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Is Core i7 Incompatible With Performance DDR3 Memory?

Last response: in Memory
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November 29, 2009 2:36:52 PM

Looking for new memory someone mentioned this article on another forum:
http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Nehalem-Performance-Me...

"Performance DDR3 memory that requires a voltage higher than 1.65V may permanently damage Core i7 CPUs.
5:40 AM - October 6, 2008 by Steve Seguin
Credit: www.xfastest.com
It looks like Intel’s upcoming Core i7 platform will have tight limits on the maximum DIMM voltages that can be safely used. According to information uncovered at the Inquirer, motherboard manufactures have been told by Intel that DDR3 memory when set to use voltages higher than 1.65V can burn out the CPU of upcoming Core i7 platforms.

Images of an unreleased Asus X58 motherboard in its apparent retail packaging show a sticker placed across the DIMM slots stating “According to Intel CPU SPEC, DIMMs with voltage setting over 1.65V may damage the CPU permanently. We recommend you install the DIMMs with the voltage setting below 1.65V.” According to the Inquirer, Asus had said it is safely running memory kits at 1.7V in its labs, but beyond that voltage you are on your own.

When Tom’s Hardware contacted Intel on the matter, Intel told us that it could not comment since details regarding Core i7 platform overclocking have not yet been made public. Intel did say however that it feels that knowledgeable overclockers will be pleased; a statement that agrees with early reviews of the Core i7 platform.

What we do know about Intel’s upcoming Core i7 platform is that it does not use a Front-Side Bus, making CPU overclocking essentially independent of the RAM. According to Fudzilla however, CPU and memory voltages on the Core i7 platform are synchronous, creating a potential limit for extreme overclocking if the CPU can only handle 1.65V safely.

What this also means is that consumers wishing to use current generation performance DDR3 memory with a Core i7 system may be in for a disappointment. Much of the performance memory currently available use a voltage greater than 1.7V, such as Patriot’s Viper 4GB 2000 MHz DDR3 memory that operates at 2.0V. It is expected that memory manufactures will release DDR3 memory kits designed for the Core i7 platform with some manufactures already announcing such plans. For example, A-Data’s recently announced a tri-channel DDR3 memory kit that operates between 1.65V to 1.75V and offers a latency setting of 7-7-7-20 2T for DDR3-1333+.

Unlike Intel’s Core 2 platform, the Core i7 platform uses triple channel memory, meaning memory kits designed for the Core i7 platform will come with three memory sticks instead of two. This fact alone might help prevent consumers from accidentally buying memory kits incompatible with Core i7 systems. Intel is expected to release the Core i7 platform in November for the upper mainstream, performance and enthusiastic markets."



Well I just got myself an i7 860 and Biostar T5XE CFX-SLI combo from Fry's yesterday. And looking through the approved memory list for this board here: http://www.biostar-usa.com/app/en%2Dus/t-series/memory_... , For the OCZ 2gb modules they have listed, they are 1.8v and 1.9v respectively.

http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr3_p...

http://www.ocztechnology.com/products/memory/ocz_ddr3_p...

What's the deal?
a b } Memory
November 29, 2009 11:41:16 PM

I'm glad you asked, apparently you're aware that biostar calls us to determine their technical specifications. Isn't that board an 1156 socket for the I5 as well, not a full featured 1366 board?
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a b } Memory
November 30, 2009 12:08:51 AM

Officially, 1.65V is the highest i5s and i7s can go. I would recommend sticking to that. I have seen though the manufacturer validations for higher voltages, but I would go with Intel as I hope they know their chip best.

This is not a huge deal however, as unless you OC, DDR3 1333 is the highest you will need (This Ram can do that and CL7 at only 1.5V http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

Or for OCing, here is 1600MHz Ram (and there are higher ones too i think, but I think higher is excessive, no real benefit except in certain apps and benchmarks): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 30, 2009 3:36:17 AM

roonj said:
I'm glad you asked, apparently you're aware that biostar calls us to determine their technical specifications. Isn't that board an 1156 socket for the I5 as well, not a full featured 1366 board?


Yes, the Biostar board is a P55 chipset and 1156 socket. Your saying that the articles info is based on the 1366 socket board? That article was written in 08'.

I have to ask, what do you mean that "Biostar calls us". Are you associated with OCZ ?
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November 30, 2009 3:39:36 AM

EXT64 said:
Officially, 1.65V is the highest i5s and i7s can go. I would recommend sticking to that. I have seen though the manufacturer validations for higher voltages, but I would go with Intel as I hope they know their chip best.

This is not a huge deal however, as unless you OC, DDR3 1333 is the highest you will need (This Ram can do that and CL7 at only 1.5V http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )

Or for OCing, here is 1600MHz Ram (and there are higher ones too i think, but I think higher is excessive, no real benefit except in certain apps and benchmarks): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...



EXT64, I did already order this memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Are you saying that it is only for Overclocking? I'm going to have to learn to set the setting for this in the BIOS. I am gaining some idea on how to do this in my searching but I'll have to see once I get into the Biostar's BIOS.

However, I really did not want to Overclock my system. Also I will be using the stock heatsink for starters. I'm wanting a workstation system that is as stable as possible. I'm more into using and learning applications than in tweaking the system. So maybe I should have not bought that memory? Or can I run it without overclocking the system?
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a b } Memory
November 30, 2009 11:13:57 AM

Nope, it is not only for overclocking. I bought that exact ram too and have no intention of Overclocking. However, you cannot get to 1600MHz without OCing. But, that ram will work just fine at lower speeds, you will just have to test them with memtest86 (4.0) to see if they are good. That should be excellent memory. I'm hoping for 1333MHz, 7-7-7-21, and between 1.5V and 1.6V for voltage.
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