Heatsinks useful if RAM not overclocked?

Towermax

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I just picked up 8GB of DDR2 800 ECC for next to nothing. It's going in an HTPC and won't be overclocked. It's bare ram with no coolers/heatsinks.

Is there any value in putting aftermarket heatsinks on this ram?
 

Reefa_Madness

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As long as there is airflow, you should be ok. You aren't going to overclock, so stock voltages s/b around 1.8v for DDR2, therefore heat shouldn't be an issue.
 

Towermax

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There is a reason why they didn't provide heatsinks in the first place. ;)

Mmm, yeah . . .

You'll notice I didn't ask if it *needed* heatsinks. I asked if there would be any *value* in using heatsinks. ;)

Seriously though, this is low-end server ram (it's not registered, just ECC), so I'm sure it's fine the way it is. I'm just curious if the additional cooling will add to lifespan or have any other benefits.

I've tried to build this HTPC as a set-it-up-and-forget-it device, so anything that helps towards that goal is welcome.
 

jojo69

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I have read of instances where the ramsinks actually hinder heat dissipation
 

Towermax

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As long as there is airflow, you should be ok. You aren't going to overclock, so stock voltages s/b around 1.8v for DDR2, therefore heat shouldn't be an issue.

Yes, it has good airflow--it's in an Antec Solo with three fans, and all temps are low.
 

Reefa_Madness

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I have read of instances where the ramsinks actually hinder heat dissipation

Ram SINKS, or heat spreaders...there is a difference.

There's no way that ram sinks are going to hinder heat transfer. Spreaders (and the thick thermal tape used to attach them to the ram's ICs) on the other hand may very well trap heat.
 

larrymoencurly

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Is there any value in putting aftermarket heatsinks on this ram?
I would say there is, based on the following:

RAM heatsinks: $30 (2 double-sided DIMMs)

Doctor's visit: $75
Generic obsessive-compulsive medication: $4/month

But from the standpoint of the RAM alone, putting heatsinks on it is useless because the chips are rated for 85-95 celcius, and they generate very little heat. There's no need to worry unless you bought junk modules with sci-fi/action-adventure names and heatsinks and no clearly readable part numbers from any real chip maker.
 

Towermax

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I would say there is, based on the following:

RAM heatsinks: $30 (2 double-sided DIMMs)

Doctor's visit: $75
Generic obsessive-compulsive medication: $4/month

No, that won't do it--it's four sticks of ram and the sinks I want are $29.95 each.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/7649/ram-44/Thermaltake_V1R_Copper_Heatpipe_Ram_Cooler_CL-R0028.html?tl=g40c18s236


Looks like the doctor is cheaper.

But from the standpoint of the RAM alone, putting heatsinks on it is useless because the chips are rated for 85-95 celcius, and they generate very little heat. There's no need to worry unless you bought junk modules with sci-fi/action-adventure names and heatsinks and no clearly readable part numbers from any real chip maker.

OK, I'd pretty much concluded that heatsinks weren't needed. It's decent ram and I've run lots of ram over the years with no coolers.

Still, those Thermaltake heatsinks look really cool. But then, I'd have to get a windowed case to show them off and move the HTPC out where people could see them . . .
 

jojo69

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Ram SINKS, or heat spreaders...there is a difference.

There's no way that ram sinks are going to hinder heat transfer. Spreaders (and the thick thermal tape used to attach them to the ram's ICs) on the other hand may very well trap heat.

my bad, yes, I meant heat spreaders, thanks for clarifying
 

Mike Clements

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There's no way to assign a number to it but, it's VERY likely that heat spreaders protect RAM from user error as a majority of people in the world replacing or adding RAM don't take proper ESD precautions when handling it. All in all, spreaders are dirt cheap for the most part so it's a win - win for both the consumer and company. They both avoid RMAs and dead RAM.
 

drescherjm

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There's no way to assign a number to it but, it's VERY likely that heat spreaders protect RAM from user error as a majority of people in the world replacing or adding RAM don't take proper ESD precautions when handling it. All in all, spreaders are dirt cheap for the most part so it's a win - win for both the consumer and company. They both avoid RMAs and dead RAM.

