Intel i7 920 CPU
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P Intel X58 motherboard
Asus Matrix geForce GTX 260 video card
BFG Tech EX Series 1200 Watt Modular power supply
Kingwin HTC XT-1264 i7 Ready CPU Cooler
Ikonik Ra X10 Liquid aluminum full tower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
As always, installation of the memory is quite simple, place it into the proper slots, which with an X58 board starts with the slot most far away from the CPU.
Upon first boot, the OCZ XMP Ready ran at DDR3-1066 7-7-7-19, exactly where it should have. All current high-performance memory runs at a lower speed than advertised for a reason, if there are settings that need to be taken care of in the BIOS prior to being able to run the memory at the advertised speed, such as overclocking the CPU, raising the VDIMM, or whatever, the memory will likely not allow the system to POST. You would never get to the BIOS to change the settings. So most memory is set to run at DDR3-1066 until changed in the BIOS.
Once setting the XMP option in the BIOS to Profile 1, the memory readily booted to DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24.
The BIOS on my Gigabyte board does its own adjustments when using XMP profiles, its goal is increasing memory speed while leaving the processor at or near 2.66gHz by adjusting base clock and multiplier. When I changed to Profile 2, the BIOS adjusted the memory speed to 1767mHz, I guess due to the particular CPU overclock it chose. The rig definitely did not like that clock, greeting me with an angry sounding beep code.
When going back into the BIOS, it appeared that the VDIMM was not changed from 1.5v, but you really can’t tell. I manually set the VDIMM to 1.64v, the BIOS uses even VDIMM increments and does not allow 1.65v. The rig still didn’t POST, but this time I didn’t get a beep code. What did happen is the reaction I always get when memory is overclocked too far or timings set too tight, a cycling of the rig trying to POST due to the crash-free BIOS, but nothing happens until the CMOS is cleared. This never happens for me when overclocking the CPU, only when changing memory adjustments, the crash-free BIOS always works with failed CPU overclocks and never works with failed memory overclocks. To be fair to Gigabyte, neither does any other brand’s crash-free BIOS.
I then tried 1.66v, though Intel does not recommend using over 1.65v, I usually have to go to 1.66v even for advertised speeds.
Next I tried clocking the memory to 1756mHz manually, I disabled XMP and did all of the settings myself, including the Uncore setting. Still no luck. By this time I decided that maybe the memory wouldn’t clock that high, and I started overclocking the way I typically would, by starting at the last successful speed and gradually increase the speed. I found the max overclock to be DDR3-1656 9-9-9-28. Not the highest overclock, but about typical of what I’ve gotten from OCZ’s regular memory series (platinum, gold, SLI ready, etc). The high overclocks are attained from their very high performance series (Reaper, ReaperX, Blade, Flex, etc)
Finally I tried to see if I could tighten the timings some at DDR3-1600. I was able to get the memory to 8-7-7-24, but was unable to get the memory to boot at CAS 7.