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Memory causing fps issues in games?

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Templar446

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Hello everyone, I hope you're well!

I have been having an odd issue since getting my new build up and running. I'm not entirely sure what to do. My experience troubleshooting is limited, although I've successfully built and overclocked PC's before.

Here's my current equipment setup:

- ASUS Z170 Pro Gaming/AURA LGA 1151 Intel Z170
- EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW GAMING ACX 3.0
- Intel Core i7-6700K 8M Skylake Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1151
- G.SKILL TridentZ Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600)
- Acer XB270HU Abprz Black 27" 144Hz WQHD Widescreen LED Backlight LCD G-SYNC Gaming Monitor
- Antec 750W PSU from previous build

I have run prime95 at 4.7 GHz without issue. Temps with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO even at 4.7 GHz stay in the 70's. I tend to keep my CPU at 4.5 and 1.250 V though as to prevent any issues, although I haven't had any issues at a higher OC. Temps rarely above 60 C.

The issue I am having seems to be with my RAM and I have no idea why. By default, unless I enable XMP or change the BIOS settings manually, my RAM is running at 2133 MHz instead of the rated 3200 (timings are also different from specifications).

Overwatch, my latest favorite shooter, works wonderfully when my CPU overclocking is set to auto (i.e. I do not mess with the ratios and let the system do it on its own). It seems to sit at 4.4 GHz. It also runs fine when overclocking just the CPU to higher than 4.4 GHz. My framerates are great (well over 100 most of the time, but I haven't recorded them lately) on all epic (completely maxed out) settings and I get no stuttering or any problems at all.

Once I enable XMP in the BIOS though and attempt to run my DDR at the rated specifications, Overwatch simply fails. My framerates drop into the low 30's and 20's and I feel like I can barely move. I also then get strange behavior in general (like my USB keyboard starts to disconnect and reconnect randomly as if I was plugging it in and out). Both the framerate loss and the keyboard issue also happens in other games when tuning the RAM. It's very strange. I've tried setting the CPU to base at 4.0 GHz and leaving it alone then enabling XMP for the memory only, but still the same issue. I've also tried disabling XMP and just tuning the frequency, timing, and voltage manually and it still messes with the games. If I set everything in the BIOS to optimized defaults (with no overclocking or XMP at all), Overwatch runs great. The only thing I can think of is that the memory is bad, but I ran memtest86 one morning when I had some time. I only made it through one pass before I had to leave but there were no errors in that one pass. I've also run a blend test on prime95 with XMP enabled and I have no issues after 3 hours of testing.

Why would running the RAM at listed specifications cause these framerate issues? Like I said, all I can think of is a RAM problem.

Thank you all so much!
 

Mjolnir

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2009
Location
Sydney, Australia
Often XMP and overclocking don't always mix (though they should). Is overwatch the ONLY game you have problems with?

I would generally do XMP on stock settings first and see what happens. 4.5ghz is a solid point to be at however.
 

mackerel

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2008
If it was a ram stability problem I'd expect BSOD, crashes, lockups. Not random slowness.

What temps are the CPU running at? Edit: I was blind and missed it in original post. Can't think what else to look at... although 1.25v at 4.5 sounds low to me (or I lost the silicon lottery) as 1.25v will only get me 4.2 stable on my 3 samples.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
2133 is the platforms base speed. When you boot your pc, it automatically goes to 2133. You have to set xmp to reach their speeds.

Is your motherboard using the latest bios? If not, try updating it.

Also, post so.e screenshots of aida64 memory test at 2133 and 3200 please...
 
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Templar446

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Thank you all for your replies!

To answer some of the questions:

- It happens in other games too. It seems to be worse with Overwatch, but I've read that it's a memory intensive game. The games stutter and frame rates drop significantly, in addition to the really weird USB issue.

- I'm currently stable at 4.4 and 1.25v and have been leaving it there. This is the "default optimized" that my Asus motherboard runs at when I reset everything. Temps can vary as my office can be quite warm during the summer, and the fact that it was almost 90 here yesterday doesn't help. At 4.4 and doing a prime95 test I'm mid 60's last time I tested.

- I recently updated to the latest BIOS before doing all of this, and I usually check for newer versions just to be sure. Posted the screenshots. Do you need a non-trial version run? Yes, I'm cheap :)

cachemem2133.png cachemem3200.png
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
while playing games check task manager -> performance -> on the bottom of the window 'open resource monitor' -> check memory tab for hard faults/s ... if it's more than 1-5 then something isn't right with memory configuration. Memory, memory controller or something else is generating errors what causes applications to correct some calculations and lowers general performance.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
I would set the Bios to factory default, then only try XMP, If you still have a problem after testing RMA the memory. The RMA solution worked for me even though pass mark memtest86 passed the defective memory.
 
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Templar446

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Also tried that. Set everything to base and just enabled XMP in the BIOS. No dice. It still runs worse. Could it just be bad RAM that's not capable of running at that? That would really suck as I'm past the 30 day return period on Newegg.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Also tried that. Set everything to base and just enabled XMP in the BIOS. No dice. It still runs worse. Could it just be bad RAM that's not capable of running at that? That would really suck as I'm past the 30 day return period on Newegg.

