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1866 RAM really slow! WHY?!

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  • Memory
  • Overclocking
  • RAM
Last response: in Overclocking
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December 6, 2012 9:36:57 PM

Hello,
I am a noob when it comes to overclocking and i have been experimenting a bit, but i noticed just recently that my RAM score on passmark's benchamrk software sucks. I don't understand why because it is fast RAM. Here are my system specs:
Mobo: Asus M5A97
CPU: AMD FX-8150 (OC to 4.0Ghz)
RAM: 2x 4GB GSkill Sniper Series DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Dimms
GPU: Asus GTX 560
SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

I noticed that my RAM score was something like 1246 and a friend of mine with RAM running at 1600Mhz got a score of something like 3000. What gives? I don't understand why mine can be so low compared to his. Any help here either with how to change settings or overclock my RAM would be welcomed!

More about : 1866 ram slow

a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 1:24:48 PM

That's probably got a LOT to do with the timing on your ram. After 1600mhz there really isn't much of a gain as the ram doesn't really utilize the bandwidth to it's potential. Now timing is how quick the memory does it's "transactions". Lower/Tighter timings = better overall performance. Even 2000mhz ram with bad timing can be slaughtered in benchmarks with 1600 on decent timings.
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 1:42:46 PM

what's your ram actually running at ? if you don't set it to run at speed it will default to 1333. ( BIOS )
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December 7, 2012 2:03:01 PM

Yeah, you actually have to load the profile for your ram in the BIOS in order for it to run at 1866. The profile setting was at the bottom of the list of frequency settings.

Also, make sure you have 1 stick in each channel instead of the same channel. Should be something like 1, empty, 2, empty. The first being the closest to your cpu. Check your mobo manual to be sure.
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a c 75 } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 2:11:24 PM

You also need to make sure you have the memory installed in the proper slots to enable dual channel operations (vice single channel). Just refer to your mobo manual for the info to do so.
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December 7, 2012 2:19:56 PM

Yeah ok. So i have the ram installed in the proper slots, and I keyed in the DRAM timings in the BIOS. The timings are 9-10-9-28. Other than that i don't really know what you mean by load the profile for my ram...
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a c 75 } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 2:26:32 PM

The reference was to loading the XMP profile for your memory. Those settings are usually in the "advanced" section of your BIOS (where you can tweak CPU and memory timings). You may need to dig around a bit to find.
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December 7, 2012 2:34:15 PM

What exactly does that do? Does it just load the correct frequency and put in the timings itself?
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a c 75 } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 2:39:35 PM

underdog1799 said:
What exactly does that do? Does it just load the correct frequency and put in the timings itself?

Yes, loading an XMP profile will give you optimal settings for your memory config (often you will have a couple of profiles to choose from).
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December 7, 2012 2:44:09 PM

How much do you think it could improve my RAM performance?
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a c 75 } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 2:54:42 PM

That depends on how far off your current settings might be. Personally, I never recommend OCing memory. I recommend folks run at no faster than 1600 as you can introduce system stability issues very easily with memory settings. That is also why I don't recommend buying memory rated to run at higher than 1600.

Regardless, loading the XMP profile will help with any mis-configured settings you may have.
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December 7, 2012 3:10:33 PM

1600 is what intel processors use. 1866 is what amd FX processors use. It is ok to run at 1866 especially since his memory is made for 1866
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a c 75 } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 3:15:30 PM

flexxar said:
1600 is what intel processors use. 1866 is what amd FX processors use. It is ok to run at 1866 especially since his memory is made for 1866

Actually, the DDR3 standard is 1333. Anything more than that is technically overclocking. Not a big deal either way as modern systems can certainly run memory at higher than 1333 speeds. The issue is really a matter of configuring properly for the individual system.

