Memory Voltage

Started Apr 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
Michael Firstlight
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Re: Memory Voltage
In reply to Robert Schoner, Apr 21, 2013

In a word?  No. Using 1.5v vs 1.65v makes no difference unless you are overclocking RAM (to increase RAM frequency) or underclocking RAM (to tighten RAM timings) - else it makes no difference whatsoever - and doing even those things really doesn't do hardly anything as far as increasing overall system performance except maybe squeezing 2-3 extra frames per second for gaming, or for bragging rights, or benchmarking.  You'd be way better off just getting a better graphics card instead.

What is more critical is to test each individual RAM stick using MEMTEST86 as soon as you get it and return the RAM if any one of them has errors which is all too common and overlooked by far too many system builders.  The bit about using only 1.5v on Intel boards is a wives tale  - pure bunk.  I totally ignore it and have for years been using 1.65v RAM on my Intel motherboards, and I heavily overclock my CPUs as well with no ill effects.

When picking motherboards however, I do prefer my newer X79 boards in that I can set my RAM to XMP mode and forget it.  I can overclock the CPU without impacting any other components, including my RAM - compared to my old i7 920 P6T where I also overclocked using XMP but had to muck with the RAM parameters a bit since I could only use the base clock (BCLK) to push the CPU as opposed to using just the CPU multiplier as I can on the newer chipsets and BIOSs.

As for future-proofing, that is about as good as future proofing motherboards - it rarely does.  Next up will be Quad-channel DDR4 RAM with a dedicated channel for each individual RAM stick (instead of one channel per RAM pair).  Worth it?  Probably only for high end servers and big databases.

Regards,
Mike

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