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Rampage IV Extreme RAM Guide

Level 40
EDIT: IB-E has surfaced since I put together this guide. It will have slightly different RAM handling and posibilities, though the exact details on this are of course still emerging.

If you're headed down the IB-E road a good start would be to read Raja's preliminary guide here

What follows will be sometimes more and sometimes less applicable.

For SB-E it's more more than less....if you see what I mean


OK, so first things first: One thing you should know - X79 is picky with RAM! And the RIVE is a high end board that caters for a market that, it is assumed, wants and knows how to tweak RAM as part of fine tuning and is therefore even more difficult to please. This basically means that the RAM you buy for this platform and this board has to be suitable for it and that you should expect to have to make adjustments in setting it up.

Lets also be very clear from the start; that Intel rates the chipset to run at 1600 MHz so any frequency above this is considered OVERCLOCKING. XMP profiles are just this, overclocking profiles. Also you have to know that the Memory Controller (IMC) is now situated on the CPU so it also comes down to the “silicon lottery” if you get a CPU with an IMC that is able to handle quad channel at higher frequencies. Every time you step up frequencies 1866, 2133, 2400 etc. you are increasing the chances that a less capable IMC shows itself in some way; either meaning extra tweaking or, in the worst case, that the RAM does not work.


The RIVE is not a cheap date!! You should really be looking at a quality product tested to work on the board for the greatest chance of running your RAM. Buying “value” RAM (it used to be called cheap ;)), might well mean problems. Manufacturers BIN their RAM chips and as always you get what you pay for. Better quality chips are binned together to form the better quality and higher frequency kits.

An important point about BINNING! One kit of RAM is made up of chips that the manufacturer tests to work together. This kit is, as such, an entirely self contained self sufficient entity. A common assumption is that another kit of the same make and model will be identical and will work in harmony with the other. This is simply not true. Running multiple kits is not advised by any manufacturer (read the small print) and is definitely not advised on X79 in general, the RIVE included. Buy one kit of RAM of whatever size and frequency you want from the start! Don’t plan to upgrade by adding another kit at a later date. It is possible and other people do it....but you could say the same of dating Eva Mendes...are you that lucky?!-The-meat-and-potatoes-o...

How much RAM? Well, this is up to you but it is also dependent on your Operating System....your OS. Different OSes support different RAM quantities:

What frequency RAM? Again this is up to you but I would suggest a sweet spot at the high end for the RIVE is 2133. Not the very top, but that step back leaves you more chance that your IMC can do it and the performance will still be right up there!

Sometimes you'll see funny numbers associated with RAM kits...just divide them by 8 for MHz:

10666 is 1333MHz
12800 is 1600Mhz
14900 is 1866Mhz
16000 is 2000Mhz
17000 is 2133Mhz
19200 is 2400MHz

Choosing a frequency is sometimes also complicated a bit by the timings of the RAM. There is a formula that can help you in deciding if one kit is faster than the other when the timings are taken into account.

(CAS/frequency) x 2000 gives you a number in nanoseconds for comparing speeds.

Say you see a 1600 kit at 7-8-7-20 and a 1866 kit at 9-10-9-28 which is faster?
Well 7/1600 x 2000 = 8.75 nanoseconds; 9/1866 x 2000 = 9.646 so the 1600 kit actually looks quicker.

If these numbers are close or the same choose the higher frequency it will be more efficient.

What kits work with your RIVE? The first and most obvious place to look for compatible RAM is the ASUS QVL. You can get this from the Motherboard’s downloads page on the ASUS website. “R4E-DRAM-QVL”:
This list should be relatively up to date and pretty extensive. However, ASUS don’t test every kit of RAM available against the board, even from the top vendors. So, if you have a favorite vendor you can check their website to see if they themselves have tested a kit with the RIVE and certified it compatible. For example:
Corsair Memory Configurator:
G.Skill RAM Configurator:

The listing of these two companies is not random. They both produce some excellent kits that work great on X79 and the RIVE in particular. G.Skill Z series in particular being a good choice.

A quick note on Corsair Vengeance RAM: I personally would stay away from this RAM. The forum is full of threads where the problems turn out to be with these kits. Corsair is a good manufacturer and I have nothing against their higher end kits, in fact I have no problem in recommending them. But they have dropped the ball on this line on X79…they just don’t work on many X79 boards; or in harmony with the CPU’s IMC.


OK, so you've done a bit of research and bought yourself a kit that is rated to work and you like the color of 😉 (You haven’t picked a kit for the color, that might or might not work!!:rolleyes:) What now?

Now you have to fit it to the board….simple right? Well, yes and no. There are a whole load of problems that can be caused at this stage. The RIVE does not have latches at both ends. Only the top ends have lever locks. Believe it or not but it is perfectly possible to fit your RAM and close the locks at one end and have the RAM badly seated. This has been the solution to a great many problem threads. Double check that the RAM stick has seated with a nice “click” at both ends and give it a gentle wiggle to make sure it’s seated properly. Other things you can do at this stage.. blow out the ram slot with a lens blower or can of compressed air if you are having issues.



