Forum Spotlight: Choosing the Best RAM, Testing 802.11ax

by Reads (4,493)

Welcome to the NotebookReview Forum Spotlight, a biweekly series where we highlight the hottest and most important topics in our forum. The NotebookReview forum is the largest Internet forum dedicated to the discussion of notebook computers, including Macs and tablets. You can sign up for free by clicking here.

The highlights of this forum spotlight include picking the best RAM for gaming, testing 802.11ax wireless cards, and first time desktop building advice.

Finding the Best RAM for Gaming

Gamers are always interested in better performance, so the question as to which memory (RAM) is best is only natural. Two threads were started recently; this one was about the difference between two 32GB kits, and the other asked about DDR4-3000 versus DDR4-3200. For Intel platforms, the memory speed and timings (CAS latency) have little effect on overall performance. Kingston HyperX Impact

You’re best off prioritizing capacity first; 16GB is the current sweet spot for gaming. Go for the least-expensive kit you can get that’s from a name brand, and only then factor memory speed and timings into your decision.

(The memory in the photo is a Kingston HyperX Impact module.)

Testing 802.11ax Wireless Cards

Member @WhatsThePoint and @Aivxtla have been testing the 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) wireless cards in notebooks. The tested cards are the Intel AX200 and the Killer AX1650x.  For now, it looks like the performance increases in throughput and range come about only when using the 802.11ax band. The cards appear to perform like regular 802.11ac cards when paired with an 802.11ac router. In other words, you need to fully invest in 802.11ax technology to see a benefit.Intel AX200 802.11ax wireless card

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First-Time Desktop Building Advice

The biggest mistake you can make the first time you build a desktop is not asking for help. You can read all the Internet guides you want, but nothing beats getting personalized advice. Member @MarshallLGS asked about building a mid-range gaming desktop based on an AMD Ryzen 5 2600X processor and an Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card.

Having build several desktops and tested countless others, this is what I’d advise any builder …

  • Get a great quality power supply, even if it means eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a while. It’s the one component in the desktop that can sabotage the entire system. Look for a semi, or, preferably, a fully modular model with an 80 PLUS Gold certification and a five-year (or longer) warranty.
  • Get a case without fans, and buy your own fans. The ones that come with the case are usually cheaply made and add unnecessary cost.
  • Get a quality motherboard that has all the ports and connections you want.
  • Balance the setup. Don’t pair a low-end processor with a high-end graphics card, and vice versa. The components you buy should be on the same tier.

Ask for advice on your setup in our Desktop forum!

Are Dented Heatpipes Normal?Dented heatpipe

While taking apart the thermal assembly of a Dell Inspiron 7537 notebook, member @sharpman found a dented in a heatpipe and wondered if it mattered. The consensus was that, if the component temperatures are within spec, that it’s not a problem. The dent probably isn’t there by design, though.

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