I recently bought a computer with corsair 1600 9-9-9-24 2gbx2 ram and tried to go from the stock 800mhz with 7-7-7-2x latency to the advertised specs, but it went really wrong and I had to have the computer fixed. I would not like to go through that again, but I am concerned with how much of a difference I'm going to see between the two specs. Is it going to bottleneck my phenom ii x4 955 be cpu and radeon hd 5850 gpu if I keep it at the stock specs?
I can't afford to replace anything right now if I happen to screw something up again, but I'm curious what I'm missing out on.
Well, the computer wasn't likely fixed - just the CMOS was cleared and BIOS set to defaults again. You can't break a computer with settings unless you fry something with voltage increases - generally... You can easily lock it up in a way that requires clearing the CMOS.
The answer is no, you aren't going to see a big difference. But you should get the system using the RAM efficiently. This may be running it at 1600 or maybe it'll run better at 1333.
What you likely did before involves a confusion about how DDR memory works. 1600 DDR3 will show as 800MHz because the speed is doubled. That's the D in DDR or Doubled Data Rate. So the correct "stock" settings for your RAM were likely shown as 800 @ 9-9-9-24. This was 1600 speed.
If your RAM is being set up automatically properly by the BIOS, it should show on Boot as being 1600 RAM. If it's not, here are the normal steps to fix it. And it might show as 1333 or 1066, never seen one come up as 800.
First step is to look in the BIOS. Note all the Auto settings and these in particular. DRAM voltage, RAM Speed or MHz and DRAM Latency or timing.
Look up the exact specs for your RAM. It should include the voltage requirements. For your CPU, this RAM voltage may range as high as 1.9V, but hopefully it's 1.65V or so. Might put a link to your RAM so we know what model you have. (Corsair sells at least 5 models of 1600 RAM)
So, set the voltage properly first. If the RAM still comes up as less than 1600, then set the speed manually in the BIOS. This should get it booting at 1600 with the stock (SPD) settings. Remember, if your settings here say 400, 533, 667 and 800, you use those numbers - ie, 533 = 1066, etc... When you change from Auto to Manual, it should prompt you with a number to use as a guide.
Use a easy program like CPUz from www.cpuid.com to review your settings. As mentioned above, you may find that you will want to set it at 1333 and gain from changing the timings at that speed later.
Let us know how it goes. Nothing mentioned above should ever lock up the motherboard or stop it from booting.