How To Overclock DDR4 RAM | Improve Gaming Performance

Overclocking can be a very important procedure, playing a key role in enhancing your RAM performances. Suppose you do not have enough knowledge about overclocking. You want to learn how to overclock your RAM DDR4 and learn the benefits of overclocking.

In that case, this is the perfect guide for you. Here we have simplified the whole process for you, and we have also provided the Pros and Cons of overclocking to let you know if it is worth the struggle or not. So without further to do, let’s dig in.

What Is Overclocking

Overclock DDR4 RAM

If you are unfamiliar with the term Overclocking, let me explain it to you in simple words. Overclocking is something PC enthusiasts perform to get the best out of their system. It basically involves increasing clock speed (CPU and GPU) or RAM frequency and decreasing latency while increasing stability by increasing the voltage.

Although this causes greater power consumption, it does give us the greater benefits on Higher Frame Rates and less lagging and faltering.

Terminologies You Need To Familiarize With

Before you head in to overclock your RAM, there are some terminologies you should get the hang of to understand everything better.

RAS: RAS stands for Row Access Strobe

CAS: CAS stands for Column Access Strobe

CAS Latency: The interval between which CPU is requesting for data and the RAM is sending it. Basically, the gap between these two events.

RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)

This is the clock cycle taken to open a row and access a column.

Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS)

Minimum Clock cycles are needed in the middle of the row active command and delivering the precharge command.

RAS Precharge (rTP)

The time needed to stop one RAS line and activate another.

Two Factors To Make Certain Before Overclocking RAM

Before you head on to Overclocking, you must check the following first:

Current RAM Speed

Before overclocking, check the current RAM speed you are getting.

To check the RAM speed, there are two methods.

Through Task Manager

To check your RAM speed through the task manager, follow the steps below

  1. Open the task manager
  2. Go to the performance tab
  3. In the performance tab, you will find another tab labeled Memory.  Go ahead and click on that. This will show you the current speed of your RAM.

Through CPU-Z app

You can also easily check your RAM speed through the CPU-Z app. This app is free to download, so go ahead and download it. For calculating the RAM speed through the CPU-Z app, you have to find the DRAM frequency shown in the app and simply double it. This will gives you your RAM speed.

For example, let us say the DRAM frequency is 1800 in the CPU-Z app. To find the RAM speed, we simply multiply it by 2. 1800 x 2 = 3600. So your RAM clock speed is 3600 MHz.

Overclock Memory – Pros And Cons

Memory overclocking

Before we head on to the actual overclocking process, we should discuss some of the Pros and Cons of overclocking and discuss if it is worth the struggle or not.

Pros

  • It is possible to overclock your RAM to a speed more than it is rated with
  • Overclocking can improve your PC’s performance to a whole new level
  • Overclocking can be used to enhance the performance of cheap hardware, making them on par with the expensive ones with better performances

Cons

  • One of the biggest disadvantages overclocking brings is the reduced lifespan of your hardware.
  • Overclocking can cause overheating without a proper cooling system
  • Hardware components can be damaged due to heat generated by overclocked components

If you want to know if overclocking your RAM is worth it, you must first look at your system. As we know that overclocking your RAM will give you great performance with your PC, it does have some disadvantages which must be considered. If you have a powerful up-to-date system, then overclocking is definitely worth it as you can be missing out on great performances if you don’t overclock.

However, suppose your system is not up-to-date. In that case, overclocking your RAM might not be a good idea as there is a greater chance to experience the cons stated above.

How To Overclock RAM DDR4

Now that we have everything in place, we proceed to the actual method of overclocking our rams. The process is quite simple, but remember to follow each step carefully and in the manner stated to avoid any inconvenience.

General Method

Although the steps can vary among different systems, here is one general method to overclock your RAM.

Step 1: Note down some General Information

Using the CPU-Z app, you can easily get the memory and timing information. In the Memory tab, you can get your latency timing and DRAM frequency to calculate RAM speed. In the SPD tab, under Timings Table are present detailed info of the JEDEC timings. Note them down or take a picture of them.

Step 2: Dealing with BIOS

BIOS is a firmware that your operating system uses to run. BIOS settings are launched differently in each system. In many systems, you can pause startup and find your way into internal settings. This way, you can launch BIOS. However, if there are no prompts, what you can do is turn your computer on and press the Del/Delete key until BIOS pops up.

Step 3: Loading XMP Profile

Extreme memory profile, known as XMP, is a profile which the manufacturers will have created to perform simple one-step overclocking. This profile comes a lot with its own frequency and voltage settings. If this is available, it will allow you to automatically overclock your settings, improving your performance without working with the internal settings.

You now have to load the XMP profile, and after that, reboot your system. Once done, perform a stress test with any compatible software to check the stability of your system. If this is a success, you can perform manual overclocking. However, if it does not go In your favor, you can go back to BIOS and select default profile, which will unload the XMP.

Step 4: Turning RAM Frequency Up

Overclocking depends on trial and error. For gaining a great performance boost, increasing your RAM memory can be quite an effective step. You must know that DDR4 RAM functions between the frequency levels 2133-2400MHz.

