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Overclocked Memory Breaks Core i7 CPUs

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the chip-has-potential dept.

Hardware Hacking 267

arcticstoat writes "Overclockers looking to bolster their new Nehalem CPUs with overclocked memory may be disappointed. Intel is telling motherboard manufacturers not to encourage people to push the voltage of their DIMMs beyond 1.65V, as anything higher could damage the CPU. This will come as a blow to owners of enthusiast memory, such as Corsair's 2.133MHz DDR3 Dominator RAM, which needs 2V to run at its full speed with 9-9-9-24 timings."

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267 comments

Says who? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291553)

"Intel is telling motherboard manufacturers not to encourage people to push the voltage of their DIMMs beyond 1.65V, as anything higher could damage the CPU"

Says who? Have you tried to talk to an overclocker? LOL

About overclockers: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291567)

They deserve busted components. If you push the limits of a device, you deserve what you get. Maybe good and cool, maybe broken shit.

Re:About overclockers: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291683)

Push what limits?

You're not pushing a cpu, it was designed to run faster! Just bined lower.

You're not overclocking overclocking ram at 2v. Its designed to run with that voltage!

This isn't an overclocking issue, its a design flaw by Intel. Not our fault you can't see the forest for the trees.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291767)

You are operating the CPU with a voltage it's not designed for. Whether the RAM can take it is one thing but that doesn't mean the CPU won't fry from it.

Re:About overclockers: (5, Informative)

Soko (17987) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291907)

Push what limits?

You're not pushing a cpu, it was designed to run faster! Just bined lower.

You're not overclocking overclocking ram at 2v. Its designed to run with that voltage!

This isn't an overclocking issue, its a design flaw by Intel. Not our fault you can't see the forest for the trees.

Run a CRC on your brain, sparky, you dropped a bit or two.

The Nehalem CPU is designed to run at JDEC Spec of 1.5V, but can handle 1.65 without being binned. Yes, the RAM is designed for 2V, but the CPU wasn't - use the RAM, take a chance on killing the CPU and voiding your warranty.

60nm parts have 25% more area in which to absorb electrons and 25% more dielectric between elements than a 45nm part, so of course they could handle more voltage without damage. It's a design flaw in material physics, not the processor.
 

Re:About overclockers: (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292001)

You're not pushing a cpu, it was designed to run faster! Just bined lower.

This is a brand new CPU. I don't think they're worried about the low-end market just yet, and are labeling them as high as they can.

Re:About overclockers: (5, Informative)

lagfest (959022) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292055)

by adjusting the RAM voltage, you are also the voltages on the input pins of the processor. Overvolting an I/O pin can cause latchups, which basically is a short circuit.

Re:About overclockers: (2, Insightful)

FourthLaw (1365279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292419)

You're not pushing a cpu, it was designed to run faster! Just bined lower.

This isn't an overclocking issue, its a design flaw by Intel.

Wow. Did you not notice the contradiction of those two statements?

Re:About overclockers: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291699)

I'd bet that 95% of them couldn't even define a clock or explain its significance. If they could, they might understand why overclocking is probably a bad idea.

Oh, and anyone who buys "enthusiast memory" also deserves what they get.

Re:About overclockers: (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291977)

Still running that Dell eh?

Re:About overclockers: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25292595)

Still running that Dell eh?

I'm /still/ running my Dell (Just got a 530S). The e2180 dual core processor runs fast as hell. I got the machine for $299. Laugh all you want about people who use Dells. I love this computer. Every program I've ran works perfectly, and with acceptable frame rates in PC games and MAME.

I couldn't give a shit less about overclocking.

I'll be the one laughing when your shit fries out and you can't afford a new motherboard while my /Dell/ is still working 5 years from now.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

santiagoanders (1357681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292049)

Why don't you explain why overclocking is a bad idea. Have you taken any digital design courses? Now I can understand people being wary of over-volting, but overclocking doesn't necessarily imply this.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292127)

And then there are those of us who under-volt to squeeze more battery life out on the airplane...

Re:About overclockers: (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292447)

Have you? Overclocking is bad because it is not reliable, for thousands of reasons no software stress test will ever show.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292409)

Correct.

