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What kind of memory can you use with a X38 X48 or X58 mobo?

Posted on 2009-04-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Excuse my appalling ignorance, not much of a builder.

I'm looking at new motherboards and want to get one with a x*8 northbridge so I can use either SLI or Crossfire. I'm just thinking for the future - if I have enough money and for whatever reason want to replace one ATI with two nVidea, or vice versa, I'd like the option.

The thing is they all seem to imply you have to get DDR2 1200 RAM. Do I HAVE to get DDR2 1200 or can I just use any DDR2 RAM?

Thanks
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Question by:johngerity
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by:
IKZ earned 168 total points
ID: 24045897
They work best with DDr2 1200.

The key thing to know here is not to EXCEED DDR2 1200.  You can use ddr2800 or 667 if youd like.  Simply put, dont exceed 1200- the mobo cant support it--yet.  One day they might come out with a BIOS update to run faster RAM, but until then, stick to the spec and remember it is a maximum frequency.
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by:tplaya07
tplaya07 earned 167 total points
ID: 24045923
You can use any DDR2 RAM, but the motherboard clock it down to whatever the fastest speed it supports. So, any DDR2 RAM slower than 1200 will be fine, but run at the speed of the RAM, and anything over 1200 will only run at 1200 (assuming that's what the motherboard supports).
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by:jamietoner
jamietoner earned 165 total points
ID: 24046078
If you want one that supports both crossfire and SLI then you'll need a board with the X58, which uses DDR3 instead of DDR2(also many x38 and x48 board use DDR3 aswell). Also almost all(if not all) of the boards that advertise ddr2 1200 support will state the only way to do it(even with ddr2 1200 ram) is to overclock because the chipset doesn't support that speed natively. "Do I HAVE to get DDR2 1200 or can I just use any DDR2 RAM?" No, just make sure what you get can keep up with the cpu you choose and you'll be fine good DDR2 1066 would be more than enough for the cpu's that board will support(unless you are doing some extreme overclocking). If you go with the X58 with a Core i7 then you'll want DDR3 1600.
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Author Closing Comment

by:johngerity
ID: 31565618
Thanks all for the clarification.

I think i'll hold off on the i7/DDR3 until the prices come way down. Or I hit the lottery.
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