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Memory Underclock question

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November 14, 2011 7:40:55 PM

Hi folks,

quick question on the risks/plausibility of 'underclocking' memory, or more specifically using memory of a higher spec than a motherboard officially supports.

I've just upgraded/re-built two 'new' systems and find I have more than enough spare parts left over to put together a more than competent back-up desktop system. My question/concern is I have a motherboard (GIGABYTE GA-P45T-ES3G {spec}) left over that only officially supports up to DDR3 1600 memory. My spare RAM is 4x2GB G-skill 2200.

I've used this RAM in another Gigabyte motherboard (X58A-UD5) that officially supported up to DDR3 2200. It only recognized it as 1066, however, and I had some trouble getting it to run anywhere close to 2200, eventually sticking at a stable/adequate 1600 after some tweaking and rigorous exercise of the CMOS reset button.

While I realize it's a gamble, I'm curious what opinions are on the likelihood of the GA-P45T above recognizing and being able to run the 2200 RAM at 1600? Am I correct in assuming the worst case is it won't POST/boot, and/or will produce irregular BSODs, or is it relatively like to be stable at the lower frequency? Any advice/experience is much appreciated. I won't get to test this till the weekend as the parts are 500 miles apart :sarcastic: 
a c 128 } Memory
a c 435 V Motherboard
November 14, 2011 7:55:53 PM

You should be ok running the 2200 at 1600; run memtest and check for errors.
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a b } Memory
a b V Motherboard
November 14, 2011 8:14:14 PM

It is fine to use memory under it's rated level. Most memory modules come right off of the same assembly line, and are then binned for specific useage depending on what the chips will tollerate. The better chips will go into high spec units, and the worse ones will go in low spec units, but technically it is all the same stuff inside. You can always run slower, it is the running faster that tends to cause problems.

I would look out for voltages. Some of the new ram is very low voltage, just make sure that it matches what your mobo will put out.

If the memory is not wanting to work at the spec that it is supposed to then I would go for an RMA as it may have other issues.
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November 15, 2011 12:22:20 PM

Okay - thanks for the information guys. I'll put this together on Friday and we'll see if I hit any problems.
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November 15, 2011 12:57:33 PM

Best answer selected by 9-Ball.
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