So a few months ago I built myself a new computer and I thought it would be fun to run some benchmarks and find out exactly hoe much difference enabling XMP really makes. For reference here are the relevant specs for my new PC:

ComponentWhat I’ve Got
CPURyzen 9 3900XT (12 Core, 24 Threads) @ 4.7GHz
GPURadeon RX 5600 XT Red Devil (6GB GDDR6)
RAMTeam Group Ripped Edition 32GB (16GB x 2) 3600MHz CAS-14
Storage2 x Samsung 970 EVO PLUS 1TB M.2 (Not In RAID)
MoBoMSI MEG X570 Unify

Honestly this is a fairly modest spec for a new custom built/enthusiast grade PC, there’s always the temptation, when building a new PC, to make something disgustingly, sickenly, over the top. However it’ll cost you a small fortune and be out of date in just a few short years, for my purposes as a workhorse PC for software and web development it’ll do just dandy.

What Is XMP & How Do You Enable It?

Extreme Memory Profile, or XMP, is a very fancy name for something that most people use to just run their RAM at the advertised speeds (in my case 3600MHz… well technically half that as it’s DDR or Double Data Rate RAM). Basically when you buy or build a new PC XMP is likely to be off by default, this means that the computer will decide what speeds the RAM should run at and that will often be less than the advertised speed. XMP is basically intended as an easy way to overclock your memory but in reality we’re just going to use it to get the advertised speeds of our memory.

Enabling XMP (presuming your system supports it) should just be a case of rebooting your PC, jumping into the BIOS, finding the XMP setting and enabling it. In my case I didn’t even have to set the speed I wanted the memory to run as as XMP automatically set it to 3600MHz.

Quick Note: For anyone with an MSI motherboard like mine, it will be labelled A-XMP, it’s the same thing, just made by MSI for AMD AM4 Socket Motherboards, normal XMP is for Intel Chipsets.

Prior To Enabling XMP

3D Mark (Time Spy)

Benchmark StatScore
GPU7626
CPU9982
Overall Score7905

Cinebench

Benchmark StatScore
Multi CPU Score16163

Post Enabling XMP

3D Mark (Time Spy)

Benchmark StatScorePerformance Increase
GPU76320.08%
CPU1203520.57%
Overall Score80752.15%

Cinebench

Benchmark StatScorePerformance Increase
Multi CPU Score175578.62%

Conclusion

Ultimately these are arbitrary benchmarks and the results will vary system to system, but I was curious to see what effect it actually had and I like to quantify things where I can. The GPU performance seems unaffected be enabling XMP (which is not surprising really, the card has it’s on much faster memory for a start), the CPU performance however was noticeably improved in both benchmarks 20% higher in 3D Mark, but only 8% in Cinebench.

If you’re wondering about the difference, 3DMark is more aimed towards simulating gaming performance and Cinebench is more of a general purpose CPU focused benchmark. Although I will be doing some gaming I suspect the Cinebench numbers will be more representative of the performance gains I will see, but when it’s as simple an enabling a single setting and you’re not even going beyond what the manufacture has rated the components for it seems like a no brainer to enable it!


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