New Ryzen system, trying to get my memory to 3000

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
4,989
14
91
#1
I wasn't sure as to where to post this since... well, since it relates to the Memory, and probably (well, surely) the Motherboard and the CPU as well. But since the 'main' meal and subject concerns the Memory then I went with this board, since it's technically going to be an overclock (but feel free to move this over to the Memory & Storage forum if it needs to, of course).

Disclaimer
: Yeah, long post... sorry but I have to, too many questions to ask and I haven't done any OC whatsoever in more than five years (last CPU I OC'd was my Duo E6600, back when it was new).

Anyway, so I just finished building my new system upgrade yesterday. It's the first time I do this in about five years. I moved from Sandy Bridge to Ryzen (and from 8GB Memory to 16GB, going with new 'standards' and such as I do every 4 to 5 years). Now, keep in mind that I've never truly 'pushed' any hardware much via overclocking before, not even on my i7 2600K (which I left on Stock speeds for the longest time).

Now, I do NOT really want to overclock the CPU, although there's plenty of automated ways to do that nowadays via the BIOS (OC Tuner) or via official software or "A.I. Suites" and so on. So maybe at some point I'll do it. I do know that the OC Tuner sends my 1600 to 3.5Ghz with just one click and one reboot without even touching anything (although I wouldn't know if that default setting would be stable, I just checked for curiosity and that's what I saw but I went back to default after that).

With this said, however, what I DO want to do is to try to run the Memory I bought to the speed that Corsair claims it can reach. I AM aware that there's no such thing as 'default' high speed memory past a certain point, and everything past that is technically an overclock and is NEVER a "guarantee". I DID go in knowing that fully and I'll just keep it at its 'real default' 2133Mhz forever if the thing stubbornly wants to stay there. But considering that Ryzen LOVES high frequency Memory and how I managed to get my hands on a nice deal for it at my local store I decided to go for it instead (going for rated 3000 Memory instead of just buying a kit at default speeds).

So here's the hardware: Ryzen 5 1600 (regular, non-X), ASUS B350 Prime Plus, and finally (and importantly for this thread) the Corsair Vengeance CMK16GX4M2B3000C15. More precisely, its version is 5.30, which means from what I've found out that it has SK Hynix memory (and that SK Hynix isn't as good as Samsung especially for Ryzen, but does work anyway).

Now I do have some questions first (and I'm giving some info in there too):

1) D.O.C.P... so what is that? From what I've read it's an 'Intel Technology' and isn't meant to be used on Ryzen systems... but the BIOS settings of my ASUS B350 motherboard (an AM4 board only for AMD CPUs) actually has that thing. So... if it's just meant to be used with Intel CPUs, why bothering to including it? And should I use it if it's there or is that just an oversight by ASUS? Or is the information about how it's "just" for Intel completely wrong and I should ignore that completely?

2)
By default the memory runs at 2133Mhz, with timings of 15-17-17-35 at 1.200 volt. That I completely expected it (as I mentioned I know past that they're overclocks). Now here what I'd like to know is: Can I RELY on "automated" profiles like the above DOCP system to "overclock" my memory and expect it to be stable? Or SHOULD I essentially avoid 'automation' and always attempt anything I do manually for higher control? I do assume right away that I should do everything manually, but I'm asking since I have read a number of posts from users (of that specific memory kit) having a lot of success by just clicking a profile after updating their BIOS and * magically * their frequency goes from default all the way to 2933 or even more.

3) In the BIOS settings, there's a place called "ASUS SPD Information" for the Memory, when I check that it lists two columns. The 'first' column clearly represents what the timings and voltages should be set at (or are recognized at) by default when it runs at 2133Mhz. However, the second column which is the one I found to be interesting actually lists the information for timings and voltages for a speed of 3000 which is indeed what my specific kit is rated to run at.

It looks like this for the 3000Mhz settings:

1.350v
tCL 15
tRCD 17
tRP 17
tRAS 35
tRC 53

I'm skipping some details here but it lists other timings for other values like tRRDS or tRFC1 and other more 'obscure' values that I've never really payed attention to in the past nor know anything useful about (but at least they do list what those values apparently "should" be set at).

Now the main question about that ASUS SPD Information section in the BIOS is this: Are those timings info actually set by ASUS themselves AND are those timings specifically for the board it appears in? Or is there a chance that those timings were somewhat set 'arbitrarily' and sort of only serve as an indication of what those timings should be "set around" for BOTH Intel and Ryzen systems regardless of the actual motherboard and chipset being used?

