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Optimizing Corsair memory

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September 9, 2010 4:45:18 AM

Hello,

I have 6GBs of Corsair CMX6GX3A1600C9 (3 x 2GB) and I have some questions on it.

I have read several guides but I am still unsure about a couple of things.

I know what CAS means, and basically how memory functions, interleaving and what not. My knowledge is from an IT perspective, which doesn't include the need to work with BIOS settings. What I am hoping for is advice on how to optimize my memory settings.

First, is Corsair's CMX6GX3A1600C9 good memory? I got Corair because it comes highly recommended and I have had lots of success with it before (Mushkin too)

How do I find out what speed my memory is running at?

How do I increase it to 1600 and is this something I should do?

I noticed there is a volt setting for DRAM Bus, does that need to be changed?

Do I need to do something with the 9,9,9,24 timings?

For my specs, I have an ASUS P6X58D and an Intel i7 930 clocked at 3.5 Ghz at 1.17 vcore. I'd rather not raise the vcore as I have only stock HSF for now.

Finally, since I do have the ASUS withTurboV, can any of this be set in that environment?

Thank you.
a b } Memory
September 9, 2010 10:03:00 AM

Hello
1_Can't find it anywhere,can you post a link to it ? But judging from the numbers,its a DDR3 1600MHz CL9 which is fine.
2_With an app like CPU-Z
3_It should be automatically set to 1600MHz in the BIOS,but if it isn't then go to BIOS>Memory tab and set it manually
4_Again this should be set to the manufacture's voltage by default,but if its not then set it manually
5_It depends,you have to play with the timings in order to get a stable one for OC'ng,however its good to start with the stock timings
5_I wouldn't recommend TurboV at all,because software OC'ng doesn't let you change many things and therefore may lead to instability, so always change the settings in the BIOS,its much more better
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a b } Memory
September 9, 2010 12:07:18 PM

Maziar answered most of your questions, however I think his answer to 1600MHz RAM is a bit ambiguous. If this is different for X58 then I am sorry.

The 930 I believe has a 21x Multiplier, I think this is right?

The CPU speed is this times the base clock. So in your case the base clock is 166MHz.

RAM is also a function of the bclock, as you raise the bclock the RAM speed raises. RAM also has a multiplier which on my board is 6, 8 and 10. So you change this to change the RAM speed, 10 would put your RAM out of spec and OCed a little but it should be fine.

Hope that clears something up.
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a b } Memory
September 9, 2010 4:56:50 PM

Can you explain more? you think there is a problem with a 1600MHz RAM and X58 chipset?
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September 9, 2010 5:30:56 PM

Wolygon said:
Maziar answered most of your questions, however I think his answer to 1600MHz RAM is a bit ambiguous. If this is different for X58 then I am sorry.

The 930 I believe has a 21x Multiplier, I think this is right?

The CPU speed is this times the base clock. So in your case the base clock is 166MHz.

RAM is also a function of the bclock, as you raise the bclock the RAM speed raises. RAM also has a multiplier which on my board is 6, 8 and 10. So you change this to change the RAM speed, 10 would put your RAM out of spec and OCed a little but it should be fine.

Hope that clears something up.


Thank you Punkinator. It is actually 22x because of the turbo mode. I will take a closer look at you reply post-work today.
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a b } Memory
September 9, 2010 11:23:13 PM

^ Thanks but I think Maziar deserves some of the thanks to.

@Maziar

I was just clarifying what had to be done to change the RAM frequency as you didn't cover it. The OP said they did not know anything about the BIOS so I figured what you said was not enough....Get what I'm saying? Thanks.
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September 10, 2010 6:15:42 AM

Oh, I agree, thank you Maziar :) 

I was simply clarifying the multiplier number. That I do know about. And I am learning more.

I am trying to stablize the CPU over clock now. It looks like 3.6 @ 1.16875 will hold. Then I am will take a look at your mem bios posts, both of you :love: 

Where I am at is....if I get a nice pefromance uptick with the stock HSF, how much more is it worth to go say, from 3.6 or so, to 4.0? To go from 2.8 to 3.6 is a 35% increase + what I can squeez out of the RAM. To go now to 4.0 is only a 10% further increase and involves more money, and gosh, I just don't like pasting that CPU more than I need to, and I'd like a big upside potential if it means pulling the mobo.

