How important is XMP support with RAM?

I read the Tom's Hardware article comparing 6GB DDR2 3-channel kits and what I got out of it was that the best value was the Mushkin DDR3 1600Mhz RAM which was rated a close #3 in overclocking performance yet only costs about $150, about half of the top performer (Kingston HyperX). But the Mushkin memory does not support XMP. Now, my current system is over 5 years old and I'm just learning the newest stuff, but how important is XMP? I do intend to overclock my new system, but it's not going to be hardcore. But will XMP save me a lot of headaches trying to get the memory timings correct? Is XMP just something in the BIOS that reads a chip on the RAM and the chip tells the BIOS all of the timings to achieve a certain speed? Any help appreciated. Thanks.

Neal
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  1. Not really. It takes a matter of minutes to set up the timings, volts, etc.
  2. nmatthis said:
    I read the Tom's Hardware article comparing 6GB DDR2 3-channel kits and what I got out of it was that the best value was the Mushkin DDR3 1600Mhz RAM which was rated a close #3 in overclocking performance yet only costs about $150, about half of the top performer (Kingston HyperX). But the Mushkin memory does not support XMP. Now, my current system is over 5 years old and I'm just learning the newest stuff, but how important is XMP? I do intend to overclock my new system, but it's not going to be hardcore. But will XMP save me a lot of headaches trying to get the memory timings correct? Is XMP just something in the BIOS that reads a chip on the RAM and the chip tells the BIOS all of the timings to achieve a certain speed? Any help appreciated. Thanks.

    Neal


    XMP can set your DRAM data rate, basic timings and memory bus voltage via 2-3 switches in BIOS. It still requires you to choose an XMP profile however, and it's nothing more than an "automatic overclocking" tool.

    If you can read the specifactions of the module, you can easily set it up manually in BIOS.
  3. Quote:
    Is XMP just something in the BIOS that reads a chip on the RAM and the chip tells the BIOS all of the timings to achieve a certain speed?


    That pretty well sums it up. If you are overclocking then you are in the BIOS and should know or learn enough to handle those settings yourself.
  4. XMP is Ram OC'ing for noobs. People who really want to push their systems to get the most performance don't use it. Its more of a guaranteed setting that the ram will overclock to, that is the way I think of it anyway.
  5. So it sounds like XMP is kind of a profile saved on the RAM that tells the BIOS; 'set the memory times to 7,8,7,20,42 and voltage to 1.65 to achieve 1066Mhz', correct?

    Neal
  6. nmatthis said:
    So it sounds like XMP is kind of a profile saved on the RAM that tells the BIOS; 'set the memory times to 7,8,7,20,42 and voltage to 1.65 to achieve 1066Mhz', correct?

    Neal

    Exactly. Its saved on the SPD chip. I'm pretty sure it won't work though if you overclock the CPU, since the way it sets those settings is just by adjusting the DRAM Multiplier. If you change the BCLK or FSB to achieve a higher CPU clock speed, then the computed ram speed will be off using those settings and it probably won't work correctly, you will BSOD. XMP is for noobs; people with enough money to afford EE processors (meaning they can OC their CPU's without changing the BCLK/FSB); or people not interested in overclocking their CPU.
  7. xthekidx said:
    Exactly. Its saved on the SPD chip. I'm pretty sure it won't work though if you overclock the CPU, since the way it sets those settings is just by adjusting the DRAM Multiplier. If you change the BCLK or FSB to achieve a higher CPU clock speed, then the computed ram speed will be off using those settings and it probably won't work correctly, you will BSOD. XMP is for noobs; people with enough money to afford EE processors (meaning they can OC their CPU's without changing the BCLK/FSB); or people not interested in overclocking their CPU.



    i have asus p6t w/ kingston hyperx 1600. so, to get the 1600 speed, all i have to do is set the bios to "xmp" only, and keep everything "auto". i am not interesting in oc the cpu for now. do i have to set the dram freq to "1600". thanks
  8. ntrann2 said:
    i have asus p6t w/ kingston hyperx 1600. so, to get the 1600 speed, all i have to do is set the bios to "xmp" only, and keep everything "auto". i am not interesting in oc the cpu for now. do i have to set the dram freq to "1600". thanks


    Some modules have multiple XMP profiles and you have to choose the one you want. So it's just a matter of enabling XMP and choosing a profile.
  9. Crashman said:
    Some modules have multiple XMP profiles and you have to choose the one you want. So it's just a matter of enabling XMP and choosing a profile.


    hi crashman,

    the chip is KHX12800D3/2G x 3 w/ Asus p6t. The DRAM has no preset XMP. So, when I set XMP, no profile is displayed. Do I have to set XMP in bios, adjust the timing, adjust the voltage. If so, Core DRAM or Bus DRAM. thanks
  10. ntrann2 said:
    hi crashman,

    the chip is KHX12800D3/2G x 3 w/ Asus p6t. The DRAM has no preset XMP. So, when I set XMP, no profile is displayed. Do I have to set XMP in bios, adjust the timing, adjust the voltage. If so, Core DRAM or Bus DRAM. thanks


    No. Setting XMP doesn't work when the RAM has no XMP.

    Your RAM isn't made to work with your processor. If you set it "right", it will burn out its memory controller. It's atually complete and utter trash, requiring 1.90V to run at DDR3-1600? It must be made from heat-tolerant DDR3-1066 or something, since DDR3 is suppose to run at 1.50V.
  11. ntrann2 said:
    hi crashman,

    the chip is KHX12800D3/2G x 3 w/ Asus p6t. The DRAM has no preset XMP. So, when I set XMP, no profile is displayed. Do I have to set XMP in bios, adjust the timing, adjust the voltage. If so, Core DRAM or Bus DRAM. thanks

    :pfff: Should always ask before you buy if your not sure. You will need to replace that ram, or run it at low speeds like DDR3-800/1066 to get acceptable voltages stable.
  12. If you are running high performance applications that are not overclock friendly then XMP settings can cause problems -- a common one is SWTOR which is not friendly with many overclocked scenarios including many XMP settings.
  13. You just click on to set it on, its easy, in your Bios, if you choose the XMP profile it OC the RAM, and nothing else, and if you overclock your System or CPU it automatically runs it in XMP settings, if you also have the easy button overclock start(which can have pre-set settings options to what you desire), it is for noobs but thats a great thing, IMO. Its all up to you, I think computer will last longer without OC, I built my system to OC, runs at 30 degrees Celsius, 5 degree difference when OC. and 10 seconds Faster on boot up to Windows when OC. CPU gets boots to windows in 39 seconds without OC, opens Big Programs in 7seconds or less without OC. You want to make your CPU faster run your OS off an SSD, as well as programs, that way you dont bottle neck performance, OC ram wont make that big of a difference.
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