False advertisement RAM causes random restarts

OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory


I purchased this RAM for my new Core i7 920 build. My mobo defaulted it to 1066 speed with low voltage. So I increased the multiplier and set the voltage to the suggested 1.65 to get up to 1600 speed. I kept on getting error messages during my Windows 7 installation saying that the computer unexpectedly restarted. So I checked the Newegg comments and a ton of people have these BSOD and restart problems because this RAM does not run stable at its advertised speed.

I'm a noob, so I didn't understand all the commenters' tech jargon with all those abbreviations like QPI, XMP, VVT, VDIMM. I also see no way to view my timings on my cheap Foxconn Flamingblade mobo. Can someone walk me through how to slow this RAM down and make it stable?

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  1. Up up the memory voltage by a notch or two(lets say to 1.68v, 1.7v, 1.73v - dont worry, it wont hurt your ram) and try again, its possible that the mobo doesnt provide full 1.65v to the modules causing instability at said speed.

    As for bios settings, heres Windwithme`s review of your mobo with BIOS pictures showing where timings are set etc. - http://forums.tweaktown.com/f19/windwithme-s-core-i7-review-part-7-foxconn-s-flaming-blade-locked-loaded-32626/
  2. Can I just use my mobo's suggested slow settings while installing my Windows 7? Is that safe? I'm getting a headache from it being half installed. After that, I'll try your suggestion.

    I have some additional questions on RAM stability:

    1) do I have to increase the clock and the timings together? Or will upping one independently give me some performance boost?

    2) How much voltage increase can the RAM handle before frying?
  3. To start with, I take my suggestion about increasing the ram voltage back(explained later)

    Yes, you can safely use whatever your mobo sets the ram to, its probably the best thing to do anyway. Try installing w7 with those settings, if unsuccessful download memtest and test your ram.

    Speed vs timings: read this - http://www.thetechrepository.com/showthread.php?t=160 it will give you an idea how those things relate to each other and ram`s overall performance.

    Max voltage - i cant really tell you, since theres a bit of confusion around this. According to JEDEC documens regarding ddr3 standard, the minimum/default voltage is 1.5v while modules having to withstand 1.975v before any permanent damage is caused. The problem comes with i7 cpus, with intel claiming that continous use of memory that requires more than 1.65v may damage the cpu permanently(since the memory controller is integrated into cpu).

    But I guess the bottom line is - your ram shoud run at 1600 with specified timings at 1.65v, thats what you paid for.

    So i suggest this: set the voltage, timings to those printed on the modules/packaging but set the speed lower than 1600. If it works fine than you have two options: keep it and run it at lower speed(and you wont see much difference anyway) or RMA it as it does not work with advertised values.

    As for the i7 1.65v issue - like I said earlier theres a fair bit of confusion surrounding it, since Intel says "run over 1.65v on your own risk" but I would have upped the voltage purely to see if it helps. I dont care that much for the gear Im using, thats why I take risks and exceed specifications. But I shouldnt have suggested it to you or anybody, my bad on that.
  4. I set the RAM speed in my BIOS to 1333 MHz and voltage at the default 1.60 v. When I open up CPU-Z, all the numbers changed:

    What is meant by 534.6 MHz DRAM? Do I have to multiple that by something to get the effective speed?
  5. 534 Mhz huh? Thats an odd one...

    DDR = Double Data Rate, so you typically need to multiply by 2 to get the listed speed on the memory modules (EG: DDR2 800 runs at 400Mhz x 2 = 800MHz). So according the CPU-Z, you're only running slightly above 1066MHz...Unless a tri-channel config means you need to multiply by 3 instead, but even then, you get 1600MHz instead of 1333MHz you set it to...

    Good timings though; I run 7-7-7-26, and you're getting 7-7-7-16, which is quite aggressive for DDR3...

    If you're stable, either RMA the RAM, or leave it as is.
  6. You definitely multiply by 2. Basically, you're running at 1066.
  7. I find that odd then if he set the RAM to 1333 in the BIOS...Check your settings again, just to make sure the RAM is running at the right speed.
  8. well I have those ram and they are rated at DDR3-1600 7-7-7-24 1.65V

    one thing to keep in mind, you may have to raise your cpu VTT voltages a little ( I have 1.2 V when stock is 1.1V) since in order to run dram voltage past 1.65 you have to raise that VTT so that the two will never differ above 0.5V (given that electricity is not constant, keep a margin of error eh) Hence why intel is saying that at 1.1 stock, max you can do is 1.6V on the ram

    and if they don't work as advertised, RMA them with OCZ, you did pay for a lot with very little, anything 7-7-7 isn't anywhere near as cheap with lifetime warranty.... them dominators from corsair cost twice as much
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