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Do DDR3 RAM cards have to have a 1.5 Voltage Setting?

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January 6, 2013 10:36:51 PM

Hello Everyone,

I have a question about the voltage setting on DDR3 RAM cards. 
A few days ago I had another post in this room on how to best increase or improve on the cache for a SSD that would be the boot drive. Alas, that idea didn't go far except for a suggestion of buying RAM w a higher clock speed than I had slotted @ 1600MHz. That seemed like an easy task to find RAM cards w a 2133 clock speed. 

A very nice person brought to my attention that my ASUS P8Z77-V Pro MB was an Intel MB and apparently these Intel MBs require a voltage setting on no more than 1.5 volts. If I exceeded that voltage amount then over time it could lead to problems w the MB or RAM cards. As for the exact damage caused my having a 1.65 voltage setting that was not clear to me. So here I'm looking for advice so I make the best decision in this matter. 

Now I had originally planned on buying the blue colored Kingston HyperX Series DDR3 RAM cards. I have had only good experiences with the Kingston product line. But for whatever reason all the Kingston DDR3 RAM cards have a setting of 1.65.volts.

With the idea that I needed to track down the right 1.5 voltage setting. I diligently searched the main computer sites and Amazon in finding the 1.5 voltage setting on many RAM cards: however, when I started reviewing the Corsair Vengence and Dominator RAM cards the 1.5 voltage setting was stated in the product review that Corsair RAM cards came in three different voltage settings starting @ 1.5 volts. 
My search might have ended there except I have issue w most of the Corsair RAM cards w their "aggressive look" gleaned from enormous spiked heatsinks that rise far above the RAM cards. This style of RAM card doesn't appeal to me. 

Now I did find one type of Corsair RAM cards that r similar in appearance to the Kingston RAM cards. It is the Corsair Vengeance Blue 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 2133 MHz (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory on Amazon. 

So this one RAM series is my singular find for BLUE colored DDR3 RAM that I liked. As u might imagine, I feel so limited on my choices. Of course I could lower the clock speed to 1833(?). 

So in conclusion, I ask how important the setting of 1.5 volts on the DDR3 RAM cards destined for an Intel MB? 
If it is prudent that the RAM cards be @ 1.5 volts then perhaps someone could recommend a specific brand of RAM cards that r less showy and scary looking than most RAM brands, and the RAM cards need to blue to match my blue color fans and what not. I addition,  I want to have (4 x 4) cards that equal 16GB. 

Thank to anyone who took the time to read this somewhat verbose post to the end even if u don't have anything to offer up on my dilemma. 
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 342 V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 11:33:37 PM

No, you don't have to buy the 1.5V RAM. The RAM voltage of limitation will be +/- 1.5V. Most of us buy the 1.5V RAM because we want to safety and have the room for OC. That is true if you use high voltage that will damage memory controller also the CPU.

You can use the 1.65V RAM and you can go to BIOS the voltage to 1.5V and 1600MHz if you want. ( That is I do, I use the 1.65V RAM).



a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 194 V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 11:43:03 PM

The Intel CPU has an integrated memory controller ( IMC ) on the chip it's self. Intel specifies 1.5v RAM because anything higher is overclocking the memory controler part of the CPU. If your chip dies Intel will ask what RAM you use as part of the RMA process and will deny your claim if you use anything higher than 1.5v RAM.

In my opinion 1.6v RAM is safe as well but I have had stability issues with 1.65v stuff on Sandy Bridge builds.
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a b V Motherboard
January 6, 2013 11:44:32 PM

I also agree that you can use 1.65v RAM. All you need to do is go into your BIOS and change it to 1.5v and everything should be fine. You could try to keep its speed higher than 1600mhz, but I don't know about its stability past 1600mhz (which is already plenty fast). You won't see much improvement going from 1600 to 1866 or even 2133 (like 1-3 fps in games).
January 7, 2013 2:14:39 AM

Thank u for very helpful feedback.
The two newegg links finally delivered the DDR3 RAM @ 1.5 voltage I was looking for and that is best for my MB and in the right color and w/o those scary spikes sticking out from the RAM cards below.
I am not familiar with the G.Skill brand or the Ares series but I sure like the way they look. Moreover, the cards r set @ 1.5 volts requirement and the price of $90 is exactly the money I had allocated for my original RAM.
Since the Corsair cards r also blue and @ 1.5 volts and priced the same as the G.Skill RAM cards, is one brand superior to the other? Obviously Corsair has better brand recognition but that doesn't necessarily mean its better.
I like the G.Skill RAM cards, do u think that is a smart RAM purchase?

So, on another related issue, I was looking on google for RAM cards @ a higher clock speed than 1600MHz when I stumbled across a tomshardware older posting that was citing voltage readings.

The jist of it was if u overclock both your MB and CPU than your RAM card voltage will probably need to be increased above 1.5 voltage, is there any truth to voltage changes because u r overclocking other components?

Thank u again for your input and feedback. I look forward to a response(s).
a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 194 V Motherboard
January 7, 2013 2:33:26 AM

I have always thought of GSkill and Corsair to be pretty much equal in quality. I generally buy whatever is cheaper. Both brands have lifetime warranties.

The only time you might need to bump the voltage over stock is when trying to max out a motherboard's RAM capacity. So if you were trying to run 64GB you might need to up the voltage a bit. There is no longer a relationship between the memory speed and voltage and overclocking a CPU.
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