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TimisV

New Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2022
Try tREFI at about 112k+ and you will see about 3-4ns less and 2-3GB/s higher bandwidth. I say 112k as this was the limit for one of my kits and at 120k+ it was crashing. Gigabyte motherboard has 64k max. I saw some guys running stable at 130k so it's not a rule and better check it on your own.
Most other sub-timings are not helping at all, some are helping but the best if you try it on your own as I noticed that on every motherboard something a bit different works the best. I'm at work right now and I don't even remember all timings.
I would still recommend going as high as you can with the frequency and later trying to tighten the timings. The higher clock helps more than timings. Of course, there has to be some balance.
BIOS also changes a lot so if you have time then try 2-3 versions. For me, the latest versions for Apex mobo are significantly worse than betas from December. On Strix Z690-I Gaming it didn't matter much and I haven't seen any good betas. I have no idea what about MSI but I assume there are special OC versions that are better for OC and benching. At least each Unify generation had that.
Hmm I see, Im on Asus z690 formula bios 1003, I can do 6400 30-38-38-80 and tREFI at 115k and im only getting 58.5ns on Aida
6600 won't even post even with 1.55v,
what bios worked best for you?
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
The Formula is a 4-slot motherboard so you may stuck at ~6600. My Gigabyte Z690 Master has problems at 6600. To make it work at 6600 you have to play with timings and memory controller voltage or other settings. On ASUS, memory controller voltage should be high enough at auto but hard to say. Typically, 1.30-1.35V is enough up to 7000+.

Latency in the AIDA benchmark goes up and down by 2-4ns randomly. The same, bandwidth goes +/- 1-2GB/s. I bet that after a couple of reruns, latency will go down by 2-3ns. 58ns is not bad, at 6600 clock and not fully tuned sub-timings I get about 56ns. At 7000+ CL30 and tight sub-timings can go below 50ns but it doesn't mean it helps in anything except benchmarks. The XMP vs tuned 6800 CL30 settings is like a 0-1FPS difference in games that still get 100FPS+, My results are not fully tuned as it takes time, so I focus on presenting what you can expect ... and try some more.

For the APEX, the best seems beta 0086 or 9902. There are better or worse results depending on the used memory IC. One of the earlier betas seems to work better with Samsung IC. Formula will react in a different way on every BIOS. It's hard to say if there is any special BIOS that will significantly improve RAM OC. I would compare something from mid-December and one of the latest versions from January.
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Today arrived the second ASUS Z690 APEX and it has the same slot issue as the first one, or even worse. The first slot can pass memtest at max 6400, the second one passed at 7000. I already ordered MSI Z690 Unify-X. It should arrive in 2-3 days. Another thing is that this APEX was probably after a return already. Looks new but the motherboard was in the middle of the BIOS update to the latest, 1101 version when I started it.
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
MSI Z690 Unify-X arrived and so far I have mixed feelings about it. With A22 BIOS, the first slot runs up to 6800 and the second one up to 7200. With A24 BIOS, the first slot runs up to 6800, and the second one also up to 6800. Both slots together are stable at 6800, so maybe not as much as I wanted but better than on the Apex. On the other hand, weird is that no matter what I do, the first slot is not even booting at more than 6800, so max boot and max stable clocks are the same.
The MSI Force bar is almost in the middle even at 4800. When I set 6400+ then it's barely moving.
OC presets were made by crazy people, like 7000 CL30 at 1.50V ... let's say that barely anyone sets 6600-6800 CL30 at less than 1.55V. Simply, the 7000 OC profile doesn't work and I wasn't checking the 6666 profile. Mem try it settings at 6800 or higher don't work.
The G.Skill DDR5-6400 CL32 memory kit works at XMP even on the initial BIOS.

I guess I won't send the motherboard back again. I tested 5 motherboards with similar results and I'm still at stable 6800 when I know that RAM and IMC can go at least up to 7200. Maybe better just wait for Z790 that should be released in a couple of months. So far the best settings for benching are on Strix Z690-I Gaming. I hope that MSI releases a better BIOS as I feel the Unify-X can make some more.

