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2000MHz RAM Compatibility with Phenom II 955 BE

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May 6, 2009 8:01:31 AM

Hey everyone, new around here. Been an Intel boy for many years. However, with the release of the Phenom II 955 BE, I've decided to switch.

My current setup is as follows:
Asus P5W DH Deluxe Motherboard
Intel E6700 Processor
4GB Corsair DDR800 RAM
Nvidia GTX285 1GB GFX Card (Recently upgraded from the 8800GTX 768mb due to it frying itself)
Antec P80B Case and PSU (not 100% sure on the Wattage of the PSU off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure it'll handle my upgrade)
Audigy 4 Sound Card
WD Raptor 10,000RPM 150GB HDD
WD 320GB Files Drive

I am planning to upgrade;
Motherboard to the ASUS M4A79T Deluxe
CPU To the Phenom II 955 BE
RAM to Corsair TR3X6G2000C8GTF 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3

I have Windows Vista 32bit and will be going to 64bit with the upgrade.


Could anyone tell me if there will be any compatibility issues with my new hardware? I have searched high and low for information as to whether the motherboard and processor support the 2000MHz RAM, but can't find it. If they don't, could you please post a recommendation as to what motherboard to get?

Thanks heaps.
Rook.
May 6, 2009 12:00:30 PM

Sorry the question was meant to be will I be able to get it to run at 2000MHz?
May 7, 2009 5:10:47 AM

*BUMP*
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May 7, 2009 3:32:38 PM

omg xD

2000mhz ddr2 first heard lol

first of all that mobo supports ddr2 not 3

second of why buy that tri- stick kit when 2x dual channel would be cheaper + am3 doesent use 3 channel ddr so no point in doing that
i.e. being a sucker and giving more money for "optimized sticks for triple channel" when only i7 has 3-channel support
May 7, 2009 3:49:19 PM

omg xD

2000mhz ddr2 first heard lol

first of all that mobo supports ddr2 not 3

*edit*
second of why buy that tri- stick kit when 2x dual channel would be cheaper and ddr3 1600 or 1333mhz low latency preferably would be enough, unless you plan some heavy duty overclocking and since phenom 2 only supports 1333, + has an issue of supporting more than 2sticks per channel amd said they would introdouce a bios fix for that

+ am3 doesent use 3 channel ddr so no point in doing that
i.e. being a sucker and giving more money for "optimized sticks for triple channel" when only i7 has 3-channel support

if you gonna go for ddr3 with phenom II you gonna need a different mobo
in that case if i woz you i would buy some decent, cheap 2gb ddr3 stick and wait for ddr3 to become cheaper and better(higher density modules (4gb per module, faster lower volts, latencies etc.) shoul happen in about a year

+ ther is no reaso for not buying that mobo with ddr2 which is dirty cheap
if u do that you could crank that mobo with 8gigs of ddr2-1066 for far less money than that triple-channel you stated there, and as for performance difference, u would see none, + ddr21066 is still one of the fastest ram available
May 7, 2009 3:49:43 PM

omg xD

2000mhz ddr2 first heard lol

first of all that mobo supports ddr2 not 3

*edit*
second of why buy that tri- stick kit when 2x dual channel would be cheaper and ddr3 1600 or 1333mhz low latency preferably would be enough, unless you plan some heavy duty overclocking and since phenom 2 only supports 1333, + has an issue of supporting more than 2sticks per channel amd said they would introdouce a bios fix for that

+ am3 doesent use 3 channel ddr so no point in doing that
i.e. being a sucker and giving more money for "optimized sticks for triple channel" when only i7 has 3-channel support

if you gonna go for ddr3 with phenom II you gonna need a different mobo
in that case if i woz you i would buy some decent, cheap 2gb ddr3 stick and wait for ddr3 to become cheaper and better(higher density modules (4gb per module, faster lower volts, latencies etc.) shoul happen in about a year

+ ther is no reaso for not buying that mobo with ddr2 which is dirty cheap
if u do that you could crank that mobo with 8gigs of ddr2-1066 for far less money than that triple-channel you stated there, and as for performance difference, u would see none, + ddr21066 is still one of the fastest ram available
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 7, 2009 3:57:50 PM

The motherboard that is planned in the upgrade is DDR3 compatible, so that shouldn't be a problem. No guarantees about it running at full speed though. From what I can tell, the max officially supported by the board is DDR3-1600, and I'm not sure about the Phenom II IMC. I know the i7 IMC needs quite a bit of voltage past DDR3-1600 though.

