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RAM voltage confusion

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  • Asus
  • RAM
  • Motherboards
  • Memory
Last response: in Memory
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August 22, 2014 7:55:00 AM

First of all, I'm totally new to hardware and I just recently built my first rig (yeah, it sounds a bit crazy to me :)  ) which I love, but Im worried about one thing.
I chose ASUS M5A97 LE R2.0 motherboard and AMD FX-4350 CPU. My RAM -- DDR3 Kingston HyperX Beast 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz CL9 1.65V. I heard lots of things about 1.5V and 1.65V RAMs and what Im worried about the most is: can my motherboard/cpu handle 1600mhz at 1.65V? My BIOS auto-adjusted it that way but I'm not sure if I can trust it and feel safe about. So I want to make sure if everything is alright here or I should undervolt my RAM and make them 1333mhz? I was looking for similar problems in this forum but there are so many different ones that really confused me even more...
Apologies if it was difficult to understand, it's not my native language :) 

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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 148 V Motherboard
a c 85 } Memory
August 22, 2014 7:59:30 AM

Welcome to the forums!
There's nothing to worry about, the RAM Voltage is automatically reduced to recommended level (1.5V) by the MoBo and is safe for use. You can enable XMP and use your memory to its strength by enabling higher Voltage (1.65V), which is usually totally fine.
Don't under-volt your RAM.
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August 22, 2014 8:51:11 AM

MeteorsRaining said:
Welcome to the forums!
There's nothing to worry about, the RAM Voltage is automatically reduced to recommended level (1.5V) by the MoBo and is safe for use. You can enable XMP and use your memory to its strength by enabling higher Voltage (1.65V), which is usually totally fine.
Don't under-volt your RAM.


Thank you for replying! Looks like I can enjoy my new PC with no worries then :) 
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a b Ĉ ASUS
a c 148 V Motherboard
a c 85 } Memory
August 22, 2014 8:53:32 AM

Enjoy your build! Glad to help :) 
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a c 115 Ĉ ASUS
a c 243 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
August 22, 2014 9:13:54 AM

The 1.65 v "problem" is a myth. Hynix modules can readily hit 1.9v w/o any concern.

1.65v is not necessarily "good" for XMP profiles when CPU overclocked ... a 4770k for example might be good at 1.65 at CPU multipliers up to say 42 (4.2 GHz) but at 43 or 44, you will find that you oft need a boost to 1.7 .... go much higher and you'll have to go higher with the voltage.

here's a old THG post on the voltage myth

====================================================

Quote:
Its wrong RAM. U need 1.5V. Not 1.65V, as the IMC on the chip doesn't like the voltage above 1.5V.


1.5 volts is for the JDEC profiles .... most XMP profiles for i5 and i7 RAM is 1.65. In fact, over 2/3 of the RAM on Intel's XMP compatible list are over 1.50 volts.

I have seen many posts saying "Well that's a MoBo manufacturer thing". No....

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-co...

Quote:
Intel® Extreme Memory Profile (Intel® XMP) allows you to overclock compatible DDR3 memory to perform beyond standard specifications. It’s designed to enhance the gaming features built into Intel® technology–based PCs. If you like to overclock and squeeze as much performance from your PC as possible, then memory based on Intel XMP gives you that extra edge you need to dominate—without breaking a sweat.

Predefined and tested Intel XMP profiles can be loaded via BIOS or a specific tuning application through a computer’s operating system. Often the easiest way to load Intel XMP profiles is using a tuning utility, which may be available depending on the particular board manufacturer. To learn whether a tuning utility is available on your system, you should contact the board manufacturer.


So ya still say Intel says 1.5 ? Again, no.....most listed compatible i5 / i7 RAM is 1.65 .... at least according to Intel's compatibility lists

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-co...
http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/gaming/gaming-co...

Intel's approved i7 Compatibilty List (April 2012) includes:

34 1.65 volt modules
07 1.60 volt modules
19 1.50 volt modules
01 1.25 volt modules
===========================================================
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August 22, 2014 5:08:54 PM

So just to make everything clear:
As I said before, I'm new to this and I don't understand much about anything. This is what my HWiNFO64 currently shows about my timings: http://oi59.tinypic.com/2j1odv6.jpg . What I understand is that I currently run my RAM at 11-11-11-28 and my current voltage is 1.5V (as mentioned, my BIOS auto-adjusted it to 1.65 and that's what BIOS shows to me). I'm currently happy with performance I get, everything runs pretty smoothly, no problems for now. So what I want to know is there anything more I have to adjust by myself to improve my performance and not harm my cpu or motherboard's lifespan or i should leave everything that is right now? I'm less worried but still can't stop thinking :) 
Thank you in advance!
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a c 115 Ĉ ASUS
a c 243 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
August 22, 2014 5:17:42 PM

So you are running at 1600 speed at 11-11-11-28. And I assume that is the JEDEC profile

What is it supposed to run at ?

Run CPU-Z and report what it says



Last Column should say XMP



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August 22, 2014 5:22:46 PM

This is what i get

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a c 115 Ĉ ASUS
a c 243 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
August 22, 2014 5:30:20 PM

OK, so there you have it .... you have JEDEC profile # 6 loaded which is the default so all is as expected.

Go into BIOS and manually select XMP and your timings will jump to 9-9-9-28

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August 22, 2014 5:41:40 PM

Okay, Thank you for your help clearing these things out! I hope I won't get any harm since I read so many things about how much harm can 1.65V do. It's very worrying especially when I'm so hopeless and clueless at this. I think I will stick with current settings for now while I'm still happy with my current performance. Thanks again :) 
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a c 115 Ĉ ASUS
a c 243 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
August 22, 2014 5:56:50 PM

Whomever started that silly rumor deserves to get infected to a virus ... both him and his PC.

