What are the benefits of enabling XMP profile?

trihoang
trihoang used Ask the Experts™
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Dear experts,

In my BIOS, the Extreme Memory Profile (XMP) is currently Disabled. In this mode, the values are:

System Memory Multiplier = 13.33
Memory Frequency (MHz) = 1333MHz

If I change the value to Profile1 from Disabled, the new values are:

System Memory Multiplier = 18.67
Memory Frequency (MHz) = 1867MHz

Could you please share your knowledge and understanding on XMP? What are the benefits of increasing 1) System Memory Multiplier and 2) Memory Frequency (MHz)

Many thanks.
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Commented:
Basically, it is a manufacturer provided "overclock". If the memory you have installed in your system can handle it, it speeds up the memory and increases the bandwidth, which make the system run faster.

While this is a great way to get some extra "free horsepower" out of your system, it also puts a bigger strain on it. Not only by making the system run at a hotter temperature, the memory will most likely fail a little sooner than if you don't overclock.
Retired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
Commented:
The benefit is simple:  Your memory runs faster, so data transfers are faster.

It's actually NOT the same as "overclocking" your memory ... which refers to running memory at speeds higher than it's designed for.

For example, if you buy DDR3-1333 modules, and run those at DDR 1600 by adjusting the parameters in the BIOS, THAT is overclocking.    If you buy DDR3-1600 modules, and run them with the XMP disabled, they will run at the standard SPD provided rate, which is generally either 1066MHz or 1333MHz (depending on the motherboard),  but if you enable the XMP protocol the SPD information table is supplanted by the additional XMP data,  which allows the BIOS to set the parameters needed to run at its designed speed of 1600.

I'd assume you bought DDR3-1866 modules, which would explain the timings you're seeing with and without XMP enabled.    As long as that's the case, there's no reason not to enable XMP and let your memory run at the speed you purchased it for.

Note that it IS possible to run modules faster than their designed specifications by modifying the memory multiplier ... THAT is overclocking it.    Motherboard specifications will generally show the memory speeds they support with and without overclocking (overclocked speeds are designated with an (OC) after the speed.
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Commented:
>> ...actually NOT the same as "overclocking" your memory...

yup, I posted with brain disengaged.  my bad.

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