Questions about RAM speeds and overclocking them (on AM3 systems)


Standard Member
I'll be building an AM3 system soon and I'm hoping to get into over clocking so I have some questions about RAM speed.

One of the motherboards I'm looking at (GA-MA790FXT-UD5P) lists the supported memory as DDR3 - 1066, 1333 and 1666(OC). So I'm guessing the latter is if you overclock the memory but I'm pretty sure you could overclock 1333 etc. to 1666 and so on depending on cooling and design, is this right? And if so, would it be better to go for 1666 ram rather than 1333 if I intend to run it at 1666?

Thanks. :)

Paul Shirley

Active Member
1600(OC) boards give you the 800Mhz multiplier so you can reach PC3 1600 without overclocking the rest of the system. In theory they also have slightly more robust electrical performance to help reach that speed. Otherwise you'll have to hike the reference clk to 240Mhz and mess with lots of multipliers.

In practice it doesn't matter how you reach the RAM clk but its nice having more options and of course you can (theoretically) overclock RAM further with the extra multiplier. In practice (as discussed to death just yesterday) there's no worthwhile performance difference between the same RAM at 1333 or 1600 once you adjust the latencies. Buy the one with the best bandwidth/£ and don't worry about the clk speed!

Todays AM3/DDR3 tip: set the controller to Unganged and leave it there. Ganged is way too unstable at high clocks.

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