Out-of-spec voltages is one of the things I complained about earlier...in a post I can't find.

Basically, stick with the value ram, or basic ram with good timings.

Corsair, OCZ, etc., with all the shiny heatspreaders, heatpipes, and LEDs are bullshit.
They put out the least reliable RAM ever, and it's (mainly) because they run on non-spec voltage.

Also, the reliability of RAM is inversely proportional to the size of the rebate.

Re:About overclockers: (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291745)

The're the same kind of people who outfit their base-line stock 4-banger Honda Civics with nitrous [holley.com] and twin turbos [wikipedia.org] and then wonder why their engine blows and their clutches slip when the checkered flag drops.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

santiagoanders (1357681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292071)

I think it's more like somebody removing a speed governor from their car. The car can go faster, albeit perhaps not safely.

Re:About overclockers: (3, Funny)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292077)

If they can get a stock four-banger with nitrous feed and twin turbos bolted on to not slip the clutch until the checkered, they're doing pretty well. I'd expect that setup to fly apart closer to the green.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292289)

The're the same kind of people who outfit their base-line stock 4-banger Honda Civics with nitrous [holley.com] and twin turbos [wikipedia.org] and then wonder why their engine blows and their clutches slip when the checkered flag drops.

This does fit for many overclockers, but not the majority. I for one overclock my devices, but I do so intelligently. You don't just jump up to 2v on your ram and hope it holds. Overclocking is a long, slow process. You take the smallest steps possible to find the limits of the hardware then stop a notch or two below that. Then you also have to make sure you have adequate cooling and stable power. I have been doing this for years, and have not had anything fail on me yet.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292481)

Once you "hit the limit" when overvolting, you cause damage.

Whether or not you notice that damage is another issue.

Re:About overclockers: (5, Informative)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291797)

You are missing a point here. there are ram chips out there that are designed to run with more voltage then 1.65. So you do not even need to overclock for this to happen.

for example
OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 is a 1.8v standard. that's NOT overclocking

I agree overclocking and you break something your own problem but this product can't even use some decent ram as its stated to be used without blowing the CPU. At that point I would want my CPU replaced thank you,

Re:About overclockers: (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291997)

1.8 volts for DDR3 memory is severly out of spec.

The nominal voltage is 1.5. Chips nominally operating at higher voltages are of *LOWER QUALITY* than chips operating at the proper 1.5 voltage.

The ability to increase voltage to offset more aggressive timings than the memory supports is the real issue. At that point you are getting no real performance improvement and the real possibility of random bit flips + additional wear on the memory/northbridge/cpu.

DDR3 and CPU caches are all about bulk data transfers and have zero to do about latency. Whatever silly gains you think you are getting by playing with timings are hidden by the nature of the hardware.

Re:About overclockers: (0)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292165)

They're not at a lower quality than the ones that operate at spec voltage... if anything, they're HIGHER quality. The point of running at higher voltages is to get faster timings and more bandwidth out of them, not to just run. Most of the enthusiast memory will run at a higher frequency, which directly translates into an argument against your bulk data transfer speed argument. It just needs the faster timings to operate at that speed.

Re:About overclockers: (4, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292555)

No, they're lower binned parts that couldn't make "enthusiast" OR normal speeds at 1.5 volts.

They crank up the voltage and re-rate them at a higher speed, and slap on ridiculous cooling (heat spreaders, heat pipes, built in fans).

They KNOW these pieces will fail at high rates, so they jack up the price and call it gamer/enthusiast RAM. When the return rates start to drop off, they start issuing rebates to move remaining stock.

