How to enable XMP to run your RAM at full speed

Exploiting the full potential of your hardware ensures the best performance that is essential for all kinds of demanding tasks, including gaming. Memory is one of the key components that can bring a significant performance improvement. Surprisingly, in most cases your RAM doesn’t run on hard clocks and you need to implement XMP or Extreme Memory profiles there.

However, before enabling XMP, it is better to check the current clock speed of your memory. Go to Windows Task Manager by doing a quick search below settings or by right-clicking on the bottom program bar and selecting Task Manager. Once you have opened the Task Manager, click on More details to access additional system information. then choose Performance tab, and then open it Memory section. In the lower right hand corner, you should see the current operating speed of your RAM in megahertz (MHz).

If the current speeds are less than the specified maximum speed of your RAM kit, then you need to enable XMP. For example, we used a pair of 8GB Geil DDR4 memory which is claimed to run at a maximum operating clock of 3200MHz. However, it runs at 2133MHz by default.

How to enable XMP in your RAM from BIOS

Step 1 – XMP can be enabled by going into your motherboard BIOS. To do this, restart your computer and wait for the boot screen to appear, which is usually a logo or some type of graphic from your motherboard manufacturer. At the bottom there should be instructions for entering the BIOS, which is usually done by pressing the delete key, the exit key, or one of the function keys.

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Step 2 – Once you have entered the BIOS, you should look for XMP. Certain motherboard BIOSes will have an easy mode that highlights only the most frequently accessed settings. Therefore, you may need to enable advanced mode to gain access to XMP settings.

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Step 3: In our case, the Gigabyte Z590i Vision motherboard BIOS highlights XMP on the main screen. From here, we can quickly enable XMP or activate advanced BIOS mode to access additional XMP settings. Gigabyte and ASUS motherboards usually have the XMP settings below a tuner either extreme tweaker eyelash.

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Step 4: Choose XMP which should give you the ability to enable Profile 1 (that we need) or disable XMP. Certain memory pools offer more than one profile, providing more flexibility.

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Step 5 – After choosing the profile you want, preferably with the highest speeds, return to the main BIOS screen and find the option to save and exit BIOS. You should now have XMP enabled with memory running at your desired maximum speed. Be sure to go back to Task Manager to see if the checked memory clock works.

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What is XMP?

XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles) are pre-defined, tested profiles, unlike manual overclocking memory, which requires tinkering with frequencies, voltages, and timings. An extension of the JEDEC (Joint Electronic Device Engineering Council) standard specifications, XMP was developed by Intel to make overclocking easier and more affordable.

Does all memory have XMP?

XMP supports all modern high-end memory, but manufacturers also have lower-level memory modules that are based exclusively on JEDEC profiles, which is an open industry standard. Manufacturing memory with XMP requires special certification from Intel, which in some cases doesn’t make sense for some manufacturers. That is, system integrators rely on memory only with JEDEC, not with XMP. So, in simple words, the answer is no. Not all memory is compatible with XMP, so it is recommended to check all the specifications of your memory and motherboard on the manufacturer’s website before buying a new one.

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Do you need to enable XMP?

If your motherboard and memory support XMP, you need to enable this feature. It allows memory to run at its intended clocks, which means you can get the best performance out of it. Since Intel advertises XMP as a safe way to overclock your memory, it shouldn’t harm your system in any way. Having said that, booting your memory to factory settings is perfectly fine since enabling XMP is optional.

Can XMP harm the CPU?

XMP is a simple way to overclock your memory, which is usually achieved by increasing the voltage above the standard values, typically 1.35V to 1.5V. Since the memory controller is part of the CPU , increasing the voltage on the memory also has an effect. on the CPU. Changes in voltage can cause system instability, which can be easily fixed by restoring the original settings in the BIOS. If you end up damaging your system, especially the CPU due to overclocking, that is not something that is covered by the warranty. Intel mentioned during a press conference about its Rocket Lake chipsets that “XMP is classified as overclocking, so memory overclocking would fall under the same umbrella.”

However, you don’t need to worry as much as the risks involved are very low when switching from standard speeds to XMP.

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