I am planning a system around a i7 950 CPU, and based on advice from this board, I want to use 3 x 4GB memory to leave space for a future upgrade to 24GB. Most of the 4GB memory in my local area is DDR3 1600, rather than 1333. I may or may not overclock (never done it before) -- can this memory be used on a X58 mobo without overclocking? If one has to overclock to use this memory, can the standard Intel heatsink handle the heat?
CPU clock speed and memory clock speed can be set independent of each other, meaning you can run the CPU at stock speed, but run the memory at a different clock speed. You set that in the BIOS of your motherboard. If you only overclock the memory (that is use the full rated speed instead of the standard 1066 speed or whatever it is of the chipset) your CPU will not run at higher temps so the stock cooler is OK, but it is nevertheless advised to use a third party cooler because of the better cooling and the lower noise. The RAM has been designed to run at higher speeds than the X58 or other chipsets give you standard, so there is no extra cooling required.