How To Simple RAM Overclocking With a Few Clicks: How to Enable XMP

Well, I have an issue with XMP being called Overclock, it's just a suggestion/guide for BIOS to enable some memory settings from one or multiple ones so memory would run at those settings. True OC would be going over XMP settings. As XMP is not definite and for all possible memory settings, there's a lot of space left for even better adjustments depending on MB, BIOS and CPU's IMC.
 

Crashman

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Editor
Well, I have an issue with XMP being called Overclock, it's just a suggestion/guide for BIOS to enable some memory settings from one or multiple ones so memory would run at those settings. True OC would be going over XMP settings. As XMP is not definite and for all possible memory settings, there's a lot of space left for even better adjustments depending on MB, BIOS and CPU's IMC.
So, if you buy DDR4-2666 1.2V and set it to DDR4-3200 1.35V, it's an overclock. But, if a memory vendor programs that as an XMP, it's not an overclock. Is that you take?

Technically speaking, overclocking DDR4-2666 to DDR4-3200 is an overclock regardless of how it's done. I understand that calling XMP an overclock diminishes the 1337-ness of overclocking, but those are the breaks.

BTW, several motherboard brands have had auto-overclocking programs for several CPU generations, so perhaps the term has already been diminished?
 
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Well, I wouldn't consider XMP as a real overclock but just as a maximum clock (frequency) manufacturer considers as full speed for that particular RAM stick model. That is not a traditional overclock that meant going over manufacturer's recommended frequencies. Some RAM has several such XMP profiles that are just set of instructions for BIOS to set memory to certain frequency including other settings like Cas and voltage for instance for it to work at all or at it's best performance. JEDEC is also similar but may include even more detailed settings.
Conversely, if CPU can run from a set minimum frequency to it's maximum frequency on all cores is also just a set of steps in frequency and not real overclock but just normal operation within given (projected) parameters set by manufacturer to their least successful sample. That's why moist can be "overclocked" to more than that.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Well, I wouldn't consider XMP as a real overclock but just as a maximum clock (frequency) manufacturer considers as full speed for that particular RAM stick model. That is not a traditional overclock that meant going over manufacturer's recommended frequencies. Some RAM has several such XMP profiles that are just set of instructions for BIOS to set memory to certain frequency including other settings like Cas and voltage for instance for it to work at all or at it's best performance. JEDEC is also similar but may include even more detailed settings.
Conversely, if CPU can run from a set minimum frequency to it's maximum frequency on all cores is also just a set of steps in frequency and not real overclock but just normal operation within given (projected) parameters set by manufacturer to their least successful sample. That's why moist can be "overclocked" to more than that.
The manufacturer of the RAM ICs says it's DDR4-2666. It doesn't matter who pushes it to a higher level, it's still a higher-than-rated clock. The RAM is indeed DDR4-2666 regardless of how the company that puts it on a DIMM advertises it.

Let me put it this way: Remember when OCZ sold bone-stock Samsung PC-800 RDRAM as PC-1066? And remember that it overheated on most systems? And remember what we said about it back then? You might not have been around back then, but the consensus was "overclocked too far".

Regarding that old memory, Samsung manufactured it. OCZ overclocked it.

Moving up to the present, the memory referenced in this article was originally Samsung DDR4-2666, sold by Adata as DDR4-3200. Samsung manufactured it. Adata overclocked it.

From another angle: If the chips on these modules weren't being overclocked, XMP wouldn't be necessary.

As for CPUs, do you remember when Intel tried to release a Pentium III 1.13GHz using the Coppermine core? And remember the math error? Uncovering that put Tom's Hardware back on the map. Intel had used a raised vCore to get that CPU to that frequency, and the consensus in the enthusiast community was "overclocked too far". But since Intel was the actual IC manufacturer, you could instead say "improperly validated", and that's closer to the argument you're making.
 
