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DDR3-1333 Speed and Latency Shootout

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January 4, 2008 1:37:44 PM

DDR3-1333 represents the new "mainstream" for the latest desktop memory standard. We put 10 dual-channel kits to the test to see how their overclocking capabilities, latency reduction and overall value compared.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/01/04/ddr3-1333_speed_and_latency_shootout/index.html
January 4, 2008 2:19:04 PM

Well that proves it, I'm going to stick so solid and cheap memory from companies like Patriot. These tests prove that unless you have endless money to burn there's no point in premium memory. Even bottom of the barrel memory probably performs very well and would be unnoticable to mortal humans. Spend the extra money on a better GPU or larger LCD.
January 4, 2008 2:30:16 PM

Good article.
I understand about the "cycle time is the inverse of clock speed ".
However, I was hoping to see at least 1 DDR2 module used, just to see if there is any real-world performance difference between DDR2 and DDR3. Or it's like 5%?
I'm talking about running DDR2 at (333mhz) 1333 fsb.
If this is obvious, someone please explain a little.
Ok thanks!
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January 4, 2008 3:17:27 PM

It wasn't clear to me based upon the results if overclocking the speed was better than shooting for lower latencies. I used to think lower latencies had the bigger impact, but now I'm thinking I should just shoot for the highest speed and loosen up the latencies.
January 4, 2008 4:03:31 PM

DDR2 isn't represented because I don't think you would see much of a difference in the real world. Either way they should have included it in the round up. 2Gb of DDR3 still cost as much as 8Gb of DDR2. Put them head to head or don't write the article.
January 4, 2008 4:14:08 PM

I guessed high-speed DDR2 isn't much slower than DDR3.
So I'll just wait for Nehalem/Westmere before moving to DDR3 and any other major upgrade.
What means "Put them head or don't write the article." ?
January 4, 2008 4:17:20 PM

I'm also not sure why they kept talking about OCing needing such fast memory.

DDR2-1066 will take you to a FSB of 533 which is beyond the limit of most motherboards. While Expensive, the need for DDR2-1200 for OCing purposes is just crazy. DDR2-1066 for 2x1gb starts at $80 at new egg. While that is about twice what you can get DDR2-800, its still only $40 and will let you push any system to the limit in regards to OCing limits since you will hist a FSB wall at about that point.

Maybe some future motherboards will support speeds well past 550 and close to 600, but not today.
January 4, 2008 4:33:25 PM

This made me laugh...

Quote:
F.E.A.R. performance appears to be limited by something other than memory performance, which could possibly be the graphics card.


Umm.... yeah? lol

Also.... why are they running the games at 1024x768 with medium settings?
January 4, 2008 5:04:47 PM

Is DDR3 the new rambus? I too am really really really disapointed about not seeing a DDR2 tossed into the mix at least for a reference point.
January 4, 2008 5:14:49 PM

folius said:
This made me laugh...

Quote:
F.E.A.R. performance appears to be limited by something other than memory performance, which could possibly be the graphics card.


Umm.... yeah? lol

Also.... why are they running the games at 1024x768 with medium settings?

Usually when testing the CPU or RAM, the tester will get the fastest video card money can buy, then lower the game settings. This is to make sure the video-card is not a factor.
When testing a video-card, the best CPU/RAM is used and MAX settings are selected. This will put as much stress as possible on the video-card also help make the CPU not a factor.
It's like testing a car. You want to test the car, not the tires. So the testers use the best tires possible and use the same tires for all cars tested.
January 4, 2008 7:46:29 PM

Where is Corsair in this "roundup"? They are producing kits that are currently available at the tested clock speed. I thought Crucial also but I don't see a 1333 kit available from them.
January 4, 2008 7:50:48 PM

hairycat101 said:
Is DDR3 the new rambus? I too am really really really disapointed about not seeing a DDR2 tossed into the mix at least for a reference point.


I think they do that on purpose because if they used DDR2 you would probably see little difference in the speed and say..................whaaaa :ouch: 



I wonder how DDR would compare........?
January 4, 2008 8:02:00 PM

Misleading article, how much was tom's paid too write this garbage? Memory makers are struggling to make a profit with the bottomed out DDR2 prices, so they need to get people to buy the high profit DDR3... Soooo they toss a little money at toms, which is then happy do promote their garbage..
Or toms thinks we need to ensure DDR3 survives in order to make a better nahalem tomorrow?

