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Old 12-29-2004, 12:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What is the deal with RAM speed?

What is special about RAM speeds?
And whats the reason that stuff like PC4400, and PC4500, will not run in a motherboard that only supports up to PC3200.
Or will any RAM speed run in a motherboard, or what??
Really confused here, Nubius or other smart computer people help me out here!
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's pretty simple, the faster the RAM speed, the faster your computer will perform.

Motherboards are generally only built to support the memory speeds that are currently availible on the market (I think the fastest right now is 533), and memory speed increases so quickly that motherboards get obsolete really quickly.

I bought my pentium 4 back in April I think, and the fastest availible was 333 I think, so that just gives you an idea how quickly memory speeds up.

Don't worry though, memory speed isn't really crucial, just make sure that when you buy a new board it supports the fastest memory availible, so that it'll provide the best performance for the longest amount of time.
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well, the mobo that will be on the market in a few months I am buying probably will be PC3200, will it support stuff like PC4200???
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You can put it in there but it will probably mess up and underclock itself
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The memory speed usually runs paralell with the FSB. So, if your computer has a 166mhz FSB, then your ram will run at 333. (Double the FSB, hense the name DDR = Dual Data Rate)
The exception is, that some motherboards have a multiplyer for the memory. on my computer, I can choose between a buch of fractions for ram:fsb ratio. If your computer doesnt have htis, then the "faster" ram won't do any good.

So if your FSB is at 166, then your RAM will running at 333. (unless you have this "special feature" mentioned above) So, for example, if you have 450mhz RAM on that machine, it will still be running at ONLY 333 mhz, which defeats the purpose of the faster ram.

The key word is 'Rated'. That fast RAM is 'rated' at 450mhz, meaning it has been tested to run completely stable at 450mhz. Its not really 450mhz ram, thats just the max speed it the mfg says it can run at (this doesnt mean you cant go higher, though, in some instances)

Anyways, hope I helped out.
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Are there any motherboards that support higher RAM speeds?
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Alot you have to pay 200+ for them though they are very sweet
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, a lot do, but it depends on your CPU's rated FSB, and the max FSB your motherboard supports.

Not nessesarily! My motherboard, although it doesnt say it is for anything higher than 400mhz RAM, can easy hit a 250mhz FSB or 500mhz RAM.

The underclock doesnt do anything to the memory at all, other than obviously lower the performance a bit and probably run at a slightly cooler temperature.
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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So, the motherboard that I am planning on that will be out in a while probably supports PC3200, and I am planning to couple the DFI SLI-D s939 mobo with an AMD FX55, and two gigs of RAM (either 2x1 gig, or 4x 512 mb sticks), and if I can, what do I have to do to get something faster than PC3200 to run.
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Old 12-29-2004, 12:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm not to familiar with DFI mobos or 64s, so maybe someone else can help there.

There might be an option in the bios about RAM speed, where you can probably tick it up to the faster speed of the faster RAM, or you can moderatly overclock your current RAM, which I see is a nice ram for that.
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