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Thread: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz




  1. #1
    herculaneum is offline Junior Member
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    Default H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    I've searched around for answers, but there are so many similar but different scenarios that it has proved impossible for me to narrow down my search to my specific set-up issues. Apologies if I have missed something obvious.

    The issue is I have a Pentium G2020 (Ivy Bridge) CPU in an Asrock H77 Pro-4M motherboard, with Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB kit (2x 4GB). The RAM is rated for DDR3-1600 at 1.5V (BLS2CP4G3D1609DS1S00CEU). I believe these are single-sided modules.

    Anyway, the motherboard seems to be running these sticks at 1,333 MHz. I know that that is the officially supported speed of the Pentium G2020 memory controller, but according to Xbitlabs.com, for example, among other sources, these CPUs can actually run memory at 1,666 MHz. (See Contemporary APUs: AMD Trinity vs. Intel Ivy Bridge. Page 6 - X-bit labs.)

    My problem is I can't see how to adjust the Bios to obtain this behaviour. The options don't mean very much to me. There is a section called "DRAM Timing Configuration" with two settings:
    1. DRAM Reference Clock, with options Auto, 100MHz and 133MHz.
    2. DRAM Frequency, with options Auto, DDR3-1066 and DDR3-1333.

    Both of these are set to Auto, and the result is displayed next to these settings as "DDR3-1333 (1:5)"

    So it appears that there simply is not a Bios option that would allow me to run my memory at its rated speed. This seems to have been a common complaint about many different Asrock boards over multiple CPU generations (hence the difficulty with searching for answers), and is generally ascribed to problems with the Bios.

    Whatever, is there anything I can do about this with my particular set-up? There is an additional section for changing detailed timings, CAS latency etc. - is there anything there that can help?

    I know many people say the performance difference is not very significant between DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600, but nevertheless this just seems untidy to me, and I'd like to clear it up. I also know that the specific product code of this Crucial memory is not on the Asrock official support list, but come on, this is mainstream memory by any standards and it should not make any difference (it will if I contact Asrock, of course).

    Edit: I notice that if I look at the "System Browser" in the UEFI setup, the memory modules are shown as having an XMP 1.3 profile of 800MHz (DDR3-1600) 9-9-9-24, which is at it should be for this type of memory. So the motherboard does sort of recognize the modules' capability, but for whatever reason won't run them at that speed.
    Last edited by herculaneum; 04-26-2013 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Typo + new info

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    parsec is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    Well, your board's manual clearly shows the "Load XMP Setting" in the OC Tweaker menu, in the DRAM Timing section:

    H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz-setxmp-png

    Select the 1600 speed profile with that option. Loading the XMP profile is the standard way of setting memory to its highest specified speed.

    You could also use the DRAM Frequency option to choose 1600 if you want to do things manually.

    ALL memory will run at a default, low frequency when first used in a board. The memory manufacture has no idea what board their products will be used in, or if the PC is capable of running the memory at a higher speed. The default lower speed is used to insure the PC will start when the memory is added to the PC, rather than failing at a high speed. This saves everyone from grief, when the user is not exactly sure what to do.

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    herculaneum is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    Yes, but regardless of what the manual says, this option is not available in my Bios. I flashed the latest released Bios, but neither that nor the shipping Bios gives me the option to load any XMP profiles. There is no setting listed with the label "Load XMP setting"

    This seems to be a common problem, not just with Asrock boards, or anyway even if the setting is there, sometimes the memory has several profiles, and the one you want is not displayed as an option. When people complain, the manufacturer will refer to their tiny list of officially-supported memory, and then say, "sorry, your memory is not supported".

    The solution normally involves just setting the memory frequency manually with other Bios settings, but in this case, there just aren't any suitable settings as far as I can determine.

    Edit: Forgot to say thanks, so thank you for your help.
    Last edited by herculaneum; 04-26-2013 at 04:19 PM.

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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    That does seem strange, but as you alluded to earlier, your memory is not in the support list.

    These modern systems are sensitive to the memory they are used with, that is just a reality. You are lucky that your memory works at all, frankly. I know that is frustrating, but that is how it goes.

