DDR2 Shoot-Out: Corsair vs. Kingston

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Performance with SPD Settings


We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant, with the memory configured by their SPDs. SANDRA consists of a set of information and diagnostic utilities that can provide a host of useful information about your hardware and operating system.  We ran SANDRA's Memory Bandwidth test with Corsair's and Kingston's memory modules installed on our DFI LANPARTY 925X-T2...

(Note:  Although we had the DFI motherboard we used for testing was configured to detect memory timings by SPD, it ran both memory kits with 4-4-4-12 timings, unless we manually specified otherwise.)

Performance Comparison with SiSoft SANDRA 2004
Raw Bandwidth

Corsair TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO

Kingston KHX5400D2K2/1G

SANDRA's memory bandwidth benchmark had the Corsair modules finishing just slightly ahead of Kingston's.  In the integer test, the Corsair modules had a bandwidth score 76MB/s higher than the Kingston modules.  In the Floating Point test, the Corsair sticks posted a score 58MB/s higher than the Kingston sticks.

Performance Comparison with PCMark04
Overall Memory Score

For our next round of benchmarks, we ran the Memory performance module built-into Futuremark's PCMark04. For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got a quote from Futuremark that explains exactly what this test does and how it works...

"The Memory test suite is a collection of tests that isolate the performance of the memory subsystem. The memory subsystem consists of various devices on the PC. This includes the main memory, the CPU internal cache (known as the L1 cache) and the external cache (known as the L2 cache). As it is difficult to find applications that only stress the memory, we explicitly developed a set of tests geared for this purpose. The tests are written in C++ and assembly. They include: Reading data blocks from memory, Writing data blocks to memory performing copy operations on data blocks, random access to data items and latency testing."

The SiSoft SANDRA results mirrored what we saw with PCMark04.  When using PCMark04's memory performance module, the Corsair TWIN2X1024-5400C4 PRO kit posted a score 95 points higher than the Kingston KHX54002K2/1G kit.

In-Game Performance Comparisons With Wolf: ET
System Memory Affects Frame rates?  You Bet!

We also ran through a batch of time demos with the OpenGL game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory.  Wolfenstein: ET is a free, standalone multiplayer game that is based on the original Return to Castle Wolfenstein that was released a few years back. It uses a heavily modified version of the Quake III engine, which makes it a very easy-to-use benchmarking tool.  We ran this test at the "Fastest" setting with a low resolution of 640 X 480, using 16-bit color and textures.  Running this test with a high-end graphics card at these minimal settings isolates processor and memory performance without being limited by the graphics subsystem. 

Performance with Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory was very similar, with either of the memory kits installed.  Once again, however, the Corsair TWIN2X1024-5400C4 PRO kit posted the highest score.  But with only 2.1 frames per second separating each kit, this test is essentially a tie.

Tags:  Kingston, DDR, DDR2, Corsair, shoot, KIN, air, rsa, SHO, GST, AI, King, K

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