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CPU Overclocking for faster memory speeds

Go to solution Solved by RONOTHAN##,
Just now, Acrozi said:

2. Do I have to overclock my CPU first or can I just bump up my speed to 3600mhz, since I'm on the latest Bios version for my motherboard. And if I do have to overclock my CPU do you have good settings on what I should bump it to?

You should have to just enable XMP then raise VCCSA. 

 

CPU overclocking has very little to deal with memory overclocking. You can overclock one without having to overclock the other. Plus, when you overclock one the other one tends to be more limited for stability, not less. You don't need to overclock your CPU for this to work, you just need to overvolt the memory controller. 

Hello,

 

I'm new to this so please don't blast me, but my new PC has one oversite to it. When I built it, the i5-12600k does not work with my 3600mhz Cl18 ram (Well it does, but the ram has to be at 3200.) So my question is would I be able to overclock my CPU to be able to handle my ram at the 3600mhz it can perform? And if that can I overclock my ram and CPU maybe a bit more? Here's a link to my PC Part Picker list (https://pcpartpicker.com/user/Acrozi/saved/#view=6HF28d).

 

One again I apologize if this is sloppy, this is really my first time using a forum since like 2015. But any and all help is appreciated.

 

PS. I do plan on upgrading my GPU soon to a 3080, so would my PSU is enough wattage to support both an overclocked i5-12600k and a 3080.

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3600MHz should be achievable on that chip, but there's a couple of things you'll need to do. 

  1. Gigabyte Z690 boards have a pretty mediocre memory topology, and at launch especially they had issues running 3600MHz and above. A BIOS update should help a fair bit. 
  2. If that doesn't work, you've got a terrible memory controller on that 12600K. Easiest way to make it suck less is to overvolt the memory controller. The memory controller primarily runs off VCCSA, so raise that voltage slightly. 1.2V is very safe and should be plenty to get that chip to run 3600MHz. 

The PSU should be OK. The case might not be though, 3080s output a ton of heat, and the H510 isn't exactly good at getting heat out of the chassis. 

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3 minutes ago, RONOTHAN## said:

3600MHz should be achievable on that chip, but there's a couple of things you'll need to do. 

  1. Gigabyte Z690 boards have a pretty mediocre memory topology, and at launch especially they had issues running 3600MHz and above. A BIOS update should help a fair bit. 
  2. If that doesn't work, you've got a terrible memory controller on that 12600K. Easiest way to make it suck less is to overvolt the memory controller. The memory controller primarily runs off VCCSA, so raise that voltage slightly. 1.2V is very safe and should be plenty to get that chip to run 3600MHz. 

The PSU should be OK. The case might not be though, 3080s output a ton of heat, and the H510 isn't exactly good at getting heat out of the chassis. 

1. I did already flash my BIOS to the latest version, so we're all good there.

2. Do I have to overclock my CPU first or can I just bump up my speed to 3600mhz, since I'm on the latest Bios version for my motherboard. And if I do have to overclock my CPU do you have good settings on what I should bump it to?

3. Yeah I do realize that the case I bought isn't quite adequate  for that soon 3080 purchase, so I might drill some "speedholes" into the front of the case and pretty it up.

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Just now, Acrozi said:

2. Do I have to overclock my CPU first or can I just bump up my speed to 3600mhz, since I'm on the latest Bios version for my motherboard. And if I do have to overclock my CPU do you have good settings on what I should bump it to?

You should have to just enable XMP then raise VCCSA. 

 

CPU overclocking has very little to deal with memory overclocking. You can overclock one without having to overclock the other. Plus, when you overclock one the other one tends to be more limited for stability, not less. You don't need to overclock your CPU for this to work, you just need to overvolt the memory controller. 

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9 minutes ago, RONOTHAN## said:

You should have to just enable XMP then raise VCCSA. 

 

CPU overclocking has very little to deal with memory overclocking. You can overclock one without having to overclock the other. Plus, when you overclock one the other one tends to be more limited for stability, not less. You don't need to overclock your CPU for this to work, you just need to overvolt the memory controller. 

