RAM speeds, CPUs, motherboards

  adam32 18:14 22 Sep 10

I've just taken delivery of a motherboard, CPU and RAM and I'm having some doubts about compatibility, so I want to double check before I start installing these parts.

The parts are: Core i3 661, Crucial 1600Mhz DDR3 (Ballistix, 2 x 2GB), and a Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3.

The eBuyer website, Gigabyte website and Crucial's memory advisor indicated compatibility between this RAM and motherboard (though the manual has "OC" next to 1600Mhz, which is slightly worrying if that means over clocking). Will this RAM really work correctly without any worries? Is it OK to use this fast 1.65volt RAM with an i3?

I'm out of touch with all of the latest standards and I don't really want to push my luck or get involved in tweaking or over clocking.

  DieSse 19:28 22 Sep 10

click here

Gives you links to CPU and RAM compatibility tables.

  adam32 19:41 22 Sep 10

Thanks. I had checked Gigabyte's site, as I mentioned, but it lacks the answers to my questions. I downloaded the memory PDF, but it wasn't enlightening beyond showing some part numbers that indicate compatibility with the 1600Mhz rating. I can't find out whether it will run happily without adjustment, particularly when the CPU is factored in. I'm a bit concerned about that, vis a vis the (complicated) specs from Intel, which seem to demand 1333Mhz and 1.5v.

  OTT_B 19:58 22 Sep 10

i3 661 or i5 661?

RAM speed is not directly related to processor speed, so if you are looking at the FSB speed with 1600(OC), there's nothing to worry about. You may need to change some BIOS settings to keep everything in check.
Check your BIOS or motherboard manual to see if it will supply 1.65v for RAM.

  OTT_B 20:02 22 Sep 10

click here

Memory compatibility list from Crucial - RAM chips that will work on your mobo.

  DieSse 20:48 22 Sep 10

As far as I can see from the motherboard spec, it supports 1.5v RAM. In the manual the BIOS settings warn against using the overclock - overvoltage settings

So - I don't quite see why you've got Ballistix RAM with an i3 processor - why not standard RAM?

  adam32 21:01 22 Sep 10

I wanted better quality RAM, considering that it's a £160 CPU and supposed to be very fast. Standard Crucial 1333Mhz was only £15 less than the option that I chose, so it seemed to make sense.

  OTT_B 21:17 22 Sep 10

At risk of starting an argument with the hardware purists....RAM is RAM, go for quantity over quality.
The differences in real world applications are negligible for any given amount of gigabytes.

  DieSse 23:40 22 Sep 10

Ballistix is not better quality so much as higher performance.

It looks to me though, having read the manuals for your board, that performance improvement only comes with over-clocking/over-voltage - which Gigabyte recommend against.

Plus the performance gain will likely be minuscule - and you're using the lowest performing model of the i series processors.

  adam32 01:09 23 Sep 10

It's not the lowest model: The 661 is around the 6th up in the range at the top of the 6xx series and below the 7xx series. Its the one with the faster GPU chip than the 660 on which it's based, up to 933Mhz, and the CPU runs at 3.33Ghz.

Without any really solid answers either way, I think I'm going to take Crucial at face value and accept its promise of compatibility.

Thanks anyway.

  adam32 01:11 23 Sep 10

Correction: 900Mhz GPU.

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