Re:About overclockers: (5, Informative)

MrFlibbs (945469) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292123)

Looks like there are enough missed points to go around. The JEDEC DDR3 specification (see JEDEC Standard No. 79-3B) explicitly defines VDD as 1.5 V +/- 0.075 V for DDR3-compliant memory modules. Furthermore, the max supported frequency is 1600 MHz. What OCZ and other like-minded manufacturers are doing is intentionally violating the DDR3 spec to enable overclockers. Higher frequencies can only be reached with higher voltages, so they screen the DRAM chips to find the ones that can be pushed the farthest. These are then sold to enthusiasts to enable them to "push the envelope" on their gaming monster. Specifications exist to enable interoperability between different manufacturers. Intel is supporting the spec. OCZ is not. It's hard to blame Intel for not supporting OCZ's non-compliant parts.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292265)

Wow, the spec is pretty tight, traditionally PC specs allowed for +/- 10% for voltages to allow for cheaper PSU's, I guess the power filtering on newer motherboards needs to be pretty good to stay in spec.

Re:About overclockers: (4, Insightful)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292271)

You are missing a point here. there are ram chips out there that are designed to run with more voltage then 1.65. So you do not even need to overclock for this to happen.

You're missing the point here. If there are RAM chips out there that are designed to run with more voltage than 1.65v then those RAM chips are not designed to the JEDEC standard. Legally, they probably shouldn't even be able to sell them as DDR3 since DDR3 is a JEDEC standard and the parts on non-compliant. Of course, most of the memory manufacturers do this anyway, and since they are part of JEDEC nobody complains too loudly...except when things don't work, of course.

OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 is a 1.8v standard. that's NOT overclocking

But it is over-volted.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292511)

You are missing the point - those RAM modules don't run at standard voltages. They are designed to run at higher-than-normal voltages.

They REQUIRE those voltages because the RAM chips themselves are essentially lower quality chips that have been overclocked. The added voltage necessary for the overclock results in more heat. This is why you get heatpipes and retarded shit for a fucking stick of memory.

Re:About overclockers: (1, Funny)

citylivin (1250770) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291833)

You clearly havent recently built a computer. That ram that sells at 1333mhz? ACTUALLY only operates at 667 unless you manually overclock. I, like you, thought of overclockers as pathetic e-peen junkies until I actually tried to attain advertised speeds. Now adays you are laughed at for not overclocking your ram in an enthusiast board. It has gotten to the point that many companies sell and advertise features that are only available when overclocked. They all expect you to be overclocking.

its a brave new world out there!

Re:About overclockers: (3, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291893)

If you push the limits of a device, you deserve what you get. Maybe good and cool, maybe broken shit.

Considering an entire subset of the industry exists dealing exclusively with parts designed to run 'faster-than-spec' I'm more inclined to lay the blame on Intel. They should know full well by now that the enthusiast market drives a lot of personal buying decisions further down the food chain...
Remember when Tom's Hardware broke this story? [zdnet.com]
If you can't release components that will run with existing kit, well someone is going to get the short end of that stick... And when it's the high end consumers, well Oops!

Re:About overclockers: (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292115)

The main problem is that to get the speeds and efficiency of this part they went down to a tiny little gate technology. That technology requires lower voltages than your 130nm or 90nm RAM does.

Somebody needs to release some RAM that's built on little bitty gates so that it draws tiny little voltages, or the MB manufacturers need to design their boards with separate voltage settings for the RAM and CPU.

Re:About overclockers: (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292171)

blame it on 3rd party memory vendors that violate DDR3 spec.
This issue is a material physics problem, not a 'CPU' problem.

Re:About overclockers: For a MILLIsecond i saw (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292429)

"metaphysical"

"This issue is a material physics problem, not a 'CPU' problem."

That must be because for a minute few minutes i was wondering whether there is an analog in the form of overclocking the human brain (other than quickly and multiply/furiously bashing one with a decanter). Where would one "plug in" the body? How much "juice", and for what duration? Would there be a core meltdown? Would this be a "firestarter"? Would we end up singing "Who can it beeee now" when someone comes knocking on our door? Do speed freaks experience a sort of overclocking? What is the bottleneck in their performance? Do they end up talking to God and 24,480 baud, with their vocal box becoming a bottleneck? If their brain overloads God, is it a sort of "firewire", or a slower Universal Switchboard (USB)?

Please, respond QUICKLY... (subspace frequency 2B, code 47...)