There's just no actual description in the BIOS. You just click SPD Info and boom, you get those two columns and that's it. I don't blame them mind you, their job isn't to play teacher with me. But it's vague and I'm running Ryzen, and Ryzen's performance heavily depends on high memory frequency... and I bought one such kit, and I'd like to give it a try. But not blindly. I'd like to know a bit more.

4)
Generally-speaking, is it better to overclock the Memory via the BIOS, manually; or to do it via an official tool via Windows? For example, in my case, that would be AMD's Ryzen Master tool (which I already downloaded but haven't used yet).

5)
What's better to improve "chances" of a successful and stable overclock between increasing the memory voltage or increasing ("loosening"?) the timings? For example, leaving the 'rated' timings as shown in the sticker itself (15-17-17-35) but trying that at a slightly increased voltage, or instead leaving the voltage where it's "supposed" to be at (according to the sticker) and going with higher timings like... say... 16-18-18-36, and so on. Well, I know simply that the best answer is trial and error, to "try it all" but I'd still like advice from people who are used to do this.

6)
Not questions here but on a side note, perhaps it's important to mention but I DID actually check ASUS' official memory QVL list of officially-supported Memory for the motherboard first. I didn't just blindly go buy the first kit I saw at the store. The list does mention the same kit I bought as being compatible with the exact same timings and voltage as the info shown on the memory's sticker. The only difference is that the SECOND QVL list they uploaded had that memory info 'updated' in the list with a specific memory version next to it. And what the store clerk told me about that is that it only means that they 'recommend' a specific version (probably the one with Samsung memory instead of Hynix) but that any version lower or higher than the one specified in the list will still work (especially at default frequencies).

7) This will sound stupid I suppose but whatever, I'm asking anyway. Do I NEED to overclock or perhaps even downclock the CPU in order to overclock the Memory? Or can I leave the CPU at default settings and separately overclock the Memory? More on that below, it's an important point, I think...

8) So yeah related to the above, the main reason why I ask this is because I saw only a few posts from random users out there about a so-called 'Power Phase' issue I think it was called? I'm not sure (can't find those posts anymore). It relates (apparently) to how SOME specific Motherboards are causing a potential "I'm going to refuse to overclock your Memory" issue IF the user decides to overclock the CPU as well specifically for Ryzen systems (that issue is supposedly non-existent for Intel but I'm not sure on that one). So in other words... say... I want to overclock my memory from 2133Mhz to 2933Mhz, but it will NEVER Post past the BIOS if I was to coincidentally overclock the CPU, or even if the CPU was to go higher than base default with any automatic boost system. And in those specific cases when that issue pops-up, the user HAS to FIX the CPU speed to stay at base default at all times in order to be able to overclock the Memory to any extent. At least that's what I understood from the few posts about it that I read. So is ANY of that actually true?

9) Is trying to overclock directly from default 2133Mhz to the 'rated' 3000Mhz "risky" in any way? Or should I actually considering doing it incrementally to sort of 'gently' push the Memory? However, I do assume that Corsair themselves just went bunkers on those modules in their test environments, and from what I have read on the subject as long as the voltage does not stupidly get past a certain point one can try almost anything on them suddenly or not, that it won't really make a difference (as long as the voltage remains within 'standards' and don't get past those unless you're willing to risk permanently damaging or frying the poor thing).

10) Another side note here, I actually already and successfully updated the motherboard to the latest (1002) BIOS version from a USB stick, everything went well. I also performed a 'full CMOS reset' (something I did still remember doing, there's that at least) after doing so (removing the battery, unplugging the power cord from the PSU, 'shorting' the two pins for reset purposes; then loading optimized defaults from the new BIOS version and rebooting again to make sure everything is at their default new values). So that step is done if it was necessary to do first.

11) So... recommendations for my specific setup? Anyone whom happen to also have the same components? I do expect to get a loop at Post if I just go with 2933Mhz from the start, even if I set the voltage to 1.35v. Should I increase the "SOC" voltage as well? (I've read that doing that can be risky and is preferable to just increase one or two timings instead).

Last, but not least, if I do get past Post and get to the Desktop without freezing or BSOD'ing to the abyss, which "Memory stress test" other than Prime95 should I consider? I've read that Prime95 is better to use when BOTH the CPU and the Memory are OC'ed (not sure if it's true). And I've read that MemTest (run in the BIOS) isn't actually good for testing the stability, and instead is only good to see if there's 'errors' in Memory blocks or whatever that does (again, not sure... just reporting what I read in layman's terms; being very much a layman myself in all this Memory OC'ing shenanigan).

