Memory Gear Modes affect the relationship between the memory controller and memory modules. Here's how to tweak them.
Regular PC memory will run at the same frequency as the PC memory controller in a 1:1 relationship. At low memory frequencies this often gives the best results. As memory frequency increases, this puts an often unnecessary load on the memory controller as this doesn't need to run at a very high frequency to deliver the required performance. In fact, running the controller at too high a frequency can be detrimental to system stability under load and can consume a great deal of additional power which would be better allocated to the CPU cores.
If your system is stable in both Gear 1 and Gear 2, you can experiment to see which setting gives the highest performance for your applications. As a general rule, the higher the memory frequency, the more chance you have of Gear 2 settings outperforming Gear 1. A Gear 2 setting will run the memory controller at half the frequency of the memory so the memory and the controller will run at 1:2 speed relationship. It seems counter intuitive that slowing the memory controller will improve performance but in practice, even the half speed is more than enough to handle the required data flow and the lower temperatures and lower power consumption enable other more important areas of the CPU to perform better. At high memory clock speeds, expect somewhere between a 1% and 3% overall system performance boost from enabling Gear 2. There is an exception to this when running poorly threaded applications. For example, an application running just one CPU core at 100% but leaving other CPU cores idle could see a performance drop of around 1% by enabling Gear 2.
At high memory speeds with a Gear 1 setting, there is a far higher chance of introducing memory errors so if you are having problems with high memory clock speeds, a Gear 2 setting may be required to improve system stability.
This is how you can change the Gear Mode setting for your PC:
Firstly power on the PC and then immediately press the 'Delete' key on the keyboard repeatedly until you enter the system BIOS screen. BIOS screens look different for each motherboard, but will usually look something like this:
Usually the BIOS opens up into the 'Easy Mode' menu as above but we will need to be in the 'Advanced Mode' in order to adjust the memory Gear Mode. Please switch to the advanced mode by pressing the F2 key on your keyboard.
Once in the Advanced Mode, navigate to the Tweaker tab from the top menu:
From this Tweaker menu, select the Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P) option to bring up the selection menu and choose Profile 1 from the options list (if more than one profile is listed, you can also experiment by choosing some of the other options later to see if stability and performance are improved)
The XMP memory speed should then be shown in the Tweaker menu:
Next, please select the Gear Mode menu which is usually just a few rows underneath the XMP setting:
Within the Gear Mode menu, you should see the available options. Select Gear 2 from this menau and press Enter. There can be some slight differences in the options displayed depending if your system is DDR4 or DDR5:
The Tweaker menu should now look something like this:
Lastly, press the F10 key on your keyboard to save and exit the BIOS:
It is worth experimenting with different settings in order to achieve the best mix of system stability and performance. Remember that if you should update your BIOS or the BIOS resets to defaults at any point, you will need to return to these settings and re-configure.