Confused by MSI's ram specs

By Tarquin
Jan 15, 2016
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  1. Hello all,

    I've Googled around for an answer to this riddle, but I couldn't quite find it. Hence the thread.

    I am looking to upgrade my PC to Skylake, and I have chosen the i7 6700K in combination with the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro motherboard (specs here). I'm looking to use a kit of 2 x 4 GB Kingston HyperX FURY sticks (specs here), which are clocked at 2666 MHz. However, looking at the specs, MSI lists the following: "3600(OC)/ 3200(OC)/ 3000(OC)/ 2800(OC)/ 2600(OC)/ 2400/ 2133 MHz."

    This leads me to believe 2133 MHz and 2400 MHz are native, but why does it list 2600 instead of 2666 MHz? 2600 is not a (JEDEC?) standard, as far as I can tell. I hope someone can demystify this for me. I want to know if I can safely use this kit on this motherboard, but I'm also curious about the reason for that listing.


  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    Tarquin likes this.
  3. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,550   +2,894

    They are basically the same thing, with 2666 rounded down to 2600.

    Such as a search for DDR2 667 returns:
    • PC2 5200
    • PC2 5300
    • PC2 5400
    Or a search for DDR3 1333 returns:
    • PC3 10600
    • PC3 10660
    • PC3 10666
    Tarquin likes this.
  4. Tarquin

    Tarquin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your replies!

    I had not found that memory support page yet -- must've overlooked it. The DIMMs appear on both lists, though they only seem to list 16GB and higher (so HX426C15FBK4/16 instead of HX426C15FBK2/8). I suppose that doesn't really matter since they're the same sticks, right?

    Well, if they simply round it down because "2600" looks prettier than "2666," that seems needlessly confusing.
  5. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    That puzzled me, too. And it took a bit of time to find it.

    As near as I can make out Kingston is pushing sets ( 2/8 is 2 sticks for total of 8 ) and that the stick is " HX426C15FBK" whether it is a total of 8 or 16. I can see what MSI is trying to do (right columns, size and number of DIMMs 1,2,4) is to make sense out of the various labeling idiosyncrasies of the vendors (some of which do not play nice in a 4 stick group). I guess there is no IEEE standard for labels.

    Have a great build!
  6. Tarquin

    Tarquin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, it could certainly be clearer. But thank you -- it's good to know that specific stick is supported as well. Can't be too careful when it comes to compatibility, I've learned.

    The build should be fun! *knocks on wood* The only thing I'm slightly nervous about is applying thermal paste, but using the pea-technique looks pretty simple. I also hope I can format my SDD to GPT and still use my MBR-formatted HDD for data and games, but from what I've read so far, it shouldn't be a problem.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  7. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,657   +309

    - pea method, line or cross - avoid spreading as this results in air bubbles.

    Cleaning old off? I use Isopropyl Alcohol and a coffee filter.
  8. Tarquin

    Tarquin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, I found that video as well :). Looks very doable. Thankfully don't have to worry about clearing off old paste, as this will be a brand new motherboard, CPU, and cooler.
  9. Tarquin

    Tarquin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Quick report back: I just finished the upgrade, and the motherboard took the RAM at its intended speed, no problem. Installing the heatsink with the pea method went quite well, too.
    cliffordcooley likes this.

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