DDR3 Round-Up: Core i7 Performance Analysis - HotHardware

DDR3 Round-Up: Core i7 Performance Analysis

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DDR3 is built to scale in terms of clock speeds. Initial speed grades of DDR3-800 and DDR3-1066 didn't show significant performance enhancements over DDR2 at the same clock speed. However, DDR2 has more or less been tapped out at a maximum clock speed of 1200 MHz. DDR3, on the other hand, has been able to quickly ramp up in clock speed, and now is available at speeds of 2000 MHz and higher with no end in sight.

We wanted to see how clock speed can affect system performance across the board. We configured a system with 6 GB of DDR3 and ran a set of sample benchmarks with the memory divider set to speeds of 800 MHz, 1066 MHz, 1333 MHz, 1600 MHz, and 1866 MHz, which appear to be the most common options on enthusiast class motherboards. As it's possible to set this divider without affecting any of the other system clocks, we can directly pinpoint how much performance is gained by additional memory clock speed alone. At each clock speed, memory timings were set to 9-9-9-24 for consistency across the board.



As you can see in the graphs above, there is a clear benefit to running higher-clocked memory. Performance increases as the memory clock increases, across the board.

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What a great story...thanks for the comparo! DDR3 is so much more expensive than DDR2 right now (I have read that the price difference between the two will be much closer at the end of this year), but Core i7 builders don't have a choice. If a Core i7 builder tries to save some money and only installs two sticks of memory, will it run in dual-channel or single-channel mode?

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awesome article guys. Could have used that a couple weeks ago thoughStick out tongue. I would have went with the OCZ modules more then likely. Although I have not yet messed around with the dominator 1600 set that I got. I have a feeling that if I tweak it I can probaly get some better timings out of it. Default settings on my board have it running at 1333. What did you guys use when you tested the rampage 2 board?

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Dual channel mode.  Raw bandwidth takes a hit, but real world performance impact is nil.

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Im thinking the right ddr3 and the rampage 2 boards are going to sport some very high marks and cant wait to see the numbers the the lucky guys here that alredy have access to these setups!Make you lealous and slobber!

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Glad you liked this one, gents. Chris did a good job with it for sure. It shows some interesting results actually.

For the RE 2 board, I believe Rob used some Qmonda RAM.

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Great review. I too hope that DDR3 prices go down, so I'll be able to use my Eclipse.

Well, maybe I could 'borrow' a review sample. Wink

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Dave_HH:

Glad you liked this one, gents. Chris did a good job with it for sure. It shows some interesting results actually.

For the RE 2 board, I believe Rob used some Qmonda RAM.

Qmonda RAM? Is that like an abreviation for something? I was more curious about the speeds and how he might have adjusted timings if he did any of that when it was overclocked. Seems to have locked in settings for the timings when adjusting the speed of the memory. I have't messed around with the gazillion settings yet but thought since we were on the topic of memory I would ask.

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No Nelson thats not an abbreviation actually. Qmonda is the company who actually made the actual DDR5 on ATI video cards. They also made the DDR4 on the 3870's as well I believe. So they are about the fastest ram maker in the world at least on a developmental aspect. I know other people are making DDR5 now but they had it developed and rolled out for the 4870's release which was what mid July last year.

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Don't you mean Qimonda Dave?

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Nice article,  I do have a question about your comparison of memory bandwidth testing between 1,2 and 3 channel modes.  I've noticed that the amount of ram changes with each test.  While this isn't a problem on synthetic tests that actually check the memory bandwidth it will skew real world testing as things like photoshop tend to gain performance when the ram capacity increases.

Have you guys thought of keeping the ram capacity the same in single, dual and tri channel modes?

This would give you an exact indication of whether the extra channels are giving a benefit or if the previous result was due to extra capacity.

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