I recently upgraded my CPU to a Core i9-14900K. However, it came with an unwanted problem: freezes during gaming.

These freezes occurred only when XMP was enabled. They were complete lock-ups, requiring the power button to be held down to turn off the computer. The freezes only really became a problem after a BIOS update (after which playing Alan Wake 2 for a few hours would be enough to trigger a freeze).

A quick search online suggested that the problem may be caused by the system agent (SA) voltage being too high. With XMP disabled, my Asus ROG STRIX Z790-F GAMING WIFI motherboard would set the SA voltage to around 0.79V. With XMP enabled, it sets it much higher at 1.35V.

My RAM is a Corsair 2x16GB 6400MT/s C32 kit. It didn’t seem particularly extravagant, so I hoped I could reduce the SA voltage a reasonable amount. With XMP still enabled, I set the SA voltage to 1.15V and ran some memory (and stress) tests to check my RAM was still stable. It was.

A month on from that, I’ve had no further freezes while playing games. Perhaps Raptor Lake Refresh likes lower SA voltages than Raptor Lake does.