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Does the motherboard determine the memory speed for core i processors

Last response: in CPUs
July 13, 2011 4:28:01 PM

Am kinda a newbie at all this .... am trying to build a new rig using the core i-5 2500k 3.3ghz processor which has support for DDR3-1066/1333 ram speed type!! am using a gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 motherboard that has support for DDR3 2133/1866/1600/1333/1066 MHz memory modules.
with this in mind..... my question is.... what RAM speed type should i purchase.... will a 1866 ram speed module work on this motherboard as default since its supported or will the processor determine the speed and down clock it to 1333 mhz !!!
a c 102 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
July 13, 2011 5:02:43 PM

Yes supported memory speeds depends on the motherboard not the CPU so you can get any of the speeds your board supports. You may have to set the speed manually in the bios.
a c 188 à CPUs
a c 75 V Motherboard
July 13, 2011 5:08:16 PM

The memory controller is now located on the processors. This means that processor will work with memories at that speed. So while you can put 1600, 1866, and 2133 the board and may see a very small performance increase the processor will slow the memory down to run at it supported speeds. If I remember right, here on Tom's they did a bunch of testing and found that there might be a small increase of performance with DDR 3 1600 but even higher rated memory didnt perform as weell at the DDR 3 1333. Since the DDR 3 1600 is running the same (or close to it) at he DDR 3 1333 go with that as long as it stays under 1.5v.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
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a b à CPUs
a c 107 V Motherboard
July 13, 2011 5:51:28 PM

If the BIOS is set at 1600, 1866, or 2133, it will run at those speeds. The performance increase is small, but noticeable depending on what application is running.

When you first install the 1866 RAM, it will run at 1333. You just need to change the speed in the BIOS to XMP or the correct speed.

Right now, the price/performance sweet spot is 1600 RAM.
a c 188 à CPUs
a c 75 V Motherboard
July 13, 2011 8:00:50 PM

Thanks Simon and Leaps the information was informative and I will update my message on this.

One of the thing I love the most about this job is that I am always learning.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team
July 14, 2011 9:45:23 AM

thanks guys..helpful