Edit:
For some reason, Samsung based kit boots at 7000 without problem / 2 modules. Hynix can boot at more than 6800 only with 1 module in the 2nd slot.
 
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Blaylock

"That Backfired" Senior Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
Go Blue!
Glad to hear the Unify-X is at least as good as the others. I'm sure this is just a case of new tech hiccups. Even still, 6800 is still 2000 Mega doodads over DDR5's base clock. It's hard to say where the best price/performance will land as the prices are still ridiculous.
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
If you look at G.Skill's offer, then no matter if you pick 5600, 6000, or 6400 kit, it will probably run at 6400-6600 and maybe more. On the other hand, the price difference between 5200, 5600, and 6000 kits is often barely visible so right now the best option looking at price/performance seems 6000 kits.
Prices are starting to go down so it shouldn't take long to have some good kits at a reasonable price, especially since Intel wants DDR5 fast in cheaper series too. If you compare prices then not so long time ago, top 32GB DDR4 kits cost as much as current higher series 32GB DDR5 kits. Of course, no one said that everyone needs DDR5 right now, so it is still DDR4 on the market for cheaper but not really slower computers.
Many brands haven't released their DDR5 kits yet. Some brands are planning to show their first retail kits later this month.
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Little update. 1302 beta BIOS for Strix Z690-I Gaming made me pass memtest at 6933 on both slots. 7000 still shows single errors at more relaxed timings and at higher voltages than 1.45V it's getting worse, regardless of timings. Maybe future BIOS releases will help some more, hard to say. MSI Z690 Unify-X is where it was the last time, so 6800 on two slots.
 

Maj3d

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
I am reading the crazy speeds you have achieved and about to go crazy with my kit.
I still can't get a 1 day stable use on my pc using the default XMP.
I tried going higher voltage and lower voltage and still getting black screen randomly.
I know it is from the ram since it always happen after the first boot up from a shutdown (I guess when the OS dumbs the files into the ram when it shutdown then try to get it back when it boots). And when the black screen happen, the first boot up show only C drive and disconnects the rest drives.
My hardware:

ROG MAXIMUS Z690 HERO (Bios 1003 the most stable for sometime before it black screen)
12900KF
2x16 F5-6400J3239G16GX2-TZ5RK
3 m.2 gen 4 (1 on MW 2.1 slot) and (2 on Rog hyperd card installed at PCI 4th gen)

GPU 3090RTX FTW 3

Please if you have any idea to make it stable at the rated speed heeelllllp :(
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
I assume you have memtest built-in in the BIOS (last tabs, you can run it from BIOS directly). The best is to check how high are working memory slots. For a 2-stick setup, use 2/4 slots counting from the CPU socket (as the manual suggests). Install one stick in the 2nd or 4th slot and check if it works at XMP (1 memtest pass is enough). Do the same for both slots separately. Once you are sure it works at XMP, then enable XMP, set the memory clock at 6600, and check the same. I would try it at 1.45V or CL34/36.
Checking slots separately will tell you if the motherboard is limiting the max clock or something else. Usually, one slot is stronger and can make 1-2 ratios more. Also, usually when, for example, the weaker slot passes memtest at, let's say 6600, then two slots will work at one ratio lower so 6400.

If memtest fails at XMP, check if it works at 6200 with XMP enabled. At 6200, you can easier set tighter timings, and the performance will be similar.
You can also try going from 5600 up and checking when it starts to generate errors in memtest.

However, the Hero probably won't make more than 6600 (the same as all 4-slot motherboards). It may end at 6400, too, but I've seen users with the Hero+GSkill 6400 kits running them at 6600. Maybe they had the luck with memory slots as even the Apex can have problems at 6600+ (my luck with one Apex maxing out at 6400 and another at 6600).
 

