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Risks of Tigtening Memory Timings

Last response: in Memory
January 30, 2010 6:36:17 AM


I'd like to tighten my memory timings from 9-9-9-27 to 8-8-8-24. I know that my memory can sustain 9-9-9-24, but I don't know what the risks of tightening them are. Is it simply a blue screen that I could get by tightening my timings, or could I actually damage my DIMMs?

My CPU is at 3.5GHz, Turbo-off and Memory Performance Enhance is set to Standard.

My memory is G.Skill Ripjaws 2000.


January 30, 2010 6:54:00 AM

check your mobo first if it is compatible with that memory. I have experience in my gigabyte mobo it preform very unusual with g.skill memory (It does install with windows OS thou) but when I played games It sometimes slowed down but when I change my memory to Kingston HyperX the problem is gone. So check the mobos website first for memory compatiblity.
January 30, 2010 7:15:47 AM

G.Skill claim that it'll run well on the P55-UD4P, but say nothing about the P55A-UD4P. I haven't had any problems with my memory thus far however.
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a b } Memory
January 30, 2010 7:31:11 AM

No, there will be no actual damage to the DIMMs.
Worst case, you will fail to boot or get errors.
Make sure you thoroughly test with Memtest before calling it stable.

TBH though, you will never be able to tell the difference performance wise.
If you want to save your self some trouble and still get the same performance, leave it where it is :p 
January 30, 2010 7:33:21 AM

What is the point of choosing tighter timings then? If it won't improve performance, then I'm a little confused as to why people always say that lower latency memory is better than higher latency.
a b } Memory
January 30, 2010 7:41:01 AM

Yes, that is defiantly true.
Lower latency RAM is able to access stored data faster than higher latency RAM.

A fun chart :D 

From Here

Even as such, for most all of us, real world performance is virtually identical.
You will see a ~0.5% increase in performance, if anything at all.
Still a fun exercise to do and great for bragging rights, just not real world relevant...
January 30, 2010 7:51:30 AM

Would it help me achieve a better rating with Super Pi Mod? Because when I changed my latency from 9-9-9-24 to 9-9-9-27, the times slowed. Note that I also changed Memory Performance Enhance from Turbo to Standard at the same time.
a b } Memory
January 30, 2010 8:04:38 AM

Can you actually play Super Pi?
Sure you can see a small change in benchmarks but when you sit down to encode a movie or play a game it will still feel the same.

Think through it like this.

With a theoretical but extremely memory dependent piece of software, you might need say 4 cycles to complete a certain calculation.
In a situation like this, having your data sent to the CPU in 8 cycles instead of 9 will defiantly give you a performance boost.
The total time to finish a calculation would have dropped about 7.7%.

In a more usual app that is more CPU dependent, maybe the CPU chugs along for 500 cycles before requiring more data from the RAM.
When you look at a more normal situation, going from CL9 to 8 will have little effect.
About 0.196% increase in performance to be precise.

I just pulled those numbers out of the sky but it goes to show the point.
In simple synthetics you will probably see a decent increase in performance.
Everywhere important, it will offer nothing above what you already have.

Best solution

a b } Memory
January 30, 2010 12:28:41 PM

Right on. People struggle trying to overclock memory, lower the timings, buy faster memory than the board or processor "needs" etc. Point is, and as it is, in a modern computer, with modern memory that is basically matched well to the rest of the hardware, your memory is not a bottleneck. It can handle everything the system throws at it with ease, and speeding up just doesn't get you much of anything in real world use.

But, you won't damage anything. Try it and see. You may not boot, or you may get an error or blue screen, or it may work just fine.
a b } Memory
January 31, 2010 1:05:52 PM

jitpublisher said:
Right on. People struggle trying to overclock memory, ...

Case in point:
E6600 running at 3.3 GHz (367 MHz X 9) with DDR2-1000 RAM (early days of Core2 overclocking) at 5-5-5-15-2T. I spent about two weeks (hey, I work in Saudi Arabia on a bachelor assignment and I don't have a real life :)  ) working my memory timing down to 3-3-3-9-1T. 24 hour Orthos stable.

According to some good memory benchmarks, my memory i/o increased almost 7%, most of it going from 2T to 1T. :bounce: 

System benchmarks? Less than 1% faster. :( 

:pfff:  Not a really productive use of time.
February 10, 2010 2:53:19 AM

Best answer selected by rider_eragon.