Memory Speed Compatability

Ok question because I'm getting conficting info from what I've read already.

I'm looking to by a new
CPU (either Phenom II x4 965 Black or Intel i5 2500k)
Mobo (not sure yet)
Memory (already bought g.skill ripjaws series x 1600 speed)

I know what your thinking, why did you get the ram first, well it was a deal. Bought it brand new for $50 on Craigslist. That said, I need to find a compatable memory board.

Now I keep see things on the mobo specs like: 1333, 1600(OC), 1865(OC)

I don't plan on doing a lot of OCing, but the option would be nice. For this example, does it mean I have to run in normal at 1333 and OC to 1600? Basically I'm saying if I want to run normal at 1600, do I have to find a mobo with specs that include 1600 (no OC)? What's my options here. I don't want to screw around in the BIOs too much because I'm still a new to comps. Please let me know.
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  1. Best answer
    1600 is technically an overclock. The memory controller (it's part of your CPU) is only rated to 1333. This is true of all CPUs available currently.

    1333 would be "normal" even though your RAM is rated to run faster. You will have no problem running it at 1333 as long as your motherboard supports this speed. Most BIOS will default to this speed.

    It's very likely that you will be able to go into BIOS and change a single setting to get your RAM running at 1600. This not guaranteed, however. :)
  2. Perfect. That makes much more sense now. I didn't know 1333 is the norm. Like I said I won't OC much, but at least I'm future proofed for a norm of 1600.

    So I should just make sure when looking for a mobo it says 1333? That sounds easy enough.
  3. Yeah, it's easy. Most motherboards will support 1066, 1333, and 1600 (OC) and maybe some others. If you want to be really thorough, when you decide on a motherboard, visit the website for that motherboard and check the memory QVL or compatible memory list (this is a file you can download... sometimes part of the motherboard manual) and make sure your RAM is on it. It's just a list of RAM that's been tested with that motherboard. Your RAM is pretty popular RAM so I expect it's on most of them.
  4. Best answer selected by Hidegski.
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