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If my CPU only supports DDR3 1333 mhz RAM can I put in DDR3 1600 MHz?

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January 26, 2011 3:32:57 AM

I'm building a new rig in a couple of months and just learnt that the AMD Athlon 2 X4 645 only supports DDR3 RAM upto 1333 mhz ..what would happen if I installed 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM ? in particular G-Skill RipJaw DDR3 1600 MHz 4GB dual ch kit ..it costs around 50% I think ..
a b } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 3:40:50 AM

The RAM would down-clock automatically to DDR3-1333 speed and it would run fine.
January 26, 2011 4:00:24 AM

hmm ..okay ..
do you by any chance know any sub 150$ CPUs from AMD which support 2000 MHz DDR3 RAM ..quad cores ..
and are these RAM sticks any good ..I mean its really cheap for performance RAM ..?
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January 26, 2011 4:03:08 AM

Ohh ..and uh ..its 50$ not 50% ..sorry :D 
a b } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 4:05:04 AM

You might be able to overclock the RAM to that speed depending on the CPU and mainboard, but none of them officially support memory that fast.

And yes, G.Skill is good quality RAM. That's the kind I ordered for my new build, which I should be able to start putting together on Friday.
January 26, 2011 5:28:11 AM

I know G-Skill is probably the best ..but what bout this particular RAM ?? ..I mean its just so damn cheap ..I had a lot of my friends saying "omg that's dirt cheap ..from whered you get that price??" ..so I was wondering if its good quality .. :/ 
January 26, 2011 5:32:56 AM

so if I oc the RAM to maybe 1800 MHz ..will my performance improve as compared to the 1333 MHz that you said the RAM would under clock to ..with the same CPU (which only supports 1333)??
a b } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 1:31:51 PM

No. Ram speed differences will show up in benchmarking software.
I see so many people asking this same thing anymore, it must the number 1 question on forums. Truth be told, this is more of a marketing ploy by memory manufacturers to get people to spend more money than it is for performance.
In real life use though, you will never be able to tell the difference between 1333, 1600, or 1800 or even 2000 mhz memory with most anything you do.
The reason is because at the speed of 1333 (which is what your processor communicates with the memory by default) memory is not really a bottleneck. Increasing the bandwidth for something that is not slowing you down any in the first place is kind of pointless. If you want to increase your performance, you are better off spending money on bottleneck areas. Like your hard drive, or simply buy a faster processor, or bump up to the next higher video card. These things will net far better returns in performance than buying faster "rated" memory.
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 2:18:19 PM

^It depends on the MOBO and CPU, and yes some CPUs will not benefit or use the faster RAM, and yes faster frequency RAM can be run at lower speeds. Oddly for example, the SB CPUs seem to in some cases actually perform worst with the 1866 or 2133 MHz speeds, and there's almost zero gain with >1333 MHz frequencies, so spending 400% more on some RAM is crazy. Conversely, X58 seems to perform better with higher frequencies less than 2200 MHz with low & tight CAS with 2~8 FPS gains; in the X58 1600 MHz CAS 8-8-8 is the better choice. AMD seems to share the X58's affinity towards higher frequencies to a point and only the 6-cores benefit or in many cases use RAM >1600 MHz.

In the OP's situation find the best 1333 MHz with the lowest 'tight' CAS {tight 8-8-8 or 7-7-7 vs loose 7-8-7}; otherwise get more RAM with a higher CAS, but don't exceed CAS 9 1333 MHz. Clearly, the Athlon II X4 645 can run 1600 MHz RAM.

