OCZ Blade DDR3-1600 6-6-6 6GB Triple Channel Memory Kit
Author: Frank Stroupe
Editor: Airica Jones
Date: 09-29-2009
Provided by: OCZ Technology

Test Rig:

Intel i7 920 CPU
Gigabyte EX58-UD4P X58 motherboard
Asus Matrix geForce GTX 260 video card
Cooler Master Hyper N620 CPU cooler
BFG Tech EX Series 1200 Watt power supply
NZXT Tempest extended mid tower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

Of course, installation of memory is pretty simple. Just pop them into the memory slots, making sure the modules are pointed in the right direction for the key to fit in the slot. I like to reseat each memory module a couple of times to ensure good connection with each pin.

Though on X58 motherboards, the modules do not go into the slots corresponding with the one nearest the CPU slot as it does on LGA 775 boards, rather you use the slots corresponding with the slot nearest the forward edge of the motherboard.

Some motherboard manuals do not explain this well without photos and I was a little confused with the first X58 board I installed. Just keep in mind that the slot nearest the CPU will be empty if you are using three modules. Of course it will be occupied if you are using six modules. Just to mention, if you do, Intel highly recommends that you use some kind of active cooling solution, such as a fan pointed directly at the memory. That is a lot of memory crammed in a tight space.

The Blade's SPD has various JEDEC settings all capable of being attained at 1.5v, the standard DDR3 VDIMM. No, the advertised settings are not there as the Blade is not set up for Intel XMP.

As with all current high performance memory, the OCZ Blade boots at a lower than the advertised speed until adjustments are made in the BIOS. This is so that if other adjustments need to be made, such as overclocking the CPU in case of memory higher than DDR-1600 with the i7 920, or placing higher speed memory in a system that does not support it, the system will still boot. Even with Intel XMP supported memory, XMP needs to be enabled in the BIOS.

I still often see NewEgg user reviews where some noob has docked a memory kit because of this. I promise, you don't want a memory that defaults at the advertised speeds. Even XMP ready memory, because your system may not boot at the particular settings chosen by the BIOS, such as happened to me recently.

As with most triple channel memory, the Blade defaults at DDR3-1066. Reboot and go into the BIOS to change settings.

Though all BIOS are different, you will usually need to enable changing the memory multiplier and/or enable setting memory speed manually to get to DDR3-1600. You will also need to manually set the timing to 6-6-6-24 and set the memory voltage to 1.65v. NEVER SET THE MEMORY VOLTAGE ON AN X58 MOTHERBOARD HIGHER THAN 1.65v. This will overheat the CPU's onboard memory controller and will damage it either immediately or over time.

Actually, my motherboard's BIOS does not allow for odd one hundredths, so I have to choose either 1.64v or 1.66v. Some memory will not perform stable with the VDIMM at 1.64v, and I have to bite the bullet and go to 1.66v. So I usually use 1.66v when testing memory because it isn't fair to the vendor to use only 1.64. Am I damaging my CPU? If so, I guess I'll eventually find out. Hopefully the nice CPU coolers I use when bringing the memory up to advertised speed or higher help out.

Finally, you need to check the Uncore speed. If it isn't set properly the system can be unstable. There are a few proper settings, but the most simple is 2X memory speed. So if it is set to AUTO and isn't at 3200mHz, manually change the multiplier until it gets there. Mine was fine in this case, but other times it hasn't been.

So let's recap:

Set memory speed to DDR3-1600
Set timing to 6-6-6-24
Set memory voltage to 1.65v (or nearest setting)
Set Uncore to 3200mHz if it isn't there already

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