If you want to run triple channel A1 B1 D1 works fine.

Right, it’s in and seated properly and when you get to the BIOS it is all showing up as it should. Next step is to set XMP in AI Overclock Tuner, choose a profile if you have more than one, save and exit BIOS and boot into the OS.(Great visual guide here: ) Done! Well, I hope so…but if you’re reading this maybe it didn't go so well.

Level 40

Missing RAM. This can be due to a number of things. Bad power supply to slots, bad slots on the motherboard, bad sticks of RAM. If your RAM/MB is bad, not much you can do outside of RMA. But before you do that, as noted above, check the RAM is seated properly. Also, a super common cause of missing RAM is bad contact between the CPU and the pins in the CPU Socket! Sometimes a pin can be bent out of place in the socket. Check the socket in good light moving the board around. Check any unevenness in the reflections you see to see if it's an out of place contact. A magnifying glass and a pin can easily correct this but you need a steady hand and the confidence not to make things worse. You could take the board to a jewelers, or of course RMA it if you're pretty sure it came with bent pins.

Bad contact can also be caused by the CPU shifting or tipping in the socket due to uneven or excessive pressure from the CPU cooler! Make sure when fitting the cooling solution you tighten only hand tight (never with pliers etc.) and in the recommended gradual crosswise manner. i.e. half a turn on each screw on opposite diagonals, in order.

Other RAM problems often show up as freezes needing hard reset , BSODs (there are various codes that can be thrown up…check this out for identifying RAM related ones and sometimes as power outs. The computer simply shuts off with no warning. Often, recovering, the computer will throw up an “overclocking failed” message. This is a typical RAM problem message.

Note! These symptoms are also possible due to a whole spectrum of issues such as driver problems, PSU problems, CPU overclock problems etc. so don’t assume anything troubleshooting…just that RAM problems are common and these symptoms common with them, so we’ll look there first.

Troubleshooting RAM needs to be done with everything else in the BIOS at default settings. Clear CMOS and/or load optimized defaults on a BIOS you are sure is a good flash before anything. Maybe even consider updating BIOS to latest if RAM is playing up.

I need to mention Memtest86+here. It is possible to diagnose RAM problems with this application (not to be confused with the Microsoft offering). If you are scientific about it you can isolate problems with your RAM kit or Motherboard slots, to one or more sticks in your kit ,or one or more slots on your board. This is a good thing to get out of the way first with RAM problems because you can do a whole lot of tweaking in vain if your KIT is bad or Motherboard bad. There is this dude that knocks about here a bit HiVizMan 😉 who has a fantastic guide in his signature on exactly the steps to take in running the test: Do this at BIOS defaults and at XMP settings. Maybe problems will only appear at XMP settings letting you know that maybe these are not working.

Don’t forget to look at the manufacturer’s page for your RAM. Sometimes specific kits come with specific tweaks recommended for a certain motherboard, as is the case with some of the G.Skill kits and the RIVE.

OK, so you’ve Memtested and at defaults your RAM has passed with flying colors. But maybe at XMP you get errors etc etc. Anyway, you want to try and get this working. Below are the basic steps for trying to get your KIT to work…..Swearing profusely throughout the process does help!!

Load optimized BIOS defaults, save and exit. Back into BIOS...load XMP leaving everything else on auto. If this will not boot or throws BSODs etc in OS try setting up manually.

Load optimized BIOS defaults, save and exit. Back into BIOS...load XMP and go into DRAM timing control and copy down the values set for the Primary timings (even Second and Third may help) now exit without saving.

Back into BIOS. Set Ai Overclock Tuner to Manual.......set your memory frequency to the XMP rated value (1866 2133 2400 etc.). Go to DRAM timing control and set Rampage tweak mode to 1 or 2 depending on frequency: 1 for 2000 MHz and below 2 for 2000 MHz and above (but you can try either) and enter the primary timings you wrote down before. For example 9-10-9-28-2 and leave the last field on AUTO.

You can try this leaving everything else on AUTO. Exit and save. If this doesn't work try manually setting some voltages:

VDIMM: maybe set this a bit higher than rated…. say 1.55 if kit is 1.5, 1.65 if rated 1.6 etc. Any ram at 1866 and over try 1.65V if 1.5 is not working.

VTT CPU Voltage try 1.25
CPU VCCSA Voltage try 1.25
If these voltages get you up and running try reducing them, say by 0.01V at a time, until you become unstable and then bump them up 0.02V
It is worth noting that both of these voltages should be more or less within 0.3V of your load Vcore so, if you are aiming at OCing at say 4.8GHz at 1.45V they should at least be 1.15V even if you appear stable at less.

Other tweaks that might help:

CPU clock gen filter: over 2200 try 10uf....over 2400 try 20uf

CPU PLL: recommended is 1.8 but you can try a bit more..try up to 1.9 running DDR2200 and above

DIGI+ section

CPU Load-line calibration - MEDIUM (You do not need to go over this even OCing CPU to high levels)
CPU Current Capability 120%
CPU Power Phase Control - Optimized
VCCSA Load-line Calibration HIGH
VCCSA Current Capability 120% (or a bit more.... up to 140% for 2133 and higher frequency / 64GB)
DRAM AB Current Capability 120%
DRAM AB Power Phase Control – Optimized
DRAM CD Current Capability 120%
DRAM CD Power Phase Control – Optimized
Leave everything else on auto.

