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  Try Setting 1.65V RAM at 1.5V--Reduce Temps and Power 
 
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john albrich Aug 12, 2012, 12:21pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Just a simple tip on how to lower the power/temperatures of 1.65V RAM modules. Your results may vary. (This may seem obvious, but I think it's worth posting as a specific tip. There are some advantages if you can do this.)

If you want to reduce the temperature and increase the lifespan of your RAM modules and on-board voltage regulators, try testing any 1.65Volt specified RAM modules at 1.5Volts. That's an almost 10% power reduction
Warning: do not test undervolting using your normal Windows operating environment. RAM failures can result in data corruption which can result in permanent boot failures requiring reloading of the entire OS. Such failures can also cause undetectable data corruption on OS and non-OS drives and partitions). It's best (and easy) to test using self-booting test software that won't put your data/OS at risk.


This is worth trying and generally low-risk if you like experimenting with hardware optimization. But, remember that most all motherboards have a disclaimer that "Overclocking voids the warranty", even when they spec you must "overclock" to run DDR3-1600 and above RAM at their spec'd speeds. However, I've never seen any warranty-related warnings about "undervolting".

I have a number of 1.65V rated RAM modules and because it was easy to do, just decided to try this out. Was pleasantly surprised. I found that I often can set a number of 1.65V specification DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1866 RAM modules to 1.5V and they still operate reliably at their rated speeds and timings, or even a little above. For example, I've run PNY, Corsair, and GSkill 1.65V DDR3-1600 CAS9 9-9-9-24 2T RAM at 805MHz (==DDR3-1640MHz) with manually set DRAM module voltages to 1.50V, while keeping the spec'd 9-9-9-24 2T timings. They all still worked fine at the lower voltage.

On my target motherboards, that also allowed me to mix 1.65V and 1.5V RAM modules without overvolting and stressing the 1.5V RAM. That means I may be able to use older RAM modules I have lying around, and avoid buying all new RAM modules just to populate a given motherboard with more RAM.

Remember that my goal here was to simply see if I could reduce RAM power/temperature, and mix-and-match 1.5V and 1.65V RAM without stressing the 1.5V RAM modules. I was not trying to improve system performance.

With each voltage change, re-test the reliability using freeware memtest86+ (can find on self-booting freeware UBCD test suite at http://www.ultimatebootcd.com). If there are no problems and you can get the voltage down from 1.65V to 1.5V, the RAM modules and on-board motherboard voltage regulators will be running at significantly lower temperatures and lower power levels...which is "good for the environment" and good for those components' lifespans.

(Note: the ability to run at lower voltages can vary from motherboard to motherboard, so even though some RAM modules work OK on one motherboard, don't assume they'll work OK on a different motherboard...even the same model of motherboard. You should re-test them on the target motherboard if you plan to use them on each motherboard. Don't take the operational reliability for granted.)



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