I think I covered all the points I wanted to, thanks for reading to this point if you did. I do require the 'education' on the subject. I don't want to do anything too fast. I do expect errors and fails, that's normal as OC'ing is time consuming (I do remember that well enough, I remember spending a WEEK pushing my E6600 by a mere 500Mhz to get it stable... oh yeah, good times... not). I'm not afraid of fails, but I do want to know that the attempts I do make were made 'properly'.

Thanks for your time and advice.
 

Malogeek

Golden Member
Mar 5, 2017
1,387
2
96
yaktribe.org
#2
If they specified 5.31 instead of 5.30 then the QVL is based on Samsung memory. You'll have a hard time reaching it's rated speeds with Hynix memory. I have up and sold my ram, buying Samsung b-die instead.
 

IEC

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jun 10, 2004
13,555
363
136
#3
If you haven't updated your motherboard UEFI/BIOS yet, go ahead and make sure it's running the latest version. This is less important if your board already has an August 2017 or later UEFI on it.

Try whatever DOCP profile is the highest speed listed, and see if it works. Almost all common memory these days will work with either the top (i.e. fastest) or 2nd fastest DOCP/XMP profile on Ryzen motherboards. Even the cheap B350 motherboards. Even some Hynix memory.

You will then want to stability test to ensure that those settings work with your specific memory. After this, you can run benchmarks and such to get a baseline for performance.

Memory OC is effectively independent of your CPU OC, so you do not need to change anything on your vCore or CPU settings, though depending on your motherboard and how it handles vSOC on Auto, you may want to try something like 1.15V on vSOC if it doesn't work on Auto.

If you get the 5 cycle boot loop, that means memory training failed and it will eventually reboot with default settings. Take note of whatever failed and you may want to try looser timings or bump DDR voltage to 1.4V just to rule out vdroop on your vRAM.
 

IEC

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Jun 10, 2004
13,555
363
136
#4
As an aside, everyone recommends the 3200 CL14-14-14-14-34 "Samsung B-die" memory kits, but with the inflated price of DDR4 these days they're practically out of reach for budget builds. Generally, you're only missing out on a few % performance versus the premium stuff if you can achieve 2933 speeds or better, so I wouldn't sweat it much if that's the case.

You definitely do want at least 2666 speeds or it is actually holding you back significantly, so keep that in mind if the memory kit absolutely refuses to run at anything > 2133 (my one kit that did this actually turned out to be defective).
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
4,989
14
91
#5
Alright so I've made some attempts, one of which was successful... I think.

When I just leave the DOCP doing its thing, it doesn't Post. It sets the voltage automatically to 1.4000, with timings of 15-17-17-35 and that's it. When I saw that I thought to myself "When it looks like it's going to be too good to be true, it's exactly because it's too good to be true". Lo and behold, after a reboot (after Save & Exiting with that setting) it tried to come back to the BIOS not before looping itself two times to reset back to default values because of a Post failure (that's a default behavior of recent UEFI BIOS I believe, for safety purposes).

I went back to defaults (2133) and checked some more stuff on Google. From review sites (Amazon, Newegg, etc), checking user reviews (for the exact same kit, and on Ryzen CPUs) it looks like most "commonly successful" overclocks sit in loosened timings of 16-18-18-36. Some have better success than others of course (16-17-17-35), some manage it with non-loosened timings but with slightly higher Memory voltages than 'suggested' (1.35v), sometimes some users report having to increase the voltage past 1.4v (which I absolutely refuse to do, 1.4v would be my absolute limit for 24/7 usage; and if that means I'll never get a stable 2933mhz then so be it, I'll try lower and stay there like 2666 maybe).

So with all that in mind (loosening timings, etc) I went back in the BIOS and tried it manually. I didn't touch the DOCP option, but I only used the Memory Frequency option instead (it has a drop-down list of frequencies to choose from) and went with 2933 immediately. And then I went in the DRAM Timings options for manual adjustments and set the 'main' timings to 16-18-18-36, along with tRC at 54 (from 53, as listed in the ASUS SPD Info section of the BIOS for a speed of 3000). Going with '54' on tRC is more or less arbitrary. I saw one user posting that for some reason (he didn't understand either, but it "strangely" worked that way for him) the only timings that gave him successful Posts and stability in Windows were ones of even numbers. I thought it was weird but I went with that in mind (might be placebo, might be isolated to specific components, etc... probably will never know).

