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RAM Specification confusion.

A-Traveller

Standard Member
Hi All.

I know this may be a really stupid question for those in the know, but when memory sticks have the following specs, does it mean that the memory itself contains the Intel chips or is it just referring to the memory's ability to take advantage of motherboard which have these chips on them?

Main Board intel
System Desktop
System Type DDR3
M/B Chipset Intel X48,
Intel X38,
Intel P35

Thanks.
 

24 P

Well-known Member
Means that those particular Mobos chipset will support that ram..
 

weetsie

Well-known Member
ok, the specification you posted is that of the P35 motherboard.

the motherboard has an intel chipset, the X38 which takes an intel processor/CPU. intel has nothing to do with RAM/memory.

the DDR3 is the type of RAM that the motherboard takes.

any DDR3 RAM will work on any motherboard be it intel or AMD so long as it has DDR3 slots.

the rest of the question is too confusing, simply doesnt make sense. it would help if you expained what you were trying to do.
 

A-Traveller

Standard Member
Thanks 24 P. It's a long time since I last dealt with memory. It was pc100/133 in those days and and as far as I can remember, the numbers were the same for compatible hardware. However nowadays, as an example, there is pc3 12800 memory but nowhere in the motherboard specification is this number mentioned, so I am finding it quite complicated to tell if a) the memory is compatible with the motherboard, b) if the memory will operate at its max and c) if the motherboards capabilities are fully utilised.
 

24 P

Well-known Member
The ram itself has this printed on it..
M/B Chipset Intel X48, Intel X38, Intel P35.
So the ram is compatible with these particular Mobos.
Simple really.
He asked were the chips on the Mobo or ram, to clarify, RAM, Random Access Memory, Random-access memory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is a volatile storage device, meaning, when the PC is turned off, you lose data.
The chipsets you mentioned are roms (read only memory), which are non volatile, they retain their set instructions, have them burnt to a rom..
So, the chips are on the Mobos, the Ram is volatile memory, two different types of architecture.

:thumbsup:
 

24 P

Well-known Member
Thanks 24 P. It's a long time since I last dealt with memory. It was pc100/133 in those days and and as far as I can remember, the numbers were the same for compatible hardware. However nowadays, as an example, there is pc3 12800 memory but nowhere in the motherboard specification is this number mentioned, so I am finding it quite complicated to tell if a) the memory is compatible with the motherboard, b) if the memory will operate at its max and c) if the motherboards capabilities are fully utilised.


Now you are talking clock speeds, DDR3 goes up to 2000 Mhz from memory, but you will need a newer Mobo to support this, best thing to do is get the Mobo, check its quickest Ram it will take (Mhz) and try and match accordingly.
DDR3 will be suited to a particular board, some even support DDR2 and DDR3.

I know its confusing, if you want help I can do an estimate for you, show me the system you want and I will price 1 up accordinly for you..

:)
 

A-Traveller

Standard Member
Thanks 24 P. I'm still in the process of selection, however, take the following for example.

This mother board is 5200 MT/s.
GIGABYTE - Product - Motherboard - Specification - GA-MA785GT-UD3H (rev. 1.0)

This memory is pc3 13000.
KINGSTON 4GB 1625MHz DDR3 Non-ECC Low-Latency CL7 - Misco.co.uk

This memory is pc3 12800.
Buy 4GB Kingston Hyper-X 1600MHz DDR3 Dual Channel Memory Kit KHX1600C9D3K2/4G from CCL - Online Retailer of the Year 2008, 2007 & 2006 for laptops, desktops and computer hardware

The only thing I understand at the moment is that the motherboard supports up to 1666MHz RAM and 180MHz if overclocked. Where does the pc3 13000 and 128000 and 5200 MT/s fit in?

Thanks.
 

24 P

Well-known Member
If you read the 2 Rams you posted, they have 1625 Mhz for the 13000 and the 12600 is 1600 Mhz.
That mobo will support both speeds..
As it is 1666 Mhz for ram, keep this in mind, when looking at Ram now, check out the Mhz, or clock cycle. Normally at the end of the Ram specs..