However, if I had to choose between spending >$50 then it would go towards a better GPU {improved FPS} or SSD {overall performance}.
January 26, 2011 2:28:11 PM

I'm aware that the actual difference will be close to negligible but I still want to know ..if CPUs memory controllers only support 1333 MHz RAM ..what's the point of getting 1600 or 2000 MHz RAM??
January 26, 2011 2:30:31 PM

and 4 GB of this 1600mhz RAM is 50$ totally ..
January 26, 2011 2:37:01 PM

and 4 GB of this 1600mhz RAM is 50$ totally ..
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 3:06:51 PM

The i7 9XX 'supports' 1066 MHz, yet I'm running 2000 MHz Dominator GT...and I'm gaining 4~8+ FPS over 1600 MHz CAS 9. http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=47932

It's all about budget and priorities.

As I stated, "However, if I had to choose between spending >$50 then it would go towards a better GPU {improved FPS} or SSD {overall performance}."
January 26, 2011 3:58:36 PM

hmm ..okay ..
so even if the CPU doesn't support 1600 MHz (like here ..it supports 1333 MHz) 1600mhz RAM would still offer slightly improved performance??
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 4:24:15 PM

In a word 'BALANCE' is where it ALL at, I am an extreme builder with the intension of >squeezing< every ounce of performance I can get. Most people are not and have very tight budgets.

1600 MHz means nothing and can be slower if it has cheap IC's: 1600 8-8-8 vs 1333 7-7-7 will probably be the same, 1600 9-9-9 vs 1333 7-7-7 the 1333 faster, 1600 8-8-8 vs 1333 8-8-8 the 1600 faster in a 'good' quality IC.

Further, if you are using a low to medium end GPU and are not OC'ing the CPU then stick with the 'more' RAM vs unbalanced faster RAM.

My best suggestion is to look for Certified {QVL} listed or Tested per RAM Mfg listed RAM for the best possible results. Most of the time I look at the RAM Mfg's 'Configuration' tool and select from there so I know the RAM is 100% compatible.
January 26, 2011 4:56:01 PM

I'm getting a Radeon HD 6950 2GB ..and an Athlon II X4 645 ..
January 26, 2011 5:00:03 PM

any sub 50-60$ recommendations for DDR3 RAM at 1333 MHz ..??
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 26, 2011 5:05:29 PM

What MOBO??
January 28, 2011 4:59:23 AM

gigabyte ga880gm USB 3
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 28, 2011 12:46:25 PM
January 28, 2011 1:48:05 PM

thanks .. :) 
know any from G-Skill ..feel theyre a better brand ..
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2011 2:39:32 PM

^As long as it supports your AMD 880G chipset...I assume you checked!

My Dad was hospitalized with CHF so I was away; he's okay now.
January 30, 2011 2:48:55 PM

oh my god !! ..sorry :(  ..hope he's fine ..
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2011 3:59:42 PM

Thanks - Yes he's okay - he's had 2 heart attacks and 2 stokes, and has a pacemaker with a defibulator. He's the picture child for NOT SMOKING!

I like G.SKILL's but their website lacks info on your MOBO which is the ONLY reason I did't list them. Therefore, use the GA's QVL list and or verify chipset support.

QVL - http://download.gigabyte.us/FileList/Memory/mb_memory_g...
$47 2X2GB 1333 MHz 8-8-8-21 @ 1.5v F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Info -> http://gskill.com/products.php?index=95
M/B Chipset
Intel P55
lntel H55
Intel X48
Intel P45
Intel X38
Intel P35
nVidia n7xx I (For Intel series)
AMD 890 Series
AMD 790 Series
AMD 785 Series
AMD 770 Series
January 30, 2011 6:36:57 PM

okay
hmm ..I did some further checking up and decided on a new mobo ..gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3516#sp ..the GA890GPA-UD3H ..I've chosen this one cause it supports CrossFire ..the NB here is the 890 from AMD ..which is listed in that G-Skill support thingie ya mentioned ..ill look into it ..
thanks for ya time :)  :) 
a c 347 } Memory
a b à CPUs
January 30, 2011 6:54:33 PM

As long as the Chipset is listed, eg AMD 890, then you'll be fine. According to the QVL the G.SKILL F3-10666CL8D-4GBHK is also listed.

Good Luck! :) 
!