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DDR5 RAM Stability / Overclocking General Advice

Level 17

I see so many DDR5 RAM stability problems in these forums, it's clear to me that XMP is not working as it really should. I know it's technically an overclock and that the CPU IMC is a major factor, but I've been thinking for a while that it would be great to have RAM advice mainly in one place.

For example, what is the best way to stabilise RAM, what voltages are available, which to try first and what are considered safe maximums? Should somebody simply lower the frequency multiplier or go deeper and play with timings as well? Any other BIOS settings that play a major part in this? 

It's a huge subject I know, but if anybody is up to the challenge I think that would be great. Or maybe even just share your experiences. I've never had RAM issues, so I've never had to learn, but I know that I would appreciate a guide if the need ever arises. I think I know some little bits of wisdom, but that's only from reading so many RAM posts. I certainly don't consider myself an expert in this area so I'm always reluctant to offer advice. But, I think the community would benefit from this over time...

IMCs seem to be getting better with each generation, but it seems to me that the situation is still far from ideal. I think I understand why, but it's still surprising to me that XMP can't just be expected to work. Even at lower frequencies, problems seem too common.  

Don't be shy. Would anybody like to start somewhere? The best way might be to keep this thread 'general' rather than use it for specific problems, but all information will be useful and specific experiences are also a good way to learn. 

So for those that have managed to stabilise their RAM, what did you do, what did you learn? Don't forget to state you board, CPU and motherboard specs. It's the successes where we might get the best information. 

My experience isn't a lot of help (specs below) as I've never really had a BIOS or RAM issue worth mentioning. On the other hand, by today's standards my RAM is now considered slow. I did increase the RAM multiplier from 5200 to 5400 once and that worked fine without any other changes. Maybe if I pushed it to 5600 problems would have started, so what should I have tried next try to see if could be stable?

I'll suggest somewhere to start - can anybody identify the main RAM voltage adjustments and explain what they do?

Z690 Hero, 12900K, BIOS 3501, MEI 2406.5.5.0, ME Firmware, 7000X Case, RM1000x PSU, ASUS TUF OC 3090TI, 2 x 16GB Corsair RAM @ 5200MHz, Windows 11 Pro 23H2, Corsair H150i Elite AIO, 4x Corsair RGB fans, 3x M.2 NVME drives, 2x SATA SSDs, 2x SATA HDs.