Overclocking is a fantastic feature of the latest computer hardware. It allows you to use a piece of hardware at the maximum possible speed by increasing its operating frequency. Even though overclocking has its pros and cons, RAM overclocking is done when using a high-end PC or laptop for high-end tasks.
This article is not only a guideline on the basic concepts of overclocking, but it will provide you with the answer to one of the most asked questions “How do you know if RAM overclocking is stable.” So let’s get into it and find out more about RAM overclocking.
How to Know if RAM Overclocking is Stable?
If you have not been experiencing BSODs, app crashes, freezing screens, poorer performance, shutters, and RAM overheating are the signs for you to know that RAM overclocking is stable. But if your computer or laptop is going through some of these conditions, you should consider stopping overclocking your RAM.
When you overclock your RAM, it increases the operating frequency of your main memory. Any hardware that operates on a higher or maximum frequency soon becomes overheated. The latest RAMs have heatsinks for dissipating this heat in the air, but by then, the heat damages the memory chips on your RAM.
BSOD is nothing but the blue screen of death. It appears not only when your RAM is faulty and dying but also when it is unstable. In this case, the BSODs will keep irritating you by restarting your PC or laptop in the middle of your essential tasks. Therefore, this error is considered a RAM management error.
- Running App
If your RAM overclocking is stable, your apps will run without problems. But on the other hand, you will experience annoying app crashes. In addition, you may lose your unsaved progress because your apps will close without prior warnings. You might blame your softwares for this, but I recommend you check your RAM overclocking values.
- Freezing Screen
Freezing screens indicate that RAM overclocking is unstable, but if you are not facing this issue, congratulations. In such a situation, your computer screen freezes and does not let you do anything. Nor does it close the app no matter how often you press the close button until Windows asks you if you want to close the program or wait for it to respond. You would never experience this situation if your RAM overclocking was stable. To temporarily get rid of the freezing screen, you should press the combination of Ctrl + Alt + Del and let the task manager open. Next, select the program that is not closing in the process tab. Now press the end task button in the bottom right corner.
- Performance Boost
If your RAM still isn’t operating as expected immediately after overclocking, you probably have an unstable overclock. But if your RAM starts outperforming the prior, it signifies your overclocking is steady and you can start taking advantage of the increased performance.
A stable RAM overclocking gives you the highest performance that you have installed it for. But on the other hand, you experience that the RAM performance is decreased. This is because the operating system, such as Windows 10/11, loads slowly. As a result, the games open slowly and have a lag that repeats itself after some time.
You may also experience the display monitor screen shutter if your RAM overclocking is unstable. In this case, your graphics will delay. Screen stuttering occurs, especially when playing video games with an unstable overclock RAM.
How Much Overclocking RAM is Safe?
Undoubtedly, the RAM manufacturers define the feature of overclocking, but it becomes unstable and unsafe at a certain point. So if you want to overclock your RAM safely, I recommend only a 0.05 volts increase in your memory voltage. And after this increase, make sure that the RAM is stable.
For example, if you use DDR4 RAM that allows you to run it at 1.35 volts using XMP or DOMP, you should never exceed the voltage above 1.4 volts. Because it will not only overheat your memory module but also make your RAM unstable, causing different errors and crashes.
Similarly, there is a frequency range for every RAM as well. The maximum operating frequency is always written on a sticker present on your RAM or the box you have unboxed it from. The overclocking makes your memory modules work on that frequency by enabling it through the XMP or DOCP in your BIOS.
But if you have figured out to increase the operating frequency more than the defined limit, which is impossible for all users, your RAM can become unstable. Using the default values for overclocking keeps your memory modules safe and stable in all situations.
Is RAM Overclocking Risky?
No, RAM overclocking is not risky because the manufacturers of your memory modules define the overclocking feature, and it is legal to use this feature. Even though, if you do not overclock your RAM, you cannot operate it on the maximum frequency that it works and performs the best on.
The RAM overclocking is only risky when you increase the voltage more than the expected range. So I recommend you not increase the voltage by more than 0.05 volts. So, for example, if your RAM works on 1.2 volts, you may only make it operate on 1.25 volts. Because higher voltages are risky for your memory modules.
Overclocking not only increases the voltage and frequency of your RAM, but it also increases its temperature. If the ventilation is poor, the memory modules don’t have heatsinks, the computer fans are slow, and your RAMs can overheat. This heat will decrease the performance, and the other hardware will also be affected.
Does RAM Timing Increase FPS?
Yes, the RAM timing undoubtedly increases FPS, also known as frame rate, because most RAM timings are time delays. And we all know very well that delays slow down a process. So lesser delays mean that the memory modules are faster. And fast memory means higher the PC or laptop performance will.
