What are XMP and EXPO?

When you install memory in a system, there is a set of standardized speeds/timings your memory will run at. This standard is called JEDEC. This is why you see DDR4 and DDR5 memory speeds like DDR4-2133, DDR4-2666, and DDR5-4800. These are standardized speeds that all memory manufacturers adhere to.

Outside of JEDEC are additional performance profiles available on select memory modules. Depending on your system or motherboard vendor these functions are called XMP (Extreme Memory Profile, originally created by Intel®) or AMD EXPO™ (Extended Profiles for Overclocking, originally created by AMD) and are used by all memory manufacturers with high performance desktop memory. Depending on the exact part and platform being used, these profiles enable higher performing speeds or restore performance when users experience a system-level downclocking of their memory to slower speeds. When you purchase XMP or EXPO compatible memory, you must also pair it with an XMP or EXPO compatible motherboard and a CPU that will support the memory speeds. Typically the profile must be manually enabled in the BIOS or UEFI settings as well.