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Is my memory underclocked?

Last response: in Memory
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April 21, 2010 5:43:15 AM

Hello,
This is hopefully a simple question.
I have 2 sticks of DDR3 1600 memory, a MB supporting 1600 memory, 2000 NB frequency, Windows 7 64 bit.
While running 64 bit CPU-Z, it clocked my memory at 666MHz. I know this is 1333 from DDR, but I was expecting to get 1600.

Basically, am I getting what I paid for, and if possible, how can I crank it up to 1600? Is it just a question of adjusting BIOS settings, or is there a hardware block?

I've encountered this problem on two computers, using different brands.

Thanks in advance. I can give more information if it's needed.
First post, so I'll use that as an excuse for now

More about : memory underclocked

April 21, 2010 6:19:46 AM

You need to set ram to recommended specs, i.e timing, speed and voltage in bios... Ram is almost always underclocked at default...
April 21, 2010 7:01:02 AM

Check CPU-Z for the SPD settings for 800mhz ram speed. Take note of the timings and the voltage required. Then go to bios and set the memory clock to 800. If needed, set also the required voltage and timings.
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a b } Memory
April 21, 2010 11:19:53 PM

It would be helpful to know the specs of your system. RAM manufacturer, specs and model number (links always help), motherboard, OS, CPU, etc.

In particular in your case the CPU is important. For example, if you've got one of the Intel socket 1156 CPUs and it's an i3 or an i5 - then your RAM frequency is limited to 1333 MHz unless you OC your CPU or make other tradeoffs (like losing Turbo). If you've got an i7 (1156/Lynnfield or 1366/Bloomfield), then you can get your RAM to 1600 MHz by going in to BIOS and changing the memory multiplier (spd) to 12. The exact label varies by motherboard manufacturer so at this point the motherboard becomes the important piece of information.

If you've got an AMD chip, it's also a BIOS change, but I'll let someone else advise you there.
April 22, 2010 12:33:47 AM

Thanks everybody. Haven't tried tackling BIOS yet.

One computer has
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO mb
AMD Phenom II X4 965
GSkill 2x2GB DDR3 1600

RAM specs: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other has
MSI NF750-G55 mb
AMD Athlon II X3 435
A-DATA 4x2GB DDR3 1600

RAM specs: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

OS is Win7 pro 64 bit on both

I just noticed SPD settings in CPU-Z which should prove to be very helpful. Thanks, masterjaw.
a b } Memory
April 22, 2010 12:59:19 AM

It's a confusing thing, but memory does not necessarily run at the speed the sticks you buy are "rated" for. Ram is sold as a "rated" speed. In other words, memory advertised at 1600mhz means that it is guaranteed to run at that speed. However, that doesn't have anything to do with the default speed your processor and motherboard combination will set it to run at. It just means that if you want to, you should be able to attain that speed via BIOS adjustments. Most usually, people are buying RAM that is rated faster than the default speeds of their system so they have overclocking headroom. As you start raising the FSB speeds when you are overclock your processor, you also start overclocking your memory. So having memory rated faster than stock speeds will help to keep you from having instability problems with your memory. Memory is usually one of the first walls an over-clocker will run into. Hence, everyone here on an enthusiast forum is going to suggest getting memory capable of faster than stock speeds.
April 22, 2010 11:30:02 PM

Thanks everybody. I got them running at 1600 by changing the FSB:RAM ratio to 1.4:1 I think. Didn't need to change voltage or timings at all. :) 
!