Anyway, like I said, I will read your guys suggestions in detail, compare it to some guides and see what I come up with, and hopefully make it and not break it :) 
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a b } Memory
September 10, 2010 7:16:17 AM

Hello, make sure your temps are alright as I wouldn't have thought you could get 3.6GHz on the stock cooler. Also are you stress testing the processor with something like Prime95.

A higher memory will generally not give you any more performance, though tighter timings would be good. So aim for that and not for speed.

What are you doing with your processor? If you are doing something which requires raw CPU performance (like video encoding) then you would see an alright increase in performance with your current OC and then more with a 4GHz OC.

Yes 4GHz is around about the highest you'll go.

Though if you are gaming on anything less than 2 GTX 480s you will not notice any performance difference. But like I said if your doing something which needs it think whether you would be willing to pay the money to save some time or what not.

Good Luck!
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a b } Memory
September 10, 2010 8:45:40 AM

to the_punkinator
Yes,thanks for clarifying.
to OP
Well going from 3.6 to 4.0 will give you a boost but it depends on the tasks that you do, for example you aren't going to see much of a difference in almost all games unless you play at low resolutions (like 1680x1050 or lower)
And in CPU intensive tasks, a 400MHz bump in speed is good but it won't make a huge difference.
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September 11, 2010 1:13:21 AM

Wolygon said:
Hello, make sure your temps are alright as I wouldn't have thought you could get 3.6GHz on the stock cooler. Also are you stress testing the processor with something like Prime95.

A higher memory will generally not give you any more performance, though tighter timings would be good. So aim for that and not for speed.

What are you doing with your processor? If you are doing something which requires raw CPU performance (like video encoding) then you would see an alright increase in performance with your current OC and then more with a 4GHz OC.

Yes 4GHz is around about the highest you'll go.

Though if you are gaming on anything less than 2 GTX 480s you will not notice any performance difference. But like I said if your doing something which needs it think whether you would be willing to pay the money to save some time or what not.

Good Luck!


I have a smaller well vented case and I think that helps. I am able to keep the ambient around 30 - 32c in the case.

As to the CPU, I am using the stock HSF, but I went with some Artic Silver type paste, which I have gotten very good at applying. I am stressing with pirme95, up to 3 hours at a time with no errors. For temps I am using PC Probe II, which came with the ASUS board. At 3.6, under full stress, I am at 65 - 70c.

I do some gaming on an ATI 5770, but mostly I do this as a hobby. That and teaching compsci at the local community college.
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a b } Memory
September 11, 2010 2:00:29 AM

65-70 is pretty hot, I wouldn't really run it 24/7 but its not too bad...

If your only gaming on your computer then you won't benefit from the OC in anyway. I suggest either turning your OC down or buying a HSF, I know OCing is fun but it is more fun when you can reach 4.0GHz with good temps...
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a c 347 } Memory
September 11, 2010 2:54:33 AM

^ WTH??!! Interesting guessing game.

OP needs to provide correct P/N for DDR as Maziar CPUz "may" determine. More than likely they are 9-9-9-24. However, without BCLK again another guess ~ wild assumption from {3.5 OC } I'd "guess" 160 if so then Memory Multiplier is 10 (160 MHz X 10 = 1600 MHz).

PROBLEM BIOS manual + ASUS TurboV + multiple changes = Disaster. Don't use apps to OC; I cannot think of one MOBO where it doesn't end up bad.

Also, turn-off TB when OC it is not needed and makes it impossible to find any stable settings.
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September 11, 2010 5:00:43 AM

Wolygon said:
65-70 is pretty hot, I wouldn't really run it 24/7 but its not too bad...

If your only gaming on your computer then you won't benefit from the OC in anyway. I suggest either turning your OC down or buying a HSF, I know OCing is fun but it is more fun when you can reach 4.0GHz with good temps...



Your right. If is fun but I know I should probably do it different. THe 65+ is only under load anyway, when I am gaming it is around 45, and idle is 36....

I do want a HSF and I am going to add a post to that...see, I don't want to do water and I don't want to pull my mobo...so I am looking for a HSF that is pin(?) mount. Know of one? I did a search but didn't find much...it is hard to pick the right search terms.
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September 11, 2010 5:16:01 AM

jaquith said:
^ WTH??!! Interesting guessing game.

