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Old January 19th, 2011, 10:17 AM   #1
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Which RAM for CS5

A number of threads both here and in the Adobe forums have touched on RAM, but I really haven't seen a definitive answer to the specific question I have before spending the money on an upgrade, and that's WHICH RAM is best? Depending on the source and their bias (which often is not necessarily related to Adobe PPro CS5 and AE CS5, which are the only two apps I wish to target, it seems):

- Speed is most important (eg, 2000 better than 1866 better than 1600)
- Timings are most important (eg 7-8-7 is better than 8-8-8 is better than 9-9-9 at a given speed)
- They're about the same (eg higher speed with slower timings will be about the same as lower speed with faster timings)
- Neither speed nor timing make an appreciable difference as RAM speed/timings are not the limiting factor, but rather CPU access to a large amount of RAM regardless of speed is what matters most. Just get the cheapest compatible 24GB of RAM.

Specific to PPro and AE (the answers may be different?), any of our smart and knowledgeable colleagues have any objective information (please, don't just post wild a$$ guesses based on nothing factual -- no answer is better than a BS one) on how we should spend our budgets for 24GB of RAM?
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Old January 19th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #2
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Pete, i have noticed no appreciable difference between the 2 different types of RAM i have between the office and home. Home i have Corsair XMS3 1600 (12800) running at 1400Mhz at 8/8/8/20, at the office we have Dominator GT running at 1600Mhz 7/7/7/20. Both machines have 6x 2GB sticks in triple channel mode; ive used both in my home rig and again, no appreciable difference.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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Normally, I'm with Panagiotis on this one. But in my particular system, I could not get 6 x 2GB sticks of "1600-speed" Corsair XMS 9/9/9/24 memory to run stably above 1333MHz at SPD-detected 9/9/9/24 timings. In my system, going to 1600MHz with this memory required me to loosen the timings to 10/11/11/29 just to boot into Windows successfully - and even at that setting I occasionally had stability issues.

So, YMMV.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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Thanks, guys. I'm curious about the speed vs timings thing but cost and (convenient) availability argue against me hunting down anything faster than 1600 unless there's a good reason. Unless we hear something specific about >1600 stick performance, I guess it'll be a matter of choosing readily available sticks with the best balance of timings vs price.

Yeah, Randall, I've read of your many difficulties over the past months and in that regard I feel fortunate because in my particular system I've been running 6 x 2GB Corsair 1600-9-9-9-24 sticks at 1600-8-8-8-?? without a hitch, passing both Memtest and Prime95 (CPU at 4.13). Hope to have such good luck with 4GB sticks. I gotta think something else is going on in your system for all the problems it has had.

BTW, in digging around trying to research this, I noticed that the ASUS P6X58 Premium mobo, which many of us use (or variants of same), had a new BIOS released on the 17th with stated benefits of better memory compatibility and more stability. Will probably update that in the next day or two.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 07:08 PM   #5
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Yeah, Randall, I've read of your many difficulties over the past months and in that regard I feel fortunate because in my particular system I've been running 6 x 2GB Corsair 1600-9-9-9-24 sticks at 1600-8-8-8-?? without a hitch, passing both Memtest and Prime95 (CPU at 4.13). Hope to have such good luck with 4GB sticks. I gotta think something else is going on in your system for all the problems it has had.
I am going to try out a different Nvidia graphics card or a different PSU in this system. This is because I might have had problems with my current GTX 470: Sometimes, the monitor goes black for no apparent reason while in Windows. It could either be the graphics card or a PSU that might not have been quite powerful enough (I have an Antec TruePower New 750W currently in this rig, and I might upgrade to an 850W or 950W unit). If it behaves the same even with these changes, then I might get a new motherboard.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 12:08 AM   #6
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Of course, I don't know if the PSU is the root cause of your particular system problems, but I did a build a few years ago which almost drove me crazy because it wouldn't reliably boot. After scouring various obscure forums, I found out there was a known issue with that particular power supply. A quick trip to Fry's to replace it with a different model PSU and all was well. Not sure what your max system power draw might be, but there's little down side to your plan to try a different, high quality PSU in the 850W range. Unless you really have an unusually large number of power-hungry devices plugged into your system, that should be plenty and either solve the problem or prove it is something else, like the graphics card.