This is the biggest reason why I try to get RAM with heat spreaders at home and at work. With the spreaders on you can just sit the ram on your desk and not worry at all about ESD.
 

Towermax

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There's no way to assign a number to it but, it's VERY likely that heat spreaders protect RAM from user error as a majority of people in the world replacing or adding RAM don't take proper ESD precautions when handling it. All in all, spreaders are dirt cheap for the most part so it's a win - win for both the consumer and company. They both avoid RMAs and dead RAM.

That's a very good point.

Well, they're already in the box, and I don't intend to take them out until I retire the system, so for now, they'll remain spreaderless.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Modern low voltage DDR3 ram generates very little heat, even when overclocked.

The heat spreaders are more for show than anything else. Who knows if they even have any good paste under there? On many brands they may even be better thermal insulators than anything else.

I hear the above posters comments about ESD, but I'm not too sure.

I ahve been building and servicing my own computers since the late 80s, handling all kinds of components including RAM without heatspreaders on a regular basis. Never at any point have I taken any measure to ground myself or otherwise protect against ESD. I have never had a component fail on me electrically.

ESD simply isn't as big as of a problem as many would have you think.
 

Mike Clements

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There are probably some engineers and RMA department managers that would debate the ESD issue with you.Like I said, it's impossible to assign a number to it but it can be a problem.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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There are probably some engineers and RMA department managers that would debate the ESD issue with you.Like I said, it's impossible to assign a number to it but it can be a problem.

I work as an engineer for a company that designs, assembles and sells medical electromechanical devices. We use ESD protection on our production floor. They are pretty expensive, and the low cost and low inconvenience of ESD wrist straps are worth it compared to losing even one assembly, or having a negative impact on even one patient procedure.

For home computer maintenance, though? Not really worth worrying about. Just use some common sense. Grasp parts by cases or edges, don't directly touch chips or leads. Don't rub your feet on fuzzy rugs while working. That sort of stuff.

That being said, who says all users of technology have common sense? So in that regard, you might have a point.

Above that, no reason to worry really. Again, I've handled thousands and thousands of bare components over my life, never wearing ESD protection and never electrically killing or damaging a single one. The only time I've ever wound up with damaged computer parts is when I have done something stupid to physically destroy them (crushed cores, slipped screwdrivers, etc.)
 

bAMtan2

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Heatsinks useful if RAM not overclocked?

no. system memory has never needed heatsinks. OCZ "heat spreaders" came along a decade ago because they were a shoddy little company that needed to differentiate from the other shoddy little companies selling memory. ram heatsinks are there to get noticed.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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no. system memory has never needed heatsinks. OCZ "heat spreaders" came along a decade ago because they were a shoddy little company that needed to differentiate from the other shoddy little companies selling memory. ram heatsinks are there to get noticed.

Pretty much.

If you shop around, you'll find that business workstation and server ram NEVER have heat spreaders, even the ones that rival enthusiast RAM speeds. Even OEM systems very rarely have the heat spreaders.

They are really mostly there for looks, and possibly - as mentioned above - for ESD protection.
 

larrymoencurly

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This is the biggest reason why I try to get RAM with heat spreaders at home and at work. With the spreaders on you can just sit the ram on your desk and not worry at all about ESD.
But if the heat spreaders aren't connected to the DIMM's ground, it's still possible to zap the memory through the gold contacts, and that's probably where it's usually zapped.
 

daglesj

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Go back about 8 years and 98% of ram was bare chips. Most motherboards were...brown or bottle green.

Now its all colour coded to match your bling bling dragon warrior motherboard and GPU.

Marketing or technical progress, you decide. lol
 

drescherjm

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But if the heat spreaders aren't connected to the DIMM's ground, it's still possible to zap the memory through the gold contacts, and that's probably where it's usually zapped.

I am careful to never touch anywhere near the contacts.
 

daglesj

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I am careful to never touch anywhere near the contacts.

I always clean any edge connector on ram/GPUs/Ethernet cards with Iso alchohol to make sure its clean and free of grease etc. Blow out the slots before insertion too.

Never done any harm in nearly 20 years.

Some old audiophile habits die hard.:D
 
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