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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 4:10:04 PM

underdog1799 said:
Yeah ok. So i have the ram installed in the proper slots, and I keyed in the DRAM timings in the BIOS. The timings are 9-10-9-28. Other than that i don't really know what you mean by load the profile for my ram...



setting the timings is one thing. setting it to run at 1600 is another. also, if you don't have the availability to set it via xmp mode you'll have to set it to run at 1600........... or 1866 if it will run at that.
( manually set it )
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December 7, 2012 5:23:28 PM

COLGeek said:
Actually, the DDR3 standard is 1333. Anything more than that is technically overclocking. Not a big deal either way as modern systems can certainly run memory at higher than 1333 speeds. The issue is really a matter of configuring properly for the individual system.


There is no data rate standard for ddr3. It ranges from 800 to 2133 mt/s. If you want to call one of them "standard" call the 800 since that's the first one. Sandy bridge runs 1333 native (which is probably why you think 1333 is the standard), ivy runs 1600 native, fx runs 1866 native. Running any of these under their native rate will result in performance loss.
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a c 75 } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 5:36:34 PM

flexxar said:
There is no data rate standard for ddr3. It ranges from 800 to 2133 mt/s. If you want to call one of them "standard" call the 800 since that's the first one. Sandy bridge runs 1333 native (which is probably why you think 1333 is the standard), ivy runs 1600 native, fx runs 1866 native. Running any of these under their native rate will result in performance loss.

Technically, much of this is true. Here is a good tech (wiki) source to understand the issues:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR3_SDRAM

The default speed of many mobos is indeed 1333 vice the higher speeds. The upper end of the FX series native clock speed is indeed 1866. However, only if the CPU, memory, and mobo can synch at that speed can it be achieved. If power and heat are within acceptable levels, then they should work. The same logic applies to Intel processors.
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December 7, 2012 5:53:11 PM

COLGeek said:
Technically, much of this is true. Here is a good tech (wiki) source to understand the issues:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDR3_SDRAM

The default speed of many mobos is indeed 1333 vice the higher speeds. The upper end of the FX series native clock speed is indeed 1866. However, only if the CPU, memory, and mobo can synch at that speed can it be achieved. If power and heat are within acceptable levels, then they should work. The same logic applies to Intel processors.


I read that before I posted. I know what it says. That's how I was able to give you exact numbrs. Now you go read it. The default speed of many mobos is 1333 because you are looking at SANDY BRIDGE MOBOS. Look at an ivy mobo and the default speed is 1600. Look at an fx mobo and the default speed is 1866.

It's not the "upper end of the FX series native clock speed is 1866", all FX CPU's are 1866 by default. All FX mobos are 1866 by default. The only way you don't get 1866 is if you buy a mobo that was made for phenom 2 or you buy ram that is not made for FX (anything under 1866).
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a c 75 } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 5:57:16 PM

The memory controller on the FX series uses a native clock speed range of 1333 to 1866. Not an argument.

For the Intel CPUs, no argument.

The issue is that all 3 components (CPU, memory, mobo) must play well to work at the higher/optimal speeds. That is not always possible.

Thanks for the excellent discussion.
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December 7, 2012 6:07:36 PM

No. You can not have a "Native range". All FX cpu's are designed to work at 1866. They CAN run under that, but they are not designed to. Just like your monitor was built with a specific number of pixels. When you send an inividual signal to each pixel, it runs at its native resoltion. It CAN run at other resolutions, but you get distortion.

Just as I said in my previous post. The only way that you DON'T get 1866 is if you buy components that were not designed for the FX cpu's.
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December 7, 2012 6:08:14 PM

So if i upgraded my mobo to a 990fx chipset do you think i could get better ram performance? My mobo looks like most people use it for phenoms, and its cpu/nb frequency seems to max out on mine at 2400 MHz
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December 7, 2012 6:16:33 PM

No, your mobo runs 1866 just fine. It's the older mobo's that came out before fx are the ones that don't. 2400 mhz is normal for fx as well. Like we said before, load up your ram profile and you should be ok.
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December 7, 2012 6:17:27 PM

Yeah, i know that it is supported, but if i upgraded my mobo to something like a gigabyte 990fx could it improve my ram performance because according to passmark my ram sucks big time
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a b K Overclocking
December 7, 2012 6:24:44 PM

Upgrading your motherboard won't improve RAM performance at all. You just need to ensure that your memory is set to the proper speed. I don't believe AMD motherboards recognize XMP profiles, so unless that's changed lately you'll have to either do it yourself or use one of the JEDEC profiles (which may or may not have the proper settings).

