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(Auto) Downclocked RAM = Lower timing?

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May 6, 2011 5:49:09 PM

Hi there!

The situation is something like this - I'm building a high performance machine, but I'm not going to OC it just yet, because I need it to last as long as it can.

If I'm not going to OC, common sense dictates that I stick with 1333MHz - the max. supported by Intel and AMD at the moment.

Any RAM > 1333MHz will be automatically downclocked to 1333MHz by the mobo, AFAIK. And therein lies my question - when the memory clocked at, say, 1600MHz with a CL9 and is downclocked to 1333MHz, will it's timing be lowered too, to say CL8 or 7? If yes, then which is it, CL7 or 8? And if that's the case, can I go in for a RAM clocked at 1866MHz or 2000MHz and then let it get downclocked to 1333MHz with lower timings? A CL6, perhaps? :D 

"But then why not pick a RAM @ 1333MHz rated at CL7?", you ask.
Two issues with that I'm afraid.

1. Availability - I don't live in the States, so I don't have access to the wonder that is Newegg and the variety that it containeth. I'm considering the G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600MHz CL8, BTW, which as it happens, can be found where I live.

2. In the event that OC'eing tickles my fancy somewhere down the line, I don't want to have to OC the RAM itself, because as I understand it, that reduces it's lifespan.

Merci beaucoup for your time, flamingos. Sorry... amingos? Er, amigos? Yeah, that's it - amigos.

Cheerio. ;) 
a b } Memory
May 6, 2011 11:46:42 PM

hmdhruvarora said:
Hi there!

The situation is something like this - I'm building a high performance machine, but I'm not going to OC it just yet, because I need it to last as long as it can.

If I'm not going to OC, common sense dictates that I stick with 1333MHz - the max. supported by Intel and AMD at the moment.

Any RAM > 1333MHz will be automatically downclocked to 1333MHz by the mobo, AFAIK. And therein lies my question - when the memory clocked at, say, 1600MHz with a CL9 and is downclocked to 1333MHz, will it's timing be lowered too, to say CL8 or 7? If yes, then which is it, CL7 or 8? And if that's the case, can I go in for a RAM clocked at 1866MHz or 2000MHz and then let it get downclocked to 1333MHz with lower timings? A CL6, perhaps? :D 

"But then why not pick a RAM @ 1333MHz rated at CL7?", you ask.
Two issues with that I'm afraid.

1. Availability - I don't live in the States, so I don't have access to the wonder that is Newegg and the variety that it containeth. I'm considering the G.Skill Ripjaws X 1600MHz CL8, BTW, which as it happens, can be found where I live.

2. In the event that OC'eing tickles my fancy somewhere down the line, I don't want to have to OC the RAM itself, because as I understand it, that reduces it's lifespan.
the assumptions you are making are normal to those new to RAM OCing.
1) OCing RAM does not shorten it life if done withing mfg. voltage specs and is kept cool.
2) I can tell you that RAM is good, but not if it is right for your board in that you do not specify.
3) Usually when RAM is OCed the voltage must be raised and the timings will get looser. But that is not at all a definite. That is why we play with timings so much. :) 
4) Downclocked RAM can be good. Many reasons: you gain very little with the OCing - 1-2%. And, if you lower the voltage you save a little electricity. (Not much, but I believe; why run a motor at 2000RPM while sitting at the light)
I intentionally run my RAM downclocked and down-volted until a task is at hand then set it to auto. Really, you gain very little OCing RAM.
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May 7, 2011 4:38:48 PM

Hey there.
Thanks for the speedy response. :) 

I get your point about OC'eing the RAM. But could you please help me with this bit - does underclocking a RAM rated at a higher frequency mean better (tighter) timings at the lower frequency?

I'm not concerned about by electricity bill, just want the best performance I can squeeze out of this machine without actually OC'eing the RAM or processor. As I understand it, that means buying a RAM with tighter timings.

As I explained, there is an availability issue, and the tightest timings on a RAM that can be found in the vicinity of my residence are CL8 @ 1600MHz (the same as the link that I posted).

Some high clocked RAM's (2000MHz) are available though, so I was wondering if they could be underclocked to 1333MHz and run at tighter timings (like CL6) instead. Can they? :??: 

Of course, they would be useful later on if I wanted to OC the CPU, but that's not really a priority - at best, it'll be a pleasant side effect. The question is, is it worth shelling out the $$$ for 'em?

The board is likely to be either based on the upcoming Z68 chipset or the AM3+ (Bulldozer) socket, depending on the performance of Bulldozer w.r.t. Sandy Bridge - which is why I neglected to mention it.

Thanks again. ;) 
Cheerio.
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a b } Memory
May 7, 2011 6:35:41 PM

hmdhruvarora said:
Hey there.
Thanks for the speedy response. :) 

1983225,3,709804 said:
I get your point about OC'eing the RAM. But could you please help me with this bit - does underclocking a RAM rated at a higher frequency mean better (tighter) timings at the lower frequency
said:
Generally, yes. I would tighten the timings on downclocked RAM - if it really mattered to me that much, which it does not - if I wanted to gain that 2%.
hmdhruvarora said:
Some high clocked RAM's (2000MHz) are available though, so I was wondering if they could be underclocked to 1333MHz and run at tighter timings (like CL6) instead. Can they? :??: 
Yes.
hmdhruvarora said:
Of course, they would be useful later on if I wanted to OC the CPU, but that's not really a priority - at best, it'll be a pleasant side effect. The question is, is it worth shelling out the $$$ for 'em?
Not to me or most of my peers due to the small performance gain.
hmdhruvarora said:
The board is likely to be either based on the upcoming Z68 chipset or the AM3+ (Bulldozer) socket, depending on the performance of Bulldozer w.r.t. Sandy Bridge - which is why I neglected to mention it.
The general consensus is that BD will not beat SB's performance ratio.
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May 10, 2011 6:51:59 PM

Best answer selected by hmdhruvarora.
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