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What is the difference between PC3 10600, 10660, 10666

Last response: in Memory
May 17, 2011 10:10:46 PM

I am looking at a Asus P8P67 Pro Motherboard and a Intel i7 2600K processor.

I need to choose RAM but don't know the difference between PC3 10600, PC3 10660, and PC3 10666. They are all DDR3. Can someone tell me what type of RAM to choose for my motherboard and processor?

Best solution

a b } Memory
a c 107 V Motherboard
May 18, 2011 1:27:09 AM

Different manufacturers label their DDR3 1333MHz RAM with different theoretical maximum bandwidth numbers. 10600/10660/10666 all mean the same 1333MHz speed, so it doesn't matter which kind you get.

1600MHz is Sandy Bridge's sweet spot anyway. I recommend 1600 (12800) CL9 1.5v RAM kits like Corsair Vengeance or G.Skill Ripjaws X.
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a b } Memory
a c 107 V Motherboard
May 25, 2011 4:18:58 PM

It only officially supports those speeds. However, P67/Z68 boards also offer 1600, 1866, and 2133 RAM speeds in the BIOS. Those settings work just fine, as long as the RAM itself will run at the selected speed.
May 30, 2011 11:18:51 AM

So if I change the settings in the BIOS, then the RAM will run at higher speeds and will still be compatible with the CPU?
a b } Memory
a c 107 V Motherboard
May 31, 2011 1:51:53 AM

If you buy 1600 or 1866 or 2133 RAM, you can change the BIOS settings to run it at full speed, yes. It is still compatible with the CPU at those speeds. I know this because I run 1600 memory at its full speed in my Sandy Bridge system.

If you mean taking 1600 RAM and trying to run it at 1866, it might work but it's not guaranteed.
a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
May 31, 2011 2:17:27 AM

^ +10K
I prefer the 1600 DDR3, not so much for performance as it is only a couple of percent higher. I prefer it because I can run in synchronous mode. There is very little cost difference anyways. As to CL9, again Leaps-from-Shadows is correct that CL9 is very close to CL7 in performance. I use CL7 – but that is me.

Setting up the timings should be a piece of cake. Just go into Bios and select XMP (probably profile 1). Bios will read what is stored on the RAM chips and set everything accordingly. On older systems this was kind of hit or miss, but newer systems seem to have made it more bullet proof.
June 6, 2011 11:04:55 PM

First, I would like to thank you all for your replies.

Would it be safer to run 1333 or 1600?
a b } Memory
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 7, 2011 1:33:49 AM

Safer? Neither one. You'll get five or more years out of the CPU even if you run 2133 RAM.

Just buy whichever one is cheapest at the time of purchase. As long as you get a good quality brand, you'll be fine with either speed.
June 8, 2011 12:33:05 PM

Best answer selected by Jliou.
June 8, 2011 12:34:44 PM

Can you give me some good RAM brands or products? I am looking for 8GB of RAM
a b } Memory
a c 107 V Motherboard
June 9, 2011 2:27:33 AM

I recommend Corsair Vengeance and G.Skill Ripjaws X for Sandy Bridge systems. 1600 seems to be the price/performance sweet spot right now.