:)
 

A-Traveller

Standard Member
Ok, I've now come across some more annoying information. The specs for the processor I wish to use is as follows.

Integrated DRAM Controller with AMD Memory Optimizer Technology
A high-bandwidth, low-latency integrated memory controller
Supports PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066); PC2-6400 (DDR2-800), PC2-5300 (DDR2-667), PC2-4200 (DDR2-533) or PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) SDRAM unbuffered DIMMs – AM2+
Support for unregistered DIMMs up to PC2 8500(DDR2-1066MHz) and PC3 10600 (DDR3-1333MHz) – AM3
Up to 17.1GB/s memory bandwidth for DDR2 and up to 21GB/s memory bandwidth for DDR3
Benefit: Quick access to system memory for better performance.

Does this mean that with this processor, the memory will only go up to 1333 MHz even if 1600 or 1666 is installed?

Sorry for the further question, but websites seem to have the annoying habit of leaving out important specs and it's only by accident that additional specs are stumbled upon whilst browsing other sites.

Thanks.
 

24 P

Well-known Member
Post the actual cpu and I will do quick check for you..

:thumbsup:
 

24 P

Well-known Member
PC3 10600 (DDR3-1333MHz) – AM3

That is the highest it will go.
It will clock back any ram that is higher down to the specified clock speed..
I am unable to give you a specific answer.
I have not gotten into the AMD camp for my last 2 PCs..
Try posting another thread as this one is stale, or try ringing your local PC supplier.
I have tried Google and nadda, or its just useless info..

Sorry dude..

:thumbsup:


EDIT: here is the answer you never wanted..

* DDR3 1800+ is supported with combination of AM3 processors and qualified memory modules, please refer "Memory Support List" for detail memory support information.

http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/FileList/MemorySupport/mb_memory_ga-ma785gt-ud3h.pdf

The above link is for Memory Support List

I don't know if the CPU allows this higher spoecced ram, as the Mobo provides for it..
 
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A-Traveller

Standard Member
Thanks for your efforts 24 P. It really is appreciated!

The motherboard supports up to 1666 and 1800 if overclocked. The memory I will be buying is 1600, so there is no problem between motherboard and memory.

I was going to check if the highest available processor makes the same statements in its specs, which may indicate that I am understanding it wrong, but the AMD site is currently down for routine maintenance. Maybe the specs I listed simply mean that the processor can use its 'optimizer technology' with RAM up to DDR3 1333 and doesn't limit the actual speed of the RAM itself (in my case 1600 MHz).
 

24 P

Well-known Member
Nps about the help. I am a little confused that they state specific clock speeds for ram, which does indicate the Mhz of the ram.
I would ring a local supplier and ask them what they think, it is only a phone call away and would do no harm..


:thumbsup:
 

A-Traveller

Standard Member
Ok, 24 P. In the meantime, here is the link.

AMD Phenom™ II Key Architectural Features

I didn't remember this when I originally posted, but this info seems to be for ALL Phenom II processors, not just any particular models.

Surely, it can't mean that all Phenom II CPUs can only utilise 1333MHz RAM speed!

I'll have to call tomorrow, as it it Sunday and everything's closed today.
 

24 P

Well-known Member
Yeah well that was my concern, hence me prompting you to call them..
It is weird that they can only run 1333 Mhz...
I used to sell PCs over a year ago, and we never had too much of a problem finding out this sort of prob, being out of it now, well I can't give you the heads up..
Funny how things change in such a short time..

Let me know how you go..

:thumbsup:
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Surely, it can't mean that all Phenom II CPUs can only utilise 1333MHz RAM speed!
No, it means Phenom II memory controllers's are only tested/guaranteed to 1333. Any higher speed is overclocking with the usual lack of guarantees and possible need for tweaking. AM3 mboards that support PC1600 all label it PC1600(OC) to make clear its an overclocked setting.

Going higher than 1600 appears to require overclocking the HT reference clock, there are no higher multipliers exposed.
 
