Improving RAM Stability with Ryzen

Since AMD launched Ryzen back in March 2017 there has been issues regarding memory compatibility. Some users were having difficulty reaching high RAM frequencies, particularity 3000MHz+ whilst maintaining stability. Thankfully, there are many small tweaks you can take advantage of to help increase stability with high frequency RAM. We will briefly explain these functions which will hopefully assist you in reaching your memory’s rated frequency and maximizing performance. In this guide we will be using an AMD Ryzen 1700, Asus B350-F Strix motherboard and Corsair Vengence 16GB (2x8GB) 3200MHz CL16 RAM.

Firstly, it’s important to identify if your stability issues are related to the memory. Boot loops, random crashing and freezing are common symptoms of unstable RAM. If you are having these problems at higher frequencies, try setting your RAM to 2133MHz. If your issues are resolved then it’s possible your Ryzen PC is having difficultly with memory compatibility at higher frequencies. This is most common with 3000MHz+ CL16 kits. Ryzen seems to prefer RAM modules using Samsung B die, though these are usually more expensive than Hynix kits. To test for instability you can also use a range of stress tools such as HCI memtest, memtest86 or Prime95 blend.

The first thing we need to do is boot into the BIOs where we can utilize a wide range of different options to try and make our RAM more stable at higher clock speeds. The process is a little different depending on your motherboard model, so it’s worth having your manual to hand in case a feature is named slightly differently.

Screenshot showing memory frequency options on Asus B350-F Strix motherboard
Screenshot showing memory frequency options on Asus B350-F Strix motherboard

 

Once we are in the BIOs it’s best to start with simple functions to see if they help stability. Firstly reset your BIOs to default settings to rule out any other issues and make sure you’re using the latest version.

Enable XMP (also known as DOCP, A-XMP etc depending on your model) to load the memory profile for your RAM. We know this probably isn’t stable if you’re fine at 2133MHz, but it loads the correct settings for your modules which is easier to work with than inputting the timings manually.

From here there are a few different routes we can take. Ideally each option should be tried individually so we know which one has improved stability.

Ensure your RAM is installed into the correct slot. Check your motherboard manual for the recommended slots.

Update your BIOs to the latest version. BIOs updates have been improving RAM compatibility since launch.

Asus B350 Strix BIOs screenshot
In this image the SOC voltage is set to +0.01250, increasing the SOC voltage to 1.112v. Try to keep your SOC voltage below 1.15v. Your motherboards settings may vary.

Increase SOC (System on Chip) voltage. This will increase the voltage for the CPUs memory controller, contributing to stability. DO NOT exceed 1.2v. AMD recommends not exceeding 1.2v though try to stay below 1.15v. Be cautious when altering voltages. If in doubt leave it at default.

Asus B350 Strix BIOs Cmd2T screenshot
Screenshot showing the Cmd2T option. Setting this to 2T can improve stability for Ryzen.

Change your RAM command rate to 2T. 2T usually has better stability for Ryzen systems.

Once you have changed these options, boot into your OS to see if stability has improved. Try stress tests like Prime95 or HCI memtest for a few hours to see if your system is stable (keep an eye on temperatures). If you’re still not stable there are two other easy options to try.

Reduce your RAM frequency. For example, if you’re using 3200MHz memory try reducing it to 2933MHz or 2800MHz.

Increase DRAM voltage. Most high frequency kits are 1.35v. Try increasing it a little further but do not go above 1.4v. If in doubt leave this at the default settings.

With a bit of luck after tweaking these options your memory should be more stable. BIOs updates are continually being pushed out to improve memory compatibility so if you’re still unable to reach your RAMs rated frequency hopefully it will be improved upon in the future. Keep checking back on your manufacturers webpage for new BIOs updates.

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One comment

  1. I was stuck at 2133MHz for ages until I tried some of the steps in this guide (specifically changing CMD2T and changing the slots my RAM is installed in) and now I am able to get 3000MHz on my Corsair kit, thanks.

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