I am in the middle of building a gaming PC, but I just found out that the i7 2600 does not support memory speeds more than 1333MHz, and the memory I ordered is 1600MHz (4 x 2GB http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B002LE8D2U/ref=oss_p...). Does this mean it can't take advantage of the extra memory speed? I don't really want to send the memory back because that's more hassle and I want to get on with the build, so is it possible and easy to overclock it somehow to get the proper speed? And how much would this affect the lifetime of the components and the manufacturer's warranty?
All of the i7s seem not to be able to use 1600MHz memory, so I'm hoping I'm wrong and I can actually use the 1600MHz
And another question, would you got better performance with 4 x 2GB or 2 x 4GB of memory?
Because the memory controller is located on the processor, it will set the speed at which the memory can run at. On the Intel® Core™ I7 2600 the maximum speed at which the memory can run at is 1333 without overclocking. Check here to see the memory speed http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=52213. So no you will get no extra performance out of the 1600 speed memory on any of these processors without overclocking.
Yes, it is technically overclocking when running memory faster than 1333 on a Sandy Bridge system. However, it is extremely easy to do and won't harm the system. As long as you buy a P67 board, it will have memory dividers for 1600, 1866, and 2133 memory as well as the standard 1333 speed. An H67 board will not have the dividers for the higher speeds -- only 1333.
You should use 2x4GB for 8GB total. There really isn't a difference in performance, but this way you have two empty slots in case you want to upgrade later.
I have 2x4GB 1333MHz Memory and 4x2GB 1600MHz memory now. If I were to overclock with the latter, would it void the warranty? what exactly am I overclocking, the CPU or the memory itself? I have a p67 chipset.