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Question about Memory?


Here are some guidelines to help you with your decision:

If you are choosing a system with DDR1 memory, please consider that currently the fastest JEDEC approved specification for DDR 1 is PC3200 or DDR 400 memory. Running memory faster than PC3200 will not help the performance of your machine unless you are overclocking the machine. Running memory that is rated faster than PC3200 may actually hinder the performance of your machine if you are not overclocking since memory manufacturers often times will increase the timings for latency to obtain the higher speed ratings. This translates into a performance hit of roughly one speed grade. Remember that timings are important (we list the timings on the spec pages for your reference). If you are unsure of the memory that is right for you, please ask us and we will help you find the best memory for your application.

Unbuffered memory
Unbuffered memory deals directly with the chipset controller with nothing in between as they communicate. Unbuffered Memory is typically used in Home PC's and desktops.

Buffered/Registered memory
Buffered memory contains a buffer to assist the chipset deal with the large electrical load required when the system has a lot of memory. Much like registered modules, buffered modules are typically used in servers and other mission-critical systems where it is extremely important that the data is properly handled. A memory module that contains registers that hold the data for one clock cycle before it is moved on to the motherboard. This process increases the reliability of high-speed data access. Registered memory modules are typically used only in servers and other mission-critical systems where it is extremely important that the data is properly handled.

Also note that certain motherboards will only support DDR1 or DDR2. Each motherboard has this specification listed in our drop down menus. It will appear as DDR for DDR1 memory, and DDR2 for DDR2 memory.

Note: Only memory chosen in the configurator will be installed and tested with your combo. Any ram selected outside of the configurator will be shipped as a separate part.


Here is a list of chipsets and recommendations:
  • Intel 915/925 series chipsets:
    Supports dual channel, DDR 2 memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. PC4200 is the current standard. Using memory faster than PC4200 will not increase performance on this chipset. ECC is supported on the 925 chipset, but not required.

  • Intel 945/955 series chipsets:
    Supports dual channel, DDR 2 memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. Unbuffered PC4200 and PC5400 are the current standards with select boards supporting PC6400. ECC is supported on the 945/955 chipsets, but not required.

  • Intel 875/865 chipsets:
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. For 533 FSB processors we recommend PC2700 Unbuffered. For 800 FSB processors we recommend PC3200 Unbuffered. ECC memory is supported on the 875 chipset (but not required).

  • Intel 845 chipsets:
    PC2700 unbuffered memory is supported and recommended for this chipset.

  • Intel Xeon/Athlon MP chipsets:
    These chipsets require Registered memory (and support ECC). There are a few exceptions here, so make sure to check the specifications on our website. Athlon MP and Intel Xeon currently support PC2100 memory.

  • Intel 915/925 series chipsets:
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. PC4200 is the current standard. Using memory faster than PC4200 will not increase performance on this chipset. ECC is supported on the 925 chipset, but not required.

  • Intel 945/955 series chipsets:
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. Unbuffered PC4200 and PC5400 are the current standards with select boards supporting PC6400. ECC is supported on the 945/955 chipsets, but not required.

  • Athlon 64 (754):
    The Athlon 64 is a whole new animal in the memory game. The memory controller is integrated onto the processor rather than in the Northbridge of the chipset. What this means for you is faster performance and all chipsets support the same RAM. Athlon 64 chipsets support PC1600, PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200 Unbuffered memory speeds. We recommend that you select PC3200 memory for the Athlon 64 for best performance.

  • Athlon 64 (754) VIA K8T800 Memory Issue:
    When selecting 3 Sticks of Corsair (TwinX & CMX), Kingston (KHX), OCZ (All), or Mushkin (All) PC-3200 they will only work at a speed of PC-1600 due to nature of the K8T800 chip set. In order to get the full PC-3200 speed out of your Memory, select 2 sticks of Corsair (TwinX & CMX), Kingston (KHX), OCZ (All), or Mushkin (All) PC-3200 and 1 Stick of Corsair (VS), Kingston (KVR), Infineon, or Samsung PC-3200 Memory.

  • Athlon 64 FX (940)
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. Unlike the Athlon 64, the Athlon 64 FX requires Registered memory. Athlon 64 FX supports PC1600, PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200 Unbuffered memory speeds. We recommend that you select PC3200 or faster memory for the Athlon 64 FX for best performance.

  • Athlon 64/FX/Opteron (939):
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. The Athlon 64 is a whole new animal in the memory game. The memory controller is integrated onto the processor rather than in the Northbridge of the chipset. What this means for you is faster performance and all chipsets support the same RAM. Athlon 64 chipsets support PC1600, PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200 Unbuffered memory speeds. We recommend that you select PC3200 memory for the Athlon 64 for best performance.

  • Opteron (940):
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. The Opteron requires Registered memory. Opterons support PC1600, PC2100, PC2700 and PC3200 memory speeds. We recommend that you select PC3200 or faster memory for the Opteron for best performance.

  • Opteron (Socket F):
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. The Opteron requires Registered DDR2 memory. These Opterons support PC3200, PC4200, and PC5400 memory speeds.

  • Nvidia Nforce Chipset/VIA KT600 (AMD):
    Nforce supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. For 333/266 FSB processors we recommend PC2700 Unbuffered (3200 is supported but the performance increase is marginal). For 400 FSB processors we recommend PC3200 Unbuffered or faster (lower speeds are supported but not recommended).

  • Athlon 64/FX/Sempron (Socket AM2):
    The Socket AM2 platform supports dual channel DDR2 memory. Like previous Athlon 64 platforms (754 and 939), this platform has an integrated memory controller. This translates into faster performance. Socket AM2 chipsets support DDR2 400/533/667/800 unbuffered memory speeds. When selecting an Athlon 64 or Sempron processor, keep in mind that AMD will only support up to DDR2 667 where FX and X2 processors support up to DDR2 800.

  • ATI 9100 chipsets (Intel):
    Supports dual channel memory architecture, two sticks of memory are recommended for best performance. For 533 FSB processors we recommend PC2700 Unbuffered. For 800 FSB processors we recommend PC3200 Unbuffered. ECC memory is supported on the 875 chipset (but not required).


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