Also, why get the triple channel kit? You need memory in matched pairs, so you're not going to get the optimum with three sticks. Finally, unless you like benchmark scores more than actual performance, there is little real benefit to DDR3-2000. DDR3-1600 is far cheaper, and you'd be unlikely to notice a difference in real world performance.
May 7, 2009 4:02:22 PM

aaaah i appologize mate i sould read posts better

that guy put a stuoid post with 775 mobo

forget what i read for ddr2, but ddr3 for ddr3 parts it stays + what cjl said is worth too
May 10, 2009 1:40:43 AM

cjl, what RAM would you get if you went for this upgrade? Personally I prefer Corsair or OCZ RAM. (Specifically what speed, and honestly I have no idea what the difference of channels are)

So I should either go 4gb or 8gb? I'll probably be running VMs of Vista 64 and Win7 64.

If you want to have a look through Aussie RAM availability from my typical supplier, its www.pccasegear.com or www.msy.com.au
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 3:32:37 AM

I'd go for DDR3-1600, with at most an 8 cycle latency. I like Corsair RAM personally (I absolutely love my tri-channel DDR3-1600 Dominators that I am currently running on my i7), and I have also had great luck with OCZ, so I agree with your brand choice there. As for dual vs triple channel? All that means is that for dual channel memory controllers, you want to run memory in matched pairs for maximum performance. For triple channel, you want matched sets of 3 for maximum performance. The kit you linked above has 3 matched sticks, so it is made primarily for triple channel operation.

For what you want, I'd probably go with one of these kits:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0026RC45Y/ref=asc_df_B0026RC4...
(Note: pic shows 3 sticks, but if you look at the description and model number, it is actually a dual channel 4GB kit of DDR3-1600 CAS 8. You could get 2 if you wanted 8 gigs)

Unfortunately, Corsair hasn't got any kits of lower voltage, more modern DDR3 for dual channel, so the OCZ is the RAM I would probably go with. Also, note that AMD memory controllers cannot take full advantage of DDR3-1600 from what I have seen unless they are overclocked, so you'll want to overclock your uncore for best performance with this memory.
May 10, 2009 4:01:43 AM

Just another quick question, why did you decide to go i7 above the Phenoms? From what I've read the Phenom's are much better value for money and actually outperform the i7s in things such as gaming. Is this true? Or should I fork out the extra $ and go i7?

Also thanks heaps for your help, its very much appreciated. I used to be very hardcore about hardware (and am still highly interested), but I've lost touch recently due to my uni studies and a lot of testing requirements with the Air Force.
May 10, 2009 4:03:51 AM

Oh my rough limit for the upgrade is $1500-1700. On Amazon that product can only be shipped to USA unfortunately :( .

I seem to only be able to find that model in 2gb kits of 2x1gb too :S

Best I could find was this:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This:
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/27227-ocz3p16004gk

http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/16/692/?order=manuf...

There is some OCZ RAM there, biggest selection in Aus - just a little more expensive than my other normal providers. However, they seem to be the only relatively cheap provider that has a lot of dual channel kits. Mind having a look and recommending one?

If you wouldn't mind having an IM chat about it, feel free to add me on tom_green_1987@hotmail.com

Thanks again bro
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 4:49:28 AM

That OCZ ram in your link is different stuff - the stuff I linked to was brand new, and only available right now on Amazon. Look at the voltage - most good dual channel kits are 1.8V+, while the one I linked is 1.65V. You want the lower voltage kits if possible, as it will run cooler and put less stress on your memory controller. In addition, the new, lower voltage kits use better quality components. Unfortunately, I don't see it as being available on the website you linked to. It might take a while before the good low voltage dual channel stuff gets to australia - I'm not sure what the normal lag is. You could always go with an i7 920 setup - with the new D0 stepping, it overclocks like crazy, and there's plenty of good tri-channel RAM available for it...

Oh, and as for why I went i7? I bought my system the first week i7 came out, just after thanksgiving. Phenom II wasn't available, and even if I were building a new system now, I would go for i7. If my system were gaming only, I would probably go with a Phenom II (though the i7 920 D0 would be quite tempting), but I also use my computer for Solidworks and Matlab, and they gain quite a bit from the i7. I also multitask extremely heavily, and that is benefited by the i7 as well. Basically, I didn't get it for gaming (although it certainly does an excellent job in games).
May 10, 2009 4:55:46 AM

Very understandable with those programs. As the Amazon one isn't available to me, what should I do? Really that Scorptec stuff is the best I can get sent to me that I've found.

