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Not sure on what to do; should I get 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz?

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closed as off topic by MaQleod, Paul, Nifle, Diogo, Dennis Jul 11 '12 at 18:15

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2 Answers

The specified clock speed of RAM is just the maximum clock speed. You won't cause a problem by installing RAM whose maximum clock speed is greater than the CPU or chipset can support. You just may not be able to operate reliably at that speed because you'll be overclocking the CPU or chipset. The motherboard BIOS should be smart enough to set safe defaults if you leave all the RAM timing and voltage settings at their defaults.

If the prices are comparable, get the RAM with the lower latency. If they both have the same latency, get the 1600MHz RAM because it may drop its latency if its clock speed is lowered and if not, you'll have a greater safety margin.

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The AMD Phenom II series processors are rated to handle DDR3 RAM at up to 1333 MHz. If you install faster RAM than that, it will simply run at the lower speed (unless you're overclocking, but you didn't ask about that).

If you're building a new computer, though, you should strongly consider buying a new processor.

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