Skip to main content

Memory Overclocking on X399 Colfax: What RAM Speed Do You Need?

Test System and Setup

Memory manufacturers are constantly releasing new products. One of the many improvements that an updated firmware can bring to a motherboard is support for memory kits that are released after a motherboard has launched. Therefore, we updated the firmware for our MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC to the latest revision to ensure the best performance and compatibility with the latest memory kits. 

We did our testing with the BIOS settings at stock default values minus the timings for the different memory kits. For the gaming tests, we activated Game Mode in the Ryzen Master utility. Since not all games are capable of taking advantage of the Threadripper 2970WX's 24 cores, Game Mode essentially converts the 2970WX into a hexa-core processor by disabling the other cores.

On the software side, we utilized clean 64-bit installation of Windows 10 Professional with the October 2018 Update. As always, we updated the benchmarking programs and game clients to the latest public version available. Here's a thorough list of the parts in our test setup.

The scope of the article is to evaluate memory performance on the X399 platform, so we picked the most common memory speeds and corresponding timings. We tested eight different memory speeds that range from the standard JEDEC DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3333. A processor's IMC (Integrated Memory Controller) comes into play when testing high-speed memory. Unfortunately, our Rzyen Threadripper 2970WX sample hit a wall at DDR4-3333. While it was able to boot in a four-stick configuration at DDR4-3466, the system was on the borderline of instability.

While the MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon comes with many useful memory presets, we opted to set each memory speed manually. For good measure, we corroborated with CPU-Z that the settings are correctly applied when inside the operating system. We ran each benchmark three times and picked the median value as the final result for comparison sake. Below is a list of all our test speeds and timings. On the next page, we'll dig into the tests, and start to get a sense of how memory speeds affect performance on the X399 platform.

Memory FrequencyMemory Timings
DDR4-213315-15-15-35
DDR4-240014-14-14-34
DDR4-266615-15-15-35
DDR4-280014-14-14-35
DDR4-293314-14-14-34
DDR4-300014-14-14-34
DDR4-320014-14-14-34
DDR4-333316-16-16-36

MORE: Best Memory

MORE: DDR DRAM FAQs And Troubleshooting Guide

MORE: All Memory Content