G.SKILL has life time warranty and they are very good about it.

- - - Updated - - -

What is your Vccio and Vccsa in HWiNFO64 with XMP enabled?
 
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Templar446

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
G.SKILL has life time warranty and they are very good about it.

- - - Updated - - -

What is your Vccio and Vccsa in HWiNFO64 with XMP enabled?

I downloaded that program to see if I could find it (as I'm not very familiar with those terms) and I couldn't. Could you point me in the right direction?

Thanks again for everything!
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
With Hwinfo64 you will find the Vccio and Vccsa on the sensor status menu when you scroll down to the the motherboard.
Vccsa.jpg
 
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Templar446

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Hi again,

Wanted to post an update. I contacted GSkill directly to see about resolving this issue. They suggested I run similar stress testing and memtest for each stick individually to see if anything happens.

I tested each stick using prime95, passmark, and memtest at both 2133 base specs and with XMP enabled. No test reported any issues the entire time and the results with passmark were very similar between the two sticks.

To further complicate things, I tried testing the game with just one stick of RAM in. It worked perfectly fine with each stick separately. Once I add both sticks together I get the same problem.

I have also checked the Windows performance monitor while playing with XMP enabled. RAM usage is very stable and steady, but CPU usage is all over the place. Lots of peaks and valleys in that graph. Am I being throttled somehow? I removed the overclock and set everything to normal and it's still doing it. The only common thing is the RAM, but it's odd that it runs fine with one stick. Is this a power issue?

I'm officially lost...
 
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DaveB

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2000
Are the RAM sticks installed in slots DIMM_A2 and DIMM_B2 as recommended in the manual?

What is the memory voltage set at? Typical DDR4 default is 1.2V, your DDR4-3000 needs 1.35V to run at that speed. You can bump it up a bit and see if that stabilizes the two-stick configuration. Your manual says 1.65V is the limit for memory voltage, but you shouldn't really go that high IMO. You could try 1.5V and see if that helps.
 
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Templar446

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Thanks for your reply!

Yep, they are both in the right slots as indicated in the manual.

When I enable XMP, it manually overrides the voltage to 1.35V. I haven't tried increasing it a bit to see if it runs better, I just let it go with what the specs are on the DRAM itself. I can give it a try!

Edit: Tried pushing to 1.40V and it actually made it worse. Could barely get through the loading screen the frames were so low. Once in a game, saw a 20-30 FPS drop. For reference, when running at 2133 on the RAM, I see well over 200 FPS with current settings.

Another test I tried was keeping the timings and frequency at XMP settings and lowering the voltage to 1.2V. This actually improved my frame rate, although I didn't do any stability tests to see if it worked. And the frame rate was still not as high.
 
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wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
OK thanks! I found it. Screenshot follows:

View attachment 184538
Your Vccio and Vccsa is correct for XMP DDR4 3200 with ASUS.
Thanks for your reply!

Yep, they are both in the right slots as indicated in the manual.

When I enable XMP, it manually overrides the voltage to 1.35V. I haven't tried increasing it a bit to see if it runs better, I just let it go with what the specs are on the DRAM itself. I can give it a try!

Edit: Tried pushing to 1.40V and it actually made it worse. Could barely get through the loading screen the frames were so low. Once in a game, saw a 20-30 FPS drop. For reference, when running at 2133 on the RAM, I see well over 200 FPS with current settings.

Another test I tried was keeping the timings and frequency at XMP settings and lowering the voltage to 1.2V. This actually improved my frame rate, although I didn't do any stability tests to see if it worked. And the frame rate was still not as high.

I would RMA the memory. From your testing it looks like you have a bad matched set for dual channel, that is why the come in pairs. See how they both work in single channel just for the fun of it, use your manual for proper placement in single chanel.
 
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Templar446

Registered
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Oct 20, 2016
Exactly my thoughts too. To see them work so well at XMP with just one stick. I'm waiting on a response from GSkill. Thank you all for your help!
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
If you want while your waiting test both stick at the same time in single channel, use your manual for proper placement for dual sticks in single channel.
 
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Templar446

Registered
Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Again I want to thank everyone for their tips and advice.

I did an RMA for this and decided to switch to new memory. I got the Corsair Dominator platinum 32 GB and 3200 MHz. Installed it and enabled XMP. It worked wonderfully...

... for less than a week! This morning, I started having system crashes while gaming. Thought it might have been the very conservative overclock on my GPU as I've read the game I play has those issues with GPU overclocks (although it was doing fine all week). Set the GPU back to normal. Still crashing... Set the XMP to disabled. Started working fine. Unbelievable! I then stopped gaming and started testing. Enabled XMP and started benchmarking. Saw serious flaws and a big dip in my scores. AIDA64 wouldn't complete a test due to hardware failure. And now, memtest is giving me errors in test 6 and high frequency row hammer issues?

I'm wondering that my system, as is, just isn't able to do this? I'm going to RMA this memory too. Should I be thinking of motherboard issues? Power supply problems? This is really disappointing.

IMG_0033.JPG
 

Mr.Scott

Beamed Me Up!
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
If it will run ok on a single stick like the last ram, I'd RMA the motherboard.
I was leaning toward the board on your last set.