Also note that Passmark isn't generally regarded as a great benchmarking suite, at least for CPUs and video cards (not sure about memory). So take it with a grain of salt.
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December 7, 2012 6:25:28 PM

I don't think you will see any difference with a new mobo. Make sure you have the latest bios for your mobo. Try a different benchmark tool. And did you find that profile yet? It made a big difference for me when I turned it on.
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December 7, 2012 6:30:30 PM

Intel uses XMP. I think AMD's was called something like EOCP.
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December 7, 2012 6:34:38 PM

DOCP? I'm actually at work right now so i haven't had a chance to mess with anything yet, but i do know my motherboard has a docp option in the BIOS. I have used something called AIDA64... i think thats what it was called. It was showing my latencies were way high. i was getting something like 49 nanoseconds
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December 7, 2012 6:36:51 PM

Yeah, docp sounds right. Update to latest bios, set docp, and measure speed again.
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December 7, 2012 11:18:16 PM

So i tried DOCP and it made my scores worse. What i don't understand is that my ram scores low in Database operations per second, read cached, read uncached, write, and latency. But then when it comes to threaded megabytes transferred per second i blow everything else away. I don't get it...
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December 8, 2012 3:35:54 AM

underdog1799 said:
So i tried DOCP and it made my scores worse. What i don't understand is that my ram scores low in Database operations per second, read cached, read uncached, write, and latency. But then when it comes to threaded megabytes transferred per second i blow everything else away. I don't get it...


I have a feeling that I know what's going on. In order for manufacturers to create ram that has higher throughput, they increase the clock rate, but at the same time, they are forced to increase the timings and latency. They have to do this so that they can make it stable at the higher frequency. In theory, 1333 ram should score better than 1600 in those tests. The number that really matters is the megabytes per second. If you are still concerned, run some application benchmarks and compare them to similar systems as yours. If they are similar results, then your ram is fine, if yours is much slower, then you might want to look into your ram some more.
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December 8, 2012 3:47:36 AM

So lets say i clocked my ram down to 1600 mhz... if i wanted to tighten my timings at that frequency, where would i start? Do i just need to work on the first 4 numbers that I know from the manufacturer or should i mess with all the other numbers in the DRAM timing control menu?
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December 8, 2012 4:46:04 AM

Not sure what the exact settings on a 1600 ram are. I really think your ram is working the way it's supposed to though.
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a b } Memory
a b K Overclocking
December 8, 2012 7:31:31 AM

can't you just make the ram run at 1600 if that's what you want and forget about something that will make absolutely no difference.
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March 1, 2013 7:22:13 AM

underdog1799 said:
Hello,
I am a noob when it comes to overclocking and i have been experimenting a bit, but i noticed just recently that my RAM score on passmark's benchamrk software sucks. I don't understand why because it is fast RAM. Here are my system specs:
Mobo: Asus M5A97
CPU: AMD FX-8150 (OC to 4.0Ghz)
RAM: 2x 4GB GSkill Sniper Series DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Dimms
GPU: Asus GTX 560
SSD: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB

I noticed that my RAM score was something like 1246 and a friend of mine with RAM running at 1600Mhz got a score of something like 3000. What gives? I don't understand why mine can be so low compared to his. Any help here either with how to change settings or overclock my RAM would be welcomed!


Very late into the debate here, but since you're using PassMark you should also have a look at their own benchmark scores for RAM using AMD processors. You will see that on average the read / write speeds are 50 - 60% worse than the same RAM with Intel processors. I'm still trying to understand what causes this with AMD processors, as the Memory Bandwidth measurements taken with SiSoft Sandra are on par with Intel processors.
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