The memory is going to enter the DDR5 era soon, which means that DDR4 technology is relatively mature. We've seen 8GB 3200MHz memory in stores and 32GB 4000MHz unboxing articles on forums. Comparing to three years ago, before AMD's rise to power, using 16GB 3600MHz memory with I7-8700K was already very luxurious then. DDR4 technology is much more mature than it was a few years ago, but there are times when you are so excited buying new memory, only to encounter various problems after getting it home. Today, we'll help solve some frequently asked questions to you. 1. Compatibility issues The IC, PCB, and Layout used are different for different memory manufacturers, models and specifications. Therefore, the memory QVL (Qualified Vendor List) is required to be verified for compatibility before the memory is released. The following screenshots are for reference. Usually, the QVL information is located on the motherboard page -> Support -> Memory However, there are numerous kinds of motherboards, and a motherboard manufacturer may produce 4 or 5 types of motherboards from a type chipset. With such a large number, manufacturers will prioritize upgrading newer chipsets. As the number of users of older chipsets gradually decreases, and as consumers using older chipsets usually have DRAMs that will not be upgraded, therefore manufacturers will assume that motherboards before a certain generation of the chipset will not support new ICs or specifications. In this case, if you buy a new memory and install it in the old computer, or use the new memory together with old memory, there may have incompatibility problems. Solution: Please refer to the motherboard's QVL List before buying the memory. Generally speaking, you only have to verify if the list has information such as (1) The memory manufacturer you wish to select. (2) What capacity is supported? (3) What frequency is supported? (4) How many sticks of memory can it install? It doesn't matter if the general public doesn't understand the external material number and CL value. Also, please avoid purchasing a new memory and use it with old ones that were bought a long time ago. Not only the difference of specification may cause incompatibility issues, but even products with the same specification may also be incompatible due to different ICs used in different periods. It is more effective to replace the entire set of memory if you want to upgrade. TEAMGROUP's memory will be sent to the motherboard manufacturer for verification during the development phase, and the memory will be left at the motherboard manufacturer so that it can be verified as soon as a new motherboard is released. TEAMGROUP memory is a reassuring choice thanks to the multiple verification of avoiding incompatibility issues. Here we provide some QVL list from specific motherboards for your reference. ASUS: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards-Components/Motherboards/All-series/TUF-GAMING-X570-PLUS-WI-FI/HelpDesk_QVL/ MSI: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/MEG-X570-ACE#support-mem-19 GIGABYTE: https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/X570-AORUS-MASTER-rev-11-12/support#support-doc ASRock: https://www.asrock.com/mb/AMD/X570%20AQUA/Specification.asp#MemoryMS 2. Overclocking issues This is a complicated question with no fixed answer. It involves the relationship between CPU, motherboard and memory. There are too many scenarios, so here is some basic logic for reference. The most frequently heard questions are: (1) I bought a 3200MHz memory, but why does it only run at 2400MHz? (2) Your specification indicates that it can go up to 4000MHz but no matter how I overclock it, it is only 3600MHz? (3) If I buy a 3200MHz product, is it guaranteed to overclock to 4000MHz? First of all, if you have a question about overclocking, be sure to provide the motherboard model, CPU model, BIOS version you are using to help us determine the situation accurately. Otherwise, any answer that is not based on comprehensive judgment is invalid! Solution: (1) For frequency issues, the first thing to consider is whether the maximum frequency supported by the motherboard meets the specification of the memory you bought. Generally, just click on the SPEC page on the motherboard and scroll down to Memory and you will see the details. (2) CPU support After all, overclocking is not a standardized specification, which means only referring to the specifications listed on the INTEL and AMD websites is not enough. It takes experience to know how much memory frequency can be overclocked by the CPU. Different motherboards will have different results, but in general the higher the CPU is, the higher the memory frequency can be overclocked. The following