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Old August 24, 2010, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
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Default Nehalem's Integrated Memory Controller Limitations/Benefits?

So I was in the realm of upgrading and building a new system and something I was looking into was with the Nehalem microarchitecture, as I'm going to be using probably an i7 930 or 950. One thing about these CPU's is that they now have an integrated memory controller, as opposed to it being on Intel's 'northbridge'. I figured this was all well and nice, but then I noticed that it supports triple channel 1066 RAM.

What I was wondering was, what if you used a memory of a higher frequency than 1066? I've seen plenty of systems with 1333, 1600 and so forth and I wonder what sort of downfalls this has. Is 1066 the optimal RAM for this chip? If so, how much of a benefit does it actually have over using a higher memory frequency such as 1600?

Any clarification on this would be much appreciated. I've read about many people having problems on all ranges of mobo's using these newer chips with their memory not being recognized or running properly and I wonder if this has something to do with it. I also want to make sure I'm ordering the optimal RAM for this processor, I originally was after using 3x2GB of 1600, but if 1066 works more latently, I'd sooner use 3x2GB of RAM to avoid problems.

Last edited by GFaust; August 24, 2010 at 08:02 AM.
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Old August 24, 2010, 08:19 AM
Sagath's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Edmonton, AB
Posts: 3,479

My System Specs


Its kind of a fallacy. Intel only officially supports 1066. I'm running my 1600mhz at around 1720 without issues. Ive never heard of issues even up to around 2k. The only problem (and it is difficult to even call it that) is that if for some reason you had a problem, intel wouldnt 'support' your request for troubleshooting unless you had 1066mhz ram. Moot point really.
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Old August 24, 2010, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 17

Yeah, 1600-1800 seems to be within the acceptable 'unofficial' range, provided you're only using around 12GB of memory at most. But with higher frequencies and amounts of RAM, even though MoBo's allgedly support these situations, I've read many people reporting that their RAM won't post properly. IE 3x4GB @2000 6x2 @1800 or 2000 and so forth.
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