Re:About overclockers: (2, Insightful)

avanderveen (899407) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291915)

I don't really know why there's a sudden flood of people trolling overclockers. Overclocking is a legitimate way to gain more frame rates. For my job I often adjust clock settings on CPUs for benchmark tests, and it's not as if the CPUs that are overclocked weren't designed to do so.

The reason AMD processors used to be popular was that they appealed to enthusiasts and they had the ability for overclocking more so than Intel.

For a company that sits in the lead of the processor market, putting out a high-end CPU that does not allow for enthusiasts to have their way, is kind of lazy in my opinion. Maybe that's a bit much, but they could at least try to cater to the kind of customer that would purchase a high-end part.

Re:About overclockers: (2, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291941)

and it's not as if the CPUs that are overclocked weren't designed to do so.

I can remember a time when connecting nodes on circuit boards with a graphite pencil was a good way to increase multipliers and voltages. And it wasn't that long ago, these new fangled extreme processors and enthusiast motherboards are a pretty new thing. So I guess this doesn't surprise me too greatly, I'm sure a lot of minds at Intel Corp. remember the good old days when they were the ones OC'ing chips straight off the assembly line to sell as premium stock and motherboard settings were locked down like Guantanamo. To them it's like, if it runs at it's rated speed with recommended board settings its good enough to sell. To us it's like, the last three processors I bought overclocked by .2-.3Ghz ATLEAST... and ran with my enthusiast memory...

It might work, but you're on your own (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291947)

I once unintentionally ran some 5V parts at 12V overnight (the ground leg in the voltage regulator had broken off). Some devices (the EPROM and LCD) failed but the RAM and CPU were still fine.

When part manufacturers design and specify their parts they will often be very conservative. This gives them some room for process variance, changed materials, etc. Thus, one batch might work fine at high voltages and some will not. Or current parts will work but some future parts will not.

Not really (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292143)

They deserve to live with their results, be those increased performance or broken components. Saying they deserve busted components is like saying someone who soups up their car deserves a blown motor. Both endeavors, done correctly, can boost the performance of the tool in question. It's not hurting anyone, so why the sour grapes? Never were quite able to get the CPU overclocked so you want everyone who tries to fail?

The What of the What? (4, Funny)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291597)

This will come as a blow to owners of enthusiast memory, such as Corsair's 2.133MHz DDR3 Dominator RAM, which needs 2V to run at its full speed with 9-9-9-24 timings."

I'll just stick to the mathematics of quantum field theory. Kids these days and their crazy machines!

When we asked Pooh what the opposite of an Introduction was, he said "The what of a what?" which didn't help us as much as we had hoped...

Re:The What of the What? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291707)

Mathematics of wanton burrito meals?

So what? (2, Funny)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291619)

Warning, pushing your components beyond their ratings may damage them!

Wow, never knew that overclocking might be problematic, guess I shouldn't have ignored all those warnings by the manufacturer, the system bios, the warranty pamphlets, the packaging....

Not news (5, Funny)

DoctorDyna (828525) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291633)

Since when has a manufacturer said "Yes, over-volt the shit out of our part, it will be fine."

Re:Not news (1, Redundant)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291929)

Lets see, motherboards automatically overclock for you, video cards come standard overclocked now a days, this new core will automatically overclock itself. AMD sells a black edition cpu which has an unlocked cpu multiplier for the sole reason of overclocking.

About the only thing you don't clock today in a computer is the storage and the case. Everything else is tweakable/overclockable.

Do you only run your car in gears 1-3 when it has a 4th? Or do you try and get every cent out of the stuff you purchase?

And no, not everyone is running out of spec gear with no2.

Re:Not news (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292085)

video cards come standard overclocked now a days

No they don't [wikipedia.org].

Re:Not news (2, Funny)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292111)

"video cards come standard overclocked now a days"

I don't think the term "overclocked" means what you think it does.

My mind is blown. I cannot believe so many people are claiming that Intel should support out of spec uses, because it knows some people have taken the risk of violating specifications for quite some time now.

It is like saying that Old Navy has a design flaw in their hooded sweatshirts because they don't include parachutes and they know some people choose to jump out of planes in them and hope for the best.

