Overclocking RAM on your PC may sound daunting if you’re not familiar with overclocking or tweaking the BIOS in general. Fortunately, users with a Windows computer running an AMD Ryzen processor can use a tool called Ryzen Master to easily overclock their RAM without ever needing to touch the BIOS.
Why You Should Overclock Your Memory
In contrast to CPU overclocking, RAM overclocking isn’t known to provide a massive surge in performance. In fact, many professionals recommend not spending money on memory sticks rated more than 3000MHz, as you tend to run into diminishing returns beyond that.
But what if you have a slightly older system with RAM sticks rated below 3000MHZ? Or if you want to squeeze out just a tiny bit more FPS in games even on a high-speed RAM rated more than, say, 3200MHz or even 3600MHz? Then you might want to give overclocking a try.
Overclocking RAM is a fairly simple exercise if you know what you’re doing. With a little trial and error, you can quickly get your RAM running at its maximum speed without crashing your computer, so that you don’t leave extra performance on the table if you run your memory below its maximum potential.
Tip: need to update your AMD graphics drivers? We teach you how to do that.
How to Overclock RAM with Ryzen Master
Ryzen Master is an AMD tool that can help you overclock BOTH your CPU and memory within the Windows environment. If you’re interested in the first option, our guide to CPU overclocking with Ryzen Master can help you extract even more performance from your system.
Before we begin, it’s important to note that Ryzen Master supports only Ryzen 2000 and newer desktop processors. Laptop CPUs are not compatible. Also, the memory speed clock speed displayed in Ryzen Master is half the speed (in MHz) displayed on your memory module. For instance, a RAM stick rated for 3000 MHz will show a memory clock of 1500 MHz in Ryzen Master. This is absolutely normal and shows that your memory is running in a dual-channel configuration.
At the same time, make sure that you open Task Manager and note your memory speed by opening the “Performance” tab and clicking “Memory” on the left side of the window.
- Download and install Ryzen Master from AMD’s website.
- Take note of the pop-up that appears. It’s a warning not to push your components beyond their operating threshold, or you risk voiding your warranty. Don’t worry, as with a few careful considerations, you can safely overclock your memory without any critical risk to your system.
- Once inside the program, switch to “Advanced View” if it doesn’t open by default.
- Select either “Profile 1” or “Profile 2” in the left menu and click “Default” in the right pane at the top. You can ignore the other modes like “Precision Boost Overdrive” or “Auto Overclocking,” as they’re recommended for CPU overclocking.
- Look for the “Memory Control” section and click on “Excluded” to unlock the various memory settings below. The “Excluded” button will change to “Included” in green.
- Next to “Included,” you’ll see “Push All Auto” and “Push All Manual.” The first option is enabled by default, setting the options you see under “Voltage Controls,” “DRAM Timing Configuration,” and other sections to “Auto.” For a simple and automatic memory overclock, we’ll use the same settings.
- Underneath “Memory Control,” leave “Coupled Mode” to “On” for a most stable overclock. This ensures your “Memory Clock” and “Fabric Clock” are always in a 1:1 configuration.
- You’ll only be able to set the “Memory Clock” speed in this mode. Set it for the speed in which your memory stick is rated. You can find this value on your product packaging or by finding your specific module’s product page online. For illustration purposes, we’ll enter a value of 1800 (half of our stick’s rated 3600 MHz speed).
- Click “Apply & Test” at the bottom to restart your system. After the reboot, Ryzen Master will automatically launch and perform a stability test with the new settings.
- Once the test is complete, you can open Task Manager and see your RAM running at the new speed that you entered in Ryzen Master.
Good to know: Learn how to check your Windows PC’s CPU temperature to make sure your computer is functioning properly.
How to Further Test Your Overclock Stability
Ryzen Master has an in-built testing feature to determine the stability of your memory overclock. But if you want real-world testing, you can stress test your system with Cinebench, running several rounds of single-core and multi-core benchmarks with the new RAM settings. This will stress the system more, and you’ll have better confidence in your RAM overclock.
You can also test out your new RAM settings while playing games. Sometimes, even tools like Cinebench don’t spot an unstable overclock, whereas real-world scenarios like playing games tend to crash if something is wrong. If you’re able to run your game for several hours (and ideally, multiple times), you can be sure your memory overclock is successful.
Does your CPU often overheat? Opting for a good CPU cooler may help you keep things in check.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I overclock RAM on Intel?
You’ll need to go through BIOS. Open your BIOS and find a setting named something like “AI Tweaker/Extreme Tweaker,” depending on your motherboard. Then, choose the presaved XMP profile that matches memory module’s rated maximum speed. Save your settings and restart your system.
Can all RAM be overclocked?
Yes. Technically, you can overclock any RAM module, but the results you’ll see will vary depending on your specific module.
Can overclocking damage RAM?
It’s fairly difficult to damage your RAM sticks physically by setting the wrong overclock settings. Your system will simply restart if it determines settings are too far out of the operating threshold of the memory modules. You can then change settings and test system stability again.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Tanveer Singh.
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