OP needs to provide correct P/N for DDR as Maziar CPUz "may" determine. More than likely they are 9-9-9-24. However, without BCLK again another guess ~ wild assumption from {3.5 OC } I'd "guess" 160 if so then Memory Multiplier is 10 (160 MHz X 10 = 1600 MHz).

PROBLEM BIOS manual + ASUS TurboV + multiple changes = Disaster. Don't use apps to OC; I cannot think of one MOBO where it doesn't end up bad.

Also, turn-off TB when OC it is not needed and makes it impossible to find any stable settings.


TY Jaquith,

The DDR is: Corsair 6 GB PC3-12800 1600MHz 240-Pin DDR3 Core i7 Triple Channel Memory Kit CMX6GX3M3A1600C9, also stated as XMS3 on the spreader, and it is 9,9,9,24.

BLCK is 162, mulitpier 22 w/TB.

As far as the bios manual goes, if you're implying it is weak, I agree. I've a hard time making sense of the important parts.

As to TurboV, I've heard some positives on it, and it has worked so far for me, but then again I may not be doing much anyway. Are you indicating to make all OC moves in BIOS? Hmmmm that is what I am here for in part, how to do that. I have good IT skills, but system level stuff not so much. I teach compsci at the community college and we talk servers, and IP addressing, and disk storage arrays, but not to much BIOS stuff. But I am trying to learn :)  and the most manuals I've read seem to make it a point to contradict the last one I read, or, leave out the one part I really need. :( 
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a c 347 } Memory
September 11, 2010 5:40:37 AM

CMX6GX3A1600C9 = top
CMX6GX3M3A1600C9 = bottom
^ see my concern.

{I own an REO/IDX data center; an love relational databases ~ go figure this is a hobby thing & a 20 year old in my head but mid 40's in the mirror}

Yeah, TB + OC = problem typically; you won't realize it until you run Prime95 which "should" engage TB -> and overheat your CPU. Therefore, to get better results I'd recommend ramping up the BCLK to 190 X 18 and lower the CPU voltage to the point of post failure then increase that number by the next setting +0.1~+0.3V.

OC is more a trial by error thing; if you're not seeing post failure then your not "feeling" the system.
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September 11, 2010 6:20:38 AM

okay, i got it.

But what do I do with this? Readings from CPU Z

DRAM FREQ 485.7
FSB:D RAM 2.6
Cas Lat (CL) 6
Ras to Cas delay (tRCD) 6
RAS pre-charge (tRP) 6
Cycle Time RAS 18
Row Refresh Cycle time (tROC) 44
Command Rate (CR) 1T

DRAM volt 1.50

as my memory is 9,9,9,24,1600,C9?

This is what has me most confused as none of these values seem related to what I have?

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a c 347 } Memory
September 11, 2010 8:42:50 AM

Manually change ALL of the settings in the BIOS. There's no mention of which MOBO version P6X58D {Premium or E}; guessing E - Manual - begin on page 70. Each module will need to be set manually and changed from {Auto}. The 4-primary {9-9-9-24} CAS settings and the voltage changed to 1.65V

Next the Memory Multiplier using this equation:
Round Down (1600 / BCLK) = Memory Multiplier
e.g. 1600/190 = {8.42} = 8
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a b } Memory
September 11, 2010 9:36:50 AM

@jaquith

There was NO guessing game. The OP just wanted to know some things about RAM so I guessed his bclock to show him the example of how the memory frequency works.

I was not advising him on overclocking as I figured he had that under control. Which was a bad assumption, I did not know he was using an OCing program as he did not make it clear ("Finally, since I do have the ASUS withTurboV, can any of this be set in that environment? ").

Looks like you've got it from here then.
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September 11, 2010 3:12:54 PM

Thanks Jaqiuth, that equation is most helpful.

I still don't undertstands the some of the terms they are using in BIOS but I am still reading on that and it will come together.

Two things.... A mod on this board suggested TurboV and that is why I am using it. And it is doing quite well for me. I am running the CPU at 3.57 with absolutely no errors under stress, Prime95, six hours, and with observable speed improvements. So I don't see why so down on it. Maybe I shouldn't do more than set BLCK and vcore with it, but it is doing that part very well.

