AMD Extended Profiles for Overclocking

AMD Extended Profiles for Overclocking, or AMD EXPO, enables ubiquitous memory overclocking profiles for AMD platforms supporting DDR5 memory.

Its purpose is to allow memory vendors to program higher-than-JEDEC-performance profiles onto the SPD of the memory sticks. The user can then enable these settings with a single option in the BIOS. The result is that customers can unleash their full memory performance with essentially the click of a single button.

This is not the first time AMD has ventured into high-performance memory specification. In 2012, AMD had AMD Memory Profile, or AMP, for DDR3 memory. Some of you may also remember AMD releasing their own Radeon memory sticks!

Initially, the standard was not supposed to be named EXPO but RAMP. RAMP stood for Ryzen Accelerated Memory Profile. Unfortunately, trademark issues may have prevented AMD from using that name.

AMD Extended Profiles for Overclocking has 5 main sections: one section for the general EXPO information, two sections for two EXPO profiles, a section for CRC, and a user profile section. Each EXPO profile has two sections: one with mandatory parameters and one with optional parameters.

The general EXPO section has a couple of configurable fields:

  • EXPO Identification Bytes
  • EXPO Version
  • EXPO Profile DIMM Configuration (which profiles are active and how many DIMMs per channel are supported)
  • EXPO Optional Block support: if either profile has the optional parameters unlocked.

The EXPO Profile mandatory section includes the following parameters:

  • Voltage: VDD, VDDQ, VPP
  • DDR Data Rate: tCKAVG
  • DDR SPD Timings: tAA, tRCD, tRP, tRAS, tRC, tWR, tRFC1, tRFC2, tRFCsb

The EXPO Profile optional section includes the following parameters:

  • DDR non-SPD Timings: tRRD_L, tCCD_L, tCCD_L_WR, tCCD_L_WR2, tFAW, tWTR_L, tWTR_L_WTR, tWTR_S, tRTP

At the moment of taping, it appears that AMD Extended Profiles for Overclocking is a self-certification program where memory vendors can claim EXPO readiness. The EXPO specification outlines a minimum stability requirement of running memtest and 3DMark for eight hours. Additionally, a 50-cycle reboot test should be performed to ensure ACPI state transition stability.

It is expected that further test and validation requirements will be added in the future.

Since the Extended Profiles for Overclocking validation method is still quite rudimentary, it is expected that, initially, there will be some stability-related challenges. A lot will depend on the willingness of the motherboard and memory vendors to perform extensive compatibility and validation testing. While we should expect issues to iron out over time, be aware that you may have to accept the early adopter price when purchasing AM5 Raphael at launch.