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My motherboard states it supports DDR3 1066/1333. Can I purchase DDR3 1600 and expect my system to drop it down to the highest level the motherboard supports?

Will this change the Cas Latency or timing? Is it like a power supply where you should buy the largest possible so it is more efficient?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted


You can use faster DDR3 in a slower system. You might have to use the CAS settings for the slower memory, but you can play around with these. You don't have to worry about the slower speed of the motherboard, the memory can always be run at lower rates.

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Yes, the motherboard will clock it down to 1066/1333 unless you overclock it, at which point it tries to run at whatever you set it to.

A larger power supply is not more efficient than a smaller one. Power supplies have specific efficiency ratings, which are unrelated to their capacity.

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I would note that buying a larger power supply than you need tends to help its longevity (it's not running at as high a percentage of max load so it's under less stress so it's getting comparatively less wear and tear) but that's not the same thing. (Perhaps it's what caused this misperception, though.) – Shinrai Jun 20 '11 at 22:31

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