JEDEC is a standards organization and they move like any such organization ...snail like. There is no JEDEC standard for XMP so according to the standard "it's overclocked". With most of the RAM on Intel's official compatibility list being > 1.5 volts, and just about everybody using the "faster stuff" on that list, most of the RAMin enthusiast / gamer boxes is running > 1.5 .... if 1.8 - 1.9 doesn't break anything, 1.65 certainly ain't
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August 23, 2014 4:08:30 AM

Less worried now :)  Probably the last thing that confuses me: is it normal that my RAMs which are currently working at 11-11-11-28 are at 1.65V? Following current JEDEC standarts, shouldn't it be 1.5V? As mentioned, that's what my BIOS adjusted, not sure how it really is.

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a c 115 Ĉ ASUS
a c 243 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
August 23, 2014 12:40:05 PM

If ya wanna stay at the lower timings, drop the voltage to 1.5.... trey resetting the BIOS to defaults. Dunno why BIOS is reading the JEDEC profile incorrectly.
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a c 993 Ĉ ASUS
a c 1799 V Motherboard
a c 2286 } Memory
August 23, 2014 1:09:44 PM

Might try finding DOCP (Direct Over Clock Profiles) (which is one of AMDs attempts at using OC profiles) which I believe your mobo utilizes, enable it and select the profile for 1600.

1.65 will run fine, the big thing with it to me, is there is absolutely no need for it on entry level DRAM and may be indicative of them using memory chips better suited for 1333 or 1066 sticks., over 90% of the 1600 sticks on the market are 1.5 or less even the high performance CL7 and 8 1600 sticks.

And yes, Intel 'certifies' XMP sticks and many pay to get their sticks certified for just this reason...as a general rule I myself stick to 1.5 for 1866 and under, unless they are higher performance (low CL), then for 2133 and above 1.6 to 1.65 is fine.

Most DRAM manufacturers will suggest going no higher than 0.10 above spec on the voltage, so if 1.65 then max of 1.75, of course you can go higher, but unless you have a l ot of experience with DRAM I wouldn't recommend it
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August 23, 2014 1:59:38 PM

Thank you for replying.
Enabling DOCP doesn't really change anything. Everything stays the same as it was before.
Will dropping voltage from 1.65V to 1.5V and running current timings (11-11-11-28) at 1600MHz have any positive or negative effects? That BIOS auto adjustment to 1.65V is leading me to worries again :( 
I really trust your words that 1.65V is fine but I had so many various issues (none with RAM, thankfully) with my previous hardware that every small detail gets me so confused now. That's why I want to run my RAM at the safest settings and not harming performance or lifespan. I appreciate your help guys.
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a c 993 Ĉ ASUS
a c 1799 V Motherboard
a c 2286 } Memory
August 23, 2014 2:11:08 PM

You should be fine ;)  Running at CL11 is just a little slower, if it's noticeable to you can always tighten the timings down and run a t 1.65, it's not going to hurt anything, just wanted to offer some info as things looked a bit confusing, many think XMP is available on all mobos, and with AMD it's getting there but they've been using DOCP and EOCP for awhile now and have another AMD only OC profile thing
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August 23, 2014 2:25:07 PM

Alright then, 1.5V now. Didn't adjust anything else. I don't think I will dig any deeper with all this.
Thank you for your time giving some useful info!
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a c 993 Ĉ ASUS
a c 1799 V Motherboard
a c 2286 } Memory
August 23, 2014 2:26:04 PM

No worries, have fun ;) 
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a c 115 Ĉ ASUS
a c 243 V Motherboard
a b } Memory
August 23, 2014 4:12:43 PM

GshlT said:
Thank you for replying.
Enabling DOCP doesn't really change anything. Everything stays the same as it was before.
Will dropping voltage from 1.65V to 1.5V and running current timings (11-11-11-28) at 1600MHz have any positive or negative effects?


CAS x 1000 / DDR Speed = speed

11 x 1000 / 1600 = 6.875 nanoseconds
9 x 1000 / 1600 = 5.625

The CAS 9 is 22% faster .... that will not make your system 22% faster, just the operations that are RAM intensive. How much voltage you can add depends not only whose modules were actually used bu Kingston but when. When DDR3 1st arrived on the scene, 1.65v at 1600 was quite common ..... as time went on we started to see 1.5 take hold and then 1.35 and 1.25 ..... this is a normal consequence of production lines improving.

As for the who side, Hynix modules are the "gold standard" and are quite capable of 1.9v or more..... each step down on the quality scale will mean being more conservative on the voltage. Being able to take more voltage also allows better overclocking even beyond XMP.

When a line is first released, you will find Hynix in most of the enthusiast stuff. As time goes on, and everyone's production lines improve with higher yields of higher spec modules, many manufacturer's pull the ole switcheroo and switch to cheaper modules. It kind of surprises me that reviewers will make a bid deal out of what memory brand is on a GFX card but don't bother to report the same info on DRAM modules. You can identify what ya got with CPUz tho sometimes even on the store sites, you will notice a change in timings .... for example at DDR3-2400 ..... timings dropped from 10-12-12-28 to 10-12-12-31 on the Corsair Vengeance Pro lines when they switched from Hynix to another vendor .... the Dominators also had a change in timings some months alter.


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