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Question regarding OC'ing two different RAM types

Last response: in Overclocking
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July 8, 2011 10:20:08 PM

I want to OC my e7500 but before i do anything i was wondering if my RAM ( 2GB CORSAIR XMS2 2 x 1GB DDR2 800 & 1 GB CORSAIR XMS2 2 x 512MB DDR2 667) will OC with it.

Ive heard some people say just take out the worse of the pair and OC the ram instead of keeping both sets at the slower speed but i really have no idea. Will i see a performance boost with 2gb ddr2 800 OC'ed or will it not make a big difference?

THANKS!

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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
July 8, 2011 11:37:46 PM

I'll try to clear up the confusion for you. In general, OC simply means to run the device (CPU, RAM, GPU) at higher than factory-set clock cycles. Whether or not these increased clock cycles actually produce better performance is relative to:

1. Workload of the computer (gaming, rendering, office work, etc)
2. The quality of the affected parts (RAM, CPU, GPU, Mobo, etc)

Mixing RAM, whether it be to OC or not, is never a good idea. When you mix RAM of differing specs, you have to use the worst values of the combined sticks. That is, the highest voltage; the loosest timings; and the lower frequency. The problem is most apparent when one stick cannot comprimise. That said, with overclocking in mind, you'll have to manually configure your RAM to the specified values on the packaging, or on the stickers on the side of each module. These values are typically what the manufacturer has determined is best. Now, back to the mixing problem. How do you manually configure your BIOS DRAM settings to two different specs? You can't, and that is why you, more often than not, have to set the better stick(s) to the specs of the worser stick(s).

While the actual configuration may not seem like an issue, the problems aren't usually apparent until you try using the computer. Mixing RAM can often lead to BSODs, freezing, or generally poor performance. So, the advice of using the better pair of RAM is indeed good advice.
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