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CPU Supported RAM

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Aug 2, 2014
Hi everyone,

My CPU (i7-3820) supports up to DDR3 1600Mhz according to the Intel website. If I were to buy new RAM that is DDR3 2400Mhz, would the CPU run the RAM at 1600Mhz anyways? Or would the CPU still run it at 2400Mhz? If it does keep it running at higher speed, will it damage the CPU? My motherboard supports up to DDR3 2400Mhz so it will be fine. Thanks for any help.
I believe that the RAM will only run at a speed no higher than 1600 MHz unless you overclock the CPU. The act of running your CPU at default settings will force the RAM to run slower than it is rated at the 1600 speed. This will not be a problem for either the CPU or RAM. The question then would be: Why pay for 2400 RAM if 1600 will work?

It would also be helpful if you posted the motherboard that you are working with.

The nice thing here is that if I am wrong, we will get a post from someone who knows better.
What motherboard are you using and what kit of RAM are you trying to install. Normally yes you will be able to run the faster RAM at its rated speed assuming the mobo will allow you to set that speed. Depending on what kit of RAM you have you may have to adjust some voltages to get it to stabilize on that mobo.
I can say that the 2400 with a CAS of 11 is generally faster than 1333 at CAS 9. While the CAS timing of the 2400 is slower, the extra speed on the 2400's more than makes up the difference.
I would question upgrading the RAM at all unless there is a problem.
Everyday real world difference will be very small in almost all applications.
Ok, so you don't think I would see any sort of performance increase from upgrading? I just want to avoid any bottlenecks when I upgrade to the new video card.
You will notice a much bigger improvement if you put the saved money towards a better GPU. If it is gaming we are talking about.
How much Ram do you have now? I know you were looking to go to 16gigs.