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AMD Phenom II X4 955 - Which Memory Required?

Good morning/afternoon/evening. I may be upgrading to either the Phenom II X4 945 or 955 model and am trying to figure out the best memory type to use with either of these processors. From what I've dug up online, both processors run natively with PC3-10600 (DDR3-1333) memory. Is this true? I have absolutely no need or desire to underclock or overclock the system. I just want it to run at stock speeds.

In my research for a good motherboard, I've noticed some of the asus models like the M4A79T Deluxe state if you use 1066 memory, you can only run 1 dimm in each channel. Is there a motherboard that allows the full population of all memory slots with one of these processors, or are the phenom processors limited to DDR2-800 memory? Please advise. Thanks.

-- MaSoP
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  1. Best answer
    see you have to be very careful here as many of ASUS's boards have DDR2 and DDR3 variants differing by one letter

    the M4A79 is DDR2
    the M4A79T is DDR3

    and for many high end sets of memory you have to manually set the speed in the bios

    so in your case you want the M4A79T and pick up some G.SKILL 1.5-1.6v DDR3-1600 memory
    now it looks like im telling you to OC the memory but you can run it at DDR3-1333 no problem
  2. mindless728 said:
    see you have to be very careful here as many of ASUS's boards have DDR2 and DDR3 variants differing by one letter

    the M4A79 is DDR2
    the M4A79T is DDR3

    and for many high end sets of memory you have to manually set the speed in the bios

    so in your case you want the M4A79T and pick up some G.SKILL 1.5-1.6v DDR3-1600 memory
    now it looks like im telling you to OC the memory but you can run it at DDR3-1333 no problem


    Thanks for the reply. Why not just go for 1333 memory instead of getting faster memory and underclocking the memory to 1333? How much of a difference does the latency make, between say, 6 and 9? I've noticed most 1333 memory has a cl rating of either 8 or 9, but there are a couple 6's out there.

    -- MaSoP
  3. Nowadays,its much better to buy a 1333 with lower latency(lets say CL 6 or 7) than a higher-speed(and higher latency) ram.Keep in mind though that this can(and probably will) change with the newer processors and microarcitectures.If you can find a 1600 with same timings as a 1333 and no significant(for your budget) price difference go ahead and take it.Else stick with the 1333 and tight timings.
  4. speed doesn't matter as much as latency at these speeds
    then go for the 1333 with CL 6

    but i doubt you will see much of a difference

    i think ASUS could have done a better job at making a difference between the DDR3 and DDR2 boards instead of just a T
  5. mindless728 said:
    speed doesn't matter as much as latency at these speeds
    then go for the 1333 with CL 6

    but i doubt you will see much of a difference

    i think ASUS could have done a better job at making a difference between the DDR3 and DDR2 boards instead of just a T


    I've considered Gigabyte and MSI as well but am pretty much torn over what brand and board to get, to go along with a 945 or 955 BE. My current M2N-E AMD board doesn't support the native cl rating of my current memory (ocz 4gb pc2-6400 cl4) because of the voltage limitations on the motherboard. The memory is running at cl5 instead.

    I'm expecting to pay around $500 (mb/cpu/mem) for the upgrade when the time comes, one way or the other. I suppose I could always keep my M2N-E and simply upgrade to the Phenom X4 9950BE (fastest cpu my board supports) and OC it as close to 3.2GHz as I can to save money on the motherboard and cpu. Then either keep or replace my existing (4) 1GB memory dimms with (4) 2GB dimms to have 8GB. Since I'm now running Windows 7 RTM x64, I can fully utilize 4GB or more of memory.

    -- MaSoP
  6. well i have an ASUS M4A78-E
    you could get the M4A78T-E for DDR3

    i use the Phenom II X4 810 and works great, also i have the cpu undervolted to 1.175v instead of stock 1.325 at stock speeds

    it runs stable and i would recommend the board, though Gigabyte makes some really great boards, for me its been too long Since i have looked at MSI to say anything about them
  7. and i would get DDR3, the prices for DDR2 are expected to go up like DDR but don't know when
  8. mindless728 said:
    well i have an ASUS M4A78-E
    you could get the M4A78T-E for DDR3

    i use the Phenom II X4 810 and works great, also i have the cpu undervolted to 1.175v instead of stock 1.325 at stock speeds

    it runs stable and i would recommend the board, though Gigabyte makes some really great boards, for me its been too long Since i have looked at MSI to say anything about them


    Thanks for the input. I'm curious. Comparing the following two configurations; how much of a real-life peformance difference can be expected between the two?


