I have a budget build that I'll list below. I use my FSB to overclock, so my RAM gets pushed up out of it's league. What I do is manually set the ram down a level. For example, my G.Skill 1600mhz RAM is running at 1466mhz because I had to set it down a full notch to OC.
I'm going to upgrade to 8gb, so my question is this... Can I buy faster RAM that my motherboard can't normally support, since I'll be bringing it down a step? For instance, my MB says it supports 1800/1600 speed. (1800 oc) So If I buy 1800 RAM or even higher, and bring it down a step it will be faster than my current 1466mhz. But I'm not sure if my motherboard will let me.
I'm sorry if this is confusing, but I know most of you guys deal with stuff more complicated with this so I'm thinking you have an easy answer hehe
To be even more specific, would something like this (1866) work in my MB. Assuming I knock it down a notch.
ASRock 870 Extreme 3
AMD 445 Rana (unlocked 4th core oc'd @ 3.4ghz)
G.Skill 2x2gb 1600mhz (running at 1466 with 8 timings)
Windows 7 64-bit
The MOBO by default will downclock the 1866 Mhz RAM to 1333, you'll only be able to raise it up to 1600 via the Memory Divider (IF AVAILABLE), only the AMD FX CPUs have a native support for DDR3 1866.
Technically there's no difference between 1600 & 1866 MHz, you'll notice the difference only if you run a benchmark such as 3D Mark, you'll just get a punch of numbers more but there's no impact on the real world performance.
Oh believe me, I'm with you on the RAM speed not making much of a difference 99% of the time. I remember looking at some benchmarks on this very site where they tested RAM in Crisis 2, and Skyrim etc... The ultra fast best of the best RAM did improve FPS in gaming.
It was like a 5 or 6 FPS difference from really high speed RAM to average RAM. So in essence, unless you have money to blow on the best RAM on the market, there is no real difference in the average user's eye. From what I've researched, you are much better off upgrading the speed of every other component in your computer before the RAM speed.
RAM size is still important though. It seems 8GB is becoming the new 4GB. *sniff* At least it's only $35 for 8gb of G.skill. Good enough for me!