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I am going to purchase a motherboard that supports up to DDR3 2400(O.C.). I have seen things saying that overclocking RAM is not worth it. Is it worth it to buy memory that is rated for DDR3 2400 and overclock it or should I just buy DDR3 1600 (the highest non-overclocked memory rating that the motherboard supports)?

Are there noticeable performance gains when you overclock to DDR3 2400? (Note that I have already gone for more obvious performance gains such as using an SSD).

The use case for this machine will be gaming and programming.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

On the flip side of the dire warnings, my experience with overclocking is that the performance boosts are rarely worth the numerous headaches that a less-than-stable system cause (a very common issue with overclocked ram.)

Best way I can describe the difference; buy an 80 watt lightbulb, and live with it for a week. The swap out the 75 watt bulb. You might notice a teeny tiny difference for the first five minutes, but the reality is it's about the same darn thing.

There's far more noticable performance boost by running SSDs in a raid 0 configuration (or some derivative) and the beefiest clocked GPU you can afford, with a suitable cpu coming in behind. The amount of RAM can improve your experience, meaning there can be fewer occasions that the game has to read data from disk.

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Thanks. Glad to know that my gut feeling of not overclocking the memory was correct. –  Thomas Feb 6 '13 at 2:24

Though there might get some gain in performance but since you already have SSD and it is a gaming rig, I believe you already have plenty of RAM , its not worth the risk.

Overclocking might void your warranty and there is a risk of damage to it and other components (read fire). You don't really want your rig catching fire for sake of few more fps. Check this link for a more detailed information on expected gain.

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Fire?? How does that happen? –  Akash Feb 6 '13 at 6:55

I would strongly recommend against doing this. It is risky and fire, like this can happen. It will void your warranty for sure, and it can come out quite terrible. A burning computer would be horrific. I would suggest overclocking your CPU, or getting a better Mother Board if necessary.

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If you have it cooled properly, you might see some performance increases, but there are a lot of risks and for most people it's not worth it.

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