Best RAM Modules for the AM3 Platform


May 29, 2012
There are so many choices and price points, it's hard for me to make a decision.

4x4gb Modules
Amazon, Newegg, or TigerDirect preferred.

CPU: Phenom II x4 980 BE

I plan on overclocking to 4ghz. If it's better to purchase 1333mhz RAM in this scenario, please recommend it.


May 29, 2012

I appreciate your intentions, and the product does fit under the specifications I outlined in the top post. However, I'd prefer a unit with at least four stars (or eggs ;) ); thanks, though, for referencing an otherwise noteworthy product!

go ahead and get DDR3 1866MHz since your board is AM3+ and in case you upgrade to Bulldozer and or Piledriver
the DDR3 1866MHz will run natively at that speed.
(only if you want to of course)

but the most common is DDR3 1600 9-9-9-24 CL 9 @ 1.5v
RAM with those specs will work fine for you.

as for the overclocking of the 980BE, you can hit 4.1GHz without any effort or changing of voltage in BIOS.
the 980BE runs @ 3.7GHz and you can hit the multi to run @ 4.1GHz, that's it that's all you have to do.
leave all settings enable as in C1E and CnQ.
the only thing your adjusting is the CPU multi up two clicks to 4.1GHz, your done with that.
then the RAM if getting DDR3 1600MHz, all you need to do with a multi only overclock is set the RAM to time (specs).
save and exit BIOS, unit will then restart,

and yes, 8GB kit is all you need.

I forgot that the board could natively run 1866mhz RAM; I'll get myself two 4gb modules and plan on maxing out the board's 32gb threshold in the future; would make for an excellent future proofing feature.

While I already received the motherboard as a birthday present, I still don't have a CPU for it; instead of the 980BE, I've decided to go ahead with a 960T BE (haven't bought it yet). The 960T BE, while at a lower stock speed, can still yield equivalent performance as the 980BE.

There are also two locked cores on the CPU which MSI has confirmed to be able to unlock, turning the 960T BE into a six-core CPU. Although that probably wouldn't affect gaming performance more than 5~10 fps, the combination of an improved integrated memory controller, lower temperatures and a similar (if not lower) price point, the 960T BE is simply a better option.

Although you probably knew all that. In fact, this thread was about RAM, not CPU's :lol: . Anyway, if there a particular product you would recommend?


May 29, 2012
first let me say that unlocking the 960T is highly probable but not 100% guaranteed..
depending on intended usage of this unit the 980BE is a better move.
plus the 960T has a locked multiplier while the 980BE is unlocked..

Define "intended usage."
Also, locked multipliers don't mean that a cpu can't be overclocked. It makes it slightly more difficult, but my motherboard should offer automatic performance increases with the physical OC Switch on the board and MSI's OC Genie.

I forgot to mention that I'll be running two 6850's in CrossFire, so that might take utilize system memory besides the dedicated 1gb in each card.

Also, I'm willing to spend alot of money to take full advantage of the board; what do you think of these products:

4x2gb 2133mhz Kit

4x8gb 2133mhz kit

4x8gb 1866mhz kit

4x8gb 1600mhz kit

4x4gb 1333mhz kit


Well your board wont let you overclock the ram if you populate all 4 dimm sockets. Let me rephrase that, because its not that it won't its just that if you overclock on an 890 chipset with 4 dimms installed its sometimes not a very stable system.

The second problem, and I'm going from memory here so I could be wrong, I'm pretty sure that dimm slots 1 &2 are the closest to the cpu and so you wont be able to use ram with tall heat spreaders with an aftermarket cpu cooler, again limiting your choice of ram modules. If you do go with 4 sticks of ram, make sure they are all the same.

Good luck with whichever way your roll (960 vs 980)