If you are filling your slots with an 8 stick kit or running 8GB sticks try plugging in the auxiliary power EZ plug….it’s the floppy power connector. The extra, evenly delivered power might just help.

Don’t mix and match stuff. Don’t set XMP and then set a couple of voltages manually. Best one or the other.

Don’t forget to read the great OCing guides posted in the forum as most of you will be OCing on top of trying to run OCd RAM. Lots of useful info of all sorts and tweaks for RAM there too.

If all of this fails then you have problems which fall outside of the majority and will need to get in contact with the dude I mentioned before. HiVizMan is like the Yoda of benching and OCing and taught me all I know!:D

Level 40
Thank you for this guide my friend, I have sticky the thread. And might duplicate it in the Overclocking sub-forum.

Well done and repped of course.
To help us help you - please provide as much information about your system and the problem as possible.

Level 13
Arne Saknussemm wrote:

(CAS/frequency) x 1000 gives you a number in nanoseconds for comparing speeds.

Say you see a 1600 kit at 7-8-7-20 and a 1866 kit at 9-10-9-28 which is faster?
Well 7/1600 x 1000 = 4.375 nanoseconds; 9/1866 x 1000 = 4.823 so the 1600 kit actually looks quicker.

If these numbers are close or the same choose the higher frequency it will be more efficient.

That should be (CAS/DDR3MemFreq) X 2000 to show the time to access a column, as you are using the DDR3 frequency in your calculation. With 1000 you are at half the time it takes.

Use 1000 only if you halve the stated DDR3 frequency first. It's easier to skip the step of halving for the masses, so I prefer to use 2000 with the DDR3 frequency for a more concise equation.


Level 40
Hey Raja...thanks for the correction and explanation....edited 😮

Level 13
NP, it's a good guide Arne 🙂

I like it when you guys write stuff yourselves. The idea of the forum is that you guys become the ambassadors, not us. We're on hand to guide where need be. Ultimately, we want users to know the products inside out and encourage others to build and tweak. Vendor presence is always a good thing, but things always sound better and have more appeal when they come from a paying customer. Keep up the good work 🙂

Level 12
Awesome Arne, I may start referring ppl to this when they buy DDR3 2400 and say "why doesn't it work?" There is one issue I have with your guide: Your mention of Memtest. There is also a Windows Memtest, and as you know it doesn't test the memory in use - it shouldn't be used. What's more, years ago they made a Memtest v5.x, and it is obsolete and older than 4.x (I was personally bit by this). Specifically, you should state Memtest86+ v4.x, the latest of which is currently 4.20; and only the bootable version. Thank you.

i7-3930K; Asus RIVE; G.SKILL Ripjaws Z 4x4GB DDR3 1866; MSI 7870 2GD5/OC; Crucial M4 SSD 256GB;
Corsair 1000HX; Corsair H100, 4x Excalibur 120mm PWM CPU Fan p-p, AS5; SB X-Fi Titanium Fata1ity Pro;
Dell U2412m IPS 1920x1200; Cooler Master HAF 932 case; Tripp-Lite OMNIVS1500 UPS fully Line-interactive.
(EVGA site: ) And I have a second (wife's) computer, Eve.

Overclocking is useless to me if it is not rock stable.

Level 10
Awesome guide, thank you.

Asus Maximus IV Extreme Z
i7 3770K @ 4.4ghz
AMD 7970 HD x3 in TriFire @ 1200/1800.
2x 240GHZ OCZ Vertex 3 SSD & 1x 512Gb Vertex 4
16GB 2133mhz Patriot DDR3
Ennermax Max Revo 1500w PSU
Huge water loop with an internal EK 340mm & external Supernova 1260mm
Windows 7 64 bit.

Aquaero Fan control & monitoring

Level 40
@HalloweenWeed...done! Thanks!
@Stu Thanks!
@Chino linked your very nice visual guide...thanks dude!

Level 7
When I last looked at the ASUS ROG Rampage IV Extreme X79 Owners Club, I noticed that there was already a guide out on overclocking the Rampage IV Extreme (or in short: the RIVE), but it was on ASUS's own forum and I wanted to create a RIVE (and other similar MoBos) OCN.NET overclocking guide.

So, from here on out, we have our own RIVE and similar UEFI boards (the ASUS Z77 Sabertooth follows a similar pattern) OC guide. smile.gif
Though, I wanted to make known that this is a guide I wrote myself, and since I'm only human and am not 100% enlightened in all OCing matters, you should take this guide with a tiny bit of salt. Although I'm confident 99 percent of what follows could be followed exactly to the letter.

Finally I'd also like to point out that any screenshot taken in Windows is themed with a black&red theme. It may have different colors but the fields/links you're supposed to edit/click will be exactly the same.