Now, here's the thing (and why I said that I "think" it works, for now). After doing all the above, Saving & Exiting, it DIDN'T reboot at all, it just restarted normally (I.E. the system didn't turn off completely) and didn't give me any error messages. BUT... I still decided to press DEL to access the BIOS again to check what it showed, first. But also because I didn't fully reconfigure my BIOS settings (choosing a drive to boot from, setting BIOS to advanced mode, etc). Now... in the BIOS at that point it DID show that the memory was running at 2933Mhz. I thought "Nice! Maybe that's going to be stable?". However, AFTER I Saved & Exited the system then it DID fully turn off before restarting (which is usually a sign that it's going to fail and do that one or two extra times), BUT... it only restarted ONE time and didn't sent me back to the BIOS with any "There was an error" message at all. After the full restart it just went past the BIOS Logo right into Windows. So I THINK that the reason why it fully restarted once might be related to the OTHER settings I readjusted in the BIOS and not to the Memory overclock... but I'm not 100% sure about that.

Now, I'm typing this from that reboot in question.

Right now, the Memory is 2933Mhz, at 1.35v (I did set that manually), at 16-18-18-36-54. I don't know if it's stable, of course. I haven't tried anything to test it yet. The next steps will be just that. So... well I think I'm on to something, might be close to a setting that fits my specific hardware combo and BIOS version and so on. Or I just hit the jackpot right away and it's gonna stay stable after all the couple of tests I'm gonna do next. So, speaking of tests, if I do use the "usual" Prime95 and MemTest combos, do I HAVE to run those overnight for like 10 hours? Or do they generally represent stability after 2 or 3 hours maybe? I suppose the longer you run them without errors the better. But if there's no errors AND the Memory DOES happen to be unstable... then WHEN would the errors show up? During the 1st hour? Or after the 37th hour? It's not like I'm going to wait 3 days before the first error shows up either. I have things to do on this system after all (not just gaming).

EDIT:

After a couple of hours of 'normal' Desktop usage (playing games, doing multi-tasking, etc) I finally encountered some unresponsiveness in Windows (windows refusing to maximize or minimize, couldn't open certain Windows settings such as the Taskbar settings for example, etc). And, lo and behold after I decided to just restart the system the POST didn't complete upon rebooting, it looped for two boots before going back to the BIOS with an error message.

However, I decided to lower the RAM voltage slightly, from 1.35v to 1.34v (same timings, 16-18-18-36-54) and contrarily to the previous attempt, this time, the system didn't completely turn itself off and didn't loop on POST. It restarted normally, got past the BIOS Logo and went straight to Windows. Maybe lowering the voltage will help on stability. I wouldn't know why if my life depended on it but it seems to behave better since I've done that, at least so far. I'll keep trying if it fails again at some point.

EDIT #2:

I've read a bit more on the subject (of Ryzen OC'ing, specifically) and I'm seeing a lot of people * having to * increase the VDDCR SOC Voltage in order to get their memory frequency above 2133Mhz. And if I'm understanding it right from what I've read, it looks like that specific voltage value is somewhat tied to / linked to not only the CPU but to the Memory as well (I.E. that increasing the SOC Voltage could even be more beneficial than increasing the 'regular' RAM Voltage; although the later can still be required of course).

However, SOC Voltage is apparently EXTREMELY sensitive and must not go beyond 1.150v for safe 24/7 system use (even less than 24/7, it's simply more than recommended to NEVER get past that voltage mark on SOC beyond just testing stuff from the BIOS; not sure how much of any of that is true but I'm definitely ready to NOT play super hero with that specific voltage).

So I made some small increments from the default 0.973 I believe it was ('Optimized Default' BIOS values, at least on my ASUS B350 Prime it was anyway). What I do like is that it does specify at the bottom of the BIOS window when I highlight that voltage how much increment I can do. They suggest not more than 0.00625 increments on both Plus or Minus values. I played with that a bit until the system would stop 'looping' with restarts. It seems to be alright now sitting at SOC Voltage of 1.037.

What is curious now is that I set my DRAM Voltage to Auto instead and it works. For now... of course.

I'll do some more tests of regular use in the Desktop, and if it doesn't crash with that then I'll run Prime95 overnight. If that doesn't crash then... I'll probably consider it a "go" (stable settings) and leave it like that. Or I might add to the tests with MemTest the next night or two in BIOS mode just to make sure (but can we ever be 100% sure anyway with stability, heh).
 
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