I don't get it... In all the time I've been here at Tom's forums, I keep hearing people say "DDR2 800 is all you need even if you OC" yet this article claims that you really should have DD3 if you plan to OC! Sounds like BS to me!

Well I sure as hell ain't buying DD3 for my penryn based system, so you utterly failed to convince me toms. >=\
January 4, 2008 9:28:33 PM

p05esto said:
Well that proves it, I'm going to stick so solid and cheap memory from companies like Patriot. These tests prove that unless you have endless money to burn there's no point in premium memory. Even bottom of the barrel memory probably performs very well and would be unnoticable to mortal humans. Spend the extra money on a better GPU or larger LCD.


Yep, I am quite happy with my ddr2 800.

What makes me laugh are the prices.
January 4, 2008 10:10:16 PM

Frankly I believe that DDR3 1600 with 7 7 7 20 timings will be the new DDR2 800, double the speed just like the mainstream switch over from DDR1's 400. I'm guessing then 1800 will be the new 1066, though the timings on 1600 and 1800 are the same... so maybe 1800 will be the mainstream when DDR3 takes off.... either way I think this article is pointless without testing those speeds.
a b } Memory
January 5, 2008 1:48:09 AM

Well I liked the article but this just shows that there is no difference between brands. But everyone has preference. I prefer Corsair XMS as I have had a great experience with them and a great lifetime warranty policy. Suprised they didn't send some of their XMS3 DHX's @ DDR3-1600 running 7-7-7-20. Thats as good as smoe of the tested modules DDR3-1066 timings.

DDR3 is not the new Rambus. It is just in its early stages like back when DDR2 came out. Don't you remember that it was 2x the cost and 2x the latency but still 2x the bandwidth and frequency. Then it started to come down in price and latency to where now DDR2 is the standard and DDR1 is only sold for those with a PC that old. You will rarely see someone build a PC with DDR1 now. Just wait until it gets more standardized and you will see prices drop. Plus the ability to support more memory per module is great as I am sure having 16GB ram would make Vista's memory usage look small.

As for what Intel is doing and why they want to move to DDR3 it is mainly for Nehalem as the higher bandwidth will show once they have a IMC. And don't forget that DDR3 will also support Triple channel and Quad channel. I just wounder what a Octo core 32nm Nehalem with high speed DDR3 in a Quad channel setup would be like.

If I remember correctly dual channel DDR nearly doubled the bandwidth for the FSB so one with a IMC and Quad channel might possibly double the current performance.

I just wounder when AMD will start support for DDR3. If it takes too long they might get left behind if Intels quad channel DDR3 becomes mainstream.
January 5, 2008 5:08:07 AM

Yet another article proving that "new and improved" usually means some marketing person got a raise for coming up with yet another unnecessary product.

Fortunately the buying public is finally wising up to the fact that the endless upgrade train often leads to nowhere new.

Also curious as to why this was not done on Tom's New Reference System. http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/12/21/toms_reference_s...
a b } Memory
January 5, 2008 5:11:42 AM

folius said:
This made me laugh...

Quote:
F.E.A.R. performance appears to be limited by something other than memory performance, which could possibly be the graphics card.


Umm.... yeah? lol

Also.... why are they running the games at 1024x768 with medium settings?


To remove the graphics card as the limittation and focus instead on overall system performance.
January 5, 2008 9:27:02 AM

first of all why the review didnt include the king of all RAM...corsair dominator!
2nd of all, this is confusing...the other day u tell us DDR2 800 or 1066 is the best to OC and now u tell us its DDR3 just to remove any cpu limitations, i mean even the best cpu now is far from getting the DDR2 1066 to reach its limit.
anyway...could someone tell me whats the best DDR2 based motherboard to OC? i have E6850, 8800GTS 512, DDR2 1066 dominator and thermaltake 750watt PSU, and my field of interest is video encoding. thanks yall
a b } Memory
January 5, 2008 9:38:14 AM

I prefer the 2 x1GB PC2-6400 Crucial Ballistix kit for overclocking. Both of mine go easily past 1200 MHz.

