Advice for RAM upgrades? Do I get a 32GB kit to go with my current 16GB kit for 48GB capacity? Do I bite the bullet and go for a 64GB kit?

1 : Anonymous2021/05/21 14:43 ID: nhu6dh

Situation: Cities Skylines with custom content is using more than 16GB of memory, and that is on an empty map. I had implement workarounds, such as manually setting 32GB of page file on a secondary SSD so other programs such as Firefox doesn't crash from out-of-memory conditions, and extensively pruning the amount of custom content (I got rid of a large number of props/trees so I could have more buildings). From what I've read, some players stated that their 32GB RAM kits were not sufficient for the game and thus also had to set large page files.

I used Thaiphoon Burner to extract details about the ADATA XPG GAMMIX D10 (2x8GB) DDR4 3200 CL16 kit that I have:

According to TB, my kit uses single-rank, but I could not find any other information to confirm that. ADATA's website and their Amazon sales page doesn't mention about the dual vs single rank information.

I'm using an Asrock B450m Pro4 motherboard. While I couldn't find any information about it using Daisy Chain or T-Topology, but since the user manual states that there is a large speed drop on two of the slots (I think the memory speed is dropped from 2666 MHz max to 2133 MHz max), I'm assuming using four sticks of RAM will make it harder to overclock the RAM.

Speaking of RAM overclocking, I'm using a 14nm Ryzen 1600 so four sticks of RAM will be a problem for Daisy Chain memory tracing. But on the flip side, 48GB of RAM even at something like 2400 MHz is going to be faster than 16GB 3200 MHz RAM + 24GB SSD page file.

I'm a bit hesitant on going straight for 64GB RAM because of its cost, especially with this year where everything is expensive.

I do plan on upgrading the CPU when I get Cities Skylines 2 (rumored to launch later this year or sometime in 2022).

2 : Anonymous2021/05/21 16:11 ID: gyyh95c

I'm using a 14nm Ryzen 1600 so four sticks of RAM will be a problem for Daisy Chain memory tracing.

I was going to suggest just adding more sticks, but this is a big red flag; I don't think the memory controller on first gen ryzens is going to play well with four sticks if you're trying to run them at faster speeds, so you might be better off just getting a large capacity kit, unless you plan on moving to a Ryzen 5000 series, in which case either option is fine.

ID: gyyv940

Is there an easy way to identify which topology a board has?

ID: gyyvkhn

You may get lucky and the motherboard manual will tell you. Otherwise it’s a case of trying to look at the traces....

ID: gyz9stw

Usually you look on the vendor’s QVL RAM list and if you see more 4 DIMM configurations running at higher frequencies than 2 DIMMS, it’s probably T-Topology and not Daisy-Chain

ID: gyzdeza

(someone correct me if I'm wrong ) but I think most if not all b450 boards are daisy chain, it's cheaper, t topology is mostly found in more expensive boards

3 : Anonymous2021/05/21 16:21 ID: gyyil6v

If you have the money to spare always go bigger. You can always use it somehow if you have more, but you can't use what you don't have

4 : Anonymous2021/05/21 17:10 ID: gyyp8xy

IMO the hardest part with the mixed upgrade is finding a 32GB kit that closely matches (or slightly betters) your 16GB kit.

AFAIK when you install two non-identical kits your motherboard will basically use the worst of all the various RAM timings across both kits, so you end up with sub optimal timings unless you can be bothered to manually tweak them later (which can also be made more difficult due to having two different sets of RAM).

Aside from that it should be ok, since you'll be symmetric across both RAM channels anyway.

5 : Anonymous2021/05/21 14:59 ID: gyy7mfi

I would personally go with the 64gb kit. For simplicity but also when/if you move to a DDR5 platform a 64gb kit should have better resale value.

Edit: clarified

ID: gyya6sg

ddr5 will require a new board

ID: gyyb3s5

Uh huh

ID: gyyb1j7

“ddr5 will require a new board”

He’s thinking of the resale value of his 64 gig ram when he moves to DDR5

6 : Anonymous2021/05/21 17:34 ID: gyysfkv

If the option is slightly slower system because you have 48gb at lower speed, but a system that works....or a system with 16 that you know doesn't work...and cost is an issue, seems like an easy choice. You probably wont notice any slow down from having to loosen timings or lower ram speed.

Cost constrained i would likely just buy the 32gb and add it to the 16. Over the last 25 years, multiple times ive bought the same or double the ram i had and added it to the existing ram. This pretty much always resulted in me having to loosen timings or lower the speed of the memory. I would say i never noticed a performance dip in day to day use. But then it was always me adding ram because i was running out, which cause performance the more ram solved those problems leading to a better experience then before.

All that said, i consider adding more ram a stop gap. I always did it on older systems trying to get a few more years out of them, usually with second hand cheap ram, so if it didnt work i didnt spend much.

7 : Anonymous2021/05/21 17:26 ID: gyyredw

Honestly kind of sounds like you have one main purpose here, and you see this as a stop gap till you upgrade. I would just get what’s cheapest between getting a similarly spec ram, or if you resell your current kit and buy 64GB kit (maybe you’ll get lucky with a sale). If the price difference is minor I would go with the full 64 GB kit, purely cause I think higher capacity kits will probably hold there value better, platforms r ganna start moving to ddr5, so most people who will be looking for ddr4 will probably be on old platform and will want higher capacity.

ID: gz03fth

My original plan was to maybe consider upgrading the RAM when I also get a new CPU.

