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Motherboard and RAM compatibility

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May 1, 2011 5:17:20 AM

Hey there, I just bought components for a new desktop, they're currently on their way in the mail, and when I was double checking, I think I may have overlooked my Motherboard and Memory compatibility. The motherboard and memory are:

GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H AM3 AMD 890GX HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B
link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've read and heard from friends that, if they aren't compatible, overclocking anything, especially RAM, can be really dangerous, and it's generally recommended not to do it if you aren't extremely familiar with how to do it.

So, any thoughts on it? Are they compatible? Would anyone know how to go about overclocking if that's my only option, or should I send my RAM back and buy different memory?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

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a b } Memory
a c 104 V Motherboard
May 1, 2011 6:58:01 AM

At first glance, everything looks fine.

These are the specs for the board: Memory - 4 x 1.5V DDR3 DIMM sockets supporting up to 16 GB of system memory - Dual channel memory architecture - Support for DDR3 2000(OC)/1333/1066 MHz memory modules

These are the RAM specs: Capacity - 8GB (2 x 4GB) - Speed - DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
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May 1, 2011 5:40:09 PM

So, if I use DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM on a motherboard that supports DDR3 1866 (OC)/1333/ 1066, will my RAM be clocked down to 1333?

Also, after some more searching last night, I found another post pretty similar to mine:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280695-30-1600mhz-186...
This post suggests overclocking. I'm not sure if that's so that RAM will actually run or just so the RAM will run faster.

Also, I've checked both websites for compatibility with the other respective component, and neither are on either compatibility list. I know that this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't compatible, but it's something to point out in case someone asks later.
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a b } Memory
a c 104 V Motherboard
May 1, 2011 6:01:09 PM

diadem said:
So, if I use DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) RAM on a motherboard that supports DDR3 1866 (OC)/1333/ 1066, will my RAM be clocked down to 1333?

Also, after some more searching last night, I found another post pretty similar to mine:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/280695-30-1600mhz-186...
This post suggests overclocking. I'm not sure if that's so that RAM will actually run or just so the RAM will run faster.

Also, I've checked both websites for compatibility with the other respective component, and neither are on either compatibility list. I know that this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't compatible, but it's something to point out in case someone asks later.

I am not a fan of overclocking the RAM. Normally, when you OC the CPU, the process starts by setting the RAM multiplier to its LOWEST value, and then proceeding with the CPU OC. In doing so, the RAM frquency also increases. When you achieve the desired level of CPU OC, check the RAM frequency and if this value is near to the rated frequency, leave it alone. A slight RAM underclock is ok.

As to the second part, most motherboard manufacturers have an AVL (Approved Vendor List) for RAM compatibility.
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May 1, 2011 7:53:08 PM

Alright cool, so I guess my last question is: if I plan to do some high end gaming that requires a really solid computer (for example, Crysis 2 on Max settings), will I notice this slight underclock in my RAM?
I haven't decided if I'm going to overclock my CPU, which is an AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... mostly because I've actually never overclocked before.
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a b } Memory
a c 104 V Motherboard
May 1, 2011 8:20:42 PM

diadem said:
Alright cool, so I guess my last question is: if I plan to do some high end gaming that requires a really solid computer (for example, Crysis 2 on Max settings), will I notice this slight underclock in my RAM?
I haven't decided if I'm going to overclock my CPU, which is an AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz 4 x 512KB L2 Cache 6MB L3 Cache Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ955FBGMBOX link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... mostly because I've actually never overclocked before.

No, you will not notice any degradation in performance if the RAM is slightly underclocked. My Dominator 1600 RAM is underclocked as the result of my overclocking the CPU and the RAM is now running at 1452 MHz (instead of 1600 MHz).
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May 1, 2011 8:23:47 PM

Best answer selected by diadem.
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May 1, 2011 8:24:23 PM

Alright thanks for all your help!!
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a b } Memory
a c 104 V Motherboard
May 1, 2011 10:41:33 PM

Thank you!
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May 2, 2011 3:32:01 PM

Wait! I think this may be simpler than you think. From my understanding, setting your ram to the proper speed and timings can be done just by selecting the proper XMP profile in the BIOS. This is all I had to do to get my RAM running at the proper settings and my motherboard and RAM is similar enough to yours that I expect the same will apply.

TL;DR: That RAM should work fine, just select the XMP profile in the BIOS.
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May 2, 2011 3:34:51 PM

I just reread your OP and now I feel like an ass because there is no XMP with AMD systems :(  My advice would have been great if this was an intel rig. I'm sorry for the confusion I've caused; I was only trying to help.
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