If you increase your frequency beyond 2400MHz, you must perform slowly and gradually while testing your settings for stability. The limit to which you can increase the frequency depends greatly on the quality of your hardware, as not every RAM is able to get a hand at higher speeds.

Step5: Taking the Operating Voltage Higher

Once we have increased the frequency, we also must increase the Operating voltage so your system can remain stable. Make sure you increase the voltage step by step by a value of 0.2-0.5V while testing your system simultaneously. If we give an example, a stock 1.35V voltage can be increased up to a range of 1.365-1.38 without harm.

Step 6: Changing Latency Timings

The next step is to change the latency timings. The latency timings are displayed as CAS-tRCD-tRP-tRAS. For example, you might have a latency timing 14-15-16-36, which corresponds to the pattern above. Changing the latency timing value can be different for various systems.

After changing the timings, reboot your system and see if everything is operating properly. If you face issues, you can turn up the voltage more for stability, or you can simply switch back to your previously stable settings.

Step 7: System Stability Testing

Now that we have changed each value like frequency, latency timings, or voltage, we must now see if the system runs with stability with the newly applied settings. To perform tests, the Memtest86 or Ryzen DRAM Calculator are some applications that can be used. If your system is now working fine, you can keep these settings or go further with your overclocking. However, if your system is not operating with stability and keeps crashing, you better revert to the last safe values.

Overclocking RAM On ASUS Motherboard

Here, we are going to discuss how to overclock RAM independently on an Asus Motherboard. Stated below are the steps you must follow in a precise order to overclock your RAM.

  1. First, we open the BIOS menu. This can be done by clicking F2 or Del button while the PC is starting.
  2. Once there, go to advanced mode.
  3. In the advanced mode, select AI Tweaker/Overclocking Tab.
  4. Now go ahead and pick Overclocking Tuner to Manual/XMP.
  5. Once done, you will see the DRAM frequency option. Here you can adjust the speed of your RAM.
  6. Then select the Save and Exit option and restart your PC.

And that is it; that’s how you overclock your RAM on an Asus Motherboard. It is that simple.

Overclocking RAM On MSI Motherboard

Now we move on to the procedure of overclocking your RAM on the MSI motherboard. The MSI bios overclocking is very simple to use and is quite user-friendly. Follow the steps given below to overclock your RAM on the MSI motherboard. Follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the BIOS menu by clicking f2 or Del while the PC is starting
  2. Now go ahead and click the OC tab. Here you will find XMP. XMP can overlock your RAM to the highest frequency automatically
  3. You can also make changes manually by disabling XMP. In this can, you can set different speeds under the Adjust DRAM Frequency option
  4. Noe choose the Save and Exit option and restart your PC,

And that is how you can easily overclock your RAM on an MSI motherboard.

Overclocking RAM on GIGABYTE Motherboard

Now we are going to present the procedure on how to Overclock RAM on a GIGABYTE Motherboard.

  1. Launch the BIOS menu by clicking f2 or Del while the PC is starting
  2. Find the MIT tab in the BIOS. Here you can overclock your system.
  3. Now you are going to select XMP and click the “+” button
  4. You can enter manual mode by disabling XMP
  5. Now select memory frequency (MHz), and with the “+” button, you can adjust the frequency.

Overclocking RAM by XMP

XMP stands for Extreme Memory Profile. You can overclock your RAM using XMP on various motherboards such as Asus, MSI, and gigabyte. When you open the BIOS, you will find the XMP option if the motherboard supports it. When you enable it, it will automatically overclock your RAM to high settings. You can also choose from up to 3 profiles and then restart your PC to apply the settings.

A downside to this is that if your PC isn’t up to the mark, the XMP might damage your system. Your RAM or PC power supply might not function well with the speeds set by XMP. As a matter of fact, this can also burn your RAM. Therefore it is advised to use XMP only if you know your PC can handle it.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Is it safe to overclock RAM?

Answer: It is completely safe to overclock your RAM when performed correctly.

Should I overclock my RAM DDR4?

Answer: If you own a high-end PC and your system can handle the overclocked settings, then you should definitely overclock your RAM to get enhanced performance from your system.

Is it safe to overclock RAM to 3200?

Answer: There can be no guarantee of overclocking because it depends on whether your system can handle the overclocked settings. Overclocking to high values can reduce the longevity of some hardware that is not up to the mark.

Can I overclock 2400MHz Ram to 3200?

Answer: As already stated, overclocking Memory has no guarantee. A 2400MHz RAM might not function well at 3200MHz and could become unstable. It is advised to increase the frequency little by little until stable configurations are met.

Wrapping It Up

With this segment of the text, we are about to wrap everything up. Now you should know what overclocking is along with its risks and potentials. If you own a high-end PC, then overclocking is definitely recommended for you as it can improve the performance of your PC to a great extent.

You do not have to fear any mishaps regarding overclocking as long as you perform everything correctly and to its limits. 

Hopefully, with this guide, you will be able to perform overclocking perfectly and enhance your PC’s performance to the best potential.

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Nick Miller

It's Nick Miller a 25 year old tech enthusiast and senior editor at Flexgate, i try to make tech simple for the everyday person. You will find review about tech, tools and Computer hardware here.

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