Need a more expert opinion

I don't know if I'm posting in the right forum, but i would like some help deciding weather to increase my RAM or speed it up.

I'm running an Intel Core 2 Q9550 @ 2,8GHz on an MSI MS-7512 motherboard (P45 Platinum).

My RAM is 2x2GB chips of Corsair PC2-6400 (400MHz @ 5-5-5). Manual says it can take up to 16GB

I'm running the system on Windows 7 64-bit.

My question is weather to stick in there 4 more GB of the same RAM or if it would be a better upgrade to get 2x2GB running combined at 1200MHz RAM.

At this point i would like to point out that when i bought the parts to set up the PC myself, i had bought 1200MHz RAM but for some reason, even though both the retailer and the manual told me that my motherboard can take 1200MHz RAM, i had major issues with it, like getting blue screens even at, back then, Windows XP installation and therefore i had to go down to 400MHz (800MHz in DDR2). So in conjunction to my original question, i would also like to ask if there is something extra i need to do on my BIOS or something to set it up to work with 1200MHz RAM. When i say 1200MHz or 800MHz i mean the DDR2 speed not the speed of an individual chip.

I don't know what other info I should give so please let me know if i overlooked something, and thank you in advance for your help.
9 answers Last reply
More about need expert opinion
  1. first see if your mobo supports it

    cause though it may supports 8 gb you may get crashes!
  2. Ok after dinging deep for my boards paperwork, i found a couple of things. One is a P45 Platinum motherboard, though i have no idea if there's a difference, and looking at an online comparison with another MSI board, it seems to support 16GB or RAM but my initial speed was wrong. It's 1200MHz not 1600MHz, at DDR2 obviously. I will edit my initial post for clarification.
  3. Are you overclocking the CPU? I ask because just overclocking the memory will accomplish very little. Here's the problem: if your CPU is overclocked and your memory isn't, you will get a small performance boost because your CPU spends a lot of time running from the cache. If your memory is running faster, it will mostly spend the time saved waiting for the CPU.

    We discuss that here:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/251715-29-ratio-myth

    You will gain more performance running 1:1 and tightening your memory timing.
  4. No i don't plan on overclocking the CPU, at least not in the near future! So considering this, getting faster RAM won't give me much of a boost if I'm understanding this correctly?
  5. Yes. Running a couple of identical sticks in dual channel mode is easier and more practical than getting faster RAM.

    Also, I'm curious. You're saying that you have DDR2 RAM that runs at 1200 MHz? Is that the specification of the RAM module itself or is that the maximum that the motherboard says it can handle?
  6. Max the motherboard can handle, i found a comparison of the Platinum and Diamond motherboards and in the memory specs sections that's what it had written for the Platinum! Unless i understood something incorrectly.

    http://hothardware.com/Articles/MSI-P45-Platinum-and-Diamond-Motherboards/
  7. You should follow the specifications of the RAM module itself. It doesn't mean that if the motherboard can handle 1200 MHz, that your RAM sticks can handle 1200 MHz. If the RAM says 800 MHz, that's pretty much it. Like jsc said, it's better to try and tighten timings rather than pushing the RAM to run faster.
  8. To be honest, that's what my philosophy always was, i was just wandering if i could gain anything more by this! Cheers and thanks for the help guys, much appreciated ;)
  9. A total of 8 GB would be nice to have.If you can, try to match the new RAM that you will buy to the old RAM that you still have in the system.
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