The process of overclocking your CPU and your GPU is one of the most common things that we, as PC builders or enthusiasts have come across several times. But the thing that you must understand about the whole process is a lot easier than you might think.
There are a ton of ways you can overclock those components and get a significant boost in terms of performance.
However, what about RAM? If you are looking at information about how to overclock your RAM, you will come across a pool of information that you can use, but a lot of the time, people do not understand why overclocking RAM is a thing.
That is because for starters, having faster RAM is not going to inherently give you the same boost in terms of performance.
However, Ryzen processors do benefit from faster RAM but that is a topic of another discussion. Today, we want to discuss how you can overclock your RAM, considering how that has become an important aspect for a lot of us, therefore, exploring this possibility is the right thing to do.
Getting Things Ready
Before you get started, you are going to need a few tools.
- CPU Z: For making a note of DRAM frequency and timings.
- Memtest86+: For stress-testing the memory once it is overclocked.
- XMP (Extreme Memory Profile): These are Intel’s presets that are validated so you know that the XMP speeds that are advertised on the RAM, are always going to be working properly.
Once you have these things sorted out, you can start looking at how you can overclock. There are two common ways of overclocking the RAM, and both are inherently different. Therefore, the approach they require is not the same.
Using XMP Profiles
Perhaps one of the easiest ways of overclocking your RAM is using the XMP profile that ships within your motherboard’s BIOS. For starters, the base DDR4 speed is 1600MHz, however, almost all the memory kits that you are buying in the market are with a boost frequency of 3200 MHz, and even higher.
Simply put, when you install a higher frequency RAM in your PC, you will need to turn on the XMP profile from your motherboard BIOS, and everything will be taken care of for you.
The reason why most of us are using XMP profiles is that these are simple to handle, there are no risks involved in the process, and you still get respectable speeds out of these overclocking profiles. However, this does not give you any granular control over the overclocking.
Manually Overclocking Your RAM
Manually overclocking your RAM is slightly trickier as it requires a few more steps, but let’s get started.
- Open the CPU-Z and note down the DRAM frequency as well as timings, along with the timing tables from the SDP table.
- Go to the BIOS, and head over to AI Tweaker, and select manual from there. You can start by increasing the DRAM voltage in small increments such as 0.015v.
- The next step is to start increasing the CPU VCCIO Voltage as well as CPU System Agent Voltage with small increments of 0.05 (1.15v to 1.20v). Just remember that it is better not to get carried away when you are overclocking the RAM as you can end up damaging the RAM to a point of no return.
- As for timing, that needs to be changed from the DRM Timing Control and you will only need to change it three timings, you can use the timings you noted down in the first step and see the results you are going to get.
The last step is to test for stability using Memtest86+ and if your system boots and passes the stress test without rebooting or not posting at all, then your overclock is successful.
RAM overclocking is not as easy as one might think. Meddling with things can result in drastically different results. But what you must understand here is that if you are looking to overclock your RAM, you should only go ahead with it if you are completely aware of how things are going to be done.
We have tried our best to keep things as simple as possible as far as overclocking is concerned but this is also a trial and error process that you will have to be careful about.