Question Can't overlock RAM to anything above 2133MHz on msi Z170A Gaming M5 motherboard

drzoidberg12391

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I've been trying to raise my RAM clock speeds above 2133 MHz and am having no luck with it. Here is what I'm running:

Mobo: MSI Z170A Gaming M5
CPU: i7 6700k
RAM: 32GB (2x16) G.Skill Ripsaw V Series DDR4 3200

I've tried simply turning on XMP in the BIOS, but reboot to a memory error. I then tried using the "Memory Test It!" function and tried setting it to anything above 2133 MHz and receive the same error. Is there any way I can manually tune the timings on the RAM (not that advanced with this stuff), or may my RAM not be compatible with this board? The specs for the mobo listed DDR4-3200 as compatible, so I (as a novice) assumed these sticks of RAM would work.

Thanks,
Matt
 

drzoidberg12391

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Which ram slots are you using?
Slots 2 and 4. I was trying to test with just a single stick in slot 2, but I was met with a screen that said my memory configuration changed and to press F2 or something to enter my bios. USB Keyboard was plugged into a 2.0 slot and wasn't powered on, so I couldn't test further.
 

drzoidberg12391

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Those are the correct slots. Are you on the latest bios? There's been compatibility updates.
No, I bought the mobo in 2016 and it has been part of a couple builds. I never did anything with the BIOS and was considering flashing it but don't want to risk irreparable damage if I don't have to. Maybe I should try it.
 

boju

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It's not so scary. Flash utility in the bios will validate the file first before proceeding. Just have the bios file on a fat32 formatted usb stick unzipped (if zipped) and no folders. Only risk is if power cuts out whilst. Flashing only takes about a minute.
 

drzoidberg12391

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It's not so scary. Flash utility in the bios will validate the file first before proceeding. Just have the bios file on a fat32 formatted usb stick unzipped (if zipped) and no folders. Only risk is if power cuts out whilst. Flashing only takes about a minute.
Thanks for the advice. I updated my bios to the latest firmware. Turning on XMP didn't work, so I tried the "memory try it!" preset profiles again. I wasn't able to get my computer to boot with any profile set between 3066-3200MHz (my RAM's advertised speed), but I was able to get it to work with a 3,000 MHz preset. I ran MemTest64 on it for a few loops, and it was stable.

I don't know if I would have better results in getting closer, or even exceeding 3200 MHz by manually setting the timings myself, but that would likely require more research. I couldn't actually find my setup on G.Skill's RAM configurator website for 32GB (2x16), but see the exact model/timings listed for 8 and 16 GB configurations, which leads me to believe my RAM isn't readily compatible anyways.

I'll take the 3k MHz for now, as I probably won't even tell a difference anyways.

Thanks!
 

boju

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Can use CPUz under SPD tab to find out timings for XMP 3200 profile.

In bios, if try manual, adjust the primary timings to those numbers. Another way to check timing values is after setting XMP, look in the timings page and see what it sets and where for the primary timings, then change back to manual and enter same. Try command rate to 2T, this'll be listed somewhere near timings, maybe down the list a bit. Then Dram volt to 1.35v.
 
Sep 6, 2020
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Thanks for the advice. I updated my bios to the latest firmware. Turning on XMP didn't work, so I tried the "memory try it!" preset profiles again. I wasn't able to get my computer to boot with any profile set between 3066-3200MHz (my RAM's advertised speed), but I was able to get it to work with a 3,000 MHz preset. I ran MemTest64 on it for a few loops, and it was stable.

I don't know if I would have better results in getting closer, or even exceeding 3200 MHz by manually setting the timings myself, but that would likely require more research. I couldn't actually find my setup on G.Skill's RAM configurator website for 32GB (2x16), but see the exact model/timings listed for 8 and 16 GB configurations, which leads me to believe my RAM isn't readily compatible anyways.

I'll take the 3k MHz for now, as I probably won't even tell a difference anyways.

Thanks!
First off what is the die of your ram sticks? Highly suggest you look to the guide below if you want a nice comprehensive guide. This guide was seriously godsend for me learning about overclocking ram.
Secondly definitely flash the new bios its really not hard (must use fat32 flash drive, aka under 64gb). Dont use Memory try it. It doesn’t work well. Note when you flash and have multiple harddrives/ssd sometimes you have to go back into bios startup and choose your ssd/hd again.
Lastly, find your die then if this guide doesnt have suggestions on proper voltages for DRAM, VCCSA, and VCCIO go look up what they are and then try following overclocking steps. If timings don’t work as the guide says loosen them a little more. Also this guy who wrote the guide REALLY seemed to know what he was talking about and he did not condone memtest64 so I would go with plain ole memtest.

