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[Guide] Mem OC on ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10


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Rauf’s guide to memory overclocking on ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10

Version: 2016-09-16

 

Here’s the guide in pdf format: Link

 

mbx6s0i.png

 

 

Introduction

In the early days of Haswell-E, memory OC could be a real pain in the ass. But fear no more, with improved boards, bioses and ICs, memory OC is now easy. Memory overclocks higher and tighter and is much more fun and rewarding. I will be using the ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10 paired with 2x8GB G.Skill B-die retail memory matched with 2x8GB Galax wazza memory (yes you can mix brands just fine). The CPU of choice (my only X99 CPU) will be a 6950X.

 

One of the best parts of BW-E memory overclock is that since you cannot reach anywhere near the frequencies of Skylake, you don’t need to bin memory that hard. Most B-die sticks will do, even your Skylake rejects should be fine.

 

 

Software

In this guide I will mostly be using Geekbench v3 for testing memory performance. The reason is that I rather like the benchmark because it’s fast, consistent and it scales very well with memory speed and timings. Also, the subtest Dijkstra is pretty hard on memory, so if it can pass that it will easily be able to do all other relevant benchmarks as well. Bear in mind that your memory score in Geekbench scales with CPU speed, so keep your CPU and cache close to your baseline speeds when you test. I used 4000 MHz core and 3500 MHz cache. I have also noticed that while your memory score might increase, you can actually get worse overall score when pushing mem OC. This is likely due to Dijkstra being the hardest subtest to pass and if it barely passes you can get a low score here which affects your overall score. Dijkstra won’t affect your mem score since is not actually a mem subtest. I wouldn’t look too much on the overall score when testing mem OC, so concentrate solely on memory score. You will have more headroom for memory OC when you’ve got your CPU on LN2 anyway. And all other benchmarks will be fine at that speed also. OS used for tests was Win 7 SP1 x64.

 

Apart from Geekbench, I will also be using the ASUS MemTweakIt tool. It is a great little tool that gets too little attention. It has two uses, first is to check your timings, second is to actually adjust timings in OS. Most timings work surprisingly well when adjusting in OS so this tool will save you a lot of time. You can even adjust your main timings, and even CL, but keep in mind that your RTLs and IOLs won’t change with it so it will not be “true†CL 10 for example. However there is still a gain going from CL 11 to CL 10 in OS. Remember to click "Apply" when changing timings as "OK" actually doesn’t save your changes and just closes the window.

 

I also did a few test with XTU and SPI 32M just to check consistency. The XTU tests surprised me a bit, but more on that later.

 

 

What to aim for?

You will max out on frequency pretty fast compared to Skylake, due to IMC or platform limit. Max frequency will be somewhere around 1700-1800 MHz. So what you need to do is tighten the timings, A LOT! Don’t be afraid to enter numbers you wouldn’t even dream of on Skylake, as you will see here you can bench at some pretty amazing timings.

 

The memory I used in these tests are all capable of 2000+ 12-11-11 with wazza on Skylake, so they are really good. Still, I haven’t been able to get higher frequency than some reached at the world tour event at Computex with random Zadak memory. What I’m getting at is that once you reach your limit, it is not likely to be your memory. If you’re not happy with your mem OC, start binning your 6950Xs for IMC ;)

 

 

Basic settings

As your memory most likely won’t be the limiting factor you don’t need to worry about which order you put your sticks in. Just plug them in and start benching. Set 1.8 or so Vdimm, leave everything else auto. I have not found that raising SA or IO helps at all. Disable the usual SVID etc. Set max current capabilities etc (don’t really know if it helps but it doesn’t hurt at least).

 

Use 125 strap, it is the most efficient one. And of course, don’t forget maxmem! We’re using Bdies here!

 

 

Timings

See the picture below for a good set of timings.

 

timingsfcsf2.png

 

Here they are in dial-in form for your convenience :)

 

dialin1urs6p.png

 

dialin2a9szv.png

 

These are the best timings I have been able to find, I don’t share the decent ones and keep the really good ones for myself. But try it yourself, you might find even better ones. Note that I could actually pass Geekbench with tWR 4 and tRTP 2 sometimes, but anything below 8/4 on those would not be stable enough to pass Geekbench consistently. I didn’t touch the thirds too much, basically they weren’t really possible to tighten down that much from auto, and they did little for performance.

 

However, what you actually need to focus on are your RTLs, as you will see they will make the biggest difference. Best for me was 51-51-51-51. 51-49-51-49 is much worse at same speed. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to successfully set any RTLs/IOLs manually, not even a full dial in with the same values as auto gives. So you need to try to boot at different speeds and figure out how to get your best RTLs with your best mem frequency. For me I needed to boot at the 3500 mem strap and then reduce blck in OS or set blck lower than 125 in bios.

 

 

Maxing out

You will be maxing out frequency, timings and actually most importantly RTLs. So you will need to test your best combination. I started out by setting 3333 MHz frequency and then went as tight as I could on timings. After that I started to increase frequency until I could go no further. Note that you will run into a wall of around 130 bclk, maybe due to DMI/PEG freq I don’t know really. But if you need to go higher you have to set a higher mem multiplier. Next one is 3500 MHz, which might be pushing it for your setup, at least for Geekbench. My setup maxed out at 1745 MHz C11-11-11, so I needed to downclock in OS or set lower bclk in bios. Do note that Geekbench will complain about internal timer error if you do too much bclk adjustments in OS, even if you use Win 7. You can do ~1.5 MHz adjustments before Geekbench will give you an error and refuse to present a score. Keep an eye on your RTLs as they will go from 51-49-51-49 at 3333 MHZ to 51-51-49-51 at some point when you boot at higher frequency. When you boot at around 1720 MHz you will get 51-51-51-51, which was best for me. Of course this might vary a little from setup to setup and maybe benchmark to benchmark.

