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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alrighty...I know I'm sounding like a big noob here, but what is the importance of timings? I'm assuming that the lower the numbers the better, but what exactly should I be looking for? It looks to me like 2-2-2 timings are the best, but when I think about it I realize I don't REALLY understand what that means. I have an Abit NF7 and an XP 2600 mobile and I want to overclock it, but I only have PC2700 RAM right now. Until I get more money, that's what I'm stuck with, but in the mean time I'd like to experiment with some OCing.

Since its PC2700 then I'm limited to 166 mhz, or maybe a bit more cause I can overclock it, right? From what I've heard, AMDs don't like to run on a divider, so am I really being limited by my RAM?

If I change my FSB to 166 and run my multiplier at 13.5, which is what I'm doing, then my RAM should be running at its stock speed, right? But if I raise the FSB higher then do the timings change? Should I be manually setting my timings or letting BIOS set them itself? Its cheap RAM, probably PNY. CPU-Z says its made by SpecTek Incorporated.

If I wanted to OC my CPU to about 2.5 ghz then what am I going to need RAM-wise?

I know its a lot of questions and some probably don't make sense, but I appreciate any help you can give me. I would rather understand something myself rather than someone just tell me what I should be. I want to know WHY its good.

Thanks in advance!
 

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RAM is VERY complicated, but to break it down to very simple terms timings, better referred to as latencies, are time delays in clock cycles (herts) between various actions. You can read sepcifics here to find out what each one does and what effects it has on the system, but as you said, generally, the lower you can run them the better. Memory timings, when set to auto, are set by SPD, which is the defaul settings set by the identification module on the memory module. If it's cheapo ram, chances are the timings are 3-3-3 or 3-4-4 which pretty much caps your overclocking the memory, you might be able to get 175MHz out of it with good voltage. Memory speed is determined by the FSB, so as you said, running a 166MHz FSB will give you a 166 or 333MHz effective memory clock rate.
 

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Though you can also overide the SPD settings from your BIOS to make it run at lower latencies. However this isnt guarenteed to be stable and your OCing ability is still pretty much capped.

As for what ram you need, I would suggest Crucial Ballistix, Corsair XMS, OCZ Platinum all the standard high end brands. You cant really go wrong with em.
 

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Some good stuff from Archer That might be helpfull also.

Just to let you understand why exactly getting faster ram will help you overclock better, I want to try and explain the cpu ram relationship.

Your base FSB is 133Mhz, and your RAM's actual bus speed is 133Mhz, this gives you a 1:1 ratio. When you increase the FSB, the memory bus also increases. So since you are running FSB of 145Mhz your RAM is also running 145Mhz. Now remember as your FSB increases so is your RAM and your RAM is going to hit it's Max overclock at one point (What your max OC on your is something I couldn't tell you).

When your RAM hits it's max OC, your FSB is going to be limited to as fast as your RAM will run. This is the point where poeple talk about running dividers such as 3:2, 5:4, etc, so that the RAM will actualy run slower than the FSB allowing you to increase the FSB but also limiting performance. I will not get into dividers right now.

Everyone that has posted in this thread is telling you to get faster ram because it will let you increase the FSB until it gets up to the RAMs rated speed. If you get the PC3200 you will have atleast 67Mhz of headroom because it's rated speed is 200Mhz, if you get the Pc2700 you will have atleast 33Mhz of headroom because it's rated speed is 166Mhz.

Example
"You may or may not be able to get the FSB up as high as these examples!"

with PC3200 you could get the FSB up to atleast 200Mhz
with PC2700 you could get the FSB up to atleast 166Mhz.

Author â€" Archer_456
 

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You can over ride the SPD in the BIOS. The SPD is for running at default settings so the system knows at what timings to run the given RAM at. What are the timings in CPU-Z?
Although one might think CAS2.2.2.2T1, the fastest timings are the best, most require some timing adjustment when Ocing the FSB beyond 400Mhz (edit) with ddr3200.
My DDR3200 Ballistix will run 436Mhz at stock timings as should the OCZ Plat Rev 2.
In your case as stated if it's timings are CAS 3 etc... not much you can do unless you have a divider to be able to run the CPU FSB at speeds higher than the memory. It's no a very efficent way but it will allow you to work the FSB up untill you get better RAM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK...so I've been looking around at RAM. Is Corsair's XMS series any good? Is it worth it? I don't want to spend $400 on RAM, so would this be a good deal?

http://www.newegg.com/app/viewproduc...MP=OTC-B1zrat3

Also, should I go ahead and get two 512 MB sticks instead of two 256 MB sticks? Is 512 MB outdated now? Is 1 GIG pretty much the recommended standard now?

Edit: Oh yeah...I have an Abit Nf7 and the manual says it supports up to 400 mhz RAM. Is that the DOUBLE data rate? So it supports up to PC3200?

Thanks
 

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512MB will get you buy, especially if you tweak Windows to keep memory usage down, but 1GB will get you along nicely as well as being ready for the "future" Corsair is loved by all and is like the most popular brand of memory, but I like OCZ more personaly. Yeah, that board will support DDR400, but since memory speed is determined by the FSB you could really use anything you want depending on how high you can set the FSB.
 
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