is a brief explanation of overclocking. For INTEL, I recommend selecting products with K at the end of the model, such as I9-10900K, I7-10700K. For AMD, I recommend picking products with X at the end of the model, such as R9-3900X, R5-3600X. If your CPU doesn't happen to fall into one of the above categories, your memory frequency may be limited to be overclocked. (3) BIOS version This is the most overlooked problem. Sometimes memory supportability will be corrected during BIOS update process, and if the older version has not been updated, the memory frequency may be limited. BIOS update can be downloaded from the official website of the motherboard manufacturer. It is recommended that for those who have not updated before, go check out the update SOP provided by the motherboard manufacturer first, because errors in the process may cause the entire motherboard to fail! (4) Check the actual representative type of the specification label It means to determine whether the frequency indicated on the memory package is the native JEDEC standard frequency, or is the frequency after XMP is enabled. JEDEC is an international solid-state technology association that sets different parameters for different frequency bands of memory. As long as the memory is produced following JEDEC standard, consumers do not need to do anything after purchasing the memory, just plug the memory onto the motherboard to meet the specifications on the package. The other type requires XMP, which is classified as an overlocking product. After buying it home, the most basic way to do is to go into the BIOS and enable XMP, and then let the motherboard read the SPD value in the memory and automatically overclock to the frequency indicated on the package. Just google JEDEC and frequency you are looking for, you will find the corresponding CL value on web pages. If the frequency and CL value of the memory you purchased match, it means it is the frequency within JEDEC standard and you can use it immediately by plugging it in. If the CL value of the memory you bought is below the JEDEC standard, then it is the type required XMP. Please note that not all motherboards can support the latest JEDEC standard frequency! Recently, JEDEC 3200MHz memory is slowly appearing on the market, but only the latest motherboard chipsets support this frequency, including the INTEL Z490, Z390, AMD TRX40, X570, B550. Therefore, if your motherboard chipset is not among them, you need to check the type of memory you purchase. Another situation is when the memory belongs to the type that requires XMP, but you haven't gone into the BIOS to enable XMP after buying it home, then it will only display the frequency without being overclocked. That is why many consumers bought 3600MHz home, but only showen 2400MHz. 3. Fully equipped with 4 modules often do problems. For optical reasons, many would like to have all RAM banks equipped on the motherboard. Since everything with the X470 / X570 or Z390 or Z490 is designed for dual channel and two ram modules would be sufficient for this, problems often arise when using four modules. A solution approach is, for example, that you only plug two modules on the mainboard and activate XMP. When the mainboard starts up and the XMP settings have been correctly applied, you can increase the memory controller voltage in the BIOS / UEFI. With AMD it is the SOC voltage and with INTEL the VCCIO voltage. Increases the voltage in small steps (0.05V steps). Save the setting and switch off the PC. Then plug the remaining two modules onto the motherboard and turn the PC back on. If everything works, the PC should start and the frequencies set in the XMP should be displayed. The background is that the memory controller is more loaded with four RAM modules (AMD external and Intel internal) and therefore requires a higher voltage for correct function. But remains in the motherboard specifications for the maximum voltages suitable for everyday use. If you have a lot of problems, take a look here https://linustechtips.com/forum/5-cpus-motherboards-and-memory/ 4. DOA problem Dead On Arrival, abbreviated as DOA, means damaged on arrival. This can happen with any electronic products, not just memory, which means that you can't avoid it completely as long as it is an electronic product. After all, the transportation environment or changing factors are unpredictable after they leave the factory. However, don't worry, as long as it is a DOA and you have proof of purchase, the manufacturer will usually let you replace it with a new one to ensure consumers' rights.
