This summer I was planning to build a mid-level gaming system for a family member of mine. Comparing prices, performance and relative future-proofness I've decided on going for an AMD system.
The exact components are all a little dependant on what prices are being offered at the time of purchase, but at the moment it would be an AMD Athlon 4600+ X2 EE. The games being played on the system won't be the newest, graphical pushing games out there, probably just various MMORPGs, so I'm leaning towards 1GB of RAM.
My questions are:
1) Can you pair faster than DDR2-800 with an AMD CPU (DDR2-1000)?
2) If so, what are the performance benefits (in and out of games)?
3) If 1 is yes and 2 is reasonable, are there any special requirements involved other than just sticking the RAM and CPU in to the motherboard?
Theoretically (and in my experience) the faster ram can be run at the best speed for the cpu (ddr2 800) but with really tight timings - maybe like 3-4-4-10 - which gives pretty optimal performance. Or if in the future someone wants to overclock the headroom is already there. Then again high performance ddr2 800 will usually do the same thing. I say let price be your guide.