Overclocking your Memory

There are two modes of configuring the memory clock: synchronous, were the memory clock is tied to the CPU external clock, and asynchronous, where the memory clock can be configured independently from the CPU clock. The mode your computer has depends on its motherboard.

The synchronous mode is usually found in entry-level motherboards while asynchronous mode is usually found in high-end motherboards. Also, notice that many low-end motherboards don’t have any overclocking configuration at all.

So, how do you know what mode your motherboard uses? Enter setup, go to the “Frequency/Voltage Control” menu, and look at the available options. If you find any option to change the memory clock (“Memory Clock” or “Memory Frequency,” sometimes under a sub-menu called “DRAM Configuration” or “Memory Configuration”), your memory is running at asynchronous mode. Otherwise, it is running at synchronous. Also note that in order to change clock configurations, you may need to change the option that allows you to do so. This option can have several different names, such as “Clock Control,” “System Performance,” or “DDR Timing Setting by.” Sometimes memory configuration options are under “Advanced Chipset Setup” rather than “Voltage/Frequency Control,” so you need to also take a look at this menu and look for memory configuration options there.

Memory OverclockingFigure 1: This motherboard doesn’t have a specific clock configuration for memory. Thus, the memory works on synchronous mode.

Memory OverclockingFigure 2: This motherboard has a specific option for changing the memory clock; thus, the memory works in asynchronous mode. You need to change “System Performance” to “Expert” in order to have access to the memory clock control.

Memory OverclockingFigure 3: Memory clock options of the motherboard shown in Figure 2

Let’s explain in detail how to overclock your memory.

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.