    Asus M2N-E AM2 Motherboard (free; existing motherboard)
    OCZ 4GB PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) Memory (free; existing memory)
    AMD Phenom X4 9950BE / 2.6GHz / 2MB L2 / 2MB L3 Boxed CPU - $130
    Sapphire RadeOn 4870 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card - $155

    Total Cost: $285 plus s/h @ newegg

    VS

    Asus M4A79T Deluxe AM3 Mainboard - $170
    GSkill 4GB PC3-10666 (DDR3-1333) Memory - $75
    AMD Phenom II X4 955BE / 3.2GHz / 2MB L2 / 6MB L3 Boxed CPU - $215
    Sapphire RadeOn 4870 1GB GDDR5 Graphics Card - $155

    Total Cost: $615 plus s/h @ newegg

    Simply using my existing motherboard and memory and only upgrading the cpu and video card, I can save nearly $300. I'm guessing the performance difference between the two setups would be negligible overall. The main edge of the 955BE would be more L3 cache and a 400MHz faster clock, unless I OC'd the 9950BE to match the clock of the 955BE @ 3.2GHz.

    One drawback of the cheap upgrade path is the M2N-E being tapped out with no further upgrade path going for it later down the road. The question is, how much time could this cheaper upgrade buy me before the system is obsolete? Any thoughts?

    -- MaSoP
  9. in games maybe not so much difference, the gpu would be better to upgrade, though even at the same clock speed the Phenom II would win out (better Instructions per clock)

    Phenom II X4 955 and ASUS M4A79T Deluxe Combo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.212581
    combo $320
    or
    Phenom II X4 945 and ASUS M4A78T-E
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.212581
    $240 Combo
  10. the first combo brings option 2 down to $550
    the second combo brings option 2 down to $470
  11. mindless728 said:
    in games maybe not so much difference, the gpu would be better to upgrade, though even at the same clock speed the Phenom II would win out (better Instructions per clock)

    Phenom II X4 955 and ASUS M4A79T Deluxe Combo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.212581
    combo $320
    or
    Phenom II X4 945 and ASUS M4A78T-E
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.212581
    $240 Combo


    I didn't see the combo deal on the 955 and m4a79t. That's a great deal. Regarding the 4870 1gb graphics card, that is the model I've pretty much settled on to buy sometime in august. I am also considering the 4890 1gb instead, but am unsure if it is worth the extra $40 to go from the 4870 @ 750/900 to the 4890 @ 850/975. Keep in mind though that I will be upgrading from an x1950 pro pcie 256mb dx9 graphics card to one of those dx10 models, so the difference in performance should be pretty signifigant either way. :-)

    -- MaSoP
  12. Is this the G.SKILL 1.5-1.6v DDR3-1600 memory that Mindless recommended? here,

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231273


    I'll probably stick with running XP Pro SP3 for another 6-12 months until I'm convinced that Windows 7 is what its supposed to be.


    Can anyone recommend some other comparable ram in the $100-$150 range?
  13. Here is some DDR3-1600 CL7 RAM on the QVL (Qualified Vendor List) for that ASUS M4A79T Deluxe motherboard.It seems to have gone up in price but still below $100
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146871
  14. Thanks for the recommendation. Would you run that same memory with the GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P DDR3 790FX board? I've been thinking about the M4A79T board, but it seems like people have been having some BIOS issues with it since it's release?

    This is the GIGABYTE board...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128377
  15. For the GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P DDR3 790FX board I would check the Qualified Vendors List (QVL) but this memory is on the QVL for that board.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231193
    The M4A79T Deluxe has had some recent bios updates and now has support for the faster 3.4 Ghz Phenom II X4 965 which should be available very soon.
  16. Thanks for the update on the BIOS issue with the boards.

    So you'd run your recommendation over the other G.SKILL memory? I'll be running XP Pro SP3 for another 6-12 months. Would trip channel be better than running 4GB's and not utilizing 1MB of it in dual channel? I've heard that AMD does not support triple channel at this time.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231273

    Will the 965 come with a hefty price tag? The 955 is $200 right now.
  17. Usually I've noticed when AMD releases their high end (if you can call it that) quad core BE CPU's that they generally run at about the price of $235 or so at newegg when they are first introduced.I didn't take the time to check out other QVL memory for the GIGABYTE GA-MA790FXT-UD5P DDR3 790FX board so you might want to look at it further.I got the 955 BE for about the price of $130 in a combo deal with a motherboard last month over at newegg.
  18. I thought I read somewhere that the phenom II's prefer 1.5v ram? Yet both newegg and tiger direct only have a few choices of ram that actually have the 1.5v rating.
  19. I have run the M4A79T deluxe on both Kingston hyperx 1600 CL9 and Kingston hyperx 1333 CL7. Both those DDR3 memory kits use 1.7 volt memory. The 1600 kit memory is from 1.7 to 1.9 volt memory. Where ever you heard that this board needs/likes 1.5 volt memory is dead wrong! Be careful with DDR3 memory kits if the manufacturer does not test the sticks and guarantee they will work in dual channel mode. Some of the mfg out there don't do this. When I've sent memory back to Kingston where 1 stick was getting errors I sent both sticks back because they test their pairs to insure they work together in dual channel mode. I tried the new OCZ CL 7 1600 12800 memory for AMD and had to send it back for a refund - to many errors running memtest86.
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