There are four known RAM timings: CAS Latency (CL), Row Active Time, Row Column Delay, and Row Precharge Time. Thankfully, most of the latest RAMs have fewer delay values, such as DDR4 memory modules. Not only that, but modern RAMs can also work on higher frequencies, i.e., 3600 MHz.
How Do I Know If My RAM is OK?
Knowing if your RAM is a straightforward and easy task if you are a Windows operating system user. Just open the “Start Menu” and type “Memory.” Soon you will see an app named “Windows Memory Diagnostic.” It is a powerful tool provided by Microsoft, so you can check if your RAM is OK for free.
Opening the app provides you with two options, and you can select any of them. The first option asks you to restart now and check your problems. And this is the recommended one. Make sure the progress of your work is saved. The other option will check the RAM the next time you start your computer.
After choosing the recommended option, your computer or laptop will restart. Then a blue screen will appear when checking if your RAM is OK. After reviewing all your installed memory modules, your PC or laptop will restart to start Windows 10/11. As Windows starts, you will see a notification about your RAMs.
How Do I Know If My RAM is Overclockable?
There are different methods for knowing if your RAM is overclockable or not. The first method is to see the sticker on your memory module that will tell you the maximum frequency your RAM can operate. Now, find out the maximum RAM frequency on the internet that your motherboard offers through the RAM slots.
If your motherboard’s offered frequency is lower than your RAM’s speed, then your RAM is not overclockable in this situation. On the other hand, if the case is the opposite, then your RAM is overclockable using this motherboard.
The second method to know if you can overclock your RAM or not is the XMP or DOCP. Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) enables your RAM overclocking using Intel motherboards for Intel hardware. On the other hand, Direct Overclock Profile (DOCP) is the same feature for the motherboards for AMD hardware.
To check if your RAM is overclockable or not using XMP or DOCP, you must restart your computer first. Next, press the “F2” or “Delete” key to enter the BIOS before the operating system loads and starts as you enter the BIOS switch to the EZ Mode by pressing the button in the bottom right corner.
BIOS usually starts in the EZ Mode by default. In the left middle of the graphical user interface (GUI), you will see the title saying “XMP” or “DOCP,” depending on the mentioned type of your motherboard. Right below the title, you will see a drop-down menu. Just open it at choose the “Profile#1” option.
Near the title, you will see some stats, including your RAM speed, timings, and voltage level. Ultimately, exit the BIOS by selecting the “Save and Exit” option. At this time, you will see a message box that will tell you the current speed at which your RAM will be working.
If this mentioned speed is equal to the one shown under the XMP or DOCP title, then your RAM is overclockable. But if the frequency is less, your RAM is not overclockable, and you need to upgrade your motherboard to use this feature. Furthermore, if no “Profile#1” option is available, it states the same bad news.
Can I Overclock a 3200 MHz RAM to 3600 MHz?
Users with high-end computers or laptops ask this question a lot if they can overclock a 3200 MHz RAM to 3600 MHz. Especially the ones using AMD Ryzen series processors. The simple answer is yes; you can overclock a 3200 MHz memory module as the Ryzen processors demand the speed or frequency to be 3600 MHz.
But I will recommend you not to do this because it will not only heat your RAM, but one of them may burn out literally. So the other options you have is to sell your low-speed RAMs as second-hand computer hardware and purchase the 3600 MHz DDR4 memory modules for your high-end computer system.
It is necessary for the overclocking to be stable, and it is best if all the other hardware runs on the same frequency. Usually, it is impossible because most of the hardware we have varies in speed and overclocking ranges. But if you try your best, you can build a PC that has hardware with nearly the same speed.
How Do I Check The Status of My Overclock?
Different tools and methods are available to check the status of your overclock. The first and easiest method is to check it through the Windows Task Manager. Just right-click on the taskbar and select the “Task Manager” option from the menu. A small window with multiple tabs will pop up.
Here, go to the tab “Performance” and select “Memory” from the list on your left-hand side in the UI. On the top right, you will see the type of your RAM, such as DDR3 or DDR4, etc. While in the bottom, most of the relevant stat will be available for you to see the speed, available RAM, used RAM, etc.
The other method is to download and install a free tool named CPU-Z. As you open it, the tool will collect all the statistics in a couple of seconds. Now a small window with multiple tabs will appear. You can see all the stats about your RAM if you go to the memory tab. For more details, switch to the tab named SPD.
Overclocking RAM can be done in multiple ways, but it is not recommended as it may cause your system to crash or damage some hardware. It is only recommended if you have a high-end PC and need more power, which can only be achieved by overclocking. Also, it is best to check the status of your overclocks using the Windows task manager or any other tool specifically made for this purpose.
Hey, I’m Hammad. I write for this website to help you with the IT advice about PC, RAM, CPU, Motherboard, PSU, and other PC components.
I will provide detailed guides with images, and explain step by step so you can understand the process. Check all my articles here.