DDR3 Round-Up: Core i7 Performance Analysis

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Clock Speed (Continued)

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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