Question Is XMP really just a marketing gimmick?

rasmasyean

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Mar 15, 2008
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I mean, if the RAM is designed / tested to perform at this "overclock", it's not really an overclock now is it?

I mean it sounds like just a gimmick to satisfy the need to "get more out of your system", but they charge you more for something that is standard.

Am I missing something?
 

Gam3r01

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Not every stick of RAM is going to be stable at any given speed, nor will every system take XMP profiles correctly. So it makes sense for kits to be branded different.
I also wouldnt consider XMP profiled RAM speeds to be an overclock anyway, they arent marketed as such either.
 
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kanewolf

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I mean, if the RAM is designed / tested to perform at this "overclock", it's not really an overclock now is it?

I mean it sounds like just a gimmick to satisfy the need to "get more out of your system", but they charge you more for something that is standard.

Am I missing something?
XMP is also a "smart" capability. The RAM manufacturer can provide the tested speeds for a specific product. So that enabling XMP on RAM "A" will get you 3200 but on RAM "B" only 2933. No different interaction with the user. But different lookup tables stored by the manufacturer. You can pay the RAM manufacturer more for RAM guaranteed to 3200 or less for 2933.
 
Hi Rasmasyean.

DDR4 has a default speed . This is an overclock in any ways you look at it.

Default speed for most DDR4 is 2133MHz. So installing the RAM the system will run the RAM at 2133MHz. To achieve a higher frequency you need to overclock the RAM using the XMP.

It is not a gimmick. It's real.

The advertised speed of the RAM is what the RAM was tested to be able to do IF you have a CPU and a motherboard that can handle that RAM speed. Meaning your JEDEC DDR4 default speed can be overclocked to advertised speed.
 
They have to make ram run at 2133Mhz just so that someone who buys DDR4 4400Mhz and puts it on a budget motherboard like a B460 isn't SOL. Then they need an easy way for the ram to be run at its fastest speed hence XMP.
 

Zerk2012

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I mean, if the RAM is designed / tested to perform at this "overclock", it's not really an overclock now is it?

I mean it sounds like just a gimmick to satisfy the need to "get more out of your system", but they charge you more for something that is standard.

Am I missing something?
Good question!
The answer is yes, no , and might be.
  1. the memory was made and can run at X speed, timings and cas @ X voltage.
  2. It was tested with X processor and X motherboard. Used X since you have absolutely no clue what they use.
  3. You buy B processor and B motherboard and install the memory that was tested of X and X.
  4. Your processor has a memory controller that is rated at 2666.
  5. Your motherboard has memory speed support of 2133, 2400, 2666, then says, 3000(OC), 3200(OC), 3600(OC) ETC....
You bought 4000 memory so the processor has no native support for that speed, and your motherboard says 4000 is (OC) now you get into the might be, yes, and no.

You just entered the twilight zone. Their a few different things that can happen trying to run it @ 4000
  1. You enable XMP (DOCP for ASUS AMD) and it don't work no boot.
  2. You enable same thing and it works but is not stable.
  3. You can use the advertised specks and up the voltage a bit and it works fine.
  4. You need to loosen the timings a bit for it to be stable.
  5. You enable it and everything is fine.
  6. You enable it but it's not stable and you need to lower the speed for it to be stable @ the advertised timings, cas, and voltage.
EDIT anything that says OC on the motherboard is not guaranteed to work without adjustments even if it's on the motherboard support list it don't mean the same model number you bought was made with the same parts.
 
XMP, an Intel invention to place essential settings for a memory stick in firmware to aid BIOS in setting essential (not all) parameters for best tested frequency, latency etc. for given RAM stick(s). It's NOT overclock by any means, just best settings for RAM to operate at it's highest rated speed. BIOS itself is not obliged to use all the XMP settings but may do some variations.
JEDEC is industry wide standard, while XMP is not. Intel systems tend to stick more closely to XMP while Ryzen systems are more loose with settings.
There is another component to RAM, it's IMC (internal Memory Controller) inside modern CPUs, they all have either locked or unlocked highest frequency of particular (for that model) and only if you "overclock" RAM is higher than that value can be considered overclocking of RAM. Some RAM may have 2 or more XMP profiles and all have several JEDEC standards. It's also not true that all RAM have lowest frequency at 2133MHz, there are lower and higher ones.
Take a look at my setup for instance. RAM has XMP profiles for 3000 and 3600MHz, lowest JEDEC shows 667 (1333)MHz, BIOS starts it at 2400MHz on auto but can be lowered.
XMP calls for Cl15 at 1499MHz, DOCP sets it at VL16. XMP for 1802MHZ at CL17 while DOCP sets it at Cl16 again.
Now I have a crazy combination in BIOS,DOCP set to 3000MHz Cl16 but frequency manually set to 3600MHz also at Cl16. BTW, 3700x IMC's best frequency is 3200MHz. So yes, memory as far as IMC is concerned is overclocked but RAM itself is not. It's running at its projected best frequency with some "fixed" Cl and other values.
 
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