Question Buying higher mhz then the CPU calls for! Can the motherboard/bios reduce the mhz to make it work?

Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
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Hi everyone,

I had a deal on 3200 mhz but my CPU wants DDDR4 2666. It is the Intel i3 10100F.

Anyones if I can use this memory for a build? Have not decided on the motherboard but it will be PCIe 3 and LGA 1200 motherboard that for sure; might be PCIe 3/4 and Gen 4 motherboard too.
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,700
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Yes, as long as it's the right generation of ddr it should work.
The problems you might encounter would be related to latency settings, voltages, and xmp profiles.
Sometimes dimms don't have recommended settings in the spd for a reduced mhz profile so the bios will end up guessing. Worst case you'd use the same latencies for 3200 and just change the mhz to 2666 which would almost certainly be stable.
But most any motherboard will find settings which atleast post, giving you the chance to make minor changes in the bios to ensure it is stable.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I believe if you get a 500 series Intel board, you can still use your i3 on it and still do memory tweaking/OC to 3200 and possibly beyond.

And memory will often downclock/adjust if needed.

I am curious though, why buy a comet lake i3? Is this a budget build? Perhaps you could make a thread under PC building section and specify what you are doing with the computer, what your budget is etc...and we could help make recommendations.
 

Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
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91
I got a new middle tower for fun(got a great deal) and so it uses 2666mhz ddr4! Cannot wait to try putting in a stick of 3200mhz.
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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I don't mean to hijack the OP's thread. But his issue compels me to ask my own related question.

I've been using DDR4-3200 14-14-14 kits for about four years. I may have to replace a "K" CPU for a brand-new locked CPU of the same base speed, never used and acquired last year with a "bundle" purchase.

It would seem to me that I should be able to tweak the default RAM speed and timings to the RAM-model's spec, even if the processor is locked. Is that true? With these "OC" RAM modules, you often have to manually bump up the VCCIO and VCCSA voltages of the processor IMC. I haven't thought about limitations of a locked CPU for a long, long time.
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
Super Moderator
Sep 13, 2008
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I am not certain how much control you will have over the voltages with a locked chip, but I suspect it depends on the generation, and also the motherboard used. For instance, I believe most Z series motherboards allow for the adjustment of memory settings in general, and some CPU voltage control, and in some cases certain boards with certain firmware will even allow CPU OC on locked chips, for example using BCLK OC or by modifying turbo boost settings.

What CPU and board will you be using?
 

Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
571
59
91
I am not certain how much control you will have over the voltages with a locked chip, but I suspect it depends on the generation, and also the motherboard used. For instance, I believe most Z series motherboards allow for the adjustment of memory settings in general, and some CPU voltage control, and in some cases certain boards with certain firmware will even allow CPU OC on locked chips, for example using BCLK OC or by modifying turbo boost settings.

What CPU and board will you be using?
I purchased a new Lenovo ThinkStation Tower P330 CPU - i5 9400 that already has one 16GB stick inside and I purchased an additional Crucial 3200 16GB that Crucial said it would work in it even at the higher 3200 mhz clock but that it - bios would downclock it to 2666! I am waiting for my PSUs to come so I can install all the stuff at one time: new Noctua Chromax fans, new 500 or 550 PSU and the Crucial 16GB stick. Crucial said I could send it back free if it did not work! The price difference between the speeds was around $12. So I wanted to sort future proof the memory for future stuff.
 
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Harry_Wild

Senior member
Dec 14, 2012
571
59
91
Just slotted my stick of 3200 mhz 16GB memory into my motherboard that is restricted to run on 2666 mhz max and the PC had no issues at all. Now shows up as 32GB of RAM!:) Should of went for the 4400 speed. That was something like $50 more.
 

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