Someone bring me up to date on memory speeds. Easy question.

i've not purchased any new motherboards and cpus's since about three years ago, and would like some clarification:

if i get a 1333fsb cpu, will i need to get 1333mhz ram too? i keep seeing people running 1333fsb cpu's with 800mhz ram. but is it slower than running 1333mhz ram? what's the deal here?
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  1. OMG, someone write a sticky please.

    Here we go, again. This is how it works. When dealing with FSBs, Intel's is "quad pumped". To get the real frequency, you have to divide by 4. 1333 / 4 = 333MHz. THIS is the number you need to multiply by 2 to get your ram speed. 333 * 2 = 666, or DDR2-667. You can run ram that is faster then this, but it doesn't pay off that much.

    Due to the ability to run ram at different ratios, you can nearly pop any ram in there and have it work. As long as you don't go below DDR2-667, you shouldn't see to much difference in speed.
  2. cr - to clarify a bit:
    All data to/from RAM has to go through the memory bus and also pass through the FSB. Thus, whichever has the lower throughput is the bottleneck. Normally, that is the FSB. Thus, we want to match the throughput of the FSB with the throughput of the memory bus. For example, with a 1333MHz throughput FSB, we want 1333MHz memory throughput. Since almost always the memory bus will be running in dual-channel mode (essentially doubling the width/throughput of the memory bus), each individual memory module needs to run at half that throughput, or 1333MHz / 2 = 667MHz throughput in this case.
    Thus, just take the FSB throughput and divide by 2 to get the DIMM module speed you will need.
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