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Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎07-19-2011
Location: Greece
Message 1 of 9 (4,237 Views)

X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

Apparently since BIOS version 1.29, the X220 cannot run high speed memory above 1333MHz. Meaning that JEDEC approved SODIMMs that can run at 1600 & 1866MHz are stuck running at 1333MHz with no option anywhere in the BIOS to force higher speed.

 

The last BIOS to support high speed memory was 1.28.

 

The question is, why did Lenovo see fit to remove this useful feature? Is this a bug or was this feature removal intentional? Are there plans to restore this feature in future BIOS revisions?

 

Thanks in advance

Community SuperMod
Posts: 4,802
Registered: ‎06-26-2008
Location: US
Message 2 of 9 (4,220 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

[ Edited ]

hi.

i never knew that a thinkpad bios had the capability to overclock the memory bus. i don't think i've ever seen such a setting. please expound, if you would please.

 

i was always under the impression that faster memory could be used as long as it was physically the same form factor and architecture. that the memory bus simply dictated the actual memory access speed vs its rated capability.

 

thanks.


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Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎07-19-2011
Location: Greece
Message 3 of 9 (4,207 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

Sandy Bridge's integrated memory controller can run memory up to 1866MHz (perhaps higher, not sure on that).

There is no setting in the bios to force this, if the memory uses a proper SPD profile then it will (theoretically) run automatically at the highest rated speed.

 

I am using Corsair's Vengeance RAM which is rated for 1866MHz. With every BIOS following  1.28 the memory runs at only 1333Mhz instead of 1866MHz.

Lenovo Staff
Posts: 3,801
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
Location: NC
Message 4 of 9 (4,152 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

Your processor in X220 does not support any memory speed higher than 1333MHz - you can consult Intel specs to confirm it.  The memory speed was limited to conform with Intel specs.  And the reality is that the memory running at faster speed has almost zero impact on benchmarks, and even less impact on any real-world application.

 

If you require the memory running at faster speed, you can always stick with the older BIOS.  There will never be any BIOS option to run memory at an unsupported speed.

Fanfold Paper
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎07-19-2011
Location: Greece
Message 5 of 9 (4,140 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

I am aware of Intel's specs, as I am aware of Intel stating that said specs were 'locked' and released before memory running above 1333MHz had been JEDEC approved.

 

That is why, with proper high speed RAM (with SPD profiles etc), Sandy Bridge & Ivy Bridge automatically run the memory at the speeds it was designed for - unless this feature is intentionally blocked via the BIOS, which is what Lenovo has done with their latest updates.

 

Speaking of benchmarks, going from 1333MHz to 1866MHz yielded great improvement in graphics performance - the integrated GPU benefits greatly from the increase in RAM speed. Specifically, Windows 7 WEI score went from 5,8 to 6,3 and frame rates were up in almost all graphics intensive applications and games I tested.

 

Perhaps a BIOS setting could be added that permits higher memory speeds?

Community SuperMod
Posts: 4,802
Registered: ‎06-26-2008
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Message 6 of 9 (4,137 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

[ Edited ]

@silencer51...

my x220, running bios v1.31, went to wei graphics scores of 6.3 simply by installing a matched 4gb pair of Hynix 1333mhz sticks. the scores went up an additional 0.1 after installing the most current video driver.

 

cheers.


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PM requests for individual support are not answered. If a post solves your issue, please mark it so.
X1Carbon3 X1Tablet2 Helix1 X220 X301 X200T T61p T60p TPStack Yoga910 Yoga900S
TPYoga12 T520 T420 T510 T400 R400 T61 Yoga900 Yoga3Pro Yoga2Pro Yoga13

I am not a Lenovo employee

802.11n
Posts: 267
Registered: ‎05-31-2011
Location: San Francisco
Message 7 of 9 (4,122 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

The WEI score on my X220 is also 6.3, with BIOS 1.31 and two 1333mHz 4 GB sticks (from Newegg, don't remember which brand). The score jumped from 5.7 to 6.3 when I updated the video driver sometime last year.

Fanfold Paper
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Registered: ‎07-19-2011
Location: Greece
Message 8 of 9 (4,102 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

I made a typo in my previous post, I'm running Windows 8 on my X220 and I'm using the latest WHQL W8 graphics driver. I don't know if WEI scores are directly comparable between 7 and 8.

 

I was using 2x4GB 1333MHz sticks before. Upgrading to 2x4GB @ 1866MHz increased FPS in almost every game I've tried (some games were unplayable before, now they run bearably).

 

 

It would be great if this feature (high speed memory support) was retained as an option in later BIOS revisions...

 

 

Paper Tape
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-20-2012
Location: France
Message 9 of 9 (3,866 Views)

Re: X220 - newer BIOS revisions do not support memory speeds above 1333MHz

Hi,

 

do you known how i can flash back to the 1.28 bios version ?, when i tried i have a error message (bios image file do not match this system)

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