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RAM amount vs speed for OC stability

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So this might be a bit of a rookie question but I think I am putting it in the right spot.
I built up a cheap computer a couple months ago just to have something to mess with and I caught the OC bug. When I was OC'ing I didnt really worry about the memory much (just one 2GB stick of Geil Value). I was able to unlock and overclock my Sempron 145 to 3.7Ghz before I started to have errors which I think were RAM related. Not wanting to mess with the RAM I decided to stop there.
Recently I got a good GPU from a friend and started to play some more games which seem to max out my RAM a bit(not degrading performance but there wasnt much headroom). I went out and ordered the G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) RAM.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-311-_-Product
It showed up last night so I installed in but immediately ran into all kinds of boot errors. After a lot of Bios tweaking I got the RAM to run with these changes (from auto).
Stable boot:
DDR3-800 CAS-9, TRCD-9, TRP-7. FSB 265, Vdimm-1.7V Memory Frequency: 530
My question now is whether or not this is actually an upgrade to my performance. I dont have much by way of memory benchmarks since I wasnt concerned with the memory prior to the new RAM but with the old RAM I was running a Memory Frequency of 706 with all other bios memory options stock.
I dont think I can get the new RAM running at a much higher frequency without stability issues. I think this is done by changing the memory mode (now at DDR3-800 to DDR3-1066). So, is it worth it to have slightly slower(will I notice this) RAM if it means 4x as much as prior.
THANK YOU!
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post #2 of 11
800Mhz CL9!?
That's almost TWICE the GENERIC memory latencies of DDR2! Way too far from acceptable!
Are you sure it's 800Mhz though!? If 800Mhz is the value you are getting in CPU-Z, then you are running at 1600Mhz because you haven't factored in the dual data rate (DDR) of the memory.
Otherwise you've got defective memory which is obviously not giving you the performance you paid for. Prepare to RMA.

Are you mixing memory slots by the way? (i..e running the Ripjaws with your GeIL, you should be running the Ripjaws only because of 1. dual channel 2. potential compatibility issues)
post #3 of 11
When you overclock with you FSB you sometimes have to lower your memory clock. Your FSB will make your memory clock higher because of the nature oftheir relationship. You don't want to have your memory clock too high over what it is rated for. Some RAM is more overclockable than others. Not sure about your RAM. What I would do is make sure that if your memory is rated at 1333MHz, then set it as close to that as possible. Also make sure you manually, in BIOS, input your timings and voltages for that memory. I run 8G of RAM slightly over its rated clock speed with no problems.
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post #4 of 11
1333 CL9 can actually hold back CPU overclocks in a lot of cases because it's not that flexible with speed as any other RAM. It's a generic timing spec; any IC should be able to run it at 1.5V, and that does not mean good ICs or good-binned ICs. You may want to see if the rated specs work at stock CPU speed first before trying them overclocked. You may need to do some math to get a similar speed CPU overclock as you had before, while being able to run memory at rated settings (i.e. ref. clock x RAM multiplier = ____, now compare with ref. clock x max CPU multiplier)
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I think i need to provide some more knowledge.
Here are my mobo memory options.
Memory Clock Mode
This item allows you to control the Memory Clock.
Options: Auto (Default) / Limit / Manual
Memclock Value
This item allows you to set the Memory Clock.
Options: DDR3-800 (Default) / DDR3-1066 / DDR3-1333 / DDR3-1600
DRAM Timing Mode
This item allows you to choose to manually or automatically regul ate the DRAM
Timing.
Options: Auto (Default) / DCT0 / DCT1 / Both
CAS Latency (CL)
Options: Auto (Default) / 4~12 CLK
2T Command
Options: Auto (Default) / 1T / 2T
TRCD
Options: Auto (Default) / 5~12 CLK
TRP
Options: Auto (Default) / 5~12 CLK
tRTP
Options: Auto (Default) / 4~7 CLK
TRAS
Options: Auto (Default) / 15~30 CLK
TRC
Options: Auto (Default) / 11~42 CLK
tWR
Options: Auto (Default) / 5~8 / 10 / 12 CLK
TRRD
Options: Auto (Default) / 4~7 CLK
tWTR
Options: Auto (Default) / 4~7 CLK
tRFC0 / tRFC1 / tRFC2 / tRFC3
Options: Auto (Default) / 90ns / 110ns / 160ns / 300ns / 350ns
I set the first option to limit and then was given an option for MemClockValue. There were options such as DDR3-800, DDR3-1066, DDR3-1333 or DDR3-1600. I was able to get 1333 working under non-clocked condidtions but of course want to OC the computer.
Since the memory and CPU are synchornus(right word?-I can't adjust the speed or multiplier separately in the bios) I looked for a good option. limiting the memclock seemed good. I think was it does is set the FSBRAM ratio. When I use DDR3-800 at stock FSB I get a 1:2 ratio and 200Mhz FSB which =400 in cpu-id which would be 800Mhz so that makes sense.
So currently I think I am running in 800 mode but I think it is actually around 1060 since cpuid shows 530 for frequency.
Long winded post but I am concluding.
After posting I tried increase the voltage a bit and getting to the DDR3-1066 setting. This gives a cpu-id frequency of ~700 which is right around my old clock. I left prime to run for a bit and it may have frozen my computer but I havent been back to check it out.
Didnt realize I had to enter the RAM specs in, I thought auto would do that. When i get back I will make sure all the ram specs are entered correctly in bios. It doesnt seem like running 1333 RAM at ~1400 would cause much problem but maybe that is latency problems.
Thanks for you help maybe you can provide some insight but I will update further.
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post #6 of 11
I know the anatomy of a Biostar motherboard BIOS. I'm more interested in what everything's actually interested in. I believe what you are trying to do is run a lower memory multiplier with a higher ref. clock/FSB to achieve the same speed.

