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Overclocking System Memory

Of course, we are also interested in learning how good the G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS kit is at overclocking. High-speed memory kits often prove to be able to work at frequencies above their rated ones on Intel platforms but we couldn’t check this out with the Socket AM3 platform because our overclocking used to stop before we even reached the rated frequency. But now we’ve got high-speed DDR3 optimized especially for AMD processors.

However, the G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS kit disappoints us in this respect as it can only overclock to 2031 MHz at its default settings (7-9-8-24-1T timings and 1.65V voltage).

We can’t get any further whatever we do. Relaxing the timings, increasing the DIMM voltage, adjusting the frequency and voltage of the CPU-integrated North Bridge are all of no help. Like in our earlier tests, we have encountered an obstacle we can't surpass with the G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS modules.

But when we used the same testbed to overclock memory modules based on Elpida Hyper chips, we faced such a barrier at a much lower frequency. So, the memory from G.Skill, presumably based on Powerchip Technology chips, overclocks better but still shows some internal problems of the Phenom II X6's memory controller which doesn’t work with high-speed memory as successfully as the memory controllers of Intel’s modern processors do.

We also want to check out our G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS memory with a Phenom II X4 processor based on the older C0-stepping core. AMD and memory makers say that quad-core processors from AMD are altogether incompatible with DDR3-2000 SDRAM. Is it really so? We take a newest Phenom II X4 970 and install it on our testbed to find the highest memory frequency for it.

Well, the Phenom II X4 is indeed incompatible with DDR3-2000. The system wouldn’t pass the POST at that memory frequency but the G.Skill F3-16000CL7D-4GBFLS modules proved to be perfectly stable as DDR3-1910. Thus, Socket AM3-optimized memory works well with Phenom II X4 processors but shows best overclocking results with six-core Phenom II X6 products.  

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