Originally Posted by dbmsts
Is it really worth overclocking the RAM? If one is not using the systen for benchmarks does overclocking RAM have any benefits?
Is it safe to overclock RAM?
If you are an enthusiast for performance, then it is worth it. Overclocking RAM has the most benefit when you are dealing with large files and need greater throughput/bandwidth. In basic terms, the idea of overclocking RAM is to allow the computer to process more at a single time. For example, a passenger car can transport 5 people MAX at a time. So let's say you need to transport them 400 miles away, only 5 total people can go at a time. Overclocking the RAM is like using a van that can transport 8 people at a single time. So instead of moving 5 people, you can move 8 at a time now. Whether or not you need to transport 8 at a time depends on you. In terms of computing, if you are just gaming, browsing the internet, etc., any computer can do that with basic RAM. You don't need high speed RAM to do that, so you will not notice much of a difference. If you video edit, 3D render, sound, and so on, where you deal with gigabytes of files at a time, then that is when you will notice a significant difference in performance.
Back to the analogy, if you had to transport a total of 50 people 400 miles, 8 people at a time would be much faster than 5 people. If you only have 4 people to transport, it doesn't really matter if you use a passenger car or van, both would work.
A reason some people don't notice a difference with RAM overclocking is because they do not overclock the CPU. CPUs are designed for standard DDR3-1600 RAM, so if you want to take full advantage of overclocked RAM (better than DDR3-1600), you must overclock CPU and NB frequency as well. It's like having a van with only 5 seats in it, you can still only transport 5 people at a time even though there is more space!
Lastly, overclocking RAM is safe if you can do it correctly. It is not a major concern because if you use bad settings, generally a system would not POST, and you just need to re-configure to settings that can work. Or if the system does work with bad settings, it will just produce error over time and you need to RMA the RAM, but at least you are covered by lifetime warranties (many RAM companies). If you are a real stupid overclocker, and you like to force stupid settings like 1.90V instead of 1.65V for DRAM to see if it can be stable, it possible to fry the pins and void warranty. So always read up and follow experienced user's advice and generally you should not have a problem.
Hopefully this helps all the new people to overclocking.