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    herculaneum is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    Yes. I wouldn't mind so much if the Bios had manual options to set the frequency - if these failed to produce a stable system at 1600 MHz, I would not complain, because the memory is not on the qualified list. What is frustrating is not having the ability to try this out.

    Anyway, I am in contact with Asrock support, so we shall see if anything happens there. Not holding my breath!

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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    i have H77 Pro-4M (newest bios)with a i3 3225. it runs 1600 with the bios set to auto. i'm guessing your problem is the chipset as it does not allow any overclocking.

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    herculaneum is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    Well, I have been wondering whether the H77 chipset might be the limiting factor, but "memory overclocking" isn't really the same thing as overclocking the CPU or FSB. What I need is just the ability to set a memory multiplier - and if you yourself are running memory at 1600 MHz, there can't be anything about H77 that limits memory, unless it just takes its cue from the CPU's memory controller, which by default specifies a lower maximum speed on the G2020 than on the i3 processors (in fact even the Pentium G2120 can _officially_ run at 1,600 MHz).

    Looking around the 'net, I found this at bit-tech: Ivy Bridge Performance and Overclocking | bit-tech.net

    "Ivy Bridge will officially support 1,600MHz DDR3 memory rather than 1,333MHz. As usual, though, motherboard manufacturers might add additional memory straps to allow even higher memory frequencies without needing to overclock the Base Clock."

    and this from a specific board review at Anandtech: AnandTech | Gigabyte H77N-WiFi Review

    "[compared with Z77] our main differences with H77 are the lack of overclocking, the restriction of memory straps to DDR3-1600"

    So, what I am getting from these sources is that Gigabyte chose to limit available memory straps to 1,600 MHz on the board that Anandtech reviewed, but that in general motherboard manufacturers can add higher memory multipliers to their H77 boards should they wish (or maybe only up to 1,600 MHz. Anandtech seems to be making a general statement about H77, not just the Gigabyte board, but the comment is made only in passing so perhaps was not fully considered).

    My problem is that Asrock have not added any ability to set memory multipliers manually on this motherboard - you just get what you are given by the board's interpretation of the memory's SPD or XMP profile, and then you can underclock to a couple of lower standard frequency bins, you can play with every conceivable advanced memory setting (command rate, CAS latency, tRAS and dozens of others), but what you absolutely cannot do is just set a higher memory multiplier than it wants you to set, not even to give you 1,600 MHz, which is officially supported for Ivy Bridge, but only unofficially supported for processors at the G2020 level or below.

    Edit: Finally found a similar thread here. The poster was trying to use memory rated above 1,600, but was limited to 1600 MHz on this board. He points out that Asrock mention a few compatible memory kits rated above 1,600 MHz (there are some at 1,800 MHz and even one at 2,250 Mhz) but he was unable to set a manual multiplier. His question was "how is this done" by the motherboard, when there is no manual adjustment? (i.e. How are higher frequencies than 1,600 MHz supported if there are no manual frequency settings?) The answer appears to be that there is Asrock voodoo that reads memory settings off the memory chips, and then fails to apply them unless those chips are on its official support list.

    Nobody replied to this thread, unfortunately. See http://forums.tweaktown.com/asrock/5...r3-memory.html.
    Last edited by herculaneum; 04-28-2013 at 04:40 PM.

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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    the g2020 is a Pentium not a ivybridge.

    Pentium only supports 1333

    Ivybridge supports 1333 and 1600

    ARK | IntelŪ PentiumŪ Processor G2020 (3M Cache, 2.90 GHz)

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    herculaneum is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: H77 Pro-4M is running DDR3-1600 at 1333 MHz

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Dancer View Post
    the g2020 is a Pentium not a ivybridge.

    Pentium only supports 1333

    Ivybridge supports 1333 and 1600

    ARK | IntelŪ PentiumŪ Processor G2020 (3M Cache, 2.90 GHz)
    I know, but as I said above - with links to a source, but I have seen this elsewhere also - this limitation is only on paper.

    Technically the G2020 is still Ivy Bridge, but you are right that the specs say it supports only DDR3-1333. The Pentium G2120, also an Ivy Bridge chip, does officially support DDR3-1600.

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