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Question Any reasons to overclock RAM on Intel?

Jlg823

Honorable
Dec 26, 2013
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So I've got an i7-7700k running on an ASUS Z70 TUF Mark 2 motherboard. I've got G.Skill 16GB RAM running at 2400mhz and wondering if there's any reason for me to overclock and push it higher for gaming/editing. The motherboard DOES have XMP Profiles, but I'd have to update the BIOS for it so currently I just manually set it to 2400mhz.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That board supported up to 3600mhz memory from it's release BIOS. I'd recommend updating the BIOS anyhow, but it shouldn't be necessary at all just to enable XMP and run faster RAM.

What speed are the memory modules ACTUALLY supposed to be based on their advertised speed? Or are you looking to BUY a faster memory kit? Whatever, if your memory is anything from 3600mhz or lower, simply enabling XMP, possibly even for faster memory than that, should be all you need to do. At some point it might be necessary, if the memory speed is too high or if you run 4 DIMMs, to apply a small overclock to the CPU, but I wouldn't expect that to be necessary at anything below 3200mhz.
 

Jlg823

Honorable
Dec 26, 2013
433
0
10,810
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That board supported up to 3600mhz memory from it's release BIOS. I'd recommend updating the BIOS anyhow, but it shouldn't be necessary at all just to enable XMP and run faster RAM.

What speed are the memory modules ACTUALLY supposed to be based on their advertised speed? Or are you looking to BUY a faster memory kit? Whatever, if your memory is anything from 3600mhz or lower, simply enabling XMP, possibly even for faster memory than that, should be all you need to do. At some point it might be necessary, if the memory speed is too high or if you run 4 DIMMs, to apply a small overclock to the CPU, but I wouldn't expect that to be necessary at anything below 3200mhz.
View: https://imgur.com/MfIcU7R
As you can see, it doesn't allow me to choose any XMP Profiles even after updating.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Move your sticks to the A2 and B2 slots. You have them in the A1 and B1 slots and those are not the correct slots for two DIMM operation on ANY dual channel motherboard when only two DIMMs are in use. Move them, and then reset the BIOS as shown below, and then enable XMP.


BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.

 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
To answer, yes and no. There's benefits to running faster than default and drawbacks. For benefits, it's entirely upto the software. With the size capable of ddr4 bandwidth, the chances of saturation especially in dual channel, are slim, so there's little opportunity for slowdowns and most times you'll not see any real benefit at all. Ram does work in nanoseconds after all, and with the sheer amount of small files games use, the transfer speeds are normally faster than the cpu can use. Meaning the ram is relegated to being a cache more than anything. Some games/software that's different. They are coded to make better use of faster ram, so fps can go up. Visibly so. Some games can see a 20-30fps hike between 2400 and 3600MHz. But it's entirely game dependent.

Drawbacks include more strain on the memory controller and result in higher cpu temps, the bigger the difference over default, the higher the temp. This is due to the work the mc has to do, higher speeds = more work. Optimum performance/temps are at a 1:1 ratio. Some ppl have issues with fast ram and high OC, just because of the voltages involved, lowering the speeds can result in a stable OC, that wasn't otherwise available.

So is it worth it? Mostly yes, if done within reason, there's definitely a point of diminishing returns, so going uber fast 4000MHz and it's massive price tag, for an extra few fps over 3200MHz usually isn't worth it. And most ppl aren't pushing ultimate OC, so stability is probable, and most ppl can live with the extra 2-4°C cpu temps under heavy loads.
 

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