OLD NAVY: Hoodie not to be used in freefall
OVERCLOCKER: Damn Old Navy. Their product is clearly flawed. They KNOW people DO wear them when they jump out of planes. They could have provided a built in parachute ... but no ....

Re:Not news (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292345)

Actually plenty of OEM's bin parts from ATI/NVidia and sell parts that are overclocked according to the chip supplier. These part's are often labeled OC and carry a price premium but have a full manufacturer warranty.

Re:Not news (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292359)

Overclocked = faster than factory clocked.

How much easier can you explain that?

Look at the reference card of a nvidia card, find me on newegg where the manufacturer (of the card, not the chip) is selling a card that's slightly overclocked.

I can find lots of cases for that.

Do you know what Overclocked means? Your anaology is idiotic.

Is it out of spec to push something beyond what a manufacturer sells it at? I doubt it because of the way they're made (all the same, binned differently).

Re:Not news (0, Flamebait)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292583)

"Overclocked = faster than factory clocked.

How much easier can you explain that?"

You could start by getting it right. Overclocked means clocking an integrated circuit in excess of the CPU manufacturer's specifications. It doesn't have anything to do with the clock rate the motherboard manufacturer chooses or allows to be generated.

Is it out of spec to push something beyond what a manufacturer sells it at?"

Very Good! You are starting to get it! Of course your sentence doesn't even parse correctly, but I see what you are trying to say, and yes; the definition of overclocking is clocking it faster than the manufacturer specs it at. Your confusion lies in thinking "it" is the motherboard and the manufacturer is ASUS, etc. Again, "it" is the CPU, and the manufacturer is Intel.

P.S. I've personally designed a PC104 compatible motherboard, so you might want to quit while you are way behind, rather than when you are phenomenally behind.

Re:Not news (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292629)

Overclocked = faster than specified in the data sheets.

There's a difference - many chips are sold at a lower clock rate for either heat or marketing reasons, so the factory clock isn't really that relevant.

Re:Not news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25292135)

Do you only run your car in gears 1-3 when it has a 4th? Or do you try and get every cent out of the stuff you purchase?

And no, not everyone is running out of spec gear with no2.

Bad analogy, better suited would be "Do you only run you car in gears 1-4? Or do you try to add in a fifth gear?"

A car comes with, and fully supports, a fourth gear. Overclocking is doing exactly what the manufacturers told you you probably shouldn't do. That's not to say it's not possible, they just tested it and found that beyond a certain point (the advertised clock speed and other configurations) the processor isn't 100% stable, and therefore they can't sell it at that rating.

Re:Not news (3, Interesting)

Kirys (662749) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292003)

Well the downsizing of the cpu transistors make them "faster" but also more fragile.

To be more specific overvolting is not a problem for the transistor itself but it is a problem for the interconnections due to the effect of Electromigration http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration [wikipedia.org].

The interconnections of latest CPUS are so thin that +0.15 could mean a lifespan cut of 50% or more. While higher values could mean a lifespan of months instead of years!

Its true that overclocking was always said to be a dangerous practice while actually till 1-2 years ago wasn't (with a proper cooling), but now we are using something that can be less and a hundred atoms wide!

Actually intel is frightened that a too common "high" overvolting pratices could make their CPU seem less reliable (well they are but is a intrisic problem not an intel fault)

uhhh (1)

ellenbee (978615) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291651)

I thought intel was starting to encourage overclocking and the like. This is definitely a step in the wrong direction. Manufactures that side step this will increase sales. I will never buy a mobo that limits dimm voltage that low.

Re:uhhh (2, Interesting)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292147)

Buy DIMMs that work at lower voltages because they use smaller processes or buy motherboards that separate the refresh power circuits from the data circuits on your RAM. It's doubtful that the data lines need 1.8 or 2.1 volts or whatever.

