If you’re looking to overclock RAM, you will find that all guides direct you to use XMP or Extreme Memory Profile for the job. XMP is technology developed by Intel that allows users to overclock or increase the performance of RAM, particularly DDR3 RAM though it works with DDR4 RAM as well.
The XMP tool isn’t used from the desktop. Instead, you have to access it from your BIOS. Depending on the hardware you have, XMP may give you a few different profiles to choose from or it may let you manually set overclock values.
Enable XMP from BIOS
XMP can only be enabled from the BIOS.
- Turn on your computer and tap the F2 or F10 key to boot to BIOS. If you do not know which key to tap, go through our guide on how to access BIOS.
- Look for a memory tab.
- Find XMP or Extreme Memory Profile. Select it and use either a different profile or manually set the overclock value.
No XMP in BIOS
It is possible that you do not see XMP in your BIOS. This normally means that your system does not support it. This is a hardware limitation; the only way to change it is to change your RAM and/or processor, among other things. You can check if your processor supports it by going through this spreadshett published by Intel.
You will find that there are a lot of different things you need to look at if you want RAM that can be overclocked. Your motherboard model, the type of RAM it supports, the RAM modules themselves, and your processor all collectively decide if XMP will be available or not.
Check RAM for XMP support
The easiest way to check if your RAM supports XMP is to use the CPU-Z tool.
- Download, install, and run CPU-Z.
- Go to the SPD tab.
- Look for the SPD Ext field. If it says XMP, your RAM and system support XMP. If the field is blank, your RAM does not support it.
If you do not have XMP in your BIOS, you won’t be able to overclock RAM. The cost of buying RAM that can be overclocked is high and it’s better to just add more RAM to your system if you have empty slots for it. Additionally, overclocking RAM brings minimal improvement to the system. Adding more RAM is better but if you aren’t looking to spend money, consider overclocking your CPU and/or GPU instead.