How to Overclock RAM. RAM mostly comes from the factory with a lower speed than the silicon is capable of.
Overclocking RAM is not quite the ticker-tape parade of increased performance found when boosting your CPU or GPU but that does not mean it should not be considered.
Within a few minutes in your BIOS and a bit of testing, you can get your system memory to run faster than the manufacturer’s specifications.
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What You Need to Know Before You Begin
Overclocking RAM is a bit complex than CPU or GPU overclocking.
Where you are merely cranking a dial all in one watercooler does not turn your system into a space heater.
While overclocking RAM, there are many knobs for you to turn but it’s also much safer because they don’t produce much heat.
Each program you use stores its data in RAM before loading it into the CPU’s internal cache and programs that use a lot of it can chum through RAM like butter.
Frame time can cut down significantly after improvement in your RAM’s overall latency in games.
The speed of RAM is usually measured in megahertz (Mhz). DDR4 stock speed is 2133 Mhz or 2400 Mhz, the real speed is actually half of that since its Double Data Rate (DDR).
Apart from this, the memory has over twenty different timings which control latency and how fast you can read and write.
They are measured in terms of which clock cycles and often grouped under the CAS latency (CL).
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Useful Tools To Overclock RAM
CPU-Z is an overclocking tool that can be easily downloaded for free. Navigate to the memory tab; you can make a note of your DRAM frequency and timings.
You can as well use the SDP tab to look at the timing tables which are the XMP settings the BIOS uses.
Memtest86+ is widely used for stress testing the system as it has extensive configuration options for running tests.
XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles)
XMP is validated overclocking settings and its Intel’s preset that can be enabled via the motherboards firmware or a utility.
With the use of XMP, the system firmware is allowed to automatically configure the DRAM voltage and latencies.
There are a few overclocking options with memory. 1. Auto, 2. XMP and 3. Manual. We are going to show you how to use these options but mainly a step by guide to manual overclocking with the use of the XMP in this guide.
- Open the system CPU-Z and take note of the DRAM frequency and timings then write down the timing tables from the SDP tab as these are the XMP settings your BIOS will use. (Your RAM speed is the frequency-doubled).
- Now, you want to go into your BIOS. Once your motherboard equivalent and set it to XMP or your BIOS navigates to the AI tweaker. (You should see a drop-down menu).
- Match the XMP profile of your choice with the advertised specs of your RAM.
- Hold off any other BIOS changes at this point. Save, reboot your system and perform a stress test.
If the results of the stress test are stable then success.
- If you follow the XMP steps above, this should have given you idea of what speeds, frequency and timings you can have with your RAM.
- Go into your BIOS and navigate to the AI tweaker only this time you want to select ‘manual’.
- Then you can start by increasing the DRAM voltage in increments of 0.015v.
- You can increase the CPU VCCIO Voltage and CPU system agent Voltage in increments of 0.05v (1.15v to 1.20v) but don’t be carried away as you do not want to break your components.
- Onto the timings. This can be called DRAM Timing Control and you only need to change three timing settings (use your timings).
- Now test for stability and repeat.
We are confident that using any of these procedures, you will find it easier to overclock your RAM.
If there are any questions that you will like to ask or an area that you need us to shed more light, you can drop it in the comment section as we would not hesitate to answer your questions.