahawk and the Unify in some more detail. It was Buildzoid in this video that made me choose the Tomahawk over the Unify.
Tomahawk is still fine and for your needs will be probably about the same.
G.Skill has RGB control software that can turn off the RAM RGB once you get into Windows. The rainbow RAM will be there during bootup though.
I have the Trident Z Neo RGB 16-18-18 2x16GB 3600 kit. Not too worried about the RGB though, no windows on the case. :)
Motherboard RGB/LED software can turn off or manage LEDs too. The same for probably every brand I know, and you don't have to install anything additional. I'm actually not using GSkill software or any other RAM software as it causes problems with the motherboard or other software. For example, when you have a Corsair CUE, it will try to take over some settings to manage the motherboard, RAM, and cooler LEDs. This is really annoying as there are simply too many things to manage/synchronize nowadays, and no wonder that in time more people back to non-RGB PC. Whole black or white builds without RGB or only with some accents are getting more popular, and that's why we also see product lines like MSI Unify.

I had a problem on my MSI with some memory modules that when I turned off LEDs, then they were turning on some weird blinking mode. I also see that some modules are not synchronized on MSI, and the motherboard resets their state every couple of seconds. It simply looks weird when any dynamic mode is enabled. I have no problems like that on ASUS or ASRock.
I like RGB lighting but more like a static mode and light white or dark blue. It gives a bit of light in the room in the evening but isn't too flashy. The same as I can't work without a keyboard backlight nowadays, not too bright and without any dynamic mode, of course.
Hi Bar, sorry, just read your post in the other thread only now. But not much missed as Woomack is the real expert here, I was only inquiring 😎

Still finalizing tweaks on the 2x16 TG 8 Pack sticks, stability testing in the background as we speak. 4200-16-17-38 at 1.5V is stable with tightened timings.

4400-16-17 or 4400-17-17 is inconsistent, it can pass individual test runs but eventually errors, also at higher V's. Still gonna try 16-18-4400, but don't have high hopes.
Thanks for the tips and the information! I did some more research and decided to order the Unify in stead of the Tomahawk. It has some awesome features and I think those are worth the 50 Euros (Black Friday deal) over the Tomahawk's price. And no native LEDs either.
The Crucial Ballistix sets have a way friendlier price, than the Team Force Dark Pro's, which makes me wonder. I love the look of the TFDP's and I love the idea of the quality b-die, but what does it practically offer? As far as I know, with Intel CPU's you have some room to play, but with AMD it's usually just 2x the Infinity Fabric frequency. So is it worth the investment to go for the TFDP's, over the Crucial Ballistix's? Or is it just to have some fun (and the awesome esthetics)?
When it comes to RGB: I've seen some dark builds with only lit water-cooling. I love that look! I also have bought a Razor keyboard and Phanteks NEON RGB strips (compatible with Razor Chroma). If it is at all possible, I'd love to keep all the programming in a single program. I know I'm making a fuzz over very little, but buying LED free, should be all that hard...
The main difference between Samsung B and Micron E/B is that Samsung can run at much tighter sub-timings. Micron runs easier at higher clock and doesn't need so high voltages. On the other hand, Ryzen likes 1:1 IF clock so DDR4-3600/3800 and tight timings. Samsung gives the best results but some other IC are not so much worse. Sometimes have to compare prices and available options as for example 3600 CL14-15-15 can cost twice as much as 3600 CL16-18-18/16-19-19 and be 1% faster in daily work or gaming.
Good would be also DDR4-4800+ at 1:2 IF ratio but for me only 1 out of 3 Ryzen 5000 CPUs could run above DDR4-4800. Probably the same as with Ryzen 3000 so most 6/8 cores won't run at DDR4-5000 or higher. Back then I could run at DDR4-5000+ only on 3900X, now the lucky one was 5900X.
Well, thank you for the advice. I have now ordered all the parts: including the Unify and a set of Team Force dark pro's. Because of the supply-issues and the insane prices of the new Radeon-cards, I have decided to buy a Powercolor RX 5700xt for now. Once I've saved up some money to update to custom watercooling I will revisit the GPU-situation. It's probably going to take over a month for all the parts to come in, so I'm now studying up on overclocking.
Now I have a slightly off topic question: if I want to start doing some overclocking, how much do I need above-stock CPU cooling? My brother has a unused AMD Wraith Prism laying around. In reviews it scores not great, but pretty decent. If I were to use that cooler, would it mean I could not overclock, or would it just be slightly limited? Should I just not touch the CPU settings? A good AIO is relatively cheap, but still, I do have a free option. What would you advice me?
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