Edit: highly recommend Karhu Ram Test, I bought the premium version for 9.99 Euro (there is free version but you have to copy and paste EXE file a bunch of times bc 3gb test limit) and it tests ram within 98% certainty in 30 minutes. This hearsay: it was developed by some guy in Finland who apparently got fed up with how long and inaccurate tests were and so he made his own ram testing software.

https://hcidesign.com/memtest/download.html

https://github.com/integralfx/MemTestHelper/blob/master/DDR4 OC Guide.md#miscellaneous-tips
 
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I don't know if I would have better results in getting closer, or even exceeding 3200 MHz by manually setting the timings myself, but that would likely require more research. I couldn't actually find my setup on G.Skill's RAM configurator website for 32GB (2x16), but see the exact model/timings listed for 8 and 16 GB configurations, which leads me to believe my RAM isn't readily compatible anyways.

I'll take the 3k MHz for now, as I probably won't even tell a difference anyways.
List you RAM P/N for better assessment. The kit you have should be listed on the MB QVL and not a configurator to indicate that they have been tested by the MB Manufacturer.
New RAM are released onto the market just about every month so an update to Bios is now essential to ensure they will work with your Bios.
Other tools for difficult RAM timings are thyphoon and DRAM calculator especially if your RAM is OC where no preset XMP timings are available.
 
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drzoidberg12391

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Nov 9, 2015
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First off what is the die of your ram sticks? Highly suggest you look to the guide below if you want a nice comprehensive guide. This guide was seriously godsend for me learning about overclocking ram.
Secondly definitely flash the new bios its really not hard (must use fat32 flash drive, aka under 64gb). Dont use Memory try it. It doesn’t work well. Note when you flash and have multiple harddrives/ssd sometimes you have to go back into bios startup and choose your ssd/hd again.
Lastly, find your die then if this guide doesnt have suggestions on proper voltages for DRAM, VCCSA, and VCCIO go look up what they are and then try following overclocking steps. If timings don’t work as the guide says loosen them a little more. Also this guy who wrote the guide REALLY seemed to know what he was talking about and he did not condone memtest64 so I would go with plain ole memtest.

Edit: highly recommend Karhu Ram Test, I bought the premium version for 9.99 Euro (there is free version but you have to copy and paste EXE file a bunch of times bc 3gb test limit) and it tests ram within 98% certainty in 30 minutes. This hearsay: it was developed by some guy in Finland who apparently got fed up with how long and inaccurate tests were and so he made his own ram testing software.

https://hcidesign.com/memtest/download.html

https://github.com/integralfx/MemTestHelper/blob/master/DDR4 OC Guide.md#miscellaneous-tips
I downloaded Thaiphoon Burner to obtain information about my RAM. It appears my die is Samsung 8 Gb B-die (see below):


Thanks for the guide link. I read through parts of the guide, particularly the section titled Finding a Baseline. I followed the suggested voltage settings and timings from that section and set them in the BIOS. Changes made summarized below:

VCCSA/VCCIO = 1.15v
DRAM voltage = 1.40v
primary timings = 16-20-20-40 (tCL-tRCD-tRP-tRAS)
tCWL = 16

My computer didn't boot at 3200 MHz but is running right now at 3000 MHz with these settings. I'm not able to get above 3000 it seems.
 

drzoidberg12391

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Nov 9, 2015
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Can use CPUz under SPD tab to find out timings for XMP 3200 profile.

In bios, if try manual, adjust the primary timings to those numbers. Another way to check timing values is after setting XMP, look in the timings page and see what it sets and where for the primary timings, then change back to manual and enter same. Try command rate to 2T, this'll be listed somewhere near timings, maybe down the list a bit. Then Dram volt to 1.35v.
I downloaded CPU-Z and tried manually setting the timings in the BIOS as shown under XMP 3200 below:



I set the DRAM frequency to 3200 and my computer didn't boot. It boots using 3000 MHz and 16-18-18-38 from above. I ran TM5 and it found no errors with this current configuration.

Another forum user provided this resource to aid me. I set the timings to 16-20-20-40 as recommended by that page. computer didnt boot with 3200MHz, but it did boot with 3000 MHz. 3000 MHz was working for a while with the timings, but then I started getting memory errors and blue screens. The 16-18-18-38 is stable for now but again, can't get it to 3200 MHz. Is 3k my max perhaps?
 

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