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General RAM Compatibility Questions

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  • General RAM Compatibility Questions

    My recent purchase of the ASUS P8Z68-M Pro mobo and G.SKILL Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL RAM got me thinking about RAM compatibility issues. The ASUS mobo Qualified Vendor List (QVL) includes this RAM. The G.SKILL Qualified Motherboard List (QML) does not list this mobo (but it does list other 1155 Z68 mobos).

    Can someone answer these mobo QVL / QML related questions?

    1. Do the mobo manufacturers provide mobos to the RAM manufacturers and have them do the tests?
    2. Do the RAM manufacturers provide RAM to the mobo manufacturers and have them do the tests?
    3. Are the tests extensive enough to evaluate all the relevant memory configurations and BIOS settings?
    4. If a RAM product is not on the QVL but supports the same speed, latency and voltage parameters as QVL RAM products, is it likely to work on that mobo?
    5. Do you recommend taking a chance with RAM that is not on the QVL?
    6. Do RAM manufactures create products for specific CPU and mobo / BIOS combinations?
    7. Do RAM manufactures create products for specific CPU and chipset combinations?
    8. If the answer is No for both 6 and 7, what do the RAM manufacturers target when creating a RAM product?

    There is no need to mention the memory socket compatibility issues - that?s a given.

    Inquiring minds want to know?


  • #2
    1. A couple manufacturers that actually care usually will.. lol but only select few models.
    2. We do, usually to those that support us with motherboards, or those that we work closely with. As you can tell with a company like ASUS, we work very closely with them, so all of our parts are perfectly compatible. This is just due to the willingness/effort to provide a great product combination, and to stay on top of the game.
    3. Of course, which is why you will find our specific kits for certain platforms to work with just one setting in BIOS. (Including extreme kits like DDR3-2400). These combinations are reflected in our QVL list, so if you are looking for high performance without the hassle of building a high performance computer (overclocking), then you need to follow our QVL.

    Motherboard manufacturers may not always have the latest compatibility info (usually don't), so you have to ask us or follow G.Skill QVL list.
    4. Yes, most active kits will be compatible with just about any of the active platforms, but it may not be as simple to set up as one setting in BIOS. For example with AMD platforms, they have not supported XMP, so that's why you see so many threads here about setting up AMD systems. The proper manual settings need to be input and the system will work just fine.
    5. Yes, most are compatible, they just require manual settings rather than just enabling the XMP. DRAM is essentially** universal, the proper settings just need to be used for your specific CPU/platform. For example, the AMD 965 BE CPU will require advanced overclocking to achieve DDR3-2000+, but if you purchased DDR3-2400, that's still fine. You just lower frequency to what your CPU can support, and what you are capable of, say DDR3-1866, then lower timings to maximize performance @ DDR3-1866.

    You may think, why the heck did I buy DDR3-2400 and not just a cheap DDR3-1866 kit then? Why don't I just return it and get a lower kit?

    Well, if you are looking for performance, the DDR3-2400 kit will be capable of lower timings and much better performance @ DDR3-1866 than a normal DDR3-1866 kit. Therefore, when you purchase memory, you are just buying the specification of the memory. The higher the price, the better kit you are getting. Even if you over purchase, it's still OK. DRAM modules are standardized, this way most DDR3 modules can work in basically any DDR3 computer.

    If you look in CPU-Z, "Max Bandwidth" will always be PC3-10700 or PC3-12800 (recently increased). No matter how high performance your memory is, it will still be one of the two. The common misconception is, "MY MEMORY IS DDR3-2000! WHY IS MAX BANDWIDTH 800MHz (DDR3-1600)???" Well, this is only showing the maximum the motherboard can default the memory to, not what the memory is capable of. To know what the memory is capable of, you look at the XMP Profile.

    No matter how many times I explain the above, some people still say we are "scamming" people by selling DDR3-1333/1600 memory as DDR3-1866+. -_- Ignorant and no idea how memory works, what can you do..
    6. Yes, for example RipJaws for Intel first gen P55, H55, etc. RipJaws X for second gen P67,Z68, etc. RipJaws Z for latest X79. This does not mean they are not compatible with other CPUs/mobos, it just means they have the specific XMP/profiles for the specific platform.
    7. Basically same as above, it is what our QVL reflects. I suppose answers for 6 and 7 are reversed/ vice versa.
    8. Chipset is what we target, then if we are able to work with certain mobo companies, then we can make sure the mobo/BIOS combination is perfect. Commonly, we purchase relevant motherboards to test and pass information on to manufacturer if necessary. This is how we solve memory compatibility issues with certain motherboards/BIOS.

    Great questions!! I'm sure many will be interested in knowing, and hopefully a few more people get the idea of how memory works so they can spread to others. Hoping the end result is less repetitive questions for me.

    lol and yes, that memory is compatible with your motherboard even though that kit was not originally designed for your platform.

    Thank you
    Last edited by GSKILL TECH; 01-20-2012, 09:57 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks very much for your thorough answers - it?s great to receive such a comprehensive reply.


      • #4
        He was just showing off.....

        Pls offer comments on support I provide, HERE, in order to help me do a better job here: