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Corsair Dominator Overclocking

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September 22, 2010 7:42:38 AM

Hi guys, I have 2GB x3 Corsair Dominator (model: TR3X6G1600C8D), and it seems that this memory can be overclocked to 1600Mhz, my memory is now working at 1066Mhz, but the Asus motherboard that I have, let me choose an X.M.P profile, and with doing that, it'll overclock my RAM to 1600Mhz automatically.

Now, what are the consequences of overclocking my RAM?... is there something to do with my CPU?, do I need another CPU cooler or something like that?...
any kind of information would be useful.

And, what kind of advantages would I get overcloking my RAM to 1600Mhz?.

Thanks


PD: Look at my specs at the bottom of my post
September 22, 2010 9:01:26 AM

if you turn on your xmp it will automatically set the bclk to 160 so you need a better cooler if you want higher overclock
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September 22, 2010 3:07:37 PM

Xtrastor, as stated above, if your RAM speed is supposed to be 1600, putting them at 1600 isn't considered overclocking. But, really, that's just semantics.

The problem lies in how you get the RAM to its desired speed. I really do not suggest using any kind of automation or XMP profile, as those can have some unintended consequences.

My guess is that your highest RAM multiplier is 10x. If this is the case, you would need to set your base clock (BCLK) to 160 in order to get the desired speed (160 x 10 = 1600). However, changing the BCLK is also going to affect all of the other components on the motherboard (except the PCI slots), and more directly, the CPU.

From your CPU speed I'm guessing your BCLK is currently set at 140. By increasing it to 160, you'd be overclocking your CPU to 3.2Ghz, which may be undesirable if you do not want the increased temperatures and/or are unable to handle them with a stock cooler.

However, if you have a non-stock cooler, then you have nothing to lose by trying. Any good heatsink (including the lovely Cooler Master Hyper 212+) is able to handle an overclocked i7, so you'll be fine.

The other thing you'd have to do is set your RAM timings and voltages. You can get these specifications from your manufacturer (they'd either be on their website or in the manual that came with your RAM). I just looked them up, and they're right here:

TR3X6G1600C8D DDR3-1600 (Dominator-12800C8*XMP*3CH) 6GB Kit (3 x 2GB) 8-8-8-24-2T 1.65v

Now, I don't specifically know how you can configure that in your particular motherboard's BIOS, but generally, you set the voltage on the main "overclock" screen (on my Asus P6T the menu is called "AI Tweaker") under an option called "DRAM Voltage" or something to that effect. You'd set it to the 1.65v you see in the specifications above.

To set the timings, the options are generally in a separate menu inside of the main "overclock" screen, it might be called "DRAM Timings Control" or something like that. Use a RAM timings guide such as http://www.overclock.net/faqs/26706-info-ram-timings-du... where it explains in detail exactly what each setting is. Now, I'll give you a Cliff's Notes version.

The settings in the manufacturers specification are 8-8-8-24-2T. Each of these numbers stand for a specific setting in the DRAM Timings Control you have to change in order to take full advantage of your RAM, as it's probably set to "auto" right now.

Each of the numbers, in sequence, represents the options CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS-Command Rate. These might be called by different names, but use the guide to figure out any alternative terms. In the BIOS settings, simply set each of those options to the numbers provided in the specification and you're set. The first four options in the specification are 99% of the time the first four options you see in the DRAM Timings Control menu, but the Command Rate option is probably a little further down.

So, I know this was a long read, but that's all you need to get your RAM properly configured, which, does actually give you quite a performance increase compared to improperly set RAM.
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September 22, 2010 5:12:08 PM

Thanks for the answers, specially Duckmeister.

I was reading some post about the XMP profile, it seems that is like a recommended profile that enables the RAM to run at 1600MHz with no problems, is already tested and it seems it's going to work at 1.65V.

The information above is extremely useful, now I can understand a lot better how a RAM works and the timing, etc, but, why don't you suggest XMP? I think, being automatic "overclock" is going to work even better, because its already tested, doesn't it?

I really dont want to mess around with voltages and changing timings, because I think is more risky and I dont want to damage my RAM, MOBO or CPU, I just want my RAM to run at 1600MHz, because I paid for that, but I thought XMP would do the job for what I want right now.
What do you think?

And thanks again for the amazing good information that you posted Duckmeister.

Thanks
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September 22, 2010 6:14:11 PM

The reasons why I don't recommend automated overclocking profiles and the like are threefold:
1. Not every piece of hardware works exactly the same way. One person's hardware may take an "auto" setting differently than another's of the same model.
2. Auto settings can change options you don't want to be changed. For example, if I had a stock cooler, I wouldn't want an auto setting increasing my CPU speed (and therefore my temperatures) without my knowledge.
3. It's not exactly "already tested", as again, every piece of hardware is different.

In my opinion, if you do it yourself, you do it right, and leaving it to automation widens the possibility of having something go wrong without your knowledge.

It's not risky to set the correct voltages and timings, and you certainly won't damage your RAM by doing so. Really, it's way more risky to have your RAM be improperly configured. In fact, you could actually damage your RAM by running it at 1600 without changing your voltage to it's specified level, because it wouldn't have enough power to run it at that high of a speed.

The timings and voltage are just as part of the RAM as the speed, so setting them all to the manufacturer's specified levels is important. Thankfully, setting the RAM up properly is a lot easier than it used to be.
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September 23, 2010 2:03:54 AM

Ok I've set them as the Corsair website says, but, in my MOBO, I can't put 1.65v, it is just letting me 1.64v OR 1.66v, which one should I use?.

When I choose 1.66v it gives me a message saying that more voltage than 1.65 could be risky to my CPU
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September 23, 2010 2:49:09 AM

Go with 1.64, then. Glad you could get everything set properly.
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September 23, 2010 3:02:59 AM

Duckmeister said:
Go with 1.64, then. Glad you could get everything set properly.


That's all because of you, Thanks again for your help dude, great answers!!!

Nice day.
Thanks
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a b } Memory
a c 183 K Overclocking
September 23, 2010 8:09:21 PM

I run 8gb of this on my rig which is very similiar dual channel ram.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Setting the dram voltage to 1.66v because there's no 1.65v setting in the bios will not harm anything.
Tried 1.64v and had issues for some reason.
Been running at 1.66v no problems for 9 months.
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September 23, 2010 8:34:13 PM

Well, he should try it himself first on 1.64 just to be safe.
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September 23, 2010 11:16:20 PM

1.66v warning is to keep ppl that dont know what there doing from doing just what yer asking OC'ing with question.

its only a 10th of a volt if that much frys the ram there is a prob.

u got a very nice speed ram dont be afraid to up the voltage just read up on OC'ing.

im sure u will catch on fast from yer posts u replyed to seems that u soak info up fast:) 
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September 24, 2010 2:47:38 AM

My Dominators don't like going above 1800, unless I loose timings or overolt them. I rather have them at its stock XMP 7-7-7 which is great as it is.
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September 29, 2010 5:39:15 PM

Best answer selected by Xtrastor.
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