I've got a pretty decent setup here with good cooling (going to upgrade it soon). Got air con here too so our 45 degrees celcius days don't cook my computer. One reason I used to like AMD so much was that you could play around with the settings a lot more to suit your system, than being limited by Intel. Guess its just a personal preference thing. On the other hand, with Intel you pretty much plug it in and it works.

Ok, this is what I've got planned so far:
RAM: $319 or $638 for 8gb
http://www.scorptec.com.au/computer/28737-ocz3rpr16004g... (Decided to spend the extra on the RPR due to the improved cooling)

Processor: $409
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Motherboard: $335
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

As you can see, I am far below my budget, even with 8gb. Any upgrades that you can recommend? This is AUD btw. Roughly 1.77x USD

a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 5:13:58 AM

What do you mean by "limited by Intel"?

I'll be the first one to admit that AMD has a price advantage, but I definitely don't think that AMD has an advantage in tweaking.
May 10, 2009 5:16:18 AM

Just in a user based experience I've had a lot more stability in tweaking AMD than Intel without using insane cooling systems.

But yeah, what would you recommend I do from where I'm at? Should I go ahead and grab those three parts I linked?

Also would I notice much difference between 4 and 8gb?

Tempted to chuck in a Velociraptor HDD...
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 5:34:05 AM

I'm not sure. Those are very high voltage DDR3 parts, (1.9V IIRC), and I'm not sure if AMD's IMC has a memory voltage limit similar to Intel's. Honestly, for about that same amount of money, I'd be tempted to go for this:

Mobo: Asus P6T SE ($339):
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

CPU: Intel Core i7 920 ($449):
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 6GB kit ($289 - $578 for 12GB):
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

Total: $1077 for 6GB setup, $1366 for 12GB setup (assuming that I did the math correctly in my head here...) vs $1063 for your proposed 4GB setup, or $1382 for your proposed 8GB setup. Since in this case there is no price advantage, I'd have to lean towards an i7 based setup rather than an AMD.
May 10, 2009 5:38:42 AM

Its purely a gaming machine, so would it really be beneficial to go i7? If so, why would you go i7?

Assuming I decide to run seperate partitions of Vista 64 and Win7 64, would I still need all that RAM without running VMs?
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 5:44:49 AM

I would say that the i7 will be about equal to the Phenom in gaming, so it's a toss up as far as that's concerned. The i7 will beat the Phenom in all non gaming tasks though, so if the price is equal, I'd tend to lean towards the i7. In addition, the DDR3 available in tri channel kits is better quality than the DDR3 available in dual channel right now, so the i7 is the way to go as far as that's concerned. The Corsair Dominator that I linked to is the same stuff that I have in my computer, and it will happily run at 7-8-7-22 1T @ 1600MHz all day long at the rated voltage, even though it was only rated at 8-8-8-24 2T. Also, the rated voltage is a lot lower than the rated voltage of any of the dual channel kits you can get your hands on, so it is likely to last longer and run cooler. As for the quantity of RAM, if you are just gaming with it, 6GB is plenty. 12GB isn't really necessary unless you're doing a heck of a lot with your computer. Basically, with your budget and considering the prices in australia, I'd go with the i7 rig with 6GB of RAM.
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 5:58:40 AM

On Far Cry 2, the i7 lags for some reason (likely related to Nvidia drivers, considering that it wins when using ATI cards), but it beats the 955 on other tests, such as World In Conflict. Honestly, I wouldn't think that there would be a noticeable difference between the two in most games. Even in Far Cry 2, the difference is not that significant, and both setups are playable at all tested resolutions.

One alternative if you really want the Phenom though would be to wait for the better quality dual channel RAM to show up in Australia. Not only does the newer DDR3 run cooler and faster, it also tends to be a lot cheaper than the older generation stuff like what you linked to above. That's why 6GB of Dominator is actually cheaper than 4GB of lower quality DDR3-1600.
May 10, 2009 7:03:10 AM

Had a further look into it from your perspective and this is what I've come up with. You've changed my mind and I'll be going Intel now. Much easier with the RAM, plus I can go 2GHz if I want to, and it does outperform the Phenom on most games.

Motherboard: Asus P6T SE $325 (difference between this and deluxe?)
http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf

RAM: Corsair TR3X6G2000C8GTF 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 $599
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...
or
RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 6GB kit $289
http://www.pccasegear.com/index.ph [...] ts_id=8670

^^ would there be any noticeable difference between the 1600 and 2000mhz RAM? Same latency

CPU:
Core i7 920: $441
http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf
or
Core i7 940: $853
http://www.msy.com.au/Parts/PARTS.pdf

^^ would there be a noticable difference? Large enough to warrant the extra $400?

