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Old 10-09-07, 05:48 AM   #1
Kain
 
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Default Need help understanding RAM speed

I'm planning on building a computer with the Q6600 and since it has a 1066MHz FSB do I need 1066MHz RAM? I read around and it seems you can overclock higher with faster RAM?
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Old 10-09-07, 06:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain
I'm planning on building a computer with the Q6600 and since it has a 1066MHz FSB do I need 1066MHz RAM? I read around and it seems you can overclock higher with faster RAM?
The main thing to remember when talking about a Core 2's bus speed and RAM is that the FSB is 2x the "real" bus speed.

To run a 1066Mhz FSB CPU at 1:1 with the memory, you'd only need DDR2-533 ram. If you use faster ram, it'll run at something other than 1:1 by default. If you bought 1066Mhz ram, it'd run at 1:2.

Once you overclock, you'll have to mess with the settings manually.

If you're getting a Q6600, DDR2-800 should be fine. If you managed to get it to 3.6Ghz stably, it'd be at 1:1.

If you really think you can push it further than that (which isn't likely unless you're getting a G0 core and water cooling), go for some DDR2-1066 for some extra head room.
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Old 10-09-07, 06:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

Thanks.

What would happen if I overclock and the FSB exceeds the RAM speed?
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Old 10-09-07, 06:51 AM   #4
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain
Thanks.

What would happen if I overclock and the FSB exceededs the RAM speed?
Good question.

Basically, you'll be overclocking your RAM.

Back in the pre-DDR days this actually helped improve performance, but these days overclocking your RAM will do nothing good for you, and it can create some of the nastiest instability problems you'll see on a PC. Unstable memory can really screw up your PC pretty badly by corrupting things that are loaded into memory (which can then be saved to the hard drive in their corrupt state).

Most ram these days can take a small amount of overclocking, but I'm not really sure how much, and it depends on a lot of factors. I never overclock my memory unless I just need to squeeze a few more MHz out of something to round out my CPU speed to an even hundred. There really is no point to it at all other than to get a couple more points in a benchmark or to make your system specs look more leet.

In short - increasing FSB when your memory is already at its rated speed will overclock your memory, and overclocking your memory gives you no performance benefits and causes instability. The best way to avoid this is to get faster ram.
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Old 10-09-07, 07:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

So, stock, the Q6600 runs at 4.5 x 533MHz = 2.4GHz or 2.25 x 1066MHz = 2.4GHz?
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Old 10-09-07, 07:19 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kain
So, stock, the Q6600 runs at 4.5 x 533MHz = 2.4GHz or 2.25 x 1066MHz = 2.4GHz?
Well, the multiplier is 9x, so its actually 9x266.

I guess I should have said that the CPU FSB is 4x the "real" FSB and the memory (at 1:1) is 2x the "real" FSB. At 1:2. the memory is 4x the "real" FSB.

Its not as simple as it used to be, thats for sure.
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Old 10-09-07, 07:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

So at 9 x 400MHz = 3.6GHz and DDR2 800MHz RAM will be at 1:1. Is that FSB possible? Is the P35 FSB overclock friendly?
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Old 10-09-07, 08:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

One more question, what's the point in getting 1066MHz RAM when you'll never be able to hit that on the FSB for 1:1? Even at 4GHz, that's 9 x 445 MHz and 445 x 2 = 890 MHz RAM speed.
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Old 10-09-07, 10:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

You're right Kain. There really isn't any point to getting 1066mhz ram if you can't go that high. However, that's not the case with a processor with an 8x multiplier, where the CPU will have to ride the FSB and ram speeds in order to get the highest possible overclock. 8x500=4Ghz. If you drop the multiplier down to 7x, now you really need some fast ram to get a good overclock. 7x500=3.5Ghz or in this case 7x533= 3.731Ghz. If you want to hit that high of an OC, fast ram really comes in handy.

If you have a processor with a 9 or 10x multiplier, you'll probably never use the full speed of the ram. The only way this isn't true is if you have a really nice watercooling setup or if you have an "exotic" cooling solution that cools below freezing temperatures (i.e. CO2, phase change, etc.)
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Old 10-09-07, 10:46 AM   #10
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

Does the Q6600 have a locked multiplier?
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Old 10-09-07, 11:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

Multipliers are locked upwards on all CPUs, except the "Extreme" models. You can lower the multiplier down to 6 on all Core 2 CPUs.
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Old 10-09-07, 12:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Need help understanding RAM speed

Thanks.

If I remember correctly, there is a way to see if a Q6600 is a G0 version from the serial number on the box. What am I suppose to look for?
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