Core i7 possibly threatened by high memory voltages
It seems like the selection of system memory and motherboard is, because of Nehalem’s integrated memory controller, more important for a Core i7 than estimated.
Lately there have been several rumors saying that the combination of Core i7 processors and X58 motherboards poses a threat to the CPU if memory voltages above 1.65 volt are used. Those estimations have been nurtured by pictures of the X58 motherboard Asus P6T Deluxe, which has been send to testers with a safety notification. According to the Inquirer, Asus has already run successful tests at 1.7 volt.
The JEDEC specifications only require 1.5 volt for DDR3 modules, but a lot of overclocker modules have been specified for more than 2 volt by the vendors. Steffen Eisenstein, Vice President of Mushkin talked about the introduction of specially adjusted Triple Channel modules within the month.
New information says that the motherboard plays a more important role in the situation as it has been estimated up to now. Fudzilla for example writes about possible memory voltages up to 2.3 volt. Those voltages on the other hand are not recommendable for DDR3 modules over a long time. The pivotal question is, if a X58 motherboard offers, against the Intel specifications, such voltages. One might expect that there will be such Core i7 boards for high-end users and overclockers.
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