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Will I need more RAM? (kaby lake upgrade inquiry)


#1

Hey Everyone,

It’s time to upgrade my PC. I’m torn between sticking with my existing mobo and getting the Devils Canyon 4790k, or jumping to the new kaby lake chips and getting the 6700k. My current CPU is an i5-4670 (non-k version) and it’s starting to bottleneck things.

Although the performance difference between the two CPU’s is negligible, this is actually a question of whether I should upgrade my RAM. Since I have a mini-ITX build, I am limited to 16 GB of RAM with my current motherboard, but with a Kaby Lake board I can have 32 GB in an ITX board. So what I’m really asking is, if I upgrade to Devils Canyon, will I start running into the limitations of having only 16 GB of RAM?

I use my computer for gaming, for music production (including VST’s), sharing files on my network, for my job in IT, and for studying for IT certs etc. I have a separate machine I’ll be using for hosting virtual machines so that’s not an issue. I also recently got an HTC Vive for a super low price which has been awesome, but it’s frequently maxing out my CPU and GPU and having framerate drops which make people reach for the barf bag.

At the current time, I never really seem to be hitting RAM limitations. I’m running a bunch of stuff now and only using 8 of my 16 GB. That said, I’ll be getting more into the virtual instruments in the next few years, and 16 GB is getting to be the ‘recommended’ specs for many games released now. Also, I am planning on keeping whatever setup I upgrade to for about 3 years or so, so I’m trying to determine if 16GB will be an issue in that timeframe.

So what do you guys think? Will 16 GB ride me through a 3 year CPU upgrade, or should I lean towards tossing out my whole chipset so I can bump up to 32?

Side note - going to AMD is not an option for me because I run OS X in my system which is incompatible with AMD CPU.


#2

If you’re going to Kaby Lake (which are 7xxx series chips) or Skylake (the 6xxx chips) they both are on DDR4 memory, so your DDR3 RAM won’t work and you’ll have to buy new RAM anyways. 16GB will be fine for now and your use; 32GB could be helpful for the music stuff, but music production is far less taxing on a computer than video. If you’re building in the near future and budget is a factor, just get 16GB for now and upgrade to 32GB later. DDR4 prices should continue to drop so it will only get cheaper.


#3

I would just keep what you have, get the Devils Canyon i7 and stick to 16 GB. I would look into a used CPU, or buy a Xeon if you want to save some money. I think for gaming and some light work, it isn’t worth to upgrade the whole platform.