RAM brands

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I'm playing catch-up these days after neglecting to keep myself
up-to-date on hardware development for quite some time due to
heavy involvement in other things.

Now, when I read enthusiasts talk about memory, it's mostly about
Corsair and G.Skill and their Ripjaws, XMS, Dominator, Vengeance
and so on. I also read a lot about RMAs and things that go kaput
unexpectedly. I see little mention of Kingston, Transcend, AData
and the like. What's the current status of these other brands?
I'm more interested in reliability than in an extra 1 or 2
percentage points in benchmarks.

Re: RAM brands

Pimpom wrote:
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Use the Newegg customer reviews and see how many of them report
problems. That's how I select RAM (and then buy it from a
Canadian source, to avoid brokerage fees).

I've had good luck with all the Kingston I've bought in the last
few years.

But reading the Newegg reviews, will give you a lot
more raw data to work with. And don't just rely on the summary
numbers, because at least a small percentage of the customers...
are idiots :-) Sometimes, they'll come to a negative conclusion
about a product, for unjustified reasons. For example, someone
buys 2.2V RAM, runs it at 1.8V, then complains that it had
"thousands of errors". You have to skim through the reviews, and
remove negative reviews where the problem was "operator error".
RAM can only be expected to meet its stated spec. And if you
buy "high voltage" RAM, then there is a reasonable expectation
it is going to need some of that voltage, to be error free.

In some cases, it is the motherboard chipset that is to blame. And then,
the RAM gets unfairly blamed, when virtually any brand would
have had problems.

But if you crack open the reviews, and see six "DOA" reports in a
row, that's a simple way of discovering you should stay away from
the product. For some products, it doesn't take more than a
second or two of examination, to move on to the next product.


Re: RAM brands

Pimpom wrote:
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It's not the brand of the memory modules that matters so much but the
brand of the memory chips on the modules, and you want chip brands
like Samsung (SEC), Micron ("M" with an ellipse around it), Elpida,
Nanya/Inotera, ProMOS, PowerChip (PSC), Hynix, or Winbond.   If you
can't easily identify any of those brands from the markings on the
chips, be very, very careful, and test the memory for a few days with
MemTest86, MemTest86+, and Gold Memory.   Modules with higher voltage
ratings were made with dud or overclocked chips because no DDR3 is
made to require more than 1.50V, no DDR2 more than 1.80V.  When in
doubt, buy modules made by Crucial (provided it has no heatsinks and
uses 1.50V for DDR3, 1.80V for DDR2) or Samsung.

Re: RAM brands

I had to RMA a Kingston module once. They issue you a FedEx label number
which covers shipping from you, so they pay for shipping both ways.
That's a true waranty in my opinion, so they're always at the top of my
list of choices.

I'm using 2 x 4 GBs of Patriot modules right now, and I haven't had any
problems with them.

I'm in the habit of running a full pass of memtest at least once a month, which
I recommend
for catching failures that lack obvious symptoms.

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