 

Loosening timings shouldn’t get you much frequency wise but you can always try and see what performs best if it scales with looser timings. But in general I would in fact recommend the opposite, to find your max speed at C11-11-11, and then try C11-10-10 as you most likely will be able to do that if C11-11-11 works. If you can’t boot it, set it in windows, it will work fine with MemTweakIt. You can also change to C10-10-10 and see if you can do that, it is not impossible, but will be hard when you are close to your frequency limit. This will only work from within OS though as setting it in bios will get you too tight on RTLs.

 

 

Results

Now to the fun part, results:

 

Baseline score, 1667 MHz C11-11-11-20 220 1T, auto subtimings:

2016-08-02-tue-23-43-7vs7o.png

 

"Skylake subs", 1667 MHz C11-11-11-20 220 1T: About 275 points increase in memory score.

2016-08-02-tue-23-36-cysq5.png

 

Optimal subs, 1667 MHz C11-11-11-20 180 1T: 350+ points increase in memory score from baseline. Overall score has increased by almost 600 points.

2016-08-02-tue-23-04-41sz6.png

 

Max mem frequency of 1745 MHz: Almost 500 points increase in memory score from baseline. Overall score is ~900 points above baseline, and this is with slightly lower CPU speed. This was the highest frequency I could run Geekbench at. Note that Geekbench is quite hard on memory, in other benchmarks such as XTU and 3DMark physics you can push your memory a fair bit higher.

2016-08-02-tue-21-38-casxc.png

 

1711 MHz, RTL 51-49-51-49: For testing impact of RTLs. Next two screens shows the same mem frequency, same subs, the only difference is in the RTLs.

2016-08-06-sat-21-58-6osm4.png

 

1711 MHz, RTL 51-51-51-51: +100 points from RTL only

2016-08-06-sat-21-34-3hswq.png

 

1625 MHz C10-10-10-20 180 1T, RTL 49-47-49-47: Lower score, just for reference

2016-08-07-sun-09-02-zyswl.png

 

 

Why no XTU?

You may wonder why there haven’t been any XTU tests, they are after all kind of standard when focusing on memory performance. Well, here’s why:

 

1667 MHz C11-11-11-20 220 1T, auto subtimings:

snaphsot0001o0sjm.png

 

1750 MHz C11-11-11-20 180 1T, optimal subtimings:

snaphsot00063as6y.png

 

1750 MHz C10-10-10-20 180 1T, optimal subtimings (not "true" C10, changed in windows so RTL isn’t correct for C10):

snaphsot0008zds19.png

 

Just some other XTU-tests for "fun" :)

1625 MHz C10-10-10-20 180 1T ("true" RTL):

snaphsot0007e0sia.png

 

1625 MHz C9-9-9-20 180 1T (not "true" RTL):

snaphsot0010rcse1.png

 

Conclusion, XTU is bunnyextraction benchmark :)

 

Note that one of the tests was run with both higher frequency and tighter timings (C10-10-10) than what I could do in Geekbench. I actually haven’t tested max frequency in XTU because of the non-existent scaling.

 

 

SPI 32M

Because XTU was so…should I say, consistent… I ran some 32M to verify that Geekbench wasn’t just playing me tricks on memory performance.

 

1667 MHz C11-11-11-20 180 1T, optimal subtimings:

2016-08-07-sun-10-03-taskq.png

 

1750 MHz C11-11-11-20 180 1T, optimal subtimings:

2016-08-07-sun-09-47-r1sxq.png

 

 

That’s all folks, thanks for reading!

 

 

Written by:

Tobias "Rauf" Bergström

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Interesting fact - XTU scores same with Quad, Triple, Dual, Single ;)

 

I don't test X99 as much as you guys do, but I can say that there's truth to this, memory tuning doesn't really matter in XTU for X99 Platform. (it scales well in 3D11 Physics, geekbench, pi and other memory-sensitive benchmark. Just not XTU)

 

I'm just speculating here because I don't have data to the 'inner workings' of XTU, but maybe in X99 it doesn't scale much because the L3 Cache in the CPU for X99 platform(HSW-E, BDW-E) is already big enough for XTU workload that memory performance doesn't matter that much? Only the devs can know for sure though. It surely scales with memory on the 115x platform.

 

 

Btw, really nice guide Rauf! Thanks for posting it :)

Edited by Lucky_n00b
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Thanks for your comments!

@svictorcc

I don't have any of the older versions of RVE to test, so I don't know how they are. But try it!

 

@XA

From my tests tertiaries were mostly as tight as they could go with auto settings. The few I managed to tighten did little to nothing performance wise. But I didn't spend too much time on them...maybe you found something better :)

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Thanks for your comments!

@svictorcc

I don't have any of the older versions of RVE to test, so I don't know how they are. But try it!

 

@XA

From my tests tertiaries were mostly as tight as they could go with auto settings. The few I managed to tighten did little to nothing performance wise. But I didn't spend too much time on them...maybe you found something better :)

 

Tweaking tertiaries gives you mostly higher frequency and stability :)

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I'm bringing this POST up to date :-)

I have used the guide in OCing the memory on my R5E BIOS 4101. This guide works on i7-5820k/5930k/5960x cpu's. Remember - If you use this guide - leave a thank you in your submissions.

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