How to Enable XMP

Unlock your RAM's full potential

What to Know

  • Boot your PC to the BIOS, search for and turn on an XMP option.
  • Some motherboards don't support XMP, and some have speed limits.
  • XMP is a grey area for CPU and motherboard warranties.

This guide will walk you through turning on your RAM's XMP, or Extreme Memory Profile, and how to tell when it's turned on (or not).

Enabling XMP technically overclocks your memory, making it run at speeds faster than some processors are officially rated to support. Although this shouldn't affect your processor or motherboard, it is in a legal grey area where it comes to your warranty.

What Does Enabling XMP Do?

RAM runs at speeds dictated by the Joint Electron Device Engineering Council (JEDEC) as standard, but you can manually overclock your RAM. XMP uses some RAM storage to save a profile for speed and timing that the RAM can safely run. Enabling XMP configures the memory to run at the speed and timings for which it's rated.

How to Enable XMP on Your Memory

Some motherboards do not allow the use of XMP and will either not have the option to turn it on or will grey it out when you attempt to use it. In this case, there's nothing you can do. You'll need to upgrade your motherboard to use XMP.

  1. Reboot your PC or turn it on and access the UEFI/BIOS using your motherboard's specific key press. Typical access keys include Delete, F1, F2, F10, and F12, though yours may vary. Check your motherboard's manual or the manufacturer's website for details.

    ASrock BIOS
  2. Look for the XMP profile toggle. If you see it on your UEFI/BIOS home screen, switch it to On, then skip to Step 6. Otherwise, proceed to Step 3.

  3. If necessary, enable Advanced Mode on your UEFI/BIOS. It's often F7, but again, it will be dependent on your motherboard. Typically, that information is in the bottom-right corner.

  4. Navigate to the overclocking section of your BIOS. This may be called AI Tuner, AI
    , Performance, Extreme Tweaker, Overclocking Settings, or similar.

  5. Scroll through the list of options until you find the XMP profile toggle. Switch it to On by pressing the enter key on it or clicking it and selecting On from the drop-down menu. Some motherboards, like the one shown below, require you to Load the XMP Profile.

    ASRock UEFI Bios OC Tweaker
    Load XMP Profile
  6. Save your BIOS settings and quit. You can do this by selecting the Exit button with your keyboard or mouse and selecting to save your settings. Alternatively, use the traditional F10 key. When prompted, confirm your choice.

How Do I Know if XMP Is Enabled?

You can double-check your XMP profile is enabled by heading back into your UEFI/BIOS and making sure the toggle is On. Additionally, check your memory speed in the UEFI/BIOS—it may be on the home screen or the overclocking menu—or during the post screen as your PC boots.

You can also use Windows software like CPUZ to confirm your memory's speed. If it matches the rated speed given on the packaging and the sticker on the memory kit, your XMP profile is enabled.

If not, run through the steps again to make sure you have enabled it correctly. If you're sure you've followed the steps correctly and you still aren't seeing your expected speeds, it might be worth confirming your motherboard or processor allows memory overclocking.

  • Should you use XMP?

    If you're an average computer user who only checks email and browses the web, you don't really need to enable XMP. But if you're a gamer, or you do a lot of video editing or photo editing, you may want the performance boost.

  • Is XMP safe to use?

    Generally, yes. When a manufacturer creates an XMP profile, it determines the maximum speed your RAM can run safely at. The XMP profile allows the RAM to run at this speed. Going over this maximum speed can cause instability issues, though.

  • What is RAM?

    RAM stands for Random Access Memory. It's the physical memory inside your computer that allows it to run its operating system and programs. The more RAM your computer has, the more tasks and information it can handle at once.

  • How much RAM does my computer have?

    If you're using Windows 10, you can check how much RAM your computer has with the System Information app. Open it and scroll down to Installed Physical Memory (RAM). On Mac, open the Apple menu and select About This Mac > Memory.

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