[Guide] How to overclock and change timings for any RAM on most laptops

Discussion in 'Notebook Dummy Guide Articles' started by valuxin, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    !!!This guide will work on most laptops starting from (2nd gen Intel i Core) Sandy Bridge and higher. Applicability to the older platforms not guaranteed !!!

    Greetings!

    In this thread I'll tell how you can overclock your RAM and change it's timings. Usually, DDR3 RAM SPD flash have 256 bytes of data. First 128 bytes used to store basic RAM settings and info (JEDEC speeds, ranks, die size and etc). On most memory modules this region is locked, but if it's unlocked, there is no problem to flash to higher JEDEC speeds. But modifying first 128 bytes is risky, have write access problems (Haswell and higher) and in worst case recovery process would not be that easy. Use this region if only you have an official SPD dump from the same memory module lineup.

    Also, there is a 2nd 128 bytes region where additional info (serial number, manuf date and etc) and profiles (XMP, AMP, Nvidia EPP and etc) are stored. This region is 100% unlocked for write operations on 100% of memory modules. The good thing is, I have not been met a laptop that have problems writing to this region. In this guide we will use XMP profiles to change speeds and timings of our memory.

    XMP profiles should work on most laptops with Sandy Bridge and higher. There are some cases, when XMP come handy:
    • your RAM have locked first 128 byte region and have lower speeds that you CPU supports
    • your RAM have high speed bins and your CPU supports them, but your laptop manufacturer don't allow you to use high speeds (say hello to HP)
    • your RAM and CPU have max speeds and you want to change timings to make it run as fast as possible

    Part I: How to flash prepared XMP profiles

    1_2.png

    Luckily, I've created a tool that simplifies the process a lot. At that moment, the tb2bin XMP processing utility is the version 1.2 and do the following:
    • Create an XMP profile in ready-to-flash binary format (.bin) from Thaiphoon Burner XMP profile (.emp)
    • Create an RWEverything file format (.rw) from binary (.bin)
    • Dump, flash and erase SPD or XMP on your RAM modules
    *Note: there is no support for SPD 2.0 (used in DDR4) and only one XMP profile is supported at the moment. The tool might still have some bugs and have not the best UI (my first powershell experience btw), but feedbacks are super welcome;)


    Okay, let's imagine that we have 1x 1333Mhz CL9 stick, 1x 1600Mhz CL11 stick and our CPU max supported speed is 1600Mhz. We want them run both at 1600Mhz and CL9 timings. Things we need before we start:
    • RWEverything utility
    • tb2bin XMP processing utility (the link in download section)
    • Prepaired XMP profiles (could be found in the Download section at the end of this post)
    • One RAM stick for recovery process (in case you RAM won't boot with current timings)
    • Attention
    Let's do the magic:
    1. Download RWEvrything
    2. Open it, go to Access >> DIMM SPD and check you DIMMs information and remember their addresses. You should see 0xA0, 0xA2, 0xA4 and 0xA6 devices - it's your RAM modules (if you have 4 slots occupied). Or something like that. After, close this application.
    3. Now, let's make backups of current SPDs. Open tb2bin utility, go to the SPD dump section and enter the address you want to dump (or addresses separated by space). Enter them without "0x" prefix, so it would look like "A0" or "A0 A2 A4" if using multiple addresses.
    4. Next thing we do is writing XMP to the SPD. Place your XMP binary (or SPD binary with XMP region) at the same folder with "run.bat". Go to the XMP flashing section, point the file name you want to flash and enter the address you want to be flashed with our XMP (or addresses separated by space).
    5. If you have done all the steps correctly and weather is sunny - congrats, flashing is done!:)
    As a result, we should get something like this:
    1600Mhz_CL9_XMP.png
    As you can see, now our RAM sticks have the same XMP 1600Mhz CL9 profile. Next thing we need is to make our system use XMP profiles instead of JEDEC. XMP will only work if its the same between all memory DIMMs. Try to reboot you laptop first to see, if it apply XMP automatically (most Sandy Bridge laptops do that). If not, you need to look into your BIOS for the XMP options. Still, if you can't find XMP settings in the BIOS you have two solutions: flash BIOS mod with advanced menu OR extract IFR values from the BIOS and apply them with NVRAM editing (google for it, there are plenty guides on that right now).

    If you applied timings was wrong an system don't want to boot you have several ways to recover: reset BIOS settings or swap in a memory module without XMP along with those you've soft bricked. Then, clean XMP profile or apply a new one.

    Good Luck and have fun;)

    ----------------------------------
    Downloads:
    ----------------------------------

    P.S. If the owner of Thaiphoon Burner reads it, your personal license terms and conditions are REALLY bad. It's like buying a toothpick, but for $16 :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2017
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  2. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    Part II: how to create your own XMPs

    K, let's go to the action. What tools do we need:
    • Thaiphoon Burner free version
    • tb2bin XMP processing utility (the link in download section)
    Step 1: Thaiphoon Burner
    First thing we need to do is to open Thaiphoon Burner. If you have some experience in timings adjustments: just read you RAM SPD or any SPD dump and go to the XMP Enhancer.

    If you are a novice, google for timings and look through built-in SPD browser for XMP enabled DDR3 dumps. Perfectly, you need to find memory stick with the same memory chips or at lest the same memory chip manufacturer. Then open these dumps and use XMP Enhancer to adjust the values.
    There are two things you need to remember: always set memory controller voltage level to 0v and use either 1.35v or 1.5v module voltage levels. Doing opposite may result in bad XMP or memory module increased heating.

    Also, try to compare timings with those you have in JEDEC. It will help quite well. Usually, memory modules can use the same latency for 1 bin higher speed (for example, from 1333 to 1600, from 1600 to 1866 and etc.).

    After finishing the latency and frequency adjustments, we need to save our work to a file. Don't leave the XMP Enhancer windows, go to "Profile >> Save to file..." and save it with any name you like. You should get something like "your_xmp_name.emp". Now, there is no need in Thaiphoon Burner and you can close the window if you want. Let's go to the next step.

    Step 2: Thaiphoon Burner XMP profile to binary converter

    As you might know, .emp format is not designed to be flashed - it's just store you XMP settings from Thaiphoon Burner XMP Enhancer. Here is where my tool come in handy. Open it up, and select "Convert .emp XMP profile to .bin". Be sure, that you've placed your .emp profile at the same folder with "run.bat". If everything done right, you should get a binary file at the same place:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  3. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    Right now, my XMP repo is not that big and have profiles I've generated for my needs. If you need another profile or change something in it (for ex., voltage) just let me know:)
     
  4. aaronne

    aaronne Notebook Consultant

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    Thanks for this, I look at mr.fox posts about typhoonBurner but I've never buyed a license because its limitation(so I will made a small donation if this work).

    Looking at your work with interest and later I'll try to edit my xmp profiles with your method, I run succesfull with these timings/speeds from about 3 years ago

    ram timings.jpg
     
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  5. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    @aaronne
    Soon, I'll post a 2nd part of the tutorial where I'll describe how to create and adjust your own XMP files with free tools. Yeah, it's not going to be that easy as paid version of Thaiphoon, but it's gonna be free lol :)

    And one more thing to mention, different RAM modules have different RFC value. So, it's important to match it to your RAM. For example, you're going to apply my 1866 XMP that have RFC value set to 280. Your memory modules use much smaller values (currently, you have set them at 132T). They bytes you need to edit manually is C7 and C8. Currently, my value is "68 10". Converted from hex to decimal it would be "1068 hex = 4200". 4200 multiplied by MTB Tbase = 280T. To simplify the life we can use free version of Thaiphoon to calculate our new RFC value, then convert it to hex and modify these bytes in RWEverything.

    If you want, I can make XMP based on your current settings:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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  6. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    K comrades, nothing can be better than creating a tool which allows to use Thaiphoon Burner XMP editor for.... free?? Yep, here it's. One day of work and many happy users :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
  7. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    New version of tb2bin utility is available now! Here is the changelog:
    Code:
    Version 1.1 (06-06-2017)
    - New user friendly design
    - .bin to .rw convertor
    
    Currently planning to add dump/flash/erase feature, so you could all the job within the tool.
     
  8. valuxin

    valuxin Notebook Evangelist

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    New version 1.2 of tb2bin utility is available now! Here is the changelog:
    Code:
    Version 1.2 (08-06-2017)
    - [NEW] Dump, flash and erase SPD or XMP on your RAM modules
    - [NEW] Added elevation check prior running the tool
    
    It's really cool tool now :) I'll update the guide asap.
     
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  9. Mr. Fox

    Mr. Fox Undefiled BGA-Hating Elitist

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    Nice job @valuxin - Not sure how many people with an interest in RAM tweaking have seen this thread. Hopefully, more will find it and post about their successes using your tools and technique. I just accidentally stumbled upon it today for the first time. Good work, friend.
     
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  10. G_nt

    G_nt Newbie

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    Hi @valuxin - I have been researching how to do this exact thing for the past few days and came across taiphoon burner only to find it cost money to do anything and you cant even flash xmp in the $16 version ;p so thank god I found this thread :)) I have some hyperX fury 1866 8gb ram which doesnt come with xmp and my motherboard wont clock memory any higher than 1333 without an xmp file :(
    I have no idea about memory timings, where do I start if i want an XMP profile for my memory to run at 1866?
    atm I only have the one 8gb stick...
    thanks!
     
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