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A-Traveller

Standard Member
I think this happens to the majority of 'ordinary' consumers (like myself) buying these computer parts. Up until now, I thought that all that needed to be checked when purchasing memory, was whether or not the motherboard supported it. As you can gather from one of my previous posts, I even thought that the CPU manufacturer may be referring to something else when they had written about supporting only up to 1333. Even IF I had any idea that the CPU also needed to support the RAM, I would have automatically assumed that the new processors of today wouldn't even need checking for compatibility. I would have thought that they would be built to support speeds well beyond the current RAM maximum.

Does ANY CPU support higher speeds that 1333MHZ?

Thanks Paul Shirley.

I contacted AMD directly and they confirmed our deepest, darkest fears! Haha. Basically, they said that only up to 1333MHz is supported, however, higher speed RAM (e.g. 1600MHz) may or may not work. There is no guarantee. I think that it is a similar situation as when motherboards have a list of supported memory. It doesn't necessarily mean that any memory not listed will not work. It just means that the list only consists of memory which they have tested. There are hundreds more which they have not tested, but may work 100% fine. I get the impression from AMD's response that they have only tested up to 1333MHz and so, it is not a case of 1600MHz not working correctly, it is just that they haven't tested it so they cannot say that the CPU 'supports' it, as Paul Shirley has further confirmed.

In light of all of this, I think it may be a wise idea to go for 1333MHz RAM instead of the 1600 I originally planned on getting.
 
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24 P

Well-known Member
1333 it is, smart move, and you got it straight from the horses mouth, Unless your into Hyper gaming, where speed is critical, and you play @ 2500 by 1600 and need that extra little bit squeezed out of the system for those extra FPS, then well, you will be fine..

:)
 

Paul Shirley

Active Member
Basically, they said that only up to 1333MHz is supported, however, higher speed RAM (e.g. 1600MHz) may or may not work. There is no guarantee.
I'd be surprised if you found an AM3 CPU that couldn't be teased into working. There are other problems though:
  • not all mboards support 1600 (they don't need to support on unsupported speed)
  • you can't use 1600 with 4 DIMMS - the memory controller can't push out enough power to handle them.
In light of all of this, I think it may be a wise idea to go for 1333MHz RAM instead of the 1600 I originally planned on getting.
1600 will happily run as 1333 RAM and what you lose in clk you get back in lower latencies - my OCZ runs equally well as [email protected],7,7,20 or [email protected],6,6,17, on paper that's about equal performance either way and indistinguishable in practice. The right RAM is usually just faster whatever speed you actually run it at.

If the price and latencies are right there's no reason to avoid 1600 even if you can't run it full clk now. On the other hand the difference between fast and slow RAM is hard to even measure in real use and price is all that really matters ;)
 
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A-Traveller

Standard Member
24 P, no I'm not into Hyper Gaming, so I should be ok.

Paul Shirley, you say that you can't use 1600 with 4 DIMMS. Can you use 1333 with 4 DIMMS? If so, wouldn't this make a better choice for upgrading, so that two further 1333 DIMMS can be added to the existing two in future?

As mentioned already, I won't be overclocking and I want to avoid having to tweak any settings at all in BIOS. I also want to increase the likelihood of everything running 100% smoothly without there being any additional chance of issues arising. With this in mind, 1333 seems a good idea at the moment. If anything does go wrong, at least I can tell the manufacturers that EVERYTHING was done according to their recommendations.

The only problem now is that I can't seem to find the memory I want in the UK (F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK)!!!! That one is 9 9 9 24, by the way. I don't know how much more advantageous CL7 would be or what kind of difference there would be between the two.

Thanks.
 
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A-Traveller

Standard Member
Thanks to everyone who replied to my questions, provided advice and helped me choose my components. For your information, I managed to find very similar memory to the one mentioned in my last post. It may be the same, except that the CL value is lesser.
 

24 P

Well-known Member
Good stuff, let us know how you go with the end result..

:)
 

A-Traveller

Standard Member
Hi 24 P. Have built the pc and everything seems to be working fine. Not that I would know if something was amiss! Haha. It's just learning how to do things with the OS that's the problem now! Thanks everyone.
 

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