Why am I getting a lower RAM speed than advertised?

Victor Ong March 20, 2013

I have two sticks of Corsair ram found below:

It says that the speed is 1866, but when I check my Windows 8 task manager, it shows up as 1033mHz. Why is this? I’m confused.

I am running it at the tested voltage of 1.5V. When I use my BIOS to go higher, the maximum I can go is 1600 mHz, and it BSOD very often if I do.

Thank you.

  1. Jim Chambers
    March 23, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Maybe you got a bad memory module. Have the computer store where you purchased it, check it out and replace it if defective.

  2. Victor Ong
    March 22, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    Hey Everyone!

    First off wanted to thank you guys for your great help!

    Secondly, here are some screenshots of my BIOS settings. The first three are all on the same screen and show voltages and speeds and whatnot. They are all set to auto, and I am getting the slow speed of 1033 mhz.

    The last screenshot is something called the Northbridge memory configuration. Anything here?



    • moe3ius
      March 22, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      Don't move the voltage, it don't make faster your memory and only burn it.

      I see the images of your bios and try to use this conbination.

      Bank Interleave..... Auto
      Chanel Interleaving... DUAL
      Warm boot RAM... Auto, in not, enabled
      Memory Clear... Enabled
      ECC Mode... Auto if not, enabled
      Power Down Enable... Auto if not, Enabled
      Memory Hole Remapping... Auto if not, Disabled
      DCT Unganged Mode... Auto or Disabled.

    • moe3ius
      March 22, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      Check the AMD CPU technical specifications, you can find it in the AMD web page, maybe the procesor can't handle 1866mhz and thats why the motherboard use only 1600mhz

    • susendeep dutta
      March 23, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      moe3ius,the processor can handle 1866 MHz speed.See it under Integrated components section -


  3. moe3ius
    March 22, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    The memory have one speed but the system bus clock, have other, that its normal.

    I see you memory its 1866mhz, but maybe the system bus its only 1033mhz, You can check that in the motherboard manual, and if the manual say that the bus its capable of 1866mhz, the problem come for two reasons.

    1.- BIOS Configuration.
    Check in the manual and have configurations for the memory speed, at common its "auto", change that to the real memory speed and "voila", you have the correct speed.

    Only put the right speed, dont select more (that its overclocking and you need a special cooler system, you blow up your cpu or motherboard if you select more than necesary)

    2.- Old BIOS.
    Check in the motherboard manufacturer page, if a "upgrade" for your bios (but do it carefull), and read all the instructions before you do that.

    You need to do the bios upgrade very carefully, if you turn off your computer or the electricity go out, You lost you motherboard, if you have no-break its perfect, disconect the screen and accesories from it and only the cpu be conected, it give you 5 to 10 minutes plus of energy.

    I repeat again, read all the information before you upgrade your bios.

    • Victor Ong
      March 22, 2013 at 9:55 pm

      Well I tried increasing the speed of my memory, but the highest I could go without failing to boot was 1600... not really 1866.

  4. Bruce Epper
    March 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    What is the revision of the BIOS on the machine? If it is earlier than 1006, try flashing it with 1006 or later.

    • Victor Ong
      March 24, 2013 at 1:12 am

      I am at a BIOS later than 1006.

  5. Nik Hil
    March 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    I think there is nothing wrong , when you open your windows it basically tries to balance the system components if one is more it will make it equal that will result in decrease in performance .

  6. Alan Wade
    March 21, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Check that the RAM sticks are in the correct slots for Dual Channel or change the setting to Single channel mode.

    Here is an interesting article for you to read:

    • Victor Ong
      March 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Yeah they are. That's why I'm getting 8 GB of RAM and not just 4.

    • Alan Wade
      March 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      You would see 8 gig in both modes.

  7. Junil Maharjan
    March 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

    probably because of the bus speed of your motherboard has limited the speed of the RAM.

    • susendeep dutta
      March 21, 2013 at 10:14 am

      No,the motherboard ASUS M5A97 R2.0 mentioned above by Victor supports upto 2133 MHz(when overclocked) and 1866 MHz when stable.