Also what do you recommend I do seeing as I have up to $2000 to spend if I wanted to...?

a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 8:23:16 AM

If you get a D0, 4GHz is pretty likely with that cooler. Some people are hitting upwards of 4.2. As for the 1600 vs 2000MHz RAM? There wouldn't likely be a noticeable difference, honestly, and that is one heck of a price difference. You can go with 2000MHz if you want, but don't expect to have anywhere near what I would consider to be a $310 performance gain, unless you are running extremely memory bandwidth limited applications. Games usually don't fall within this category, as proven by the lack of difference between the i7 and phenom II in games (the Phenom II with 1600MHz DDR3 gets something like 15GB/sec with the memory controller properly overclocked, while the i7 gets 24+GB/sec with DDR3-1600).

As for the 920 vs 940? I'd get the 920. You have a shot at a D0, and even if you don't, the overclocking is about the same on both, from what I've heard. IIRC, the 940 doesn't have a D0 stepping yet - it is being discontinued, and will be replaced by the D0 950 at something around 3.06GHz. You'd have to go to the 965 to get anything better than the 920 right now, and that's only if you got a C0 920. The D0 920 seems to overclock as well as most C0 965s, especially on good cooling (the TRUE is excellent - I have one, and it performs beautifully - you'd get a lot more gain from a 920+TRUE than from a 940+mediocre cooler).

Oh, and a quick note on RAM latency: the 2GHz RAM you linked above actually has shorter (better) latency than the 1600MHz. This is because CAS latency is rated in clocks, not absolute time. Therefore, 8 clocks at 1600MHz is 5 nanoseconds of latency, the same as DDR2-800 CAS 4. However, 8 clocks at 2000MHz is 4 nanoseconds. If you get the 1600MHz dominator though, which is what I have, it is fairly likely that it'll run CAS 7 on stock voltage (all 12 gigs of mine does). In this case, the latency on the 1600MHz CAS 7 is 4.375 nanoseconds, closer to the DDR3-2000 latency, though DDR3-2000 CAS 8 is still lower latency (slightly) than DDR3-1600 CAS 7.
May 10, 2009 8:27:49 AM

How can I tell if the CPU has D0? And what is it? Standard cooler on it?
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 10, 2009 8:37:57 AM

D0 is a stepping - all newer production i7's are D0. However, old stock of C0 is still quite common, as the switch in manufacturing was pretty recent. It's pretty much luck if you get a D0 or C0. Basically, D0 is a set of small tweaks that fix known (minor) bugs and improve the processor's ability to clock higher. Because of these manufacturing refinements, some D0 CPUs can hit 3.2GHz at 1V. Most can hit 4GHz at a perfectly safe voltage. Basically, they tend to be an overclocker's dream. CPU-Z can tell you the stepping, or you can tell by manufacturing code.

For example, here's my CPU-Z shot (minus voltage). You can tell which one mine is by the "revision" box:


Oh, and you asked about the P6T vs the Deluxe? From what I can tell, the non-deluxe is actually better for tri-sli due to the spacing of the PCI-E slots, the Deluxe has 16 phase power regulation (vs 8 phase on the standard), and there doesn't seem to be much else different. I'm not quite sure why the standard is so much cheaper, but I'd go for the standard (unless you see any features that I am not noticing that are different.
May 12, 2009 1:01:54 AM

Been ordered:

1 Intel Core i7 920 $449.00
1 Corsair TR3X6G1600C8D 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 $289.00
1 Thermalright Ultra 120 eXtreme 1366 RT CPU Cooler $109.00
1 ASUS P6T SE Motherboard $339.00
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 12, 2009 1:46:28 AM