Overclocking (5, Interesting)

TheFlannelAvenger (870106) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291655)

I understand the mindset, obligatory car analogy here, but it is not something I've ever done. Shopping for hardware has become a bit of a mine field lately, as most of the top tier motherboard and RAM manufacturers offer a *ton* of options for boosting the juice to various things all over the motherboard. They advertise this as a feature. I'm glad for those folks who like to go faster. It does make things a bit tricky having to check the RAM voltage, against what the motherboard can handle, and the processor will take, and hoping it all works. I'd like it if Asus and Gigabyte could maybe come up with a 'Get off my lawn!' series for us folks who like stock voltages, and wear onions on our belts.

Re:Overclocking (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292221)

I'd like it if Asus and Gigabyte could maybe come up with a 'Get off my lawn!' series for us folks who like stock voltages, and wear onions on our belts

Well, that was the fashion in those days.

As an answer to your question, though, I've taken to spending a little more money to get actual Intel boards for their CPUs and then buy RAM as inexpensively as possible along with a dead-midrange graphics card. The retail Intel desktop boards have very little in terms of whizbang features, but manage to be very solid performers.

Re:Overclocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25292231)

They do!

All you need is to time travel to 1999, and you can purchase one of your very own!

Some of the OC memory is hard to install (2, Interesting)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291659)

Have you ever tried booting some of this memory with the default timings on a motherboard to find it will not boot with overvolting? I bought 8gb of OCZ memory this summer and could not get my system to boot till I took out some other memory from a Dell my company gave me and overvolted that memory in BIOS to 1.7 and than swapped in the 8gb OCZ. I should not have to do that, doesn't the memory specify what voltage it needs to run at; and if not, why not?

Re:Some of the OC memory is hard to install (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291839)

Yeah I've had that problem with OCZ too. I bought this new system in January with 2 GB of OCZ Platinum. At first I thoguht Vista was the problem of the constant crashing and rebooting, simply installing Vista was a pain. I tried everything I could think of until I realized the OCZ RAM needs 1.9 volts minimum and motherboard was only giving out 1.6. My crashing went away the moment I fixed it.

Re:Some of the OC memory is hard to install (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291863)

I would assume the standard for these modules defines the voltage they should take and the OC RAM simply fails to conform to that spec.

Re:Some of the OC memory is hard to install (4, Informative)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291889)

Yes and No. The JEDEC specifications say that DDR2 must be able to handle UP TO 2.3 volts before incurring any PERMANENT damage. However, 1.9v is considered the max when stability is of concern and anything over that is not guaranteed to work (properly).

DDR3 is specified to work at 1.575v, but able to withstand up to 1.975v .. Again, no guarantees it will function properly, but (according to the standard) shouldn't fry it. Now, other factors do come into play such as less life, more heat generated, more power used, etc.

The JEDEC specification is for memory modules. What Intel is saying is their processor will (likely) get damaged any more than 1.65v.

I don't get memory overclocking (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291661)

For most application the quantity of memory is more important than the speed of the memory. As I said "most"... I know my usage patterns are fine with completely normal memory.

Overclocking? Not bothered with since the early Celeron days...

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (1)

TypoNAM (695420) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291723)

You've overclocked Celerons? Say it isn't so....

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291821)

Actually, I never overclocked anything... Never saw the need versus the risk. I recalled that early celerons were very overclockable, so, ehm... I must have been wrong?

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (2, Informative)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292191)

No, you're right. In rare cases an overclocked Celeron performed better than the standard-clocked Pentium 3 of the same nominal speed on most benchmarks. It's been a long time since the Pentium 3 and that generation of Celerons, though, and it usually wasn't worth doing even then.

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291923)

No, really, no. Memory latency is a major bottleneck in modern computers. Of course you won't notice it if you never do CPU-intensive things but you could probably downgrade your PC a fair bit before noticing a difference there. Once you increase the load the memory latency can be horrible. Again you won't notice directly, we're talking about nanoseconds here IIRC, you'll just notice your PC will perform CPU-heavy operations more slowly than a PC with faster memory.

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292043)

Oh, I know about the problem. That's why I said "normal" usage. Yes, high-end gamers will notice a difference, but only once they maxed out their rig. For the rest of us, value RAM will do nicely.

