Solved DDR3 1333 @ 7-7-7-21 2T or 1600 @ 9-9-9-24 2T

Asus M4a79xtd evo desktop motherboard -...
June 5, 2011 at 14:54:06
Specs: Windows 7 Ultimate x64, AMD Phenom II x4 965 BE 3.4GHz; G.Skill 2x2GB DDR3 1333Mhz
I'm wondering if there are really any major performance differences that would be noticeable between the two memory types. I currently use a 2x2GB pack of G.Skill 1333, and I know that 1600 is blazing fast but I'm mainly wondering if the looser timings will end up negating any effect that the higher clock speed would have on system performance. Also, since I have an AMD Phenom II, which has known memory controller issues with higher speed RAM (especially when using more than two modules), I am wondering if it would even be worth bumping up to 1600 or if I should just go with 2x4gb 1333. Either way I would like to make the jump to 8gb but continue using only two memory modules to avoid any compatibility issues. To clarify my usage needs, my computer was built to be a high mid-range gaming rig, I use 64 bit Win7, and I do not plan on overclocking anything other than my graphics card beyond the stock settings.

Suggestions would be much appreciated, and if possible it would be nice to hear from someone who has a ddr3 1600 set up with similar or matching components that is running without any issues.

See More: DDR3 1333 @ 7-7-7-21 2T or 1600 @ 9-9-9-24 2T

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June 5, 2011 at 21:42:46
✔ Best Answer
Even newer cpu's can't take advantage of ddr3 1600 unless they are overclocked. Stick to ddr3 1333 if u don't plan to oc cpu.

We can not fight new wars with old weapons, let he who desires peace prepare for war - PROPHET.

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June 6, 2011 at 05:47:55
"I know that 1600 is blazing fast"

Tests show that memory speed & timings makes very little difference on an AMD system except under certain circumstances. The difference between DDR2-800 & DDR3-1333 is minimal. I believe DDR3-1600 would default to DDR3-1333 anyway because that is all the memory controller in AM3 CPUs officially support unless overclocked. But since you apparently have a Black Edition CPU, overclocking should be done via the multiplier anyway & that has no effect on memory speed.

Here's a couple of clips from an article at Tom's Hardware called "DDR3 Memory Scaling On AMD's Phenom II X4" :

"Our results show that faster memory and quicker timings both introduce performance advantages that are mostly visible in synthetic benchmarks, while the impact on real-life performance usually is small. Games benefit just a little, and you need applications that intensively tax the memory to find serious performance benefits."

"We couldn’t resist doing one more benchmark run at a slightly overclocked processor clock speed, which serves as a great example in the event that you decide to spend extra money on a faster processor rather than on premium memory. Overclocking the Phenom II X4 955 from 3.2 to 3.4 GHz results in a hypothetical Phenom II X4 965 at 3.4 GHz, which we might see some day. We used the slow DDR3-800 memory setup to show that a processor speed bump can actually do much more than any upgrade in memory speed."

Your board has 4 memory slots & you already have 2 x 2GB DDR3-1333 installed, it would be foolish to replace it with 2 X 4GB. Just add 2 x 2GB DDR3-1333 to what you already have & call it a day, or add the 2 x 4GB for a total of 12GB.

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June 7, 2011 at 01:34:11
It's very ironic that you put those clips in, I read that very same article last night right before bed and now know that I made a good choice with 1333. Thanks for taking the time to post a thorough response though.

Regarding your comment: "Just add 2 x 2GB DDR3-1333 to what you already have & call it a day...", I was under the impression that both the 965 and the 955 have issues with handling more than two modules of 1333mhz memory or higher, and that the system will just downclock it to 1066 or BSOD all day. I mean, I guess I can still get 1333 and just tighten up the timings @ 1066, since I've already got really nice ddr3 timings (7-7-7-21 tRc 28 2T) and there isn't much of a cost difference.

Thanks for the input though. I will continue to post questions and try to answer some while I am bored on break at work, see ya around everyone.

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June 7, 2011 at 01:52:22
Also, by blazing fast I was referring only to the operating frequency lol, I know that timings play just as big of a role. And frankly 1600 just doesn't seem to be worth it when 1066/1333 is the standard for a stock setup. It was a semi nostalgic comment, 1.6GHz effective memory speed is pretty damned fast compared to like 3 or 4 years ago, my new system was an upgrade from a ddr2 800 core2duo system..Then again, I guess last year phones didn't have dual core processors and a gig or more of ram. LOL technology.

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