What is the difference between Stock Speed and Maximum Speed?
When RAM is made, the manufacturer has a speed at which the RAM will be guaranteed to run no matter what; this is the stock speed. The maximum speed is the speed that the manufacturer has determined your particular set of RAM can run safely at. The maximum speed can be achieved typically by enabling XMP.
What is an XMP Profile, and why are they used?
XMP (Extreme Memory Profiles) is a technology that allows you to change memory settings by selecting a different profile, which takes advantage of higher than standard memory speeds. Simply stated, XMP is the "easy button" of RAM overclocking, as manual RAM overclocking can be an unnecessary headache!
XMP Profiles allow you to run your high-performance RAM (above industry DDR specs), at the speeds they are guaranteed to run at when you purchase them. For example, (G.Skill 2x8GB 3200mhz) may usually run at 2400mhz if an XMP profile is not enabled. When enabling the XMP profile, you should run your RAM at the advertised speed of 3200mhz.
How do I enable XMP on my N7 Z490?
To enable XMP, firstly, you would need to get into the N7 Z490 BIOS, as that is where you can adjust the settings relevant to this. To enter your BIOS, you will need to continuously press the Delete or F2 keys when the NZXT splash screen is visible.
Once you are in the BIOS, navigate to the Advanced Mode. This is clickable at the top right of the screen or accessed by pressing F6 on your keyboard. Then click on the Overclocking tab along the top of the screen. Under this tab, you will see multiple options, look for and click on DRAM Configuration.
Then by clicking on "Load XMP Setting," change the option to XMP 2.0 Profile 1. Additionally, ensure XMP Optimization is enabled; this is found under the "Load XMP Setting." Then go to the Exit tab to select Save Settings and Reset. After the PC restarts, your PC should be running at the advertised speed.
XMP is enabled, but I'm getting Bluescreen errors and stability problems.
For issues with XMP being enabled, sometimes some RAM may not be compatible with your motherboard. Please refer to our QVL (Qualified Vendor List) to verify if your RAM is compatible. RAM not on the QVL may still work with your motherboard but would require advanced tuning to get stable performance. Please refer to our QVL below: