DDR3 Round-Up: Core i7 Performance Analysis - HotHardware

DDR3 Round-Up: Core i7 Performance Analysis

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We continued our evaluation of DDR3 memory clock speed performance on the Core i7 with a few more applications... 




As you can see, memory clock speed can affect performance across the board, which isn't too surprising as all aspects of computing touch the memory subsystem. The biggest differences we see in our test suite are the raw memory bandwidth and latency numbers, which swing wildly from our lowest to highest clock speed settings.

In terms of actual application performance, we don't see a huge performance difference between the lowest and highest DDR3 clock speeds, although the difference is worth noting. Moving from DDR3-800 to DDR3-1866 bumped up Crysis by nearly 10 FPS, whereas our encoding, rendering, and image processing tests all were able to be completed a few seconds faster. Gaming has been one of the most memory intensive applications, so it's not surprising that it sees the biggest jump, and why enthusiast-class memory modules are targeted at gamers. If you game, faster memory does indeed help performance. If you're a workstation user, it's probably best to look at memory capacity rather than speed when looking to upgrade.

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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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