Installation & Overclocking
As I said these modules have some of the largest heatspreaders that we’ve seen on memory lately so you need to make sure you will have room for them if you are using an aftermarket CPU cooler. In our case we were using the Noctual NH-L12 cooler and did not have any troubles installing the memory at all.
Our test system is comprised of the following items.
Processor: Intel Core i7-3820
Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 Pro
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD6950
Memory: 16GB Crucial Ballistix Elite
Power Supply: Thermaltake 1200W
Storage: 750GB SATA II Drive
Cooling: Noctua NH-L12
Case: Cooler Master Cosmos II
Once you have the memory installed just turn on your system, go into the BIOS and enable the XMP profile and your memory will be running at the advertised speed of 1600MHz with timings of 8-8-8-24.
These modules are compatible with Crucial’s MOD software so you can monitor the temperatures, but unfortunately my motherboard, the ASUS P9X79 Pro is not compatible with the software.
Now for some overclocking! When overclocking on the X79 platform it is really easy to overclock memory because for the most part you are overclocking it independently from the CPU. I first went into the BIOS and turned the XMP profile off and started changing all the settings manually. The voltage at 1.5v, the timings at the default 8-8-8-24. Once all of that was set I decided to move the memory up to the next step which was 1866MHz. Once I saved the settings and rebooted the system was stable, which was very impressive. I decided to bump things up again to 2133MHz. This is where I ran into some trouble. I have to loosen the timings a bit and up the voltage. So at 2133MHz the memory was running at 1.65v with timings of 9-9-9-27. The next bump up is 2400MHz, the system would not boot at this speed at all. So it was time to adjust the BCLK frequency, this will overclock the CPU as well. The BCLK was set to 100 by default, I was able to move it up to 104 and still have a stable system. This brought our memory up to 2218MHz and our CPU up to 3.74GHz. I did have to loosen the timings a bit more to 10-10-10-30 to achieve a stable overclock. Again very impressive for DDR3-1600 memory!