Of course back in mid-2019 when I did my research and made the purchase, I was assuming that DDR4 prices would continue to go down and I could grab a fire sale 32/64 GB kit, and that Zen 2 would be generally cheaper after Zen 3's launch.

8 : Anonymous2021/05/21 18:17 ID: gyyy6l9

Definitely go for the 64 GB kit.

I had 2x8 GB Corsair and wanted to get another set to have 4x8 GB. So I ordered the exact same model number and I had so many issues. Turns out the new ram kit uses different memory chips even though they have the same model number. So save yourself the potential headache and get the biggest ram kit you can afford and sell the old one.

ID: gyza1bf

They always use different memory chips and ranks when you don’t want them. Only way to know is installing and running CPU-Z

9 : Anonymous2021/05/21 17:24 ID: gyyr4c2

whats the cost difference between the 32GB and the 64GB kit of your choice? is it worth it paying that price (maybe double or more?) if you know you are still far from reaching 48GB with any single program of yours (only specifically custom-modded games and professional software will use WAY more than 16GB and if you use something like adobe premiere pro or any huge memory hog, you would know of it just as you know of cities) then you would have paid double for never using that RAM unless you play cities.

sure RAM headroom is good. but to my understanding if you go 48GB - and lets be generous with the calculation here - lets say cities goes up to 25GB beause you want more mods and then we give windows + background progs 8GB just because we can. then we still have a headroom of 15GB (thats almost your whole RAM from now) for anything extra ... maybe a second instance of a non-modded cities on 2nd monitor ?°!?!? 😀 😀

the ram upgrade seems to be tied to the memory hunger of cities skylines /w mods so if this is your only title with that excessive RAM need then i wouldnt waste the extra money. especially considering that you have to liquidate your old RAM.

when you are doing your next upgrade you will probably move to DDR5 platform and then you have a 16GB kit DDR4 and a 64GB DDR4 kit to get rid of... used for playing cities at ~25GB maxed out ram when you decide to go more overkill with mods...

tldr; IMHO in your scenario ABSOLUTELY not worth paying hundreds of dollars more

10 : Anonymous2021/05/21 19:10 ID: gyz55r5

If stability is key then the larger you go the lower the official supported ram speed. In all likelihood running 64gb of ram across 4 slots will cap you to 2666 or around there give or take.

Personally I sacrificed some speed to run a large amount of ram and it’s been worth it for me, each to their own.

( some people may claim to run 64/128gb at high speeds but I’ve yet to see anything in a professional environment run high speed ram at high capacity, outside of threadripper when it’s not being maxed out)

ID: gyzgfr8

Zen2 and Zen3 have been better with high speed + higher density kits but you still bump up against limitations of the ram. I've got a 4000mhz 2x32gb kit from gskill which runs as advertised on both an old 3700X and a 5950X but it's severely limited by IF so I'm generally forced to down clock. Unfortunately the 16gbit chips that are out now don't appear to like low latencies. Youre not gonna find many 32gb dimms that do CL14 above 3200mhz, but plenty that do CL18 above 3200mhz, and they run hot. Doable. Worth it? Idk. 4x16GB CL14 @ 3600mhz does exist tho for $900 or so.

ID: gyzjm2y

The problem is it might work fine for you, but the official supported speed is the max most doing professional work are going to use.

The boards/chips loose speed as capacity goes up, if you run 32gb you will be able to run faster than 64 and so on.

It may well work, but it’s a risk.

11 : Anonymous2021/05/21 20:19 ID: gyzdsnh

2x 32gb might not be supported by the Zen 1 memory controller; check compatibility before biting the bullet. Even 4x16gb might be difficult for old Zen 1.

12 : Anonymous2021/05/21 23:36 ID: gz01fz8

Sell the old kit and go 64GB, if you plan to upgrade to 5000 series.

13 : Anonymous2021/05/21 16:30 ID: gyyjui2

dont go above 32 man unless you gonna use some very ram intensive programs

ID: gyyo6vi

He said in the post that he knows 32GB is not enough, he is running RAM intensive programs.

ID: gyyopn5

Damn must have missed it then.

14 : Anonymous2021/05/21 16:24 ID: gyyiyv8

Just get another identical 2 X 8 GB kit for a total of 32 GB memory, that's all the average consumer needs anyway

ID: gyyp7a0

The average consumer needs only 64kb .

Op said explicitly that 32gb is not sufficient for his use case....

15 : Anonymous2021/05/21 15:55 ID: gyyf5gc

DDR5 is not worth it unless you're on the enterprise side.

Can tell you when Hitman 2 used to crash at 3200MHz.

Plus, it's all diminishing returns in games, unless DDR5 is just marginally more expensive than DDR4.

Also, RAM has been the cheapest during this whole spiky ball ordeal.
(price dropped since spiky ball)

ID: gyyf9pe

I was asking about upgrading from DDR4 16GB to DDR4 48GB or 64GB.

When a game has to hit the page files, and especially gigabytes of it, there's a large performance penalty even with a PCI-E 4.0 NVMe SSD. And I'm just using two SATA SSDs with the OS being on one of them and the games on the other one.

ID: gyymjlj

It's generally better to buy identical sticks of RAM and run them together. So, people are either going to suggest your going to 32 GB (buying a second set of what you already have) or buying 64 GB (4x16) brand new and scrapping the old RAM. Almost no one will recommend mixing RAM modules to get to 48.


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