I am about to buy my motherboard for a new build and I have a quick question. I am looking at buying the ASRock 870 Extreme3 (I am really liking the features/price ratio on this board).
Anyway, I notice on these boards when they list compatible memory that the higher end RAM is listed as overclocked. For example: DDR3 1800(OC)/1600(OC)/1333/1066/800. What exactly does this mean? Are they simply stating that that RAM is overclocked RAM or do you have to do something special with the board to make this RAM work? I'm not interested in getting into overclocking of any type whatsoever. I just want to plug and go.
And I know this is the Mobo board, but is there really a justification in spending the extra money for 1600 or 1800 RAM right now?
It means that the board can run RAM at those speeds, the (OC) means you will have to overclock the RAM in the BIOS to get those speeds, and, of course, the RAM must be capable of those speeds. I like 1600MHz RAM because it gives me cost-effective flexibility in OCing the machine, and I don't think buying faster RAM is worth it - but others will disagree. The faster RAM will benchmark better than the slower RAM.
I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, bit I think the official memory speed of AMD CPUs never goes over 1333Mhz. I think that is why 1600Mhz and 1800Mhz are considered OC. Therefore, if you do no OC at all (not even just the memory), 1333/1066Mhz will be your memory speed even if you buy some that can go higher.
Same thing applies to Intel CPU BTW, i3/i5/i7 CPU has an official memory speed over 1333Mhz, LGA1366 CPUs official memory speed is even 1066Mhz.