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Ascertaining RAM speed

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#1
I was killing time in a PC retailer today and found myself wanting to know the RAM speed of the DDR3 installed on a particular laptop.

The assistant went to Task Manager > Performance and under Memory it said 800MHz. He said this meant it was 1333MHz. He said something about 1333 being called 800, or something re: weird naming conventions.

I'm thinking, "no, if it says 800MHZ then it's 800 not 1333." Is he right?
 
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#2
I believe it was actually 1600mhz memory and the reason that it said 800 is because DDR means Duel data rate which means an original clock of 800 would make a 1600mhz effective clock speed.
 

newtekie1

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#3
I assume you are talking about Windows 8. On my laptop the memory installed is DDR3-1600(1600MHz effective, 800MHz real) and task manager says 1600MHz. So I'm guessing the guy was BSing you and that laptop has some slow ass RAM installed(yes, they do actually make DDR3-800).
 
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#4
Thanks, guys. Conflicting viewpoints, so I guess it's hard to be sure. And yes, it was Windows 8. @newtekie1, if your TM says 1600, then I guess that would appear to settle it...

Out of interest, can a computer have two memory sticks in at different speeds (within the maximum RAM requirement, obviously), e.g. one 4GB at 1333, and another at 1600, or do you have to match them up when adding RAM?
 

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#5
you can mix, but all will run at the lowest speed. Have them install and run CPU-z and check the memory tab. That will show half of the rated speed in that window as explained above. Also there is a place in CPU-z where you can click and see exactly what sticks by model number that are installed in the system.
 

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#6
You can mix and match, but all the RAM will run at the speed of the slowest stick.
 
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#7
Thanks, guys. Conflicting viewpoints, so I guess it's hard to be sure. And yes, it was Windows 8. @newtekie1, if your TM says 1600, then I guess that would appear to settle it...

Out of interest, can a computer have two memory sticks in at different speeds (within the maximum RAM requirement, obviously), e.g. one 4GB at 1333, and another at 1600, or do you have to match them up when adding RAM?
There is nothing conflicting, DDR means double data rate. So 800Mhz =1600Mhz, 667Mhz = 1333Mhz

Yes as newtekie1 said you can mix your sticks, although the risk of compatibility issues is greater. But generally speaking it should work. It will operate at the bus speed (MHz) of the slowest stick. If your memory are good quality you can often go into the bios and overclock the slowest stick to run at the same speed of the fastest stick.

PS. The guy at the PC retailer just made a mistake he meant 800=1600Mhz.
 
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#8
Newtekie1 said he had 1600 installed and on his Windows 8, in Task Manager > Performance, it said 1600. I wonder, then, why the one in the shop said 800. As Newtekie1 said, they do make DDR 800, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to know that it actually means 1600 is installed, not DDR3 800.

Someone may well have answered this and I misunderstood - this is not my field.
 
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#9
in Task manager if it says 800mhz then its 800mhz. Some 3rd party programs (such as CPU-Z) measure the real ram speed in which case 800mhz are in fact 1600mhz because of the double data rate (DDR). Windows ALWAYS shows you the effective speed, so 800mhz on windows panel is the slowest ever produced! My windows show 2133mhz but cpu-z shows me half that.
 
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#10
Newtekie1 said he had 1600 installed and on his Windows 8, in Task Manager > Performance, it said 1600. I wonder, then, why the one in the shop said 800. As Newtekie1 said, they do make DDR 800, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to know that it actually means 1600 is installed, not DDR3 800.

Someone may well have answered this and I misunderstood - this is not my field.

Don't worry we are here to help.

DDR3-800 does exist it actually runs at a 400MHz bus, or 800MHz effectively (DDR), its module name is PC3-6400. Its pretty rare very unlikely for a new computer with Windows 8.

Download CPU-Z. Go into the memory tab and SPD tab and do a print screen. It will give you a more conclusive answer. The SPD tab will even tell you the model number for your memory sticks etc.
http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
 
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newtekie1

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#11
DDR3-800 does exist it actually runs at a 400MHz bus, its module name is PC3-6400. Its pretty rare very unlikely for a new computer with Windows 8.
It is possible the shop added some old DDR3-800 RAM they had laying around to the laptop to make it more appealing. Maybe that is why the salesperson got confused as well. The laptop might have originally had a DDR3-1333 stick in it, but when they added the DDR3-800 stick it cause everything to slow down to 800MHz.
 
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#13
My ram is DDR3-1333MHz and it shows in CPUZ as 667MHz. So double it hence the name (D)ouble (D)ata (R)ate.