What are XMP and EXPO?
When you install memory in a system, there is a set of standardized speeds/timings your memory will run at. This standard is called JEDEC. This is why you see DDR4 and DDR5 memory speeds like DDR4-2133, DDR4-2666, and DDR5-4800. These are standardized speeds that all memory manufacturers adhere to.
Outside of JEDEC are additional performance profiles available on select memory modules. Depending on your system or motherboard vendor these functions are called XMP (Extreme Memory Profile, originally created by Intel®) or AMD EXPO™ (Extended Profiles for Overclocking, originally created by AMD) and are used by all memory manufacturers with high performance desktop memory. Depending on the exact part and platform being used, these profiles enable higher performing speeds or restore performance when users experience a system-level downclocking of their memory to slower speeds. When you purchase XMP or EXPO compatible memory, you must also pair it with an XMP or EXPO compatible motherboard and a CPU that will support the memory speeds. Typically the profile must be manually enabled in the BIOS or UEFI settings as well.
How to install XMP/EXPO memory?
If you install XMP/EXPO memory in a non-XMP/EXPO motherboard, or don’t have the feature enabled, the memory will simply run at whatever JEDEC timings the computer decides. With Ballistix® parts this often means the memory will be downclocked to the next lowest speed. A pair of DDR4-3000 Ballistix Elite parts could run at DDR4-2400 speeds if XMP/EXPO was not running as an example, or it could run at 3000 speeds, but with a slower latency. For DDR5 modules, system-level downclocking due to a combination of BIOS, CPU, and memory architecture can, for example, result in DDR5-4800 running under DDR5-4000 specifications until XMP/EXPO is enabled. This is all okay, since most of our memory is designed to run at multiple speed settings. Even if your memory doesn’t have the frequency or timings that are listed for it on our website, it will often run flawlessly at those parameters.
Equivalent features with different names – such as DOCP for some ASUS motherboards and EOCP for some Gigabyte boards – can also utilize enhanced performance profiles when enabled.
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