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DDR3-1600 SDRAM: Optimal Choice for Core i7 Overclocking

Core i7-920 has become the most popular CPU in the Core i7 series. The reason for this high demand is very simple: it is the cheapest LGA1366 processor with an excellent overclocking potential. According to the overclocking statistics, with air-cooling these CPUs can reach 3.8-4.0GHz with Hyper-Threading technology enabled or 4.0-4.2GHz with this technology disabled.

Keeping in mind that Core i7-920 uses 20x multiplier (or 21x available through Turbo Boost technology), most overclockers try to get their system to work at the BCLK base generator frequency increased from the nominal 133MHz to 180-210MHz. Taking into account that Core i7 processors support even memory frequency multipliers starting from 6x, the list of the most interesting nominal rates for the overclocker memory includes the following values:

As you can see from the table above, the memory with 1600MHz frequency will be of primary interest to computer enthusiasts willing to overclock their Core i7-920 based platforms. Slow DDR3-1200 will most likely be rejected because of insufficient bandwidth. As for fast DDR3-2000, it may become a worthy part of an overclocker system, but on the one hand, it is too expensive, and on the other it is a little tricky to actually use. The technical difficulties we are talking about mostly come from the fact that the L3 cache of Core i7 processors should work at least at twice the frequency of the memory. Therefore, to ensure its stability at 4.0GHz frequency (instead of the default 2.13GHz), you may need to increase the Uncore voltage quite substantially, which may end up dangerously high for the semiconductor processor die.

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