I'm trying to buy a new (custom) PC. I'm not technically illiterate, but I haven't kept in touch with the hardware world.

While using one website that helps you configure your own PC, component by component. Everything went quite smoothly (the website was intelligent enough to discard all Intel processors when I choose an AMD-only motherboard, for example) until I clicked on the "I have finished" button. Then I got this message:

Your processor is not compatible with your memory speed. Generally your memory will work, but only to the maximum speed of your processor.

This is pretty much a verbatim translation. The original (in Spanish) was written on a very contrived way; I lack the contextual knowledge to re-word it in English.

Here're the processor and memory I've chosen:

  • Memory: Patriot DIMM 8 GB DDR3-1600 Kit (8192 MB, CL9 9-9-24, 2, PC3 12800)
  • Processor: AMD Phenom II X6 1055T (6x 2800 MHz, 6x 512 kByte, 6144 kByte, Thuban)

What does that warning message mean? What speed/characteristics does the memory need to have in order to be compatible with that processor?

Extra points question: The processor includes a heat sink. Should I buy a cooling fan for it, or will it work fine with the sink? (yes or no is ok here)

  • For the record, your translation makes perfect sense so no worries about your personal lack of context. ;)
    – Shinrai
    Feb 22 '11 at 17:20
  • Just a quick update - thanks to the answers on this post, I was able to purchase my new PC. Thanks a lot guys!
    – egarcia
    Feb 23 '11 at 9:27

You've selected DDR3-1600 (1600 as in MHz). This processor only has a memory clock that supports up to DDR3-1333. What the message is telling you is that your DDR3-1600 will be downclocked to DDR3-1333; essentially, you're wasting the money. Just use DDR3-1333. (Stats on memory controller from Newegg because AMD's site hates me at work for some reason.)

Extra points: The stock sink probably has an integrated fan already.


From http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/processors/phenom-ii/Pages/phenom-ii-key-architectural-features.aspx :

Supports PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066); PC2-6400 (DDR2-800), PC2-5300 (DDR2-667), PC2-4200 (DDR2-533) or PC2-3200 (DDR2-400) SDRAM unbuffered DIMMs – AM2+

It will probably work, but at lower speed than possible. Either change the RAM to DDR2-1066 or the processor to one supporting DDR3-1600.

I would always add a cooling fan ... Spain can get really hot in summer (and I know it I also live in Spain ;-) )

  • I've accepted Shinrai's answer because it arrived just a minute before than yours, but both are valid. +1 for you too, and thanks for the help!
    – egarcia
    Feb 22 '11 at 17:37
  • +1 for equally valid answer with identical timing, hehe.
    – Shinrai
    Feb 22 '11 at 17:52

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