CPU Overclock Question (RAM-related)


Jun 14, 2007
Hey guys,

I have a very basic question regarding CPU overclocking:
If you've overclocked your CPU, when you add more RAM do you have to go through the entire overclocking (testing) process again?

I'm completely new to overclocking. In fact, I've never overclocked in my life despite being a lifelong PC gamer. After perusing through a few guides, however, I've seen RAM timings, etc. mentioned in them and that caught me by surprise because all along I'd thought that overclocking a CPU simply involved changing some of the CPU's properties in the BIOS and that RAM wasn't taken into the equation (or modified) at all.

Here's my current situation:
My PC is equipped with an Intel i7 860, 8 GB RAM, and an AMD HD 5870 video card. I've ordered both a new video card (GTX 780) and two sticks of RAM (16 GB) to completely replace the RAM I already have. My CPU, which is currently at its stock speeds of 2.8 Ghz, however, will undoubtedly bottleneck me a bit with this new hardware so I want to try and overclock it as much as possible to try and overcome that. I will eventually get a new CPU and motherboard, but I don't plan on doing that right now.

As the RAM is being shipped, I'm considering overclocking my CPU to get that out of the way so that I can stick the new RAM and video card into my computer the moment they arrive and be good to go. Since my RAM will be undergoing a change, however, would it be best to just wait until the new sticks arrive and I've installed them before overclocking? If I overclock now and the new RAM arrives, will I then have to modify my RAM in the BIOS and more or less endure the overclocking process again, testing the different timings and voltages out, etc.?

If you need additional information about my motherboard/RAM, here is what's currently in my computer and what I recently ordered:
RAM (Old)
RAM (New)

Pardon my lack of patience (I'm eager to overclock this thing!), but thank you very much in advance for any help/advice.


You should wait until the new ram arrives.

First Gen Intel core chips are a little different then the new chips. The BCLK controls the ram and CPU. Only the multipliers are different.

8 x 133 = 1066 , 8 x 166 = 1333 , 8 x 200 = 1600
10 x 133 = 1333 , 10 x 166 = 1666 , 10 x 200 = 2000
12 x 133 = 1600 , 12 x 166 = 2000 , 12 x 200 = 2400

You want to concentrate on the CPU first, so basically you set the ram ratio so that your end result ram speed is the same or less then its rated value. (From experience the Dominator memory really doesn't like going faster then 1600 with the preset timings.)

BCLK can go as high as 225, but most people run into issues around 212ish on air. Water cooling will let you bump the voltages enough to make 225 stable (ish).

4.0 Ghz is easily achievable. 200 x 20 (max multiplier is 21 on your CPU edit: might actually be 22, there is some contention, might be more then one stepping(version) of the chip). Multiplier can go higher, but only if you start disabling cores.


I've not much experience in loosening / tightening ram timings. You can get marginal performance gains that way, I just like to buy ram that goes the speed I desire with a low CAS timing. CAS 9 DDR3 1600 is quite good.

Ran my i7-950 @ 3.85 Ghz (161 x 24) but only at 1.125 volts. You can go as high as 1.35 safely depending on your cooling.

Jake Wenta

Mar 13, 2013
Well if overclocking RAM, there are a few things to note. VCCIO-the memory controller voltage in Intel, NB voltage and frequencies. Don't forgot the RAM voltage. You can always just enter the XMP profile or manualy set it, but increasing BCLK would increase more than just CPU speed. So if you want a good guide on overclocking RAM-here's something I've stumbled upon which looks pretty good from skimming through it. I tried to find the one that got me started on RAM overclocks:

But do note RAM overclocking improves performance at very slight performance gains. Games like BF4 benefit largely since they use alot of RAM, so faster RAM actually increases performance. But for games like Crysis 3 and BF3, you'd gain around 5FPS.
It does help all round Windows performance though.

Another thing to note, You don';t really need more than 8GB for gaming, but smaller RAM runs quicker than larger sticks. So 4x4GB would be better than 2x8GB. Also note Latency, lower CAS at higher Frequencies is always better, and I don't think Intel likes higher voltages on RAM. I think some CPU's are limited to 1.5v safely-but not locked to it. (I'd look at these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231690 )

Another thing to note, all components overclock differently. So I would recommend waiting for your hardware to arrive prior to overclocking-because current rig will be stable. But then changing things will make it unstable and require you to go through the process again.

This is the guide I used, there are about 4 or so pages:

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