So, what speed DDR4 RAM should you get?
The first thing to be considerate of when choosing memory speed is what purpose you’re buying it for.
The two big areas of concern for memory configuration are for gamers and enterprise server admins; both have very different goals in mind.
What Speed of RAM Should I Use for My Server?
In some cases, the choice is made easier by which memory speed is compatible with your server. For example, the Poweredge r940 only supports DDR4 that is 2666 MT/s transfer rate.
To determine which memory configuration your server needs, check Kingston’s memory search tool, which outlines all of the basic server compatibilities and hardware slots.
Editor Note: Kingston’s search tool used to be its own page, but it now built in to the home page header.
This tool won’t always be able to help with custom builds, such as those used in high frequency trading servers, but for most cases you’ll be able to see what build out options you have.
LRDIMM, UDIMM or RDIMM?
If your server will be supporting a large number of users, and so will require more memory density, then LRDIMM is going to be your best bet if it’s compatible.
Your bandwidth efficiencies will me significantly better operating at higher capacities when using LRDIMM than RDIMM, and so the extra cost will be worthwhile.
UDIMMs tend to stress the host server, so the DIMM capacity and total number of DIMMs on each channel has to be lower.
IT also limits MT/s to 1600. UDIMMs are really only viable when a small latency reduction would be helpful, but you don’t really need very much capacity at all. For example, a secondary server might be a good use case for UDIMM.
For most average cases that require moderate density, or any servers pre HP-gen 9, RDIMM is perfectly acceptable, and will be much more affordable than the alternative LRDIMM.
How Much Server RAM Should I Buy?
While there is no real straightforward answer, the general rule of thumb is don’t base your purchasing off of the number of users necessarily: look at the total workload they produce.
Assess what the memory needs of those workloads are with some wiggle room for future growth.
When you’re considering the budget for purchasing, keep in mind that you might be able to sell your used memory for trade-in value and take a chunk off of the purchase price.
What is the Best DDR4 RAM for Gaming?
What speed of DDR4 to buy for gaming depends on your needs. RAM kit options can vary notably in price, so it’s important to know what type of performance benchmarks you need to hit before checking RAM kits.
And, as far as memory speeds go, the cost to benefit ratio of buying higher speed DDR4 modules is going to depend largely on the types of games you’re trying to play.
For memory-intensive games with a large world like fallout, or poorly optimized games like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, you’ll see at least a modest increase in frames per second when upgrading up to 4000 MHz, but nothing truly noteworthy.
However, for the vast, vast majority of cases, 3000mhz ddr4 is completely sufficient for almost anything you would ever need to run.
How Much RAM Capacity Do I Need?
As far as total RAM capacity, 32GBs of DDR4 or more is totally overkill, with 16gb of DDR4 at even the lowest speeds being sufficient for nearly any gaming needs.
With many gamers selling graphics cards to upgrade their dedicated graphics card memory with more recent GPUs, this is even truer.
What About RAM Compatibility with My System?
When looking at DDR4 speeds and brands, you’ll also need to consider what type of memory is compatible with your processor.
For example, intel’s newest NVDIMM XPoint Memory will only be compatible with the newest cascade lake processors. DDR4 of all speeds is compatible with Intel’s 6th gen skylake processors, 7th gen Kaby Lake, the 8th gen Core processors, skylake-X, and finally the Haswell-E processors.
Anything mainstream CPUs released after these processors will surely support DDR4 memory.
One thing to note is that even though your memory needs to be compatible with your CPU, they don’t necessarily need to be similar as far as speed.
CPUs and memory will not bottleneck each other, so if you’ve got an insanely fast CPU, you don’t necessarily need to go overboard with your memory speed.
If you have recently upgraded your processor(s) and won’t be using it anymore make sure to look into how to sell your processor (smaller scale) or if you have processors in bulk you can contact Exit or take a look at what processors we buy.
To determine which type of RAM is compatible with your system, you can check your system’s model number in a tool like the one on Crucial’s website.
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