Overclocking ram and what can go south
I have been interested in overclocking many of my components and one of the recent ones i have thought of is ram. I am wondering if it is worth overclocking my ddr3 1600mhz ram which is paired with an fx 6300 and an rx 480, even if its for a few fps in game. I would like to know what would be more effective, increasing the clock or decreasing the cas latency if thats even possible and also what happens if the overclock goes wrong.
some applications are more sensitive to speed, some to latency.
so there is no universal answer. only benchmarking YOUR system will tell you what gives you better perfromance in particular application/game.
if you raise to much, the system might:
* not boot
* have some applications or system errors/crashes
Depends on what motherboard manufacturer your board is.
Normally when the RAM settings doesn't work, BIOS won't POST, and you will have to clear CMOS to get back in.
But ASUS motherboards have a button on the motherboard called MemOK, which when pressed temporarily resets only the RAM settings, meaning you won't have to clear CMOS. Then as soon as you reboot again, the user defined RAM settings are applied again (meaning you need to change the values or it will fail another time).
As for wether or not you will notice a difference, previously you wouldn't unless you were pretty much rendering huge video files and needed to shave off a minute or so from the rendering time.
But things have changed lately for gaming with more and more powerful graphics cards coming out, and a new mindset is shaping where you pretty much want RAM speed at 3000MHz and above if you're into 144Hz and above -gaming. This combined with balanced hardware specs will increase average FPS, but mostly rise the minimal FPS floor, supposedly giving you smoother framerate fluctuations.
However this is still a bit controversial, but I have myself seen enough amateur tests of this to easily say that it's time we professionally re-evaluate the importance of memory speed in a gaming system.
I personally cut down the timings instead of trying higher frequencies, as I get the overall feeling the PC in overall feels snappier. Can't confirm this is true though, but I'm not the only one thinking he notices a difference.
One important thing to mention though. One thing that is different with overclocking RAM is that it's not only about having a stable overlock, but also ensuring compability with the rest of the system.
Just yesterday someone had issues with not getting the 3000MHz XMP profile to work. I told him to actually increase the frequency to 3200MHz with compability in mind, and it actually worked.
Also worth mentioning that overclocking the CPU and/or filling most RAM slots makes the system extra sensitive for compability issues, though you more typically see people having these issues with DDR4 on X99 and Z170 chipsets.