Memory timings...

Sorry for being such a newbie, I've been reading Tom's Hardware for about a year now and built a new system recently. The MB I bought is an ASUS A7V8X. I bought this MB because I liked the features, not necessarily because it supported a 333mhz FSB.

I picked up an AMD 2100+ processor simply because it appeared to be the best value for the money. I know it supports a 266Mhz FSB and the newer AMD processors are 333. I figure I can upgrade to one of those whenever the prices drop.... a processor for less than $100 is always nice :)

Lastly, I bought a 512MB stick of Corsair DDR400 memory (here's what I bought: )

I played around with the system once I built it to see what kind of benchmarks I could get. What really surprised me is that my benchmarks were much better when I set the memory at 333mhz (double 166) with 2-2-2 1T timings instead of 400Mhz (double 200mhz) with higher timings!

Why is this? Are those timings more significant to performance than the number of cycles the memory is running at? Is my processor unable to take advantage of the 400Mhz memory?

Overall I am VERY satisfied with all the components in my system. I was able to pick up a TI 4400 very cheap and I think everything has performed well. I did some overclocking to see what I could manage, and got a little over 13000 with the 3D Mark 2001 test. ( )

I am reluctant to play with voltages, and I do not overclock my system for everyday use.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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  1. Well in a matter of way you already gave the right answer yourself: the CPU can't do anything with the higher memory bus as it still runs at 266MHz FSB.
    Still a higher memory speed can give some advantege... unless the difference between FSB and memory bus gets to big. You see a bigger difference will create latency between the data exchange of those busses (especially with the KT400 at high speeds) because it runs async. This means that the memory performance for the CPU will drop with a higher bus speed on some chipsets.

    My dual-PSU PC is so powerfull that the neighbourhood dimms when I turn it on :eek:
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