Maj3d

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
I assume you have memtest built-in in the BIOS (last tabs, you can run it from BIOS directly). The best is to check how high are working memory slots. For a 2-stick setup, use 2/4 slots counting from the CPU socket (as the manual suggests). Install one stick in the 2nd or 4th slot and check if it works at XMP (1 memtest pass is enough). Do the same for both slots separately. Once you are sure it works at XMP, then enable XMP, set the memory clock at 6600, and check the same. I would try it at 1.45V or CL34/36.
Checking slots separately will tell you if the motherboard is limiting the max clock or something else. Usually, one slot is stronger and can make 1-2 ratios more. Also, usually when, for example, the weaker slot passes memtest at, let's say 6600, then two slots will work at one ratio lower so 6400.

If memtest fails at XMP, check if it works at 6200 with XMP enabled. At 6200, you can easier set tighter timings, and the performance will be similar.
You can also try going from 5600 up and checking when it starts to generate errors in memtest.

However, the Hero probably won't make more than 6600 (the same as all 4-slot motherboards). It may end at 6400, too, but I've seen users with the Hero+GSkill 6400 kits running them at 6600. Maybe they had the luck with memory slots as even the Apex can have problems at 6600+ (my luck with one Apex maxing out at 6400 and another at 6600).
Thanks for the info. I am already using 2/4 slots and I still have issues and crashes with XMP. However I haven't used the memtest before and IDK how to use it but ill search online until I figure it out. I am not looking for overclock it over XMP yet, just wana see it working stable and without crashes during normal use. Thanks again and hopefully I memtest will help me fix the issue.
Forgot to add that I am running it at 6200 CL32 at 1.35v and still having issues.
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Run memtest from BIOS and it will automatically start the test. You don't have to set anything. Once it's done or there is an error then just click ESC or restart the PC. When there are more errors then the keyboard may freeze so just turn off the PC or click restart.
 

Maj3d

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Run memtest from BIOS and it will automatically start the test. You don't have to set anything. Once it's done or there is an error then just click ESC or restart the PC. When there are more errors then the keyboard may freeze so just turn off the PC or click restart.
I did run the bios and set the ram profile to the normal XMP profile (6400, CL32, 1.4V) and went to desktop then restarted the pc and started the test from the bios but it shows that it run at 4800 CL 40. Is that normal?
 

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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Yes, memtest can't read the correct frequency. When you enter BIOS after restart then in the first screen you have the correct memory clock.
 

Maj3d

New Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2022
Yes, memtest can't read the correct frequency. When you enter BIOS after restart then in the first screen you have the correct memory clock.
Thanks a lot for giving me your time and guiding me to throw.
So it passed the test using XMP profile. Does it mean the random black screen is from different sources or it could be from the ram but the test didn’t catch it?
 

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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
It can be something else like HDMI/DP cable, a graphics card driver, PSU or something else. It's hard to say. If you set RAM at auto/4800 and you will still see that black screen then you can be almost sure it's not RAM or anything related.
 

NBPDC505

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2022
Woomack, I've just signed up to this forum to see if you can provide any guidance. I've got a Gigabyte Z690 Master mb along with a 12900k and this Z5 6400 CL32 kit. F8e bios has been loaded through Q flash since I don't have the aio in hand to boot the system. Is there a better BIOS version you are aware of for compatibility with this kit or do you believe I could run the XMP profile without an issue as it is? And it doesn't sound like in its current state that there is much room to OC ram with the Master.
 
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Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Even though I said there were no problems with this kit on the Master, then it couldn't pass longer stability tests and the motherboard was training it longer than it was supposed to. My other Hynix-based kits were even worse. Recently reviewed V-Color 6200 kit, couldn't run on the Master at over 5600 (couldn't even boot higher) and I was checking it with F8e BIOS.
I wasn't checking G.Skill 6400 kit with the F8e BIOS. Maybe it already works. If it's not then I would try manually something like 6000 or 6200 CL28/30.