Also, but I did mention TurboV in my very first post.....

Finally, the last time I OC'd was in 2001, and back then we needed to set three things, FSB, vcore, CAS, and that was it. We did this with P3's, Athalons mainly, where we had to crack open the case and get at the pins to put on a switched adpater that Ninja Micro made (and sold for $10) The FSB could not be changed in BIOS, we mechanically changed the FSB....there were almost no bios settings back then.

We had no idea what the locked speed of the CPU we were getting until we cracked open the case. The processor was sandwiched between two plates with the core in the center of the base plate and RAM chips to either side. It was very easy to kill a processor taking it a part as there was some brute strength involved. Lastly we attached a core temp senosr to the top of the CPU with a dap of paste.

As you can see this process was very mechnical, and we did not have all the settings, but we did have to work hard at the settings we had, and it was very much in the cooling back then (I did water cooling when you bought a little motorcycle radiator to cool the antifreeze and a 'pond' pump to circulate the water.)

So thanks for the help guys, getting back into OC after 10 years is confusing, with the technology changes and the questions to ask.
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a c 347 } Memory
September 11, 2010 5:18:20 PM

Wolygon said:
@jaquith /// There was NO guessing game..

I wasn't necessarily referring to anyone specifically "^ WTH??!! Interesting guessing game" - I meant above in general. The P/N and more were unknown...{wrong} BTW - To feel better, OC'ing is 100% a Guessing Game so you, me and everyone is Guessing which set of erroneous works best on this or anyone's one-of-a-kind rig. :pt1cable: 
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September 11, 2010 7:56:58 PM

well, I did what you recommended, or you ;)  and moved all the OC settings to bios were I have BLCK 168 and Turbo off, with the multipiler now of 21. and my speed is still the same but my temps are also lower by 5, so I don't know if there is a relationship there.

so that seemed a nice touch, and I guess i won't be using turboV anymore, but it did help get me started.

Now, as to the RAM settings, can I start making the adjustments with the CPU OC in place or do I drop back to stock, set the mem, and then move back to the CPU OC? Does it make a difference which gets tweaked up first, mem or CPU?


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a c 347 } Memory
September 11, 2010 8:10:52 PM

jerryl said:
Now, as to the RAM settings, can I start making the adjustments with the CPU OC in place or do I drop back to stock, set the mem, and then move back to the CPU OC? Does it make a difference which gets tweaked up first, mem or CPU?


I generally finish OC'ing the CPU and -> keeping the OC CPU settings {stable} -> and then the GPU {stable} -> and lastly the RAM {stable}. Getting your DDR to run at 1600 MHz is not OC'ing the RAM unless the MOBO's specs {2000 (OC), ... 1600 (OC) vs 2000 (OC), ... 1600 omitting an OC designation}

So, yes set the RAM with a Memory Multiplier of 10 which is a baby OC 1680 MHz or of 9/1512 MHz under clock; run Memetest afterwards.

Q - did you try a BCLK 190 X 18?
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September 11, 2010 10:34:17 PM

No I did not try 190 x 18 = 3.42. Is there an advantage with 168 x 21 = 3.53 running steady? I know that sometimes there are advantages not readily apparent.

I might be almost there, so thank you. You are dragging me through my own stupidity, but progress seems to be coming.

My OC is stable, GPU is stable and I have set:

CL - 9
tRCD - 9
tRP - 9

tRAS - 24
tRFC - 44
CR - 2T

The only thing left I can see is the DRAM Volt and the Memory Multiplier.

DRAM Freq is 504, the manual says it is related to BLCK. 504 DRAM Freq with FSB : DRAM 2:6 means 1512? Perhaps based on what I read.

You metion memory multiplier, but I do not see a setting for that. Unless that is the FSB : DRAM?

Also when ever I try and set the DRAM BUS Voltage it goes right to 200 no matter what I set it at.

Shy of the Memory Multiplier and the DRAM Bus Voltage does what I have done so far help?

Can you steer me in the right direction to finish up these last two? Knowing my challenges there is some important setting or number that I have neglected to tell you.
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a c 347 } Memory
September 11, 2010 11:04:07 PM

Opps looked at the wrong # {TB=off} I meant 190 X 19 = 3.61 GHz.

