RAM timings and what are my RAM timings?


Novice Member
I am looking into buying some more RAM for my computer but need a little help before doing so.

Currently I know I have 2GB (2x1GB) CorsairTwinX XMS2, DDR2 PC2-6400 (800) 5-5-5-12.

However, when looking, I've found 2 possiblities 4-4-4-12 and 5-5-5-12.


So my question is:

Is it necessary to match the timings (old to new)?

thanks, Dan.:)


Distinguished Member
Run CPU-Z, which will tell you exactly what your current RAM is running at.

If you buy the faster stuff, it should clock down to the slower timings, and with Dual Core 2 Duo CPU's, the timings aren't that important any more anyway.

But if you're gonna run with 4 x 1GB DIMM's, i'd be tempted to make sure all 4 were identical.


Novice Member
Yes you want to match the timings.
The ram says on the side of it what its timings are
But indeed CPU-Z will tell you. The SPD tab tells you what speeds your memory is designed to run at, and you should look at the speed for 400Mhz:

e.g. my RAM is designed to run at 5-5-5-15 at 400Mhz. Yours should say 5-5-5-12 if you have that RAM in your PC. The Memory tab tells you what speed your memory is actually running at. (see pic on right below)


Novice Member
Thanks guys.

I have run CPU-Z as above but my timings for some reason are showing 5-5-5-18, even though my memory states 5-5-5-12 on the side of it.


Both sticks are running at this - does that mean something is set incorrectly and needs changing?

Also - I didn't put this comp together myself - the sticks are obviously in slot 2 + 4. Would moving them to 1 + 3 achieve anything?

Also - I'll make sure I buy matching sticks, once I've sorted out this timing thing.


Distinguished Member
Memory timings can be adjusted in the BIOS.


Novice Member
I've had a look in the bios and found the place where I can manually override the timings.

Presently, they are all set to auto in the bios - - is it safe to go ahead and change these if the timings on the side of the RAM say they should be 5-5-5-12?

I don't want to go messing with stuff if it's likely to damage anything, especially if there's a negligible difference between 5-5-5-18 and 5-5-5-12. I'm an amateur when it comes to anything to do with altering settings/overclocking etc..

thanks, Dan.


Novice Member
your RAM will happily run at 5-5-5-12 or 18. For some reason the SPD is being incorrectly picked up.

You wont notice any difference between the 2 settings though TBH but you wont damage anything. I would recommend leaving as is.

Back to your original question, buy the 5-5-5-12 and see what your board picks it up as.

If you move them make sure they are still in slots which operate dual channel. Why not try it ?


Novice Member
Thanks mjn and tinners,

I've placed an order for some 5-5-5-12 RAM matching what I already have.

I'm not going to alter the bios timings but ill try switching the slots they're in to see what happens.


edit: switching slots did nothing, but I'm just going to leave timings as they are.

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