How to manually set up your RAM speed, timings and voltage
Is your RAM running at the speed it should be?
Published: 31st December 2013 | Source: RushKit |
When a system is first put together, or the BIOS is reset, certain settings will revert to their stock state. This can mean CPU overclocks are reset, fan speed profiles may be lost, hard drive boot priorities may become scrambled, and also the RAM will reset to the default speed of 1333Mhz (on DDR3). We show you how to manually adjust the memory settings to set it to the rated speeds set by the manufacturer.
First things first, you need to check your memory specifications. To do this, you can either check online from the retailer/manufacturer that you bought the Memory from, or take out one of the sticks of RAM and it will say on the label. Take note of the memory speed (2400MHz for example), the timings (10-12-12-31 for example), and the voltage of the memory (1.65v for example).
Before touching any setting in the BIOS, it would be advisable to download CPU-z here, and under the ‘Memory’ tab, double check what you have your RAM set to. Remember, as ‘DDR’ stands for double data rate, you need to double whatever value it shows next to ‘DRAM Frequency’. For example, if 666.5MHz is showing, then the RAM will be running at 1333MHz. Now, if you’ve bought 2133MHz memory, then you’re losing a considerable amount of speed in not having it set to the correct values.
Now, getting into the BIOS should be a simple case of tapping delete as you turn the system on. It may be another button on the keyboard, so if that doesn’t work, check in your motherboard manual. Once into the BIOS, find your way to the ‘Overclock’ settings and once there, look for memory settings.
From there, you need to look for a setting ‘DRAM Timing Mode’, and then ‘Advanced DRAM Configuration’ which will take you to another screen where you will be able to manually input the values for the Memory Timings. Usually, these will default to 9-9-9-24, and a lot of 1600MHz memory already uses these timings, in which case you won’t need to change anything here. However, with higher memory speeds such as 2133MHz, the timings will often be a little higher, so you will need to manually change them. (its worth remembering each board can be worded slightly differently but we are sure you will be able to work it out)
After doing this, go back to the previous menu and look for DRAM Voltage. This will most likely display ‘Auto’, in which case, you need to change this to your specific value. This will most likely be 1.65v, 1.5v or maybe 1.35v for DDR3, but it may be different if you have low voltage RAM.
Finally, look for the DRAM Frequency and then on the drop down list, choose the correct speed for your RAM.
You can now press F10 to save your settings and reboot the PC. It should start up normally (maybe even a few milliseconds faster if you’re lucky!) and then you can check again in CPU-z to make sure the settings have saved correctly.
It may be worth checking with a benchmark program to make sure your system can support very fast memory. 1600MHz and 1866MHz should be fine with most systems, however, it is worth testing anything higher with something like OCCT, some older CPU's just can not run very high memory speeds and others need a little more tinkering in the BIOS to get them to play ball. If you have any issues or questions, feel free to ask on the OC3D Forums.