AMD will push DDR5 memory overclocking with EXPO technology

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In January, we reported that AMD was stepping up its memory overclocking marketing. The new system is called RAMP and stood for Ryzen Accelerated Memory Profiles. While we’re not Professional Acronym Judges (PAJs), this seemed like a good branding effort for AMD. It was concise, indicated forward movement and communicated company goals; to “increase” the speed of its memory. However, the company seems to have fallen out of favor and changed the name to EXPO. This new branding apparently means extended profiles for overclocking.

AMD filed a trademark application for the EXPO name in February. Like any trademark filing, there isn’t much information other than that relating to memory and ICs. However, more information has now been revealed via Videocardz. According to the site’s sources, EXPO will allow DDR5 memory modules to store two overclocking profiles. One will offer high bandwidth and the other will allow lower latency. The site says the second profile will be optional. The technology will also work with all DDR5 modules, so it won’t be limited to just desktop users looking to overclock their RAM sticks. If it works like Intel’s version, you will be able to overclock your memory by enabling it in your computer’s UEFI/BIOS. Memory modules are pre-tested by the manufacturer and validated to operate on AMD platforms at specific speeds. These data are stored in the EEPROM of the USB keys and activated by the user if desired.


The difference between DDR4 and DDR5 via Sky Hynix.

AMD is apparently trying to offer something akin to Intel’s brand of memory overclocking. Intel calls it Extended Memory Profiles, known as XMP, and for DDR5 it is called XMP 3.0. Maybe he’s trying to ease the transition for people changing teams, but in our minds, it feels confusing. Either way, it looks like AMD is seriously considering at least one type of overclocking for its future architecture.

The company recently made headlines saying that overclocking would be a high priority for Zen 4. As a reminder, Joseph Tao, Memory Enabling Manager at AMD, made the following remarks. “Our first DDR5 platform for gaming is our Raphael platform and one of the great things about Raphael is that we’re really going to try and make a splash with overclocking and I’m just going to leave it at that, but speeds you may have thought you could’t. Maybe not possible with this overclocking spec. We noted our skepticism at the time, as the company hasn’t offered a good overclocking CPU in many moons. On reflection, it’s entirely possible that the company was talking about overclocking the memory, not the CPU. As you remember, its new processor V-Cache does not allow overclocking, and it is plausible that Zen 4 processors also have an additional L3 cache. If they can’t be overclocked, it makes sense to focus on memory overclocking. We doubt that’s the case, but we’ll find out when Zen 4 launches later this year.

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