Thank you so much for all your help! I was able to do it! Before when I tried to do this, my motherboards BIOS version was terrible, and it didn't allow me to do it before and I actually had to clear the CMOS battery. But I was able to successfully overclock my ram to 3600mhz. I kept VCCSA at AUTO, and I just increase my XMP profile to 3600mhz from 3200mhz. Going further, first is do you think I could overclock my ram past what it says, and if so how far? Secondly, should I change VCCSA from AUTO to a certain voltage?

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Just now, Acrozi said:

Going further, first is do you think I could overclock my ram past what it says, and if so how far?

That really depends. RAM is weird. I've got a 3600MHz kit that will do 4800MHz CL15 given enough voltage, and I've got one that won't do anything better than 3600MHz. 

 

First thing you should do is figure out what memory IC is on those sticks. 3600MHz CL18 can be basically anything, some good that will overclock crazy good, some that will top out at 3600MHz CL18. There are two ways you can check what memory IC you've got on your sticks, either using a software called Thaiphoon Burner, or since you've got Corsair memory you can just pull the RAM and look at the version number printed on there. You'll see something like v4.31, v4.32, v3.41, v4.49, etc. There's a way to decode it manually, but the easy way it to just google "Corsair version vX.XX" and see what it says it is. The thing that's most important to know about what memory chip you get (everything else you can figure out as you go) is the voltage tolerance of it. Samsung B die (v4.31) scales upwards of 1.7V (though anything over 1.5V requires active cooling), Samsung C die sweet spots hard somewhere between 1.3 and 1.4V, Hynix CJR and most other Hynix ICs has the tendency to die when run at over 1.4V for an extended period of time, Hynix DJR, Micron 8Gb Rev.E, and 16Gb Rev.B scale all the way to 2V (though again, it needs active cooling to run above 1.5V), and there's a lot other ones that I'm forgetting. 

 

Once you know your max safe voltages, set that as the DRAM voltage, set the memory controller gear to Gear 1, disable the E cores (will explain later) and loosen out the primary timings a lot (20-30-30-50 should be loose enough for most things). Once that's done, start raising the frequency until it stops POSTing. If you can get the kit up to 4000MHz, you then need to decide whether you're gonna aim for a Gear 1 or Gear 2 overclock. Gear 1 has better latency, Gear 2 can get much higher memory frequencies and has better memory bandwidth, at least after you clock it past the initial bandwidth penalty (usually 4400MHz+, beyond what most CPUs and boards can do in Gear 1 at ambient). For gaming and a lot of other workloads, Gear 1 is better, for a lot of more production stuff Gear 2 is better, though ~4733MHz+ can run into issues with retrain stability and can be pretty annoying to deal with. If this is your first time overclocking RAM I'd suggest you stick to Gear 1. 

 

Once you've found your max stable settings, time to start tightening timings. Start with the primaries, tighten them one at a time and check for stability in some memory intensive benchmark (Y Cruncher 1B is my go to, it runs quickly and gets a lot of initial instability). There are a couple rules to keep track of on other platforms, but for Intel chips those are largely taken care of by the BIOS.

 

Once you get those dialed in, stress test for a while to make sure they're actually stable. This step is optional but it can save you some headache for the final step to make sure everything is stable. Use something like HCI Memtest, run it for 300-400%. Windows has a bug where it will put all the memory stress tests on the E cores and they'll run super slow, so make sure they're disabled before you do this. 

 

After primaries are confirmed good, start on the secondaries. There are some weird things about the sub timings on Intel, a lot just aren't real (tWR, for example, is calculated based off some other settings and whatever you enter is ignored). I don't deal with memory overclocking on Intel enough to know them by heart (mainly stick to Ryzen), watch some Actually Hardcore Overclocking videos of some memory overclocks on Intel to know what they are. After that, stress test. 

 

Finally, do tertiaries, same way they've been done before, then once they're all done, stress test. I'd aim for 1000% memtest and stable in Linpack Xtreme for 30+ loops. 

