23-Feb-2016

Increased Computer Memory

After upgrading to the Core i7-4790K processor, I tried to push full utilization of the 8 logical computing cores in the i7-4790K processor. Rather than running industry standard benchmarking programs, I resorted to real-world computing which involves my suite of programs. When I loaded three programs for video editing and 3D modelling, and ran them all simultaneously, I observed less than 100% CPU usage. I analysed and concluded that the system was doing page swapping (virtual memory management) which slowed each of the three running programs. Therefore, I upgraded my 8GB of memory to 16GB.

Here is the packaged product for the 2x8GB DIMMs of G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 1600MHz CL9 memory.

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Here is the unpackaged G.Skill Ripjaws DIMMs next to the uninstalled Kingston HyperX Blue DIMMs.

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I have Windows 7 Home Premium which supports a maximum of 16GB of memory. Rather than to add 2x4GB DIMMs to go along with the existing 2x4GB Kingston DIMMs, I opted to replace the 2x4GB with 2x8GB, thereby relegating the Kingston DIMMs as spare backup memory in the event of G.Skill memory failure. It is important to match memory to be of the same specs (voltage, CAS Latency as in CL9) and manufacturer. Since the Kingston HyperX Blue DIMMs with CL9 are no longer available to buy, it would be a risk to add non-matching DIMMs. Also, memory access performance can be affected if the specs and manufacturing batch are not compatible. Running 2 DIMMs consumes less power and generates less heat than running 4 DIMMs.

Here is the installed G.Skill Ripjaws memory next to the Intel i7-4790K processor in my computer case. Well, what you actually see is the fan which sits on top of the heatsink which covers the i7-4790K processor.

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After the upgrade to 16GB of memory, I was able to run my three reference programs to push the i7-4790K processor to a sustained 95% to 100% utilization. Success! While running these programs for half an hour, the i7-4790K processor temperature reached a sustained 95C core temperature (66C CPU socket temperature) with the CPU fan running at 3250 rpm. That core temperature is within what the i7-4790K processor can handle but thoughts of improve cooling in my system has sparked an investigation on after-market CPU cooling solutions to replace the stock fan and heatsink provided by Intel for the i7-4790K processor.


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