First, What does CPUz say - DDR speed. Next, every BIOS is different I referred to your User's Manual (Manual - begin on page 70) which was for the "-E" - you still haven't stated {Deluxe or E}. If you didn't manually change the DRAM Voltage then it's {Auto} and "more than likely" set correctly as you've stated the ~ "variance." However, you technically are not OC'ing the DDR it is designed and rated for 1600MHz - what you are really doing is solving the under-clock concern. If you pushed it to 1700+ then yes you're OC 'ing the DDR. Most 1600 DDR can be pushed ~ 1700-1800 but may require additional Voltage, and if you really OC the CPU you may also need to up the V.

In the BIOS what is the indicated Speed is it listed as 1600 MHz - if so you're more less done with the RAM.

Unless, it fails Memtest there's no need to "fix it" - voltage.

One "tell all" is to run Prime95 and take/crop a copy of CPUz tabbed settings.

BTW - the following settings may or may not be correct; the only way to be 100% is to post the question in Corsair's forum and hope Corsair's own people respond - not a user.
tRFC - 44
CR - 2T

Don't be afraid of Post failure, in any 20-30%+ you're almost guaranteed to have one and it won't harm modern BIOS controlled/protected components. Years ago these "protections" weren't implemented and dangers of overheating were realized in blown CPUs. You'd have to turn-off these protections and more than like see a BSOD before flames & smoke.
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September 12, 2010 5:22:01 AM

It is an E

Okay, now I've really gone and done it. I tried your 190 x 19 and it was to hot. So I played around with some of the settings up there and they just were not stable.

I did notice that with the higher BLCK I did get higher 'targeted DRAM Frequency' from about 1350 at 168 x 21 to about 1587 at around 190.

So I liked that higher number. Then I noticed that I could actually set the DRAM Frequency, which seemed to vary some in relation to BLCK. Anyway I chose 1684 and set all the timings back to auto.

I got a couple of notes about locked processors only working at ddr3-800 and ddr3 1066, and another one about accepting a higher voltage which I declined in lieu of the mem std. voltage. Now this was a bit scary, but I booted up and everything went well. I am clocked at 3.528 (168 x21) and I have a Target DRAM Frequency of 1684.

I did lower the DRAM Bus Voltage in TurboV from 1.66 to 1.64 cause I read that 1.66 could be bad and 1.64 was the alternative. I couldn't find how to that in the BIOS.

I ran WEI to see if the setting would even take and it came back with the mem at 7.9 out of 7.9 - seems good. It also passed 3dMark with a 1% increase....not significant, but it didn't BSOD on me anywhow.

As to CPU Z, DRAM Freq is 840 and FSB : DRAM is 2:10 and I haven't a clue what that is all about now. Everything else is showing at 9,9,9,24 like the mem is, only tRFC is now 88 and CR is 1T

Over all this seems great, I got a good stable OC I can live with and my memory seems to be really up there and below 1.65 though I seem to have taken a roundabout(?) was to get there.

I guess the next thing is to test in Prime95, but that is mainly a CPU test as I recall, so do you think my mem experiment is sound?
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Best solution

a c 347 } Memory
September 12, 2010 3:32:41 PM

^ I got all goosebumps when I can see that you're not afraid of the BIOS anymore, and TRUST me stable is what it is all about. Damn Good work! BTW - from now on you'll know first hand when you see all those even numbers {160, 190, etc} that they are simply parroting and haven't a clue.

Next, is to start saving Profiles in the BIOS {I assume your MOBO allows this} -> start experimenting with the BIOS while having a saved set {write them all down just in case}.

Next you'll be busting over to get a good CPU fan/water to go the next step. Make certain that your case has some negative pressure in that more CFM out than in + good circulation. In addition, as I mentioned before try to find the lowest stable CPU voltage possible the will lower the heat and allow further exploration with BCLK and other settings.

Great guide {keep you busy for a few days} - http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2008122019104023...

BTW - some MOBOs work better on 190+ and some don't, but worth the experiment.

EXCELLENT JOB!!!
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September 12, 2010 3:39:57 PM

BTW - some MOBOs work better on 190+ and some don't, but worth the experiment.

I guess we'll now once I get a good fan, but for now I am going to enjoy this.

Thank you.
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September 12, 2010 3:40:18 PM

Best answer selected by jerryl.
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