Anyone have further thoughts about what RAM works best for CS5 apps?
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Old January 20th, 2011, 02:23 AM   #7
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Of course, I don't know if the PSU is the root cause of your particular system problems, but I did a build a few years ago which almost drove me crazy because it wouldn't reliably boot. After scouring various obscure forums, I found out there was a known issue with that particular power supply. A quick trip to Fry's to replace it with a different model PSU and all was well. Not sure what your max system power draw might be, but there's little down side to your plan to try a different, high quality PSU in the 850W range. Unless you really have an unusually large number of power-hungry devices plugged into your system, that should be plenty and either solve the problem or prove it is something else, like the graphics card.
I have just a few hours ago updated the driver - but this time, forced the GPU to run in maximum performance mode. The default driver setting had been the "adaptive" mode, which might have been the cause of "black screens" and lock-ups at the Windows boot screen.

That, however, still failed to solve the memory issue. I might be getting another X58 motherboard with six DIMM slots to rule out the memory and CPU.
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Old January 21st, 2011, 05:38 PM   #8
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I have just a few hours ago updated the driver - but this time, forced the GPU to run in maximum performance mode. The default driver setting had been the "adaptive" mode, which might have been the cause of "black screens" and lock-ups at the Windows boot screen.

That, however, still failed to solve the memory issue. I might be getting another X58 motherboard with six DIMM slots to rule out the memory and CPU.
I spoke a little too soon. Windows still occasionally locked up on boot, and now Wndows blue-screened once with error code 116, which is a video-related issue. The current WHQL Nvidia driver is 266.58. It could be a driver issue, or bad video memory. The GPU temps were only in the lower 40s C when this occurred.

And since I do not currently have a spare Nvidia card to back it up in my main rig, I might as well pick up one of the less-expensive 400-series cards while I RMA my GTX 470. I cannot afford to buy another GTX 470 at this time.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #9
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I'd recommend as starting point, 2GB / core. so a i7 quad core w/HT = 8 cores = 16gb of ram. I am running that combo under OS X pretty well. if you can go to 3 or 4gb per core thats ideal IF you do a lot of AE work in 1080 or larger, or in deep color space. 24G would be pretty nice and its also pretty reasonable.
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Old January 30th, 2011, 10:13 PM   #10
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Randall, RMA that card

I had a GTS250 which gave me headaches with premiere and AE with lockups, bluescreens (always some nvxxxx.dll), failed renders etc.

I sent it back to the store together with a video of the monitor showing the symptoms and they gave me a new GTS450 that works great.


don't waste your money on a new power supply, 750w is more than enough for a i7 (I presume) and one GTX470.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 03:55 PM   #11
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I would stay away from OCZ for two reasons: in my experience, they are not as reliable, and 2) they are getting out of the ram business altogether in order to focus on SSDs.

About speed and timings: I have not seen much evidence showing worthwhile increases in performance with tighter timings. If you like to tune your system to be the best it possibly can, then go for the best, but for me, I don't see a few % points increase in performance worth the time. Personally, I value stability far more than small increases in performance; thus, I do not even OC my i7 920 even though I have DDR3-1600 ram and the biggest Noctua cooler. But then again, if I did more work on my home PC, I would probably OC it.

Good luck Pete.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 03:58 PM   #12
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Randall, RMA that card

I had a GTS250 which gave me headaches with premiere and AE with lockups, bluescreens (always some nvxxxx.dll), failed renders etc.

I sent it back to the store together with a video of the monitor showing the symptoms and they gave me a new GTS450 that works great.


don't waste your money on a new power supply, 750w is more than enough for a i7 (I presume) and one GTX470.
So far, my 470 is fine. I discovered that the heatsink on my CPU is a tad loose. I reapplied the thermal compound (I switched from Arctic Silver 5 to Arctic Cooling MX-3), and re-tightened the heatsink correctly.
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