If I'm right and understand your original post correctly this time, you're running at 266Mhz ref clock x 5.33 memory, at timings of 9-9-7 and voltage of 1.7. So 1066Mhz 9-9-7 1.7V.
This is worse than mediocre. 1066Mhz at 9-9-7 is still a very bad result most especially because you need 1.7V for it. You should require only 1.5V for 1066Mhz at 7-7-7 timings which is a MINIMUM standard for DDR3 (even if it is worse than the generic 6-6-6 timings on DDR2-1066 kits). According to the SPD you should be able to run the alternative generic settings of 1066Mhz with 7-7-7 timings at 1.5V (and no higher). If not, the RAM is simply just DOA; RMA it.

The only way you can get your RAM to run at 1333Mhz is to run at 250Mhz ref. clock (which will limit your Sempron 140 overclock) or at 333Mhz ref. clock (which I'm pretty sure is impossible on such a low end board). This is what I mean by RAM holding CPU back; due to the available multipliers/ref clock issues there is only one choice you can get. With generic 1333Mhz CL9 memory, there's almost always no options.

This is also why I recommend always recommend a minimum 1600Mhz kit, because it usually gives you more options. Loosen the timings on a 1600Mhz kit and you can overclock a fair ways above, or tighten the timings and run below. Performance is more optimal at around 1600Mhz. The same goes for the available FSBRAM ratios/memory multipliers; you only need to run 300Mhz ref. clock to get 1600Mhz memory, or you can run 240Mhz ref clock which works as well.
Edited by xd_1771 - 1/26/11 at 8:53pm
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay,

So I think we are getting close to a similar language, seems like the dialects differ a bit in my understanding of whats going on.
So I think I was a bit too gung ho on running around the mobo and dint really know what I was doing. I went back in and changed the memclockvalue to DDR3-1333 and all of the CAS stuff to the stock 9-9-9-24-2N which is found on the G.SKILL website. I understand these timings are not the greatest but it is kind of cheap RAM.
I am not quite sure on the memclockvalue since when i change it the FSBRAM ratio changes so I think it loads some default presents because at a clock value of 265 I get a memory frequency of ~700 in cpuid which would mean(I think) operating at 1400Mhz.
Before bed last night I went through and put everything on the memory options to the rated settings and also changed the memclock to 1333(not quite sure what this is doing). I left the volatge high and ran memtest. It ran all night and is now at 9 hrs with 6 pass and 0 fail.
I just started to go through each test and test 0 is running now. Perhaps I can call this about stable?
I am just a bit confused on the memclockvalue. It is set to limit but the cpuid frequency clearly shows ~700 which would be greater than 1333 mhz.
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, I think I have reached a stable configuration but feel like the new RAM has actually reduced my system performance in games. While SuperPi 1M is 1s faster at the same FSB speed as prior on some of my games there is quite a bit of lag whereas before there was none. This is COD:Blackops and I am wondering if it is the RAM of the automatic graphic controls in the game. The texture settings are set to automatic and perhaps the 6 more GB of RAM has increased some quality settings.
In any event, I tried to play with the timings but I have yet to have any luck getting even a boot past the POST screen with the changes. Here is my current stable settings
Stable config possible(prime for 10 hr, memtest for 3)

FSB:265, VCore +.1V NBVolt +.05V Vdimm 1.6V.
MemclockValue:LimitDR3-1600. Timings 9-9-9-24-1T
FSBRAM 3:8 DRAM Frequency 706.7MHz
SuperPi-21s(1s gain with new RAM)
Any timing tweaks so far cause bad CMOS checksum.
Any increase to FSB cause Prime crash.
Any tips? Return the RAM and get better stuff?
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
For anyone following(I think I may be having a conversation with myself).
I put my old RAM back in(Giel Value) on the automatic Bios settings and any issues with the lag were gone and I got the same SuperPi score.
With the automatic settings I am able to run 8-8-8-20 timings and I think I will RMA the G.Skill get new RAM that is rated well for OC'ing.
Any recomendations.
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post #10 of 11
Kinsgton HyperX Blu 1600 CL9 - $50, $40 AR.
After rebate this is actually cheaper than 70% of the generic non-overclocking kits out there and in fact does overclock pretty decently. You'll be sure to get at least CL8 out of this, and most likely may also get down to CL7-8-7. This can also get to 2000Mhz with the default CL9 timings, so you will have a lot of options with ref. clock overclocking on this memory.
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