When Intel’s new Skylake processors was announced, the chipmaker said that it would offer limited support for DDR3 RAM. It now seems that not only is that support limited to DDR3L, but that using DDR3 RAM at its default voltage could actually damage Skylake chips.
According to Intel, Skylake’s integrated memory controller (IMC) officially supports DDR3L at 1.35V and DDR4 at 1.2V. Any DDR3 RAM running at a voltage higher than 1.35 could torch the IMC and render the processor inoperable after prolonged exposure.
It does beg the question as to why OEMs like Gigabyte, Asus, and ASRock support DDR3 at 1.5V and 1.65V, respectively? While it won’t damage the board, it will most like affect the chip. Given the option, it seems sensible to opt for the more expensive DDR4.
We also now know that the Skylake IMC can support clock speeds of up to 4,133MHz. The new DDR4 RAM standard currently runs at between 2,133MHz and 3,000MHz, but some RAM kits are already pushing beyond that, with some reaching 4,233MHz. RAM with clock speeds above 4,133MHz is more likely to see errors with Skylake, so until we see Cannonlake or a Skylake Refresh, it’s worth keeping an eye on your RAM’s clock speed.
Thank you Tom’s Hardware for providing us with this information.
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