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computer RAM upgrade stupid questions? Answered

Well as it turns out, 8GB of RAM with Chrome and Kdenlive video editing software open at the same time causes Ubuntu to max out the RAM on my machine, and the machine will start to become very sluggish, eventually freezing for several minutes at a time with a high chance of never unfreezing. This used to be a very common issue that would occur with only google chrome open, due to a memory leak with my Gmail tabs. If I catch this sluggishness and eventually full system hang early enough, I can recover from it by entering CLI mode on ubuntu (alt+F1) and killing "chrome." After researching this problem a bit more, I created a swap file, since I do not have a SWAP partition, this helped delay the eventual unrecoverable system hang, but did not entirely fix the issue. I also tried different "swappiness" values, and also learned about this command "sudo sysctl -w vm.min_free_kbytes=400000" which supposedly forces a set amount of space to be unused in ubuntu. Looking at the system monitor this appears to do what it says, preventing a >95% RAM use, forcing swap to be used instead, and this was initially promising as it seemed to reduce the full system hangs, but created more small bugs, like freezing and stuttering wildly with buffered youtube videos, or playback in Kdenlive. A reboot seemed to have fixed that issue, but I'm not sure if those settings stuck around. ANYWAY; I guess there is no denying it, I simply do not have the RAM necessary for my workload anymore.


I DO use intel HD integrated graphics, which uses the system RAM for graphics processing, so I wonder, will faster RAM allow slightly better graphics performance? My understanding is that GDDR is optimized for sheer bandwidth, not latency, while system DDRx RAM is optimized for latency. Does this mean my system will benefit more from high clock rate and high latency setting on a given RAM set, or is low clock and low latency RAM better? Most "gaming" orented builders seem to say RAM is not important other than esthetics and reliability. Also, is there a difference between buffered and unbuffered RAM? 


Currently, the specs for my RAM are:

Geil EVO Veloce GEV38GB1600C9DC 4GBx2

This RAM I got for "free" with my motherboard, and it seems to work with the following settings in the BIOS:

. . .1600MHz @ 9-9-9-28 timings, 1.5V
. . .1333MHz @ 9-9-9-24 timings, 1.5V
. . .1800MHz @ 11-12-11-33 timings, 1.65V

These are the fastest possible settings that will boot. Note, I was not too happy with the 1800MHz overclock, especially considering my computer was acting strange and crashed during an update, corrupting Ubuntu. I was able to repair the installation of some corrupted packages halfway installed. It did not seem to make any difference in some games on ubuntu, which is how I tested stability/speed. I have also had issues where while the BIOS system check passes, ubuntu puck errors all over me when I clocked at 1600MHz @ 9-9-9-24, even at 1.65V. There is really no overclocking this currently overpriced and mediocre RAM to any degree. The three settings above were the best settings I could get.

The RAM I am currently looking at getting is: http://www.amazon.com/Crucial-Ballistix-PC3-12800-240-Pin-BLS2K4G3D169DS1J/dp/B00ZRG009S/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1452056996&sr=1-1&keywords=BLS2K4G3D169DS1J It is the most affordable, and states that it is 4GBx2 of 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 RAM. I think I can underclock it to match the speed of the rest of my RAM and I think it should work well alongside. What do you guys think? I do not want to have to buy the $67 16GB if I can help it.

Tags:RAM

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

I can tell you a few nice stories about updating RAM on computers....
Do yourself a favour and check what type of RAM is supported by your motherboard and go from there - everything else can work but can also cause a lot of trouble.
Never mix RAM!
Some people claim it is no problem but for me it only worked a few times in my years of installing systems.
If you really want to improove than invest in a dedicated graphins card.
Integrated graphic is good enough to surf the web or do some office stuff, for everything else they are useless.
Good video editing software also support the use of the GPU to speed things up, therefor freeing your CPU from the workload.
My "old" Quad Core used 8GB of high speed RAM that came with the motherboard, if I try to get a similar speed and a module that works I am looking at over 100 bucks for a 4GB module...

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-max-Downunder35m

Answer 3 years ago

The problem is that if I get all new RAM, that's about $70, then as you say, a decent video card, that is at least $100, and when I first built my computer, I plugged in a (probably bad?) PCI card into a PCI slot while the board was powered, I guess causing the PCI slot to die on my motherboard, now I have no clue if the standard modern PCI-e slots even work. Not sure if I just some killed power rails, the PCI-e to legacy PCI converter required by the Z77 chipset, or what. I do wish I could somehow test the big PCI-e slot that graphics cards use. I might also have to get a new motherboard, and so now it might as well be a halfway computer build! Yeah, too much $$$. I do not need all that, since I am not big into PC gaming.

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Downunder35m-max-

Answer 3 years ago

Take your time and salvage computer from the hard rubbish.
Not nice to say but if you buy a brand new computer most of the hardware is obsolete within a year.
And yes, once too much time has passed it is usually cheaper to buy a new computer than to properly upgrade an older one.
A new motherboard with memory often goes for under 300 bucks if you don't need the fastest or boards with endless options.

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-max-Downunder35m

Answer 3 years ago

Lol, I would if I could! Lets just say I do not live in a technically 'advanced' area, and more like farm country. The newest computer that can be found in dumpster here are ones that run 95 or XP and use 256MB or so of DDR.

I would get a GPU if I can prove that the PCI-e slots were good. I found some small cards on newegg for about $60-70 which might be worth it if they make general dual-screen use better, and allow me to do stuff in blender and edit 4K video smoothly. But I think I will just get RAM for now, it has finally fallen in price over the past few years it looks like. I took the computer apart all the way to see if I can find anything obvious like a fried chip or a burned PCB trace that may have caused no PCI devices to be recognized. I can't imagine I would have damaged data lines by plugging in a PCI card while the computer was turned on. I did repair the front USB port that I also fried, and smelled the magic smoke from. There was a burned out trace on the front panel board that is pretty badly charred.

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bwrussell

3 years ago

Just get whatever you can find for a decent price with the same base clock speed. If you want a higher clock speed then better to replace all the RAM or overclock both sets together rather than just one set.

Since your current RAM is 1600 you shouldn't have a problem with what you've selected, no underclocking necessary but for $3 more you can buy identical RAM from Newegg.

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-max-bwrussell

Answer 3 years ago

I read everywhere else that the timings must be the same, I don't know. But I see you found the RAM on newegg, I must have found the same kit but for $10 more! Thanks! I might get it. Currently I am rebuilding an dinosaur computer using a AMD athlon 64 X2 at 2.5GHz or something, and 1GB ddr2. If I get it working, I might get some really cheap 8GB DDR2 sticks from amazon and see if I can make it work well for web browsing and stuff.