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292451)

I've never noticed it in gaming, but matching the latency to the CPU timing can noticeably affect video encoding. Changing my ram from stock 3-3-3-5 to it's full supported 2-2-2-3 decreased encoding time significantly with no other changes to the machine.

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292251)

For most application the quantity of memory is more important than the speed of the memory.

To an extent this is true, but not entirely. For most programs, there's a point at which it fits entirely into physical memory, and once you're there for the programs you're using, adding more memory won't really help at all. You just need enough to prevent paging.

If you're below the point where you're paging, more memory will help far more, but if you're above that point, faster memory is what you want.

I doubt most programs adjust how they use memory based on how much physical memory your machine has (though there are probably some).

Re:I don't get memory overclocking (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292449)

I doubt most programs adjust how they use memory based on how much physical memory your machine has (though there are probably some).

Photoshop, The Gimp and (AFAIK) Firefox.

For most programs, there's a point at which it fits entirely into physical memory, and once you're there for the programs you're using, adding more memory won't really help at all. You just need enough to prevent paging.

Again, I stress, I said "normal"... Preventing paging is indeed what I'm after. My wife computer (my main computer) has 2Gig RAM. It's simple DDR400 and the CPU is a P-IV 2.6HT. We usually use 600Meg to 800Meg RAM. The question here is, if I'd replace the RAM with high speed RAM (of that generation) would it be noticable in general use.

My bet is no.... That's my whole point....

Out of Spec (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291677)

Considering that so many memory modules require running out of spec voltages to operate properly, while the Intel CPU requires voltages within spec, it would appear to me that the memory makers are turning out bad memory.

Maybe instead of requiring users ramp voltages up to CPU damaging levels, they should fix their chips? Now that Intel has brought the memory controller into the CPU, that they have tighter tolerances for the voltages does not surprise me.

This doesn't surprise me. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291687)

Granted, I do a bit of overclocking of my video card, and the processor, but I never screw with voltages. NEVER screw with voltages. That silicon has a tolerance range, but I've learned over the years that playing with voltage (Cyrix M-II processor, anyone?) is generally a bad idea.

Re:This doesn't surprise me. (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292455)

Undervolting is nice in some cases. That's the only way I'll skew voltages. It keeps your fans from coming on as often because it doesn't get as hot, uses less power which is REALLY nice when running on battery in a laptop...

But I agree, upping voltages to get things to go faster is just asking for trouble.

Integrated memory controller. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291713)

I suppose this is a downside(although not a terribly upsetting one) of Intel's move to an on-die memory controller. Typically, CPUs are moved onto smaller and lower voltage processes more aggressively than are the northbridge and southbridge. It looks as though, in this case, that means that the CPU will impose substantially lower voltage limits on RAM than the northbridge used to.

Given the boost that on-die memory controllers gave to AMD, back when they adopted them, I suspect that the tradeoff will still be worth it. On the other hand, I strongly suspect that there are going to be some very unhappy cries of "WTF! How could RAM voltage kill my CPU?" from adventuresome kiddies unfamiliar with the implications of this change. Warning stickers aren't going to deter them.

well of course (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291727)

Nelphlem cores come standard with, ta da! overclocking built in. They don't have a step down (well they might) technology, but step up. They overclock themselves. So if you try and overclock a cpu made to overclock automatically something tells me that you'll run into problems, like the cpu overclocking itself too much too fast, and over volting itself.

Sounds like a recipe for disaster, but don't worry. Intel is right on it releasing numbers like the new core is 50% faster in games! Exactly what are they comparing it to and are they comparing it at it's default clock speed or automatically overclocked setting?

Either way, those overclocking kids trying to get high numbers/benchmarks are going to burn a whole lot of these out very easily.

Re:well of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291955)

That's not quite the problem. These chips "underclock" to avoid thermal problems, but if one core is idle, then the other can generate a little more heat and work at a higher clock rate compared to when both cores are active. Overclocking the RAM is not the problem either, but increasing the RAM voltage to be able to overclock the RAM is. That's because in the next generation of Intel CPUs, the CPU interfaces with the RAM directly. The memory controller is no longer in the chipset but in the CPU.