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Well, I wouldn't consider XMP as a real overclock but just as a maximum clock (frequency) manufacturer considers as full speed for that particular RAM stick model. That is not a traditional overclock that meant going over manufacturer's recommended frequencies.
XMP typically means running the RAM faster than what the CPU IMC is rated for (e.g. 2666/2400 MHz for latest Intel chips), and motherboard manufacturers will list any compatible memory speeds beyond this speed as "(OC)".
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
XMP typically means running the RAM faster than what the CPU IMC is rated for (e.g. 2666/2400 MHz for latest Intel chips), and motherboard manufacturers will list any compatible memory speeds beyond this speed as "(OC)".
Then you're overclocking the IMC though, so the overclocking label applies to a different component.

I didn't want overclocking in the title, mostly because I thought that as a "how to" it would get higher Google placement with the shorter title, but the boss has his own strategy :D
 

TechyInAZ

Titan
Moderator
Yeah technically XMP is an overclock. But you could also call it a stock speed in another sense (due to the fact that it is certified to run at that overclocked speed from the memory making company itself.)

Just depends on what your definition of "overclock" is.
 
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Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Where do you see the original rated speed of the DRAM chips? Are you just going off the base JEDEC profile that's included?
Nah, you just peel the heat spreaders off and then when you find torn adhesive all over the place you get embarrassed and don't take photos. More than half the time, more than half the print comes off with the adhesive, and then you can read it with a magnifying glass and a flashlight but can't get a legible photo.

Or you can ask the company. This works pretty well for review sites but they might not respond to individuals.
Or you can use a program. Those are free to individuals
Or you can Google another article where someone either got a decent photo OR used a program, and then have the owner of that program threaten to sue you for not licensing the program even though you don't have a copy.

In all of those cases, you will always find that the top JEDEC (SPD table) configuration is also the set for which the ICs are rated. Always. 100% of the time. Of course we haven't tested every kit on the market, so...prove me wrong?

Tom's Hardware hasn't reviewed any DRAM with IC's over DDR4-2666, so that only leaves overclocking.
 
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Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Yeah technically XMP is an overclock. But you could also call it a stock speed in another sense (due to the fact that it is certified to run at that overclocked speed from the memory making company itself.)

Just depends on what your definition of "overclock" is.
They didn't make the memory though, they just assembled it. Using DDR4-2666 ICs
I personally think of XMP (DOCP) as a Manufacturer Approved OC.
Manufacturer...assembler, I'll give you that one :D
 
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DMAN999

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^ LOL
Assembler might be more accurate but if I'm not mistaken G.Skill and others do manufacture the PCB the Memory chips get installed on.
I still just see it as an OC Profile that was tested and proven to be reliable by the Company that sells the RAM to the end user.
 

Karadjgne

Titan
Herald
Overthinking things.
Base speed for ddr4 is 2133MHz.
XMP is technically an overclock as it adjusts the speed and timings over base settings. It's no different than turbo on a cpu, a factory set OC.

If you enable XMP, write down all the changes, disable XMP, apply the changes by manually, that's overclocking. If you enable turbo, write down all the voltages and settings etc, disable turbo, change multiplier, change voltages or any other settings, you just overclocked the cpu.

Not a hard concept.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Overthinking things.
Base speed for ddr4 is 2133MHz.
XMP is technically an overclock as it adjusts the speed and timings over base settings. It's no different than turbo on a cpu, a factory set OC.

If you enable XMP, write down all the changes, disable XMP, apply the changes by manually, that's overclocking. If you enable turbo, write down all the voltages and settings etc, disable turbo, change multiplier, change voltages or any other settings, you just overclocked the cpu.

Not a hard concept.
It's a little more complicated than that.
The ICs on the Adata modules from the CPU-Z screen shot are rated at DDR4-2666.
Most high-end DDR4 uses ICs rated at DDR4-2400
Some high-end DDR4 uses ICs rated at DDR4-2133
 

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