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RAM timings and clocks question...

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a b à CPUs
June 21, 2013 4:47:13 PM

Hi guys,

Today, I discovered that my 9-9-9 1600mhz RAM has been running at 6-6-6 800mhz for the past 6 months (that's when I built the PC).

Now, I read that changing the bios settings manually to the recommended speed/timings would solve this "issue", so I tried it.

Unfortunately, as I've overclocked my northbridge by 10% to speed up by CPU (multiplier is locked), the RAM speed also increases by 10%. As such, I had to run 9-9-9 at 1760mhz.

Doing this caused BSOD, so I switched it back to "auto" in the bios - 6-6-6 800mhz (880mhz, if you account for the northbridge overclock).

Now I was wondering, would it be better to reset the northbridge, so that I can run at 1600mhz 9-9-9, therefore sacrificing a 10% overclock on my CPU, or should I stick to 880mhz 6-6-6, which has never caused me any issue, keeping northbridge 10% overclocked?

OR, would somewhere in-between be best?

Which would theoretically perform better?

Thanks in advance, I appreciate any feedback :D 

My PC is:-
ASRock N68-GS3 UCC (bios P1.4)
AMD Athlon II X4 640 (running at 3.3ghz)
8gb Kingston Hyper-X Genesis 1600mhz RAM (2 modules)
I don't think any other components are relevant, but feel free to ask!

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a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
June 21, 2013 4:56:28 PM

You're missing the TRAS timing for one thing. Your memory should have 6 numbers attached to it, you've given 4. 9-9-9-X @ 1600MHz @ Xvolts. You'll need all 6 to have it timed properly. As far as your inquiry, I can't say for sure, but the .3 GHz you're getting out of the 10% Northbridge (at least in my eyes) isn't going to benefit you like having your RAM run at twice the frequency. Revert the 10%, set the proper RAM timings and voltage and see if it doesn't improve your speed. An expert can certainly shed more light, but 10% NB does nothing if your RAM is running at half speed, even with 6 clock.
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a b à CPUs
June 21, 2013 4:59:24 PM

Apologies, the TRAS for 9-9-9 is 27, and 15 for 6-6-6.
tRC for 9-9-9 is 36, and 25 for 6-6-6.
Also, voltage for 9-9-9 is 1.65v, whilst 1.5v for 6-6-6.

Thankyou for the input :) 

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a b à CPUs
June 21, 2013 5:22:00 PM

I've reset the NB, and applied the correct XMP settings for 1600mhz operation.
I'll let you know how it goes - if I get BSODs etc.

Thanks. :) 
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a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
June 21, 2013 5:29:13 PM

I would imagine that will help speed things up. There is, of course, a more intricate way of both increasing the northbound and getting the desired RAM frequency you desire, but it's too complicated for me to A) do myself without getting frustrated and B) explain to you through a keyboard. It doesn't sound like your motherboard is all that equipped for overclocking to begin with, so it might not be possible, and you would probably run into problems with too high a NB for such results. I won't be surprised if what you've already done helps in a big way. If you wanted to search it, or open an inquiry, it has to do with setting your RAM at say 1333, then increasing the NB to OC the CPU and bring the RAM up to ~1600.
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a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
June 21, 2013 5:29:26 PM

Having a locked multiplier is a real drag, though.
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a b à CPUs
June 21, 2013 5:35:19 PM

I understand your point with changing NB to allow 1333 to run at 1600.
Unfortunately, that would require for my NB to be increased by 20%, which I tried in the past - it was unstable.
10% was the highest increase I could allow on the NB whilst retaining stability.

I think that you're probably right - resetting the NB to allow the RAM to operate at 1600mhz rather than 1960mhz is better than having a 10% CPU overclock and RAM at half-speed.

Thankyou. :D 

And indeed, it's tragic really. :lol: 
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a b à CPUs
a b } Memory
June 21, 2013 5:39:14 PM

You might even try using the 10% NB on 1333 RAM to go to ... what? 1446 or something? Just clock it down to say 8 or even 7 clock and that might even run quicker... again that strategy is way too frustrating for me because I don't know the numbers game all too well and it's difficult to assess any increase or decrease in performance with a ~100MHz difference, so you're probably best off just keeping things simple... but many people will decrease RAM frequency a bit and reduce the latency in order to increase core clock speed on their CPU and everything seems to bottleneck less. I'm no expert, though, so I don't fool with all that jazz.
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a b à CPUs
June 21, 2013 5:43:03 PM

I may try that at some point. I'm building a new PC in a month or so anyway, so I might just leave it - not much point messing with it for ages if I'm replacing it soon :lol: 

Everything seem fine now, so thanks for your help, I'll mark solution and that's pretty much it :D 

Again, thanks for the help, it's much appreciated :) 
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a b à CPUs
June 21, 2013 5:52:52 PM

First of many, no doubt :D 

And I know, I read that too! Not good at all :lol:  It's way out of my budget though - I'm sticking to a GTX 660 :p 
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