View Full Version : How does memory > DDR3200 work?

01-28-06, 02:41 PM
Ok, so, it's been a good long while since I've been able to afford going all out on building a new computer. Now I'm starting to get there, so I'm starting to look at components and what-not. But there's something I don't understand, cuz it's been so long since I've had reason to care about such things.

Most AMD64 motherboards seem to support PC3200 memory, and that's as high as they go, at least as far as I've seen. But Newegg has lots of DDR modules all the way up to PC4800. So, if someone buys one of these PC4800 kits, is it just understood that they'll have to overclock their motherboard to run it? Or do the boards actually support memory at that speed out of the box, with no oc-ing necessary? Or maybe, is the faster stuff even worth the price at all?

Because after trying lots of overclocking on several different combinations of motherboards/cpus, I never seem to have very good luck with it. I guess I always get the bad chip in the batch, or something. So, given my past luck with overclocking, it seems to me that if overclocking is indeed necessary to get PC4800 sticks to work at all, I may be better off just sticking with the mobo-quoted PC3200 stuff instead.

Can someone kindly shed some light on the subject for me? Thanks in advance!


01-28-06, 06:14 PM
Buying SDRAM that runs faster than 200MHz/DDR400 (the default for S939 Athlon 64) will be downclocked to match your CPU bus. If you decide to overclock your CPU bus (higher than 200MHz), then your DDR500 RAM will not be streched beyond it's means. In a word, if you plan to permanantly overclock your system, by all means get a higher DDR rating. Do bear in mind that higher RAM frequencies often come at a price of higher latency...

01-28-06, 06:33 PM
The only way to utilize anything faster than DDR400 (PC3200) is to overclock. So if you don't want to overclock, don't get anything faster than DDR400. I myself have DDR500 (PC4000) because I'm running my FSB at 260Mhz (so the ram is actually running at DDR520). To overclock my fsb to 260 with DDR400 would have required me to use a multiplier with the ram.

01-28-06, 10:32 PM
Thanks much, y'all. That's what I wanted to know. :)