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Quick general question

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August 2, 2012 4:40:07 AM

Greetings, people of Tom's Hardware forums! I recently built a new computer, and I've been looking into overclocking the RAM. Yes, I know, overclocking RAM has very little if any real impact on system performance, but I figure that I might as well get the free performance boost. Plus, I'm currently running off of my i5 3570k's integrated chipset until I can afford a graphics card, and I've read that graphics performance on an iGPU is heavily influenced by the RAM.

For my motherboard, I got an ASRock Z77 Extreme4, and for my RAM I purchased 2x4GB Crucial Ballistix 1600MHz. I got the RAM because it looks amazing, and I haven't looked back.

Anyways, on to the overclocking. The motherboard supports RAM above 2800MHz, so that's not a problem. I have a well-ventilated case (an awesome Rosewill Ranger, love it to death), so heat isn't a problem.

I've already overclocked the RAM slightly. Below are some numbers:

1600MHz, 8-8-8-24, 21.245GB/s, 1.5v (Stock)
1866MHz, 9-9-9-24, 24.315GB/s, 1.5v (Current)
2000MHz, 9-9-9-27, 25.951GB/s, 1.55v

I haven't tested any higher, because once you get above 1866MHz you need to turn up the voltage, and I dare not go past 1.55v unless I know it's safe to do so. How high can I (realistically) turn up the voltage without seriously impacting the life of my RAM?

- Jak Atackka

More about : quick general question

August 2, 2012 6:29:42 AM

Yes; however, I've read elsewhere that overclocking the Intel HD 4000 by 33% only results in 16% performance improvement, at a much greater power draw. To double the frequency, you need to increase the voltage by a huge amount, and that's not something A) I can do with a stock cooler and B) I'm willing to do to my $225 processor. I know I won't get a great performance improvement; if for no other reason other than for the heck of it, I want to OC my RAM for bragging rights :p . No one's going to be impressed if you tell them "Hey, I've got 1600MHz DDR3 running at 8-8-8-24", but they will be impressed if you tell them that you're running 2400MHz RAM.

- Jak Atackka
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August 3, 2012 2:12:27 AM

Anybody? Would it be safe to OC my RAM to 1.55v? How heavily would overclocking it impact the life of my RAM?

- Jak Atackka
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August 3, 2012 3:52:55 AM

It's not the ram that you have to worry about it's the cpu and the memory controller on it that doesn't want to see more than 1.5v.
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August 3, 2012 11:13:08 AM

inzone said:
It's not the ram that you have to worry about it's the cpu and the memory controller on it that doesn't want to see more than 1.5v.


+1 The RAM isn't really the issue, but you don't want to potentially cause damage to the IMC of the CPU just for "bragging rights" Why cause undue stress when you don't NEED to?

Who cares how "impressive" 1600 at 8-8-8-24 sounds? For anyone that actually KNOWS what you're talking about, they'll know that you're OC'ing the RAM for almost literally NO reason (a few percentage points, at most, of performance gained that you will NEVER "feel" or be able to show anyone how "awesome" it is), which outweighs the potential "bragging rights" part of the equation. For people in the know, it just makes you look petty.

Leave the RAM stock (or at least at 1866, even though that's basically pointless, over 1600). 1600 at 8-8-8-24 is damn good and anyone that doesn't know that just needs to be educated.
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a b } Memory
a c 138 K Overclocking
August 3, 2012 4:02:00 PM

Agrreed , I hope someone doesn't post that it's ok and I did it and it's reat , well how do you know that person did it , there's no proof and it could be someone just posting a bogus comment to screw you up.
If your not sure what we are saying is right then do some research and find out for yourself about the memory controller on the cpu. There is a reason why the ram sets for the Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge are rated at 1.5v.
The Gulftown cpus that were here before Sandy and Ivy Bridges had the ram sets rated at 1.65v and that's what the memoru controller would work with. If you go into your bios and look at the right panel where suggestions are it will tell you when applying voltage that it could be damaaging to the memory controller if the voltage is too high.
Overclock your cpu , your ram and your video cards because you can but be satisfied with an overclock before damage occurs.
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August 3, 2012 11:44:26 PM

Thanks for the responses everyone! Now I know that the main part of the computer affected by ramping up the voltage is the memory controller, which is integrated into the processor with Ivy Bridge. Good to know.

Initially I wanted to OC the RAM because it had a Windows Experience Index of 7.6, and even though I know it's pretty much a pointless number (especially once you get that high) I wanted it to be 7.9 . Overclocking it to 1866MHz brought up the WEI to 7.9, so I'm happy with it. I was just wondering, since I was already overclocking my RAM, if a 2133MHz overclock (or even 2400MHz) would be possible, and if it would cause undue stress on my system from raising the voltage. Besides, I like to overclock: I overclocked my 7-year old laptop's video card's frequency by 35% and the VRAM speed 15%, and I saw greatly improved performance.

As I mentioned earlier, one benefit of overclocking the RAM is that it would result in an improvement (albeit subtle) in my Intel HD 4000's performance. Does anyone know off the top of their head how much of an impact RAM has on an iGPUs performance?

- Jak Atackka
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August 4, 2012 12:40:03 AM

Did you allocate the max amount of shared memory to the HD4000?
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August 4, 2012 1:02:23 AM

Jak Atackka said:
As I mentioned earlier, one benefit of overclocking the RAM is that it would result in an improvement (albeit subtle) in my Intel HD 4000's performance. Does anyone know off the top of their head how much of an impact RAM has on an iGPUs performance?


When you OC'd your laptop's GPU and VRAM, I can almost guarantee that any gains you got from it were really only from OC'ig the graphics core and not from any VRAM OC'ing.

It's that way with normal discreet GPU's (OC'ing VRAM does VERY little to improve performance, but OC'ing the core gives much larger gains) and it would be the same with the iGPU of the 3570K as well. If your RAM was 1333 RAM, I'd say it would possibly help to go to 1600, but I'd say you're about as good as you're gonna get with 1866.

If you want better performance from the iGPU, just OC the graphics core itself and make sure that you have enough RAM shared with it.
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August 16, 2012 12:09:53 AM

Best answer selected by Jak Atackka.
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