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Confused about compatibility with processors

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March 12, 2013 10:29:46 AM

I've been researching into the types of memory that are supported by processors because I recently bought memory that was compatible with my motherboard, but not my processor, and therefore had to return them. I'd like to avoid this when I get round to ordering the parts for my new build.

I'm looking at memory for a 3rd gen i7 3770 and an Asus P8Z77-V PRO. It's confusing me quite a lot because everywhere I've looked it says the processor will only support memory up to 1600mhz, though the motherboard will apparently support memory speeds of up to 2600mhz... But I've also looked at processors like the i7 3940XM, but it still says it only supports memory up to 1600mhz. It got me wondering - is this information correct? Is it just that faster memory will not run at it's maximum potential on these processors? This in turn made me wonder what exactly is the point in buying RAM with speeds of 1866mhz, 2133mhz etc. if no processors support it?

The RAM I'm looking at purchasing for my new build is the corsair vengeance blue LP 1866mhz, but if what I'm reading is correct then it would seem I'd be better off with the 1600mhz version. Am I right or am I going wrong somewhere?
a c 121 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
March 13, 2013 8:32:26 AM

To answer your question simply, yes that kit will work fine :) 


More info... The number that you are seeing as the Max for the CPU (1600MHz on 3rd Gen, and 1333MHz on 2nd gen intel processors) is the default maximum that the processor is designed to work on. So, right out of the box, if you take any kit rated at 1600MHz or above, it will automatically be defaulted to 1600MHz.

MB's and RAM kits can be designed to work at higher frequencies for overclocking. Getting a 2400MHz kit and popping it in is not going to make your RAM at 2400MHz, you are going to have to overclock the memory (although this is very easy with XMP Profiles) and possibly OC your CPU as well.

Just a note about RAM OC'ing. Unlike CPU overclocking where the results are easily seen, heavy RAM overclocking is rarely done outside of synthetic benchmarks, as the noticeable difference is almost non existent, usually a 2-5% increase (when going from 1600MHz, to 1866MHz)


On the other hand, since faster memory kits go through a much more rigorous testing process it tends to be the case they are a bit higher quality and will tend to last longer.
March 13, 2013 9:53:04 PM

There is no such thing as compatibility of ram to cpu, only motherboard to ram. rather way my advice I to do a considerable amount of research before purchasing.

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