Something faster than that would be needed for overclocking past a 600 MHz FSB clock, which a few people have been able to do, but you won't.

January 7, 2008 4:30:51 PM

I found this a very informative article. I'm hoping it applys to all X38's not just DDR3. I'm looking at building a new system with the GigaByte GA-X38-DQ6 motherboard and a Q6600.

The Q6600 is a 266 FSB which I plan to run at 333 FSB (to OC the CPU to 3GHz) with a pair of 1GB PC2-8500 (DDR2-1066) using a 8:5 DRAM:FSB Ratio to keep the memory clock at 533 MHz to match the 1066 MHz rating of the RAM.

This of course is assuming I read the article right. I've OC'd my old Althlon XP 3000+ without issue, but it's time to upgrade and I'm done waiting for the Q9450. I'll build my Q6600 and wait another 2-3 years before building another (or so my wife thinks).
January 7, 2008 9:03:23 PM

gamebro said:
Well I sure as hell ain't buying DD3 for my penryn based system, so you utterly failed to convince me toms. >=\


I don't think the point was to convince you to buy DDR3, in fact the conclusion I got from the article is that at this point there is no real reason to go DDR3 until much higher FSB CPU's come out where you can OC the snot out of it to justify the higher memory clock rate. Unless you are trying to build a system where you might upgrade in the future. But IIRC the next gen of CPU's will have a new socket, or was that AMD.
January 11, 2008 6:00:30 AM

I'm seeing a lot of posts with a varying degree of quality contents on this page, most of it doesn't seem worth replying to. However I do have a question noone else seems to have had.

What actually is/are Boot Straps? I would consider myself having fair knowledge of intel 3 series, yet this is the first time I've heard this term, and the page on which it's mentioned didn't really enlighten me. Is there a good article somewhere on the net detailing the specifics? And is it something one can change, or is it simply 'choosing by itself'? ie. is there a 'iecccpod' switch (I made that name up) that needs to be set to 4 in the bios or is it based on the fsb specified, or on the cpu chip installed?
January 14, 2008 10:55:38 PM

Is it likely that the expected higher-density DDR3 modules (4GB+) will fit into and operate from the DDR3 sockets going into today's latest motherboards?
a b } Memory
January 20, 2008 12:56:30 AM

neiroatopelcc said:
I'm seeing a lot of posts with a varying degree of quality contents on this page, most of it doesn't seem worth replying to. However I do have a question noone else seems to have had.

What actually is/are Boot Straps? I would consider myself having fair knowledge of intel 3 series, yet this is the first time I've heard this term, and the page on which it's mentioned didn't really enlighten me. Is there a good article somewhere on the net detailing the specifics? And is it something one can change, or is it simply 'choosing by itself'? ie. is there a 'iecccpod' switch (I made that name up) that needs to be set to 4 in the bios or is it based on the fsb specified, or on the cpu chip installed?


Everything on a system runs at a pre-determined clock speed, unless a part is overclocked. That includes the Chipset Northbridge. The boot strap determines the ratio of FSB clock to Northbridge clock. It sets the FSB:Northbridge ratio. You're already familiar with FSB:D RAM ratios as FSB:CPU Core multpliers, the Boot Strap setting sets the Northbridge clock speed in a similar fashion.

Using various boot straps, you get the same Northbridge clock for different FSB clocks. FSB clocks of 200, 266, and 333 all result in the same Northbridge clock so long as the boot strap is set to the corresponding speed (200, 266, 333). Any bus speed that doesn't correspond to a "standard setting" for the chipset will either overclock or underclock the Northbridge.

Most boards won't let you manually choose the boot strap, but will automatically select the "most appropriate" boot strap for any chosen bus speed. For example, if you overclock your 266MHz FSB clock to around 320MHz, the 333MHz boot strap will automatically be chosen by the motherboard.

The problem is that Intel doesn't support "every available" memory ratio for "every available" boot strap, so that setting certain memory speeds will force a different boot strap than the "best" one. In particