RAM CONSIDERATIONS 2020

Windows 10 now uses memory more than earlier versions did. With 32GB of RAM presently installed there seems to be enough to handle the work that comes along. The X570 can support 128GB maximum which is well above the needs at present. The price for 128GB of DDR4-3200 has fallen substantially since it was introduced.

For gaming 128GB of RAM is overkill. One recent compute job that calculated some error recovery files used almost all of the 32GB of RAM installed. It’s not often that the rig is pushed that hard but gaming rig does have some stamina up its sleeve. The oversized CPU cooler and the HAF 932 chassis earned their paychecks.

The present G.Skill 32GB is made from four 8GB sticks. Each stick has 8 chips on each side for a total of 16 chips. In total there are 64 chips all made by Samsung. The 4 gigabit chips are mass produced which makes 32GB comparatively affordable. The larger 8 gigabit and 16 gigabit chips are falling in price making 64GB or 128GB much more affordable. Recently 8 gigabit DRAM became more affordable than two 4 gigabit.

Windows 10 uses more memory now for handling disk to disk copying primarily to improvement performance. The 4096 byte sectors improved disk error control to some extent. NTFS is a journal type file system that does have some tolerance for error.

Windows loads the entire disk allocation table into memory to maximize performance. Larger capacity disks have bigger allocation tables which does require some additional resources. More so when several disks are installed and are used extensively the RAM required does rise.

Next year DDR5 is expected to enter the market initially for servers followed by high-end desktops. This will require a new CPU, motherboard and RAM. Early on, the price of DDR5 memory will likely be sky high. This means the X570 will remain in service for possibly 18 to 24 months to allow time for the market to settle down.

The R5 3600 has 6 cores and 12 threads. The CPU has 32MB of L3 cache. The biggest problem for the CPU is that the memory bandwidth for the core has not kept up with the improved memory bandwidth or increased core density.

DDR4-3200 is roughly 13.8 GB/s and DDR5 seeks to more than double that at DDR5-6400. This sounds good on paper but there is much to be done to deal with the per core bandwidth.

AMD most likely will adopt DDR5-6400 immediately for the Zen 4 processors. The advantage of the higher bandwidth and expanded capacity will be popular with many users. The desire for more PCIe lanes is largely to support dual M.2 SSD at maximum PCIe speeds as well as supporting more rear IO ports etc. The southbridge currently uses 4 lanes so a faster PCIe speed will allow for supporting 8 SATA ports along with more slots.