Sounds like a really nice setup :) 
June 14, 2009 12:26:00 PM

There are some misconceptions in this conversation! In all fairness I have the benefit of several days and several different reviews by Tom's and others about the AMD 955BE. First, as far as I can tell from the reviews and OCes I've seen the 955BE will beat the 920 in much more than gaming! None of the reviews I've seen OCed the 955 to it's max with a good liquid cooling system so I can not comment on how well it would do against the i7's in that vain! It approaches the 940 and 965 in performance and definitely beats them in price(I saw an ad for $229) this week. As Tom's pointed out when the AM3 MOBO's mature their Bios things could get very interesting. To find the approved memory vendors list for the ASUS M4A79T deluxe go to the ASUS WEB site and you will find it under approved vendor's list to the left(HTML link) of the specs for the M4A79T deluxe. Next, the highest speed memory approved for the M479T deluxe is DDR3 1600MHz. This runs at dual channel, but benchmarks prove this is faster than DDR2 memory running the 955BE. I know the 955BE runs 1600MHz DDR3 as I have this MOBO/cpu combo running Kingston 1600 DDR3. I chose Kingston for 2 reasons: 1 it did well in Tom's benchmarks against other DDR3 memories. 2. Price - I don't think you are getting your monies worth with the higher priced memory even though they may have a faster CAS rate. They didn't appear to do any better than the Kingston memory in benchmarks. I am just burning my system in this week and won't start OC for at least another week so I don't have any OC results to speak from personal experience. My experience with OC and ASUS MOBO/AMD athlon 64s has been very good in the past. I've run 3200+ 754 socket at 2585MHz for several years with no problem so I expect this newer technology to be even better! While its nice to talk in upper limit OC specs it's really what you can use day in and day out that counts. Price perfornmance wise until Intel drops the price of their i7 940 and 965 this race isn't close.

One last note: around this October time period AMD is rumored to come out with a newer memory controller. If you can wait till then you might be rewarded with a fully functional DDR3 controller!
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
June 15, 2009 12:37:31 AM

Bulldog64 said:
There are some misconceptions in this conversation! In all fairness I have the benefit of several days and several different reviews by Tom's and others about the AMD 955BE. First, as far as I can tell from the reviews and OCes I've seen the 955BE will beat the 920 in much more than gaming! None of the reviews I've seen OCed the 955 to it's max with a good liquid cooling system so I can not comment on how well it would do against the i7's in that vain! It approaches the 940 and 965 in performance and definitely beats them in price(I saw an ad for $229) this week.

They do beat the i7 in price. However, they do not even approach an i7 920 in performance. If you want to argue overclockability, the i7 wins there too (aside from subzero benchmarking). As for water cooling, I haven't seen reviews put either the 955 or the i7 on a high end liquid setup to overclock, so the playing field is fairly even (air cooling all around). The 920 D0 can clock to >4GHz with relative ease on air, flattening any 24/7 Phenom II overclock that I have yet seen (in performance - I have seen some PhII reach >4.4GHz, but despite that, they still lose to an i7 at 4GHz in all benchmarks). Second, it will not beat the 920 in gaming. They are roughly matched, due to the GPU bottleneck.

Bulldog64 said:

As Tom's pointed out when the AM3 MOBO's mature their Bios things could get very interesting. To find the approved memory vendors list for the ASUS M4A79T deluxe go to the ASUS WEB site and you will find it under approved vendor's list to the left(HTML link) of the specs for the M4A79T deluxe. Next, the highest speed memory approved for the M479T deluxe is DDR3 1600MHz. This runs at dual channel, but benchmarks prove this is faster than DDR2 memory running the 955BE. I know the 955BE runs 1600MHz DDR3 as I have this MOBO/cpu combo running Kingston 1600 DDR3. I chose Kingston for 2 reasons: 1 it did well in Tom's benchmarks against other DDR3 memories. 2. Price - I don't think you are getting your monies worth with the higher priced memory even though they may have a faster CAS rate. They didn't appear to do any better than the Kingston memory in benchmarks. I am just burning my system in this week and won't start OC for at least another week so I don't have any OC results to speak from personal experience. My experience with OC and ASUS MOBO/AMD athlon 64s has been very good in the past. I've run 3200+ 754 socket at 2585MHz for several years with no problem so I expect this newer technology to be even better! While its nice to talk in upper limit OC specs it's really what you can use day in and day out that counts. Price perfornmance wise until Intel drops the price of their i7 940 and 965 this race isn't close.

One last note: around this October time period AMD is rumored to come out with a newer memory controller. If you can wait till then you might be rewarded with a fully functional DDR3 controller!

I still don't get your obsession with the 940 and 965. Attempting to compare those with the AMD CPUs is showing clear bias - if price/performance ratio is what you want, the i7 920 is the way to go. Actually, now that D0 is out, the 940 and 965 are essentially obsolete (the 975 seems to be getting some pretty incredible clocks though). The 920 will happily match the Phenom II 955 in just about everything at stock speed (despite the significant clockspeed disadvantage), and the gap only grows when overclocking is thrown in due to the phenomenal overclockability of the D0 CPUs. Believe me - I have nothing against AMD, and they do still have a price advantage (and I have recommended the Phenom II 940 to a couple of friends looking for a fast, cheap computer). However, it's fairly ludicrous to think the 940 or 955 PhIIs have any hope of competing with a fully overclocked D0 i7 920 in any CPU limited tasks.
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