View Full Version : Optimize RAM with Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

12-29-2020, 05:43 AM
If you had "built" your PC, likely, the RAM is not working at the maximum possible speed. The timings (latency times), together with the operating frequency value, offer an indication of the performance of a bank of RAM.

In most cases, it is possible that the RAM does not use the timings "advertised" by the manufacturer and found in the specifications.

To optimize RAM and, in particular, speed up its operation, a great idea is to activate Intel XMP ( Extreme Memory Profile ).

The functionXMP is not present in all BIOS, and not all RAMs have the XMP profile allowing its use.

In any case, if you had purchased high-performance RAMs, where possible, it is always good to proceed with the activation of the XMP function.

What is Intel XMP, and how does it work
All RAM manufacturers must comply with the specifications set by the JEDEC ( Joint Electron Device Engineering Council ), a standardization body that was founded in 1958 and has over 300 members.

In the articles RAM to buy and RAM, how to choose it, and when to extend it, we have seen what timings are and how they differ from one type of memory to another (see also Difference between DDR3 and DDR4, what changes between two memories? ).

In general, the lower the timings (net of any overclocking activities), the faster, at least on paper, are the RAM, at least at the same frequency.

As the working frequency of the RAM increases, the timings also tend to increase. Therefore, there is no need to worry if a 1,600 MHz RAM bank has, for example, timings 9-9-9 while a 2,133 MHz bank 11-11-11. By purchasing a higher-end motherboard and installing RAM modules with low values in timings, the memories will not work automatically using these settings but will use a standard configuration.

However, compared to what happened in the past, it is no longer necessary to set the more "pushed" timings manually. Pruning himself in the BIOS, you should notice the Intel XMP setting's presence that will allow you to automatically configure the timings to get the best out of the RAMs.

By activating the XMP profile in the BIOS, the latter will read the configuration of the manufacturer's timing in the RAM modules and activate it automatically to optimize the RAM and its performance.

The analogous feature to be activated on the BIOS side is called AMP, which stands for AMD Memory Profiles on systems that use AMD CPUs. Its behavior is quite similar to that of Intel XMP.

Check the timings of the.RAMs
To check RAM timings before and after surgery (XMP or AMP activation), you can use the excellent free CPU-Z utility.

After starting CPU-Z, simply go to the Memory card and then observe the CL, tRCD, and tRP values.

The three values (expressed in the RAM specifications as CL, T RCD, and T RP; T RAS is usually omitted) are precisely the timings' values.

By clicking on the SPD tab and then examining the Timings table pane's contents, you can examine the various supported profiles and check the presence of XMP.

Enable Intel XMP from BIOS
To activate the use of the XMP functionality, just enter the BIOS by pressing the DEL, F2, F10, or ESC keys several times (depending on the motherboard in use) as soon as you restart or turn on the PC.

The XMP setting, depending on the BIOS in use, could be found on the main screen, in the advanced settings, or the Overclocking section (even if, in this case, you are not performing any type of overclocking as these are "factory" supported timings by RAMs in use).

Sometimes XMP allows you to choose between two profiles: you can activate the first one and then the other, checking the automatically set timings from CPU-Z.

12-30-2020, 05:47 AM
Thanks for sharing this info. Though I don't think I need this as of the moment. Happy new year!