Originally Posted by nleksan
No such thing as too tight, so long as it's stable (enough for its intended use).
I do a lot of memory benching, and while I'm nowhere near the level of some of our world class benchers, I am not half bad (I like to think anyway lol).
My experience with the Phenom II, SNB, SNB-E, and IVB has been:
PHENOM II - You want to get the highest stable Northbridge speed, but memory speed is of secondary importance to timings once this is done. Something like 1780 7-8-7-20 1T is going to be very preferable to 2000 10-11-10-30 1T, for example. Of course, push frequency as high as possible, but every chip has a point where the frequency gains don't outweigh the latency losses.
SANDY/SANDY-E - Regular SNB, get it as high as it will go and then tighten the timings from there; in most cases, this is DDR3-2133 or so. However, SNB-E allows you to push well beyond that, with my 3930K having a strong IMC and allowing speeds of around 2600. The rule I've found is that if you have to increase any of the timings by more than one for a 266Mhz clock gain, it's going tobe eeither no different or even worse. The sweet spot for my SNB-E benching has been between 2133 9-10-9-25 1T, 2488 9-12-10-27 1T, and at theuupper end around 2580 to 2660 10-12-10-26 1T.
IVY - Frequency is king, with the best kits being the GSkill Trident X 2400 9-11-11 and 2666 10-11-11, as the SamsungHYK0 IC's jjust are a perfect match for IVB. If you can hit 3000 or higher, you will see gains, despite the loose timings.