Asus’ Unique Technologies and Functions
In fact, we have never had that many reasons for complaints about Asus manuals. It has been the case until lately. But now that they introduced so many new functions and technologies, we really lack detailed descriptions of their operational principles. For example, I still don’t quite understand what the purpose of MemOK! Technology is and how it really works. “MemOK!” function ensures that the system would load maximally fast even when there are system memory related errors, because it determines optimal system settings for correct boot-up. However, I have never had boot-up issues caused by system memory that is why I can’t really check how this technology works. However, we did figure things out with the “Go Button” button that activates this technology or switches the system into the mode described in “Go Button File” BIOS sub-section. However, it turned out more complicated to figure out how MemPerfect technology actually works, because the only thing mentioned in the manual was that it allows you to quickly check the memory settings and correct the mistakes automatically.
“Optimize your memory without lifting a finger! Why risk crippling your system with poorly tuned memory? Now, with ROG´s exclusive MemPerfect optimizing your memory performance is a simple matter of selecting the frequency you desire, and letting MemPerfect do the rest! MemPerfect quickly checks your memory settings for errors and automatically fixes them—ensuring system stability and maximum efficiency.” It is a quote from the official Asus web-site, but you can find almost the same description in the BIOS context help. In my opinion, this description wasn’t complied by a technical specialist, but more likely by a marketing person, because you can hardly make anything out of it.
Let’s try and sort things out ourselves. We have just overclocked our processor on Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard to 3.9 GHz. The memory in this case was working at 1770 MHz and we also manually lowered its timings to 7-7-7-20-1T. Let’s check the memory stability with the help of MemPerfect technology. Just keep in mind that every test cycle takes about 20 minutes, so running it three times in a row will take about an hour.
After restarting the system we see a window that looks very similar to the windows of some other memory benchmarks:
We wait patiently and finally see that the test has been completed successfully.
We press F1, as we are prompted, system starts to boot, but everything ends up with a blue screen of death. So, let’s try and figure out what has just happened. It turned out that some of the BIOS settings that we adjusted manually before the test got changed when we selected MemPerfect tests. In fact, we should have guessed that it was the case. For example, the processor fan rotation speed adjustment got disabled: it worked at full speed during the test and didn’t slow down once the test was completed. However, it was a trifle. We also discovered that the adjusted voltages were all reset to their default values that is why no wonder that the system failed to boot at 177 MHz frequency. But this is not the saddest thing yet. We also found out that MemPerfect options have higher priority than the settings in the “Extreme Tweaker” section. The memory frequency wasn’t set to a fixed value, but remained at Auto that is why the board set the lowest possible frequency at this base clock – 1062 MHz. So, the stability test was actually performed at this particular frequency. I should have noticed this value during the test but I didn’t pay enough attention to it, as all I saw was the correct base clock of 177 MHz.
You can say that it was solely our own fault, since we didn’t tell the board what memory frequency to use that is why it picked the minimal possible one. Ok, let’s try a different approach to avoid possible issues caused by resetting of the BIOS parameters: let’s perform the stability test in the nominal CPU mode. With the base clock set at 133 MHz the maximum memory frequency will be 1600 MHz. In this mode the memory timings will be 9-9-9-24. These timings are too high and they do not comply with our memory modules capabilities: at 1600 MHz OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Blade Series Low Voltage OCZ3B1600LV6GK can work with 6-6-6-24 timings, which is its nominal operational mode. However, this memory kit doesn’t support X.M.P. technology, these timings are not recorded in the modules SPD, so we won’t complain that Asus Maximus III Formula mainboard couldn’t lower these timings as necessary. Let’s run the tests, maybe the board will be able to lower these timings after MemPerfect test?
The test was successfully completed, but the timings remained where they were. Well, let’s not demand too much: MemPerfect can’t improve the memory settings, but at least it promises to fix all mistakes that might be there. Let’s check if this is indeed the case and go back to CPU overclocking to 177 MHz base clock. In this case the board can set maximum memory frequency at 2124 MHz. this is too much for our modules, especially since we set very aggressive timings for this frequency of 7-7-7-20-1T. Normally, the board wouldn’t even start with this memory frequency setting, but it starts and works just fine during MemPerfect test.
Moreover, the test is successfully completed even though it takes only 14 minutes instead of 20. We had no doubts that after this “successful” end we should inevitably see the BSOD again, when we try to start the system at 2124 MHz memory frequency.
We are familiar with a lot different memory tests: DocMem, GoldMemory, Microsoft Windows Memory Diagnostic utility, and one of the most well-known tests - Memtest86+. MemPerfect test may be based on one of these utilities or may be Asus’ own proprietary solution. But the tests show that all these utilities do detect errors when they are related to modules physical issues, but do not work that well when the problem lies with too low memory timings or too high memory frequency settings. Therefore, frankly speaking, I didn’t anticipate MemPerfect technology to work wonders, but also didn’t expect it to turn out absolutely useless either. However, unfortunately, this is the conclusion we arrived at as a result of our today’s test session of this intensely promoted feature. Anyway, I would still really love to find a detailed technical description of MemPerfect technology functionality and working principles that would actually make sense.