Blazing 2 MHz Memory! (3, Funny)

Straterra (1045994) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291771)

"This will come as a blow to owners of enthusiast memory, such as Corsair's 2.133MHz DDR3 Dominator RAM, which needs 2V to run at its full speed with 9-9-9-24 timings." I think some one forgot to proof read. Either that or manufacturers are REALLY pushing the data width technology as opposed to clock speed...

Re:Blazing 2 MHz Memory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291995)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145212&Tpk=corsair%202133

Re:Blazing 2 MHz Memory! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25292437)

doh, totally missed the point of the parent poster :)

2.133 Mhz RAM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25291779)

What is that, Commodore 64 RAM?

It's just a matter of time... (5, Funny)

EEthan (1353209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25291943)

... until somebody solders a crapload of diodes to their motherboard to drop each ram output line voltage by .7v.

Bonus points if they're LEDs.

Re:It's just a matter of time... (2, Interesting)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292401)

I think you overclocked your cognitive processor!

Armed with the knowledge that the PN junction voltage drop of a Diode is 0.7v, and either no forethought, or no knowledge beyond that at all in the hardware domain, you have managed to make a very absurd statement (no offense.)

I'm not going to get into the myriad ways that this is absurd and impossible, but lets start (and end) with the fact that you can't just start soldering things on a board when things are clocked in the Gigahertz range from a theoretical standpoint even if you could violate the laws of Physics and hand solder a diode between the IC Pin and the motherboard.

Cheers!

Intel can't do split volts on the cpu and ram like (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292019)

Intel can't do split volts on the cpu and ram like amd boards and older Intel boards can do??

Will any other stuff like this show up in QPI 2+ systems with the QPI bus?

Aren't the voltages independent? (1)

swaq (989895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292027)

I was under the impression that the voltage for the CPU was set independently from the RAM, so I'm not seeing why the RAM voltage should affect the CPU. If it does then that is a design flaw, in my opinion.

Re:Aren't the voltages independent? (2, Informative)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292569)

The data and address lines are connected. No amount of design can change that.

dominator (1)

MagicM (85041) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292093)

9-9-9-24 timings are "dominator" good? I thought 2-2-2-6 was good, with 5s being average and common. 9-9-9-24 sounds horrible in comparison.

Not that I care, I'm just confused.

Re:dominator (1)

bjackson1 (953136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292159)

When we are talking about DDR3 9 is a normal CAS latency. At the clock speeds Corsair is running 9 is a decent CAS latency.

Re:dominator (3, Informative)

DavidKlemke (1048264) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292225)

Back in the day of DDR1 you'd be right, but these days the timings on the RAM are much larger but this isn't necessairly a bad thing. DDR3 runs much faster then it's older brothers and so the actual latency times are quite comparable.

The bigger numbers in timings mean a whole lot less when the clock is ticking that much faster :)

Re:dominator (1)

Fweeky (41046) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292457)

Like DDR2, DDR3 increases latencies to allow for higher clockrates:

While the typical latencies for a JEDEC DDR2 device were 5-5-5-15, the standard latencies for the newer JEDEC DDR3 devices are 7-7-7-20 for DDR3-1066 and 7-7-7-24 for DDR3-1333.

But remember these latencies are measured in clock cycles, so timing wise, these latencies are shorter; they just happen to have more clock ticks between them.

DDR3 Specs vs Nehalem's Supported Speed (3, Informative)

stun (782073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25292335)

DDR3 specs

DDR3 modules can transfer data at the effective clock rate of 800â"1600 MHz (see here) [wikipedia.org]

That means DDR3-1600 is the max speed as a standard.
Anything faster than DDR3-1600 is already an overclocked memory by the memory manafacture.


However, Nehalem supports up to DDR3-1333 only.

Other features discussed include support for DDR3-800, 1066, and 1333 memory. (see here) [intel.com]

As a hardware enthusiast (but not an overclocker), I would rather be using a DDR3-1600 memory.
Understandably, the overclocking community would want to use DDR3-2000 or faster (if any).

Personally, I would not be buying Nehalem until a newer one comes out
with at least DDR3-1600 or faster support.

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