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Old computer guy new to neo-overclocking.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Last time I overclocked a computer it was when you set multipliers with jumpers on the mobo. And it was by accident.

Since then I haven't really gotten into it. But now with memory timing it's inevitable.

What is the deal with this stuff? First of all I'm used to reading EE type datasheets to get the information I need for max voltages etc. I understand memory timings are arbitrary and need to be drilled in as they depend on the motherboard and the processor too.

Is there a method to this other than try something, if it breaks, try something else?

Especially with voltage. There's a point where you can fry your ram and I don't want to unknowingly cross that boundary. Especially since it was only a few years ago that RAM was eating up 2v+

Also what's the deal on cooling memor?. I know that processors benefit greatly from cooler temps but what about RAM?

Long story short. Does everyone just follow manufacturer recommendations or do some take it further? If so what's the general order of operations and what limits do you just never cross?
post #2 of 7
Oh Hai, I'm a EE too.

If your a EE, then this should be a cakewalk.

You got to give me some into on your computer if you want helpful advise. What's your CPU? What's your memory? Fill out your system specs in your profile on OCN, and it will help us to help you.

Second of all, i am confused on what you want. Are you trying to overclock your CPU or your memory. If your new to this "overclocking" thing, start off by overclocking your CPU and leave your memory alone. Once you find your max CPU frequency, then start playing with memory.

At least on a modern Intel chipset, changing the CPU multiplier won't effect the memory.

Tyipcially, i don't go any higher that 0.2 Volts higher than the manufacturers recommendations.

Processors typically consume 60 to 120+ watts of power, and have to dissipate ALOT of heat. DDR3 consumes about 3-4 watts of power,...so they produce a very tiny amount of heat. A good heatspreader on memory is always a plus, but memory over-heating is almost unheard of if your case has good airflow. Typically, you don't worry about temps with RAM unless your doing something really extreme (like trying to set a benching record), or you live in a extreme environment.

Honestly, RAM with HUGE heatpipes and fins like OCZ Reaper X feels like a little bit of a gimic to me.
Edited by crimsontears809739 - 4/25/12 at 5:04pm
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I guess that OP was a little confusing. Sorry about that, let me explain.

I'm specifically looking at memory. I'm not new to overclocking, I'm just new to all of the options given for memory timing and clocking. I understand the majority of them and I'm capable of using google so I don't need an explaination of what each one does. I need to know how to set them to the fastest stable speeds and the best way to test that stability and performance.

It maddens me to no end to know I'm buying a stick of RAM that advertises certain speeds that aren't on the SPD. Instead you have to get "intel" specific XMP horsecrap to get memory that runs at the speed it's advertised at.

As a side note I wondered about "heat sinks" as well. They seem like a bunch of poo to me. It's like putting a heatsink on an ATTINY and expecting amazing results. I've never heard of RAM getting hot enough that a heat sink would help. Heat spreader... ok ... maybe. hmnnn. Still wondering.

On top of that you get NO intelligently explained recommendations from the manufacturer other than the four basic timings stamped on the stick (that don't work all that often).

It's surprising to me that there isn't a wiki database or somesuch somewhere where people fill in what memory timings worked for them on their machine. I mean lord in heaven we have an extensive wiki for WoW! Our predecessors are going to think that WoW was some kind of cultist religion! Isn't there anyone other than advertisements and news-rags taking the time to mark the results?

So I figured there must be something I'm missing. There has to be a tool somewhere that someone has made to narrow down RAM timing to a reasonable set of options. Or there is a method to this that I'm missing.

Right now the best I've figured out is something like a bubble search approach. I start with settings that work at the highest speed I can attain at the manufacturer's highest recommended voltage level. Then I cut them all by half (this almost never works. Then I half the difference, etc, till I get to where something works. (just booting no extensive testing at this point).

Then I raise all the timings by two and do a long benchmark test. If successful, this becomes the official starting point. I write this information down. From there I decrement everything by one. If it boots I go again, if not I re-increment everything and decrement each setting by one, one at a time till something fails. I re-increment that setting and that's where it stays and so it continues until everything is at it's lowest value.
I test again, perhaps raise the voltage a bit if it fails a long stability test.

This is leaving out settings that are calculated on the basis of others of course. I end up doing those last.

Is there a better way to do this?
post #4 of 7
hello,
ram timing at bottom of the link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR3_SDRAM
post #5 of 7
Sorry, here is more of the type of info you were looking for... Here, have some in-depth guides on memory timings!

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pc-memory,1698-2.html

http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Understanding-RAM-Timings/26

I have played with auto-overclocking tools that run through a bazzillion different set of RAM timings, then return the fastest stable timings. These tools are hit and miss. Some work, some are a load of crap.
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post #6 of 7
For me when I was fiddling with ram timings more advanced than the known 4 or 5.... there was little to no information anywhere. Especially for DDR3.

I found some info for DDR2 and even DDR that much more advanced and I had to adapt it to apply to DDR3.

From the following links use their formulas to calculate the 'expected' timings you should set for all the sub timings. (The different site's formulas don't always agree, and what your bios calls things can be completely different)

Advanced Timings:
http://www.tweakers.fr/timings.html
this whole article: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3851/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-sdram-memory-but-were-afraid-to-ask

Advanced RAM Drive Strengths:
http://i4memory.com/f50/drive-strength-settings-5380/#post85053


Thats the most helpful stuff I have found anywhere..... all my notes were on sticky notes all over my deks when I was fiddling with this stuff..... which I have now stupidly thrown away....

If you have specific questions feel free to shoot me a PM to make sure I see it.



My biggest tip for ram timing overclocking, is get a top of the line motherboard that offers lots of settings and power supply stability.....
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post #7 of 7
I wouldn't worry about second subset or third subset timings, clearly your on AMD and have some ram which takes advantage of the XMP profile, your AMD motherboard however doesnt, some AMD motherboards can select the XMP profile and use most of its setting, some settings will remain at the highest SPD setting available.

So you want to run your ram at 1866 for example, but that 1866 is an XMP profile, and the highest profile on SPD is 1600?
Just select the 1866 boot strap if avail in bios and manually enter timings, you can get the timings from the XMP via SPD tab of CPU-Z or you can use other programs that are more advanced that will actually read and write to the SPD, but thats way advanced and not going to be covered here.
You will most likely have to increase the Ram voltage to what it calls for on the XMP profile and increase the CPU north bridge voltage as well.(IMC voltage)
 
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