“If my budget is only___, can I get a PC that can actually play games?” There are too many factors to consider for such a question, but if you don’t mind spending time on it, assembling it yourself is definitely more cost-effective than buying a finished PC. Today, we’ll recommend you the most suitable and affordable PC build on the market, and explain in order how to assemble the computer by yourself. Just follow the steps and you can build your own gaming PC! If you want to assemble your own gaming PC, first you have to know the list of parts you need to buy. The necessary parts include: 1. CPU, 2. Motherboard, 3. Memory, 4. Hard drive, 5. Graphics card, 6. Power supply 7. Case. In addition, you can get: 1. CPU Cooler, 2. Case fan, 3. Network card, etc. The main reason that CPU cooler is listed here is that the CPU comes with a fan, so it’s not a necessity. However, if it’s a large game load, it is recommended to buy a CPU cooler with a better cooling ability or a larger CPU cooler to control the CPU temperature to avoid overheating or crashing during the gameplay. 【All components for PC build】 A. CPU To make it affordable, the R5-3600X will be one of the best choices since AMD is a real bargain in the mid-range. The R5-3600X offers 6 cores and 12 threads. It has a basic clock of 3.8GHz and a boost clock of 4.4GHz, supports native 3200MHz memory, and is PCIe 4.0 SSD compatible. The expandability is excellent, and very few gamers will manually adjust the CPU or memory frequency. Learn more: https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-ryzen-5-3600x B. Motherboard The new B550 series motherboard is definitely a blessing for gamers. In the past, the B series is quite different from the X series in terms of CPU overclocking, memory overclocking and I/O interface; The TUF Gaming B550 PLUS is highly compatible, close to the X570 level, and has a sleek military look, making it the best choice at this price range. Learn more: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/TUF-GAMING-B550-PLUS/ C. Memory To keep the budget in check, try to avoid getting components that have RGB lighting. However, since it’s a gaming PC, the memory must be gaming style as well. We pick T-FORCE VULCAN Z 8GBx2 3200MHz. It looks like a mecha with a strong sense of gaming design, and 8GBx2 3200MHz is also very sufficient to run all kinds of games. Learn more: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/vulcan-z-ddr4 D. Solid state drive There are some tips on how to choose an SSD. Since we want to have enough speed and capacity while keeping my budget under control, we choose a 512GB TEAMGROUP MP33 PRO M.2 PCIe and a 512GB T-FORCE VULCAN G SATA 2.5” SSD, so the read/write processing is done in PCIe and data storage is stored in SATA to avoid purchasing expensive SSD that has both high speed and large capacity. Learn more: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/mp33-pro https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/product/vulcan-g-ssd E. Graphics card As for graphics card, the ASUS TUF Gaming Geforce GTX1660 Super is a real bargain. Although the performance is not comparable to the ultra-high specification but over-budget RTX 3080, RTX 2080Ti, etc., but the 1660 Super is still the best choice in terms of Full HD quality. Learn more: https://www.asus.com/Graphics-Cards/TUF-GTX1660S-O6G-GAMING/ F. Remaining parts (Power supply, Case, CPU cooler) Among the remaining parts, you should pay attention that the use of a major manufacturer’s power supply with a better warranty, such as the durable CoolerMaster, will reduce the chance of burning out. The wattage should be sufficient to support PC’s normal operation. Generally speaking, it is recommended to choose a power supply of more than 650W for a PC build with a discrete graphics card. The case and the CPU cooler are basically the same as long as they are compatible. Anything that isn’t bad enough to become an oven can be considered. Learn more: https://www.coolermaster.com/catalog/power-supplies/mwe-series/mwe-gold-650-full-modular/ 【Installation Process】 Next is the installation process. How to make a cool PC build out of the scattered parts? Even if you are a total beginner, just follow these steps and you will be all set! 1. Install the CPU cooler base onto the motherboard Nowadays, many CPU coolers are designed to be used by both AMD and Intel, so the screws need to be slightly adjusted to align with the motherboard holes. You can refer to the attached manual for the adjustment. The manual of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler is quite detailed, so don’t worry! 2. Install the CPU in the motherboard Start by lifting the lever beside the CPU socket. Next, you need to pay attention to align the CPU correctly when placing it into the socket, otherwise the pin may be broken or burned. The motherboard and CPU are now equipped with foolproof mechanism, so you can install it correctly by following the arrows shown below. 