Dell X8700-1257BLK - Upgrading memory to 32Gig and Quality of memory manufacturer

Posted on 2014-08-24
Last Modified: 2014-08-28
Two questions:
Will upgrading my memory to 32Gig from 8Gig improve performance.  (or is 16Gig enough?)  I'm doing video and audio editing.
Does the manufacturer of memory matter?  I read in some gaming mags that the maker of memory DOES matter.  

I don't mind paying extra money for more memory or a better manufacturer but I don't want to throw money.
I have a Dell X8700-1257BLK
I have Windows 7 64 Bit home edition.
I currently have two 4 gig modules:
2Rx8  PC3 12800U   11-12-B1  SK Hynix
Question by:brothertruffle880
    LVL 34

    Assisted Solution

    "Will upgrading my memory to 32Gig from 8Gig improve performance"

    "is 16Gig enough?)"

    That will depend on the resolution and data size you wish to edit.

    "Does the manufacturer of memory matter?"

    Not really as competition has forced all manufactures to follow the same standards ( RMA of faulty products is standard policy for all brands.
    Avoid Chinese products.
    LVL 24

    Assisted Solution

    16 Gig is enough; 32 Gig would be nice. Memory brand doesn't matter much as Michael-Best said above.

    CPU speed is equally important for video editing. So is the rendering engine.
    LVL 87

    Assisted Solution

    Whether performance will improve is hard to say, but probably it won't, or not by much. It mainly depends on how much RAM is used currently, and whether your software can really utilize it all. If in your current configuration not all RAM is being used, more won't help. If all the RAM is being used, adding more may help.

    With video editing it may help more to use SSD's or RAID 0, as usually the disk speed is the bottleneck.
    LVL 70

    Accepted Solution

    "... Will upgrading my memory to 32Gig from 8Gig improve performance. " ==>  Yes, increasing the buffering space for audio and video files will provide additional "headroom" for your editing programs.

    "... is 16Gig enough? "  ==>  Also Yes ... and in fact, limiting yourself to 16GB will likely IMPROVE both performance and reliability !!   (more in a moment)

    "...  Does the manufacturer of memory matter? " ==>  Buying modules that support the max speed your system supports (1600MHz) and have relatively low latency will have far more impact than who makes them ... but it's still a good idea to buy from a quality manufacturer (Crucial, Kingston, Corsair, etc.).   And it's best to use modules that run at the standard DDR3 voltage (1.5v).

    For your system, I'd buy a pair of DDR3-1600 8GB modules.     These would both be good choices:

    The Crucial Ballistix has slightly lower CAS latency (9 vs. 11), which means it's marginally faster; but both are excellent choices.    I HAVE seen a few systems that have issues with Ballistix series modules ... but the only way to know for sure is try them.    The conservative choice is the Kingston set.

    Edit:  I forgot to add this:   The reason I noted that 16GB is what I'd recommend is simple:   With unbuffered memory modules, the reliability of the memory subsystem is notably higher if you only install two modules.    Installing 4 modules causes a significantly higher bus loading, and severely degrades the waveform of the signaling on the memory bus due to the capacitive effects of the memory.    While it SHOULD work okay; many system BIOS's will automatically reduce the clock speed; increase the latency; or both to work with 4 modules.    And sometimes you have to "tweak" these settings yourself, or even bump up the voltage a small % to help offset the degraded waveform.

    Bottom line:  I NEVER install more than 2 modules on systems that use unbuffered memory unless they support ECC modules (so single-bit errors are automatically corrected).

    So I'd just put in a pair of 8GB modules, and if you want a further performance gain, upgrade your disk to an SSD.   As rindi noted above, moving to an SSD is likely to provide a far greater improvement in the "feel" of the system than going beyond 16GB of RAM.

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