 

56 minutes ago, Acrozi said:

Secondly, should I change VCCSA from AUTO to a certain voltage?

This does help with memory overclocking, especially for high frequencies. 1.4V is the max safe voltage, so before you do anything you can set it to 1.4V and you're off to the races. 

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7 hours ago, RONOTHAN## said:

That really depends. RAM is weird. I've got a 3600MHz kit that will do 4800MHz CL15 given enough voltage, and I've got one that won't do anything better than 3600MHz. 

 

First thing you should do is figure out what memory IC is on those sticks. 3600MHz CL18 can be basically anything, some good that will overclock crazy good, some that will top out at 3600MHz CL18. There are two ways you can check what memory IC you've got on your sticks, either using a software called Thaiphoon Burner, or since you've got Corsair memory you can just pull the RAM and look at the version number printed on there. You'll see something like v4.31, v4.32, v3.41, v4.49, etc. There's a way to decode it manually, but the easy way it to just google "Corsair version vX.XX" and see what it says it is. The thing that's most important to know about what memory chip you get (everything else you can figure out as you go) is the voltage tolerance of it. Samsung B die (v4.31) scales upwards of 1.7V (though anything over 1.5V requires active cooling), Samsung C die sweet spots hard somewhere between 1.3 and 1.4V, Hynix CJR and most other Hynix ICs has the tendency to die when run at over 1.4V for an extended period of time, Hynix DJR, Micron 8Gb Rev.E, and 16Gb Rev.B scale all the way to 2V (though again, it needs active cooling to run above 1.5V), and there's a lot other ones that I'm forgetting. 

 

Once you know your max safe voltages, set that as the DRAM voltage, set the memory controller gear to Gear 1, disable the E cores (will explain later) and loosen out the primary timings a lot (20-30-30-50 should be loose enough for most things). Once that's done, start raising the frequency until it stops POSTing. If you can get the kit up to 4000MHz, you then need to decide whether you're gonna aim for a Gear 1 or Gear 2 overclock. Gear 1 has better latency, Gear 2 can get much higher memory frequencies and has better memory bandwidth, at least after you clock it past the initial bandwidth penalty (usually 4400MHz+, beyond what most CPUs and boards can do in Gear 1 at ambient). For gaming and a lot of other workloads, Gear 1 is better, for a lot of more production stuff Gear 2 is better, though ~4733MHz+ can run into issues with retrain stability and can be pretty annoying to deal with. If this is your first time overclocking RAM I'd suggest you stick to Gear 1. 

 

Once you've found your max stable settings, time to start tightening timings. Start with the primaries, tighten them one at a time and check for stability in some memory intensive benchmark (Y Cruncher 1B is my go to, it runs quickly and gets a lot of initial instability). There are a couple rules to keep track of on other platforms, but for Intel chips those are largely taken care of by the BIOS.

 

Once you get those dialed in, stress test for a while to make sure they're actually stable. This step is optional but it can save you some headache for the final step to make sure everything is stable. Use something like HCI Memtest, run it for 300-400%. Windows has a bug where it will put all the memory stress tests on the E cores and they'll run super slow, so make sure they're disabled before you do this. 

 

After primaries are confirmed good, start on the secondaries. There are some weird things about the sub timings on Intel, a lot just aren't real (tWR, for example, is calculated based off some other settings and whatever you enter is ignored). I don't deal with memory overclocking on Intel enough to know them by heart (mainly stick to Ryzen), watch some Actually Hardcore Overclocking videos of some memory overclocks on Intel to know what they are. After that, stress test. 

 

Finally, do tertiaries, same way they've been done before, then once they're all done, stress test. I'd aim for 1000% memtest and stable in Linpack Xtreme for 30+ loops. 

 

This does help with memory overclocking, especially for high frequencies. 1.4V is the max safe voltage, so before you do anything you can set it to 1.4V and you're off to the races. 

Thank you so much for all your help. This helps greatly. I will def be doing this and see what I can manage to do.

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