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Memory bios settings

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January 15, 2010 12:55:48 PM

Greetings. I'm building my first computer and am using a gigabyte mb (ma785gmt-ud2h) and ocz memory. The memory is advertised as DDR3 1600, 1.9v, and with timings of 8-8-8-24. On initial boot up the memory defaulted to 1066, so I went into the bios and changed the "memory clock" to 1600mhz. A few of the subsequent restarts were flaky, so where my bios listed "7T" as the value for "cas# latency", "ras to cas r/w delay", and "row precharge time", I changed all three from "7T" to "8T" assuming these values should correspond to the 8-8-8 in the advertised timings for my memory. The last few restarts have been normal, but my questions are 1) does it sound like the changes I've made so far are correct, (2) the bios now shows my memory at 1.5v--should I change this to 1.9v to correspond to the ocz memory specs, and 3) are any other corresponding changes recommended? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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a c 128 } Memory
January 15, 2010 5:38:15 PM

You should be ok. If it runs good, don't raise the ram voltage. Normal max recommended ram voltage for ddr3 is about 1.65 volts for Intel boards. The lower it runs at the cooler it will stay. 1.5 is good especially if it runs at 1600. Lucky you.
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January 15, 2010 9:21:17 PM

Not quite so lucky after all. While loading and running a bunch more stuff the system reset itself a few times, so I upped the voltage to 1.65. It's been running flawlessly now for several hours under heavy load, so later I might try backing it down to 1.6. Thanks for the guidance, o1die!
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January 16, 2010 4:41:19 AM

Have you run memtest to test memory stability? It is a good idea to run it for about ten passes to check stability and, if it passes, then run overnight for about 8 hours to prove stability.

http://www.memtest.org/
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a b } Memory
January 16, 2010 2:17:22 PM

You should leave it a the default settings unless you are overclocking your processor.
Raising your memory above the default settings has very little to no performance advantage. Usually, about the only thing it does it cause system instability.
Faster memory is useful for overclocking your processor, not much else.
If you search the forums, there are many posts that pretty much ask exactly the same thing. You can read all about it for hours upon hours if you are so inclined.
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January 23, 2010 2:25:41 AM

The new system has been running for a week now with no noticeable problems. I had run Windows memory diagnostics earlier with no errors, but just got around to running the Memtest86+ that rockyjohn pointed me to (thanks, good tool to know about!). It recognized the memory as DDR1600 with timings of 8-8-8-30 and went 5 passes with no errors. I’ll let it run much longer a little later. I thought I had set the voltage down to 1.65 last week but it’s been running at 1.7 all this time, so I just ticked it down to 1.65. I’m not overclocking, so, as jitpublisher says, it appears that I can set everything back to the defaults with no noticeable change in performance. But it’s been a great education. Thanks to all.
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