  8. susendeep dutta
    March 21, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Looking into the processor's maximum memory speed supported at stable state,it is 1866 MHz.I found this information on the link below as it was nowhere mentioned in AMD's or Newegg site -


    Your motherboard also supports memory speed upto 1866 MHz and 2133 MHz(when overclocked).

    So,one thing you can do to make sure that anything you have done is not wrong is to set BIOS to its default settings to see any changes.If it still shows 1033 MHz at BIOS UEFI then set it to auto mode under memory settings.

    I hope you can understand my answer and can remember the BIOS changes if you had made to it.

    • Victor Ong
      March 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      When I set it to auto mode it is 1033 mhz

    • susendeep dutta
      March 22, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Then it's fine as in single channel mode it must operate at atleast 933 MHz speed and you are getting 1033 MHz speed.

    • Victor Ong
      March 22, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      But I'm supposed to be getting 1866!

    • susendeep dutta
      March 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      Although,I also don't get full speed,at last,what you can do is to download BIOS and BIOS utilities latest files fro the link below -


      Follow the instructions listed there.Usually,the BIOS file has to be present in the USB drive and while you get into BIOS and at the top right side,you an get options of flashing it.

      Warning : - First read the instructions carefully as it can be deadly for your motherboard.

  9. Prashant M
    March 21, 2013 at 6:53 am

    windows 8 is intelligently smarter than previous version windows and adjusts itself very nicely so as to save the energy consumption . When I first installed windows 8 i was in shock too for the same reason for speed of RAM and also the Processor speed shown in task manager.
    I however figured it out later.
    Try out one thing
    open task manager and see the processor tab (I'm using i5 3570 and it showed me speed of 1.6Ghz and I opened nero burner while nero burner was opening it speed was shown as 4.0Ghz. once nero completely started all the services it required to function correctly the speed of processor again went down to 1.6Ghz) So I assume that the same might be with RAM.
    Coming on to the next part of your RAM try to switch both RAM to different slots one at a time and check if it is showing you the correct amount of installed RAM.

  10. Pratish Rao
    March 21, 2013 at 5:42 am

    i m usin 4 gb of ram and shows only 3 gb memory.. but acutally it is using all 4 of it,....
    so mayb same thing is with clock speed of memory of it..

  11. Imesh Chandrasiri
    March 21, 2013 at 5:23 am


    try setting the speed to tested speed as explained in the above link!

    • Victor Ong
      March 21, 2013 at 5:25 am

      Thanks! I'll try it out!

    • Victor Ong
      March 21, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      The above link's solution is to increase the voltage to match the tested speed, however if you take a look at the link to the memory at corsair.com, the tested voltage is the same as the SPD voltage (1.5v). Any other help?

  12. Victor Ong
    March 21, 2013 at 4:56 am

    Thanks everyone for the reply. Here are the additional specs:

    Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 R2.0
    Processor: AMD FX-8350

    Would it be that I need to increase my RAM voltage?

  13. Bruce Epper
    March 21, 2013 at 3:38 am

    What motherboard and processor are you using? In order for your RAM to operate at 1866, the motherboard needs to be able to support it and the processor needs to run at a speed that allows the proper combination of FSB speed and multiplier to get it to work correctly. All three components need to have the proper characteristics in order to function properly.

    • Victor Ong
      March 21, 2013 at 4:57 am

      I have posted the specs below

  14. Jim Chambers
    March 21, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Flash your MB Bios to newest version. When getting Bios check specs of your MB.

  15. Oron Joffe
    March 21, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I agree with HA14. The most likely explanation is that your motherboard can't run at the same speed as your RAM. The overall speed of the system is always that of the SLOWEST component.

    • Victor Ong
      March 21, 2013 at 4:57 am

      I posted the specs below

  16. ha14
    March 20, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    perhaps your motherboard do not support higher ram figure.or your BIOS report wrongly to Windows Ram characteristics, try to reset cmos battery or update BIOS.

  17. julien croy
    March 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Usually windows will take some of the ram up, so if you have a computer running vista w/3 gbs of ram. In reality it is 2gb for everything else. Hope that helps

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