Originally Posted by HPE1000
I have cheap gskill value series 2x4gb 1333 9-9-9-24 ram and I really wanted to get to 1600mhz. I just bumped the speed to 1600mhz at 9-9-9-24 and it made my computer crash during stress tests, if I just put it at 1600mhz 10-10-10-24 would that work? I dont necessarily understand ram in general or XMP, but I do not think my ram is XMP, and I saw that you are supposed to choose XMP 1 or 2 in the bios where you choose the clock speed before you start overclocking or else you overclock more than just the ram.
Is this true? My specs are in my sig if you need more info. Help a ram noob.
Only if you change the FSB. The ram multiplier will not change anyting else.
As for what will work and what won't, we don't know, we don't have your ram. What we can do is explain how to overclock it and hope for the best.
Here is a full guide, but you look like you've got the basics down:
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Alright, there are 2 aspects to RAM.
1: Speed. the Mhz they run at, pure and simple. Higher is better. Programs such as RAMDisks and VMs like more speed.
2: Timings. How long it takes for a request to go through. Lower is better. OSs and most games like lower timings.
There are 4 timings that matter most, and all are visible in CPU-Z on the memory page:
CAS# Latency (CL)
RAS# -> CAS# (tRCD)
RAS# Precharge (tRP)
Cycle Time (tRAS)
When you change one of the first 3, you change the 4th with it. The equation for this is:
(CL) + (tRDC) + (tRP) - 3 = (tRAS)
For example, 9-9-9-24, or 10-10-10-27, and so on.
There is also a 5th, bust much less important timing called Command Rate (CR). 1T is faster, but 2T is more stable.
How you OC ram depends on what you are trying to do.
How to overclock for speed:
You raise the RAM speed little by little until they system becomes unstable. When it does, you have two options available to you.
The first option is to loosen the timings a bit. If you started at 1600 10-10-10-27, and now you're at 1800 10-10-10-27, but it is unstable, you would try 1800 11-10-10-28, then 11-11-10-29, and so on until it becomes stable again. Then you start the process all over again, but make sure to write down the "stable points" so you have places to start again if you lose track.
The second option should only be used if loosening the timings is no longer helping, or you have to loosen the timings by a large amount. This option is to raise the RAM voltage. The maximum voltage you should use for DDR3 RAM is 1.65v. Your kit is at 1.5v stock, so this should leave you some room if you need it. Only raise the RAM voltage in very small amounts each time, the goal is to keep the voltage as low as possible while making the the RAM stable.
How to overclock for timings:
You lower the timings one by one, testing each time to make sure it's stable. As an example, your set would go from 10-10-10-27 to 9-10-10-26 to 9-9-10-25 and so on until it becomes unstable. Once again, you have two options available to you.
The first option is to lower the speed of the RAM. Do not go below 1333Mhz. Lower the speed little by little, checking for stability each time. Once again, when you find "stable points", make sure to write them down, for the same reason. When lowering speed isn't helping, or you are down to 1333Mhz, go to option two.
The second option, again, is to raise the voltage. Like when overclocking for speed, only add a little bit at a time, and check for stability each time. Again, do not go over 1.65v.
Testing your overclock:
Memtest86+ is a popular RAM stress test program that you can boot off CD and use. It will stress your RAM, and will crash if it is unstable.
Personally, I think the best way to test any OC is to just run your system as normal for a while. If it crashes, or throws errors, it isn't stable.
My advice to you would be to find how far your RAM will go in either direction, then chose which one you want to use based on how the OS and programs respond and feel when using them.
Another alternative is to find a middle ground. Maybe leave your RAM at 1600, and see how low you can get your timings without reducing speed.