Full potential?

Current hardware:

Phenom II X4 955
4GB DDR3 1600mhz

I am unsure whether my motherboard or CPU are allowing me to get the full potential out of my other components. I can't seem to find any reliable info online so I thought I'd come here. From what I've read no AM3 socket motherboard will support 1600mhz RAM, although the official site says:

"4 x DIMM, Max. 16 GB, DDR3 1800(O.C.)/1600(O.C.)/1333/1066 ECC,Non-ECC,Un-buffered Memory. AMD AM3 100 and 200 series CPU support up to DDR3 1066MHz"

I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean it will support 1600mhz if the CPU or RAM is overclocked? Everywhere else only seems to mention 1333mhz.

Also, I have bought an SSD hard drive which runs on SATA 3. I'm not sure what performance gains are to be had here but I'm not sure if my motherboard even supports SATA 2, let alone 3. Would I be right?

AM3 seems to be a huge ballache. There doesn't seem to be many supported CPU's and it seems to be lagging behind current hardware. I think I might need an upgrade...

5 answers Last reply
More about full potential
  1. RAM is supposed to be 100% backwards compatible, in theory any ddr3 chip should work. In the real world this isn't always the case, however some the motherboard's bios can't support the ram you are trying to use. And the 1600MHz RAM has the better performance value, check the link:

    I use the intel MB, for intel MB some of them default set to run 1066MHz, other is 1333MHz. If you want to run 1600MHz you need go to the BIOS set it to 1600MHz, if you RAM is the 1333MHz then it is OC.

    For the SSD, yes it will be limit the performance in SATAII, but you will only see the difference between SATAII and SATAIII in the benchmark, in the real usage you hard to notice because it is very small difference, like boot up the PC, they are only few seconds difference.

    If you want to top performance for the game, using the intel system because intel CUP is the king for the game.
  2. you have an AM3 mobo with an AM3+ cpu. They are totally compatible and the phenom can support both DDR2 and DDR3 rams.

    when you read AM3+ cpu's support upto 1333 MHz ram, that is the manufacturer's way of telling you the limit to which the Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) on the cpu has been tested. it does not define the absolute maximum limit that you can reach.

    anything over that tested value of 1333 qualifies as overclock and you can take your ram up to 1600 even more it is just something that manufacturer does not cover in its warranty.

    SATA II and SATA III are speeds of the interfaces of the ports, but your system performance is governed by the read/write speed of the drive read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264944-32-sata

    good luck
  3. I think my CPU is AM2+ and AM3, not AM3+. But that's good to hear it supports DDR3 ram.

    I've attached a couple of CPU-Z screenshots. Do they show my RAM running at 1600mhz as it should? Or is it underperforming? I don't want to be buying 1600mhz ram if the mobo/cpu will only let it run at 1333mhz.
  4. Oops, here are the images.

  5. Apologies for the triple post - the website is throwing up an error saying I'm not allowed to edit the post.

    As far as my knowledge goes, I think the DRAM frequency should be half of what the overall speed is because it's dual channel. This would indicate my RAM is running at around 1066mhz rather than the 1600mhz it should be.


    I've just gone into my BIOS and changed my RAM frequency from auto to manual and set it to 1600mhz. The frequency is now saying 800mhz in CPU-Z which would indeed indicate I am now at the correct 1600mhz but the timings have changed. Is this important?

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