3. Lock the power supply into the case From the front of the case, there is not much space on the right side, but if you open the right side panel, you will see a space below, this is where we will place our power supply. In most cases, the sockets and switches should face outwards and the air vents should face downwards, then lock the power supply from the back of the case. Also, since this is a non-modular power supply, which means the power supply itself is connected to a large bundle of wires, so it can be installed directly, but the downside is that it can’t be removed when there are too many wires. If you choose a “fully modular” power supply, since the wires need to be connected by yourself, you must make sure which wires are needed and connect them first and then lock the case, otherwise it won’t be easy to plug them after the case is locked! 4. Lock the motherboard tightly to the case Usually, the case has 9 screw holes corresponding to the holes of the motherboard, but not every motherboard will have 9 holes. As for myself, I usually lock 7 or 8 of them. When locking the motherboard, make sure that the CPU socket is on the top, so that the heat from the fan can be discharged out of the PC, and the graphics card will also have a place to put in. 5. Connect the power supply cable to the motherboard The most troublesome part of the installation is organizing the messy cables. We usually pull out the CPU power cable and the mother power cable from the reserved holes of the case and plug them into the motherboard. This can avoid leaving no room to plug in cables after other components have been installed. 6. Connect the front panel connectors of the case to the motherboard Almost all cases nowadays have 2~4 USB ports, power on/off and reboot buttons, etc. on the front panel. They all need to be powered and controlled by the motherboard. Since the wiring method of each motherboard is different, it is recommended to follow the user manual of the motherboard to connect them to the corresponding positions. The following is a brief introduction to the corresponding connection method of the TUF B550 PLUS motherboard. 7. Install rest of the parts on the motherboard Before installing, it is recommended to lay the case flat so that it can be screwed in easily. It can be installed in the order we are used to: Install the M.2 PCIe SSD first, then the CPU cooler to the base as mentioned in the first step, followed by the graphics card, memory, and finally the 2.5” SATA SSD. Most of the cases on the market still have the position of the 2.5” SSD on the power supply side, so the 2.5” SSD cable is usually the last thing we consider. Please note here that most mid-range and above discrete graphics cards also need to be connected to the PCIe power cable of the power supply! 8. Cable management The installation is almost complete! The rest is the most painful part: cable management. After installation, there will be a lot of messy cables, so you will need to find some cable ties to tidy them up and hide them out of sight. This is the part that requires more experience. 9. Install OS & update drivers Please support the genuine software when installing the OS. How to install the OS is explained in the “Tutorial of SSD Unboxing – The 6 Things You Should Do After Buying a New SSD”: https://www.teamgroupinc.com/en/info/ins.php?index_id=83 If you are lazy to search for the drivers, you can download Driver Booster. It has the latest drivers from major manufacturers and you can install them by one click: https://www.iobit.com/en/driver-booster.php Conclusion Here we explain the whole installation process, and introduce how to buy a PC for only $1,000, so that you can refer to according to different needs. All the selected products can be found on Amazon. T-FORCE VULCAN Z 3200 2x8GB: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QMM6NY3/ref=twister_B08L6D9P16?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1 T-FORCE VULCAN G SSD 500G: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F754NPR/ref=twister_B084H9RJ5S TEAMGROUP MP33 PRO 512GB: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GM9TQDB/ref=twister_B081CYW1B8 The installation process contains my own experience, and the order of the process is also based on convenience. Hope it will encourage new gamers to be more willing to try to build a PC by yourself!
This question depends on the computer user you are, what programs you plan on running on the computer, and how many programs you have open at a given time. We suggest : Internet、office work : 4GB Common games、audio and video playback : 8GB Hardcore user、advanced digital image processing : 16GB or more