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Importance of DRAM Voltage tweaking (DRAM timings AND speed or just for speed) ??

dough69
Level 7
Hi,

This is more of a generic question as to if increasing the voltage to your DRAM is something that will improve your ability to get tighter timings (i.e. 8-8-8-22 vs 9-9-9-24), or does it simply affect the max speed (i.e. 1333mhz , 1600mhz ect..) your memory can reach?

I know that may sound like a dumb question, but I'm really not clear on the answer. The way I've come across this question is my DRAM voltage has always been set to AUTO on my Asus RIVEBE motherboard (with an IVy bridge i7-4930 K CPU)

I had my memory set to 1600 MHZ and using the default timings (not using any XMP profiles, just manually setting ddr3-1600mhz in bios and leaving other memory settings alone / AUTO). After stress testing the heck out of this machine several months ago and deeming my overclock stable (44x on CPU, 1600mhz on memory) I've been running this set up for around eight months with great results. Recently I've noticed a little bit of instability in windows 10 (just applications closing and only when im using alot of my 32GB of physical ram - ive had zero blue screens btw) so I've decided to revisit my memory settings.

My first step was to change the speed from 1600 to 1333 MHZ, I then booted up a separate windows install SSD i have set aside strictly for overclock testing and began tweaking my timings at 1333 MHZ.
After testing for a while and recording my results, I didn't notice till later that the auto DRAM voltage setting in the bios was now running the memory at 1.52 volts versus the 1.63 V it had been running when I was at 1600 MHG (again the DRAM voltage is always been set to auto).

So I'm wondering if I need to redo all of the 1333mhz timing testing I've done in the past two days at a higher, manual, dram voltage.

Or is the DRAM voltage really only important to the speed (in MHZ) you're able to reach with your memory (and its not very important to the timings you're able to achieve)?

Thanks!

Dough

PS: its not letting me set my hardware in my edit profile page, (all options say N/A with no where to click or edit) otherwise id update with my full specs, however i dont think every spec of my system is important for an answer to this question (or if requested, i will update this post specifically with my full specs) -tks
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3 REPLIES 3

Nate152
Moderator
Hi dough69

Increasing the frequency and/or tightening the timings is overclocking and increasing the voltage will help with this. If your ram is rated at 1.65v set it manually to that in the bios, you can set the frequency and timings to the rated specs as well.

You may be able to get it to 1866MHz or even 2133MHz but you'll likely have to loosen the timings a bit.

To overclock it what you can do is set your ram to its rated specs (Voltage, Frequency, Timings) then slowly increase the frequency until it becomes unstable then loosen the timings a bit and continue slowly increasing the frequency.

dough69
Level 7
Great, thanks for the reply, that is just what i was looking for (and what i assumed to be true).

(EDIT: SEE BELOW EDIT2 FOR THE SOLUTION TO DRAM VOLTAGE THIS PROBLEM / FIX)

however can anyone shed any light on why it seems my DRAM voltage is *not* increasing despite what i manually set the voltage to. (ie at AUTO setting the voltage monitor in my BIOS shows the exact same DRAM voltage as when i set both DRAM voltages to 1.60)
please see screen shots of my bios:
(also note, when i ran memtest86 w memory at 1600mhz 8-8-8-24-2 (voltage to AUTO) i immediately started getting errors, when i changed the DRAM voltage to 1.60v (and left memory at 1600mhz 8-8-8-24-2) i still immediately got errors in memtest86 (ie it doesnt seem that the voltage is changing, even though i expected errors at 1.60v i thought the errors would come slower or take a bit more testing to get errors, but they appeared just as fast as at AUTO 1.50v DRAM voltage)

(note i did reboot after setting the DRAM voltage to 1.60v)

my memory is: 32GB GSKILL RIPJAW F3-1600C9Q-32GXM (this exact memory is on my MB's ASUS QVL list)
My MB is: Asus RIVbe (bios 701 , the latest except for the beta 801 BIOS which just addresses some issue that doesnt affect me)

EDIT: I even just now took out my multi-meter and tested the DRAM AB Voltage point (duhh, why didnt i do this before) - but during memtest86 testing DRAM AB point showed 1.445v and DRAM CD point showed: 1.439v (with BIOS DRAM AB and CD both still set to 1.60v)

EDIT 2 : I CAN ANSWER MY OWN QUESTION (RE voltage not taking): it seems that when you change the "RAMPAGE TWEAK" setting TO MODE 3, it will override or cap the max DRAM Voltage you can set. I had it set to MODE 3 (which the help text says is best for IVY-BRIDGE CPUs, which i have) -- ONCE i set this BACK TO AUTO (or im assuming MODE 1 or 2 just NOT mode 3) the DRAM VOLTAGE changed to exactly what i manually set. (incase others have this same issue)


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Nate152
Moderator