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I just ordered a Sager Laptop with an Intel 3820QM CPU. The laptop says it supports 1866MHz RAM and that's what I was planning on buying. However, the CPU Specs say:

Memory Types - DDR3/L/-RS 1333/1600

This is what all of the i7 specs say. Does this mean that anything above 1600MHz will only run at 1600MHz on this CPU?

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You've got a typo in your title, "Incel" instead if "Intel" could you please correct it to make you question easier to find? Thanks. –  terdon Aug 22 '12 at 17:48
    
Whoops. Thanks for the catch. Looks life you were right. Got an answer right after the correction :) coincidence? –  kjmccarx Aug 22 '12 at 17:49

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your memory / RAM speeds depends on the motherboard not the CPU so you can get any of the speeds your board supports. You may have to set the speed manually in the bios.

So if your Laptop motherboard supports 1866 Mhz, you can go ahead and buy it!

But if you Benchmark the RAM @ 1600 Mhz vs RAM @ 1866 MHz , there will be a very minimal performance improvement, coz the Processor cannot process anything faster than 1600 MHz.

Here is reference link from Tom's Hardware : Memory for Core i Processors

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That's what I figured because I looked at the Intel 6 core Desktop CPU specs and they said the same thing, but I know that that can definitely support faster memory! –  kjmccarx Aug 22 '12 at 18:09
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Just editted it .. Missed out on telling you a few things.. –  aliasgar Aug 22 '12 at 18:09
    
Since the processor will only process it at 1600MHz I'll go ahead and get that memory, since I can get 2x as much memory at 1.6GHz than I can at 1.9GHz. They only manufacture 4GB sticks of 1.9GHz RAM, but they make 8GB sticks of 1.6GHz. –  kjmccarx Aug 22 '12 at 18:15
    
Yes, makes sense! After all the tradeoff between performance and the cost of equipment is for you to make.. –  aliasgar Aug 22 '12 at 18:17
    
I don't think that's the reason for a minimal performance improvement in a RAM benchmark. I also wonder if a laptop BIOS will have the options to set the memory speed ratio. –  Louis Aug 22 '12 at 18:26

I've actually wondered the same thing. 1600MHZ is the 'default' speed, but some rap chips are designed/selected for higher speeds for overclocking. Puget systems did some benchmarks on various types of ram by the same manufacturer and found there was little to no difference between them.

If you're planning on overclocking your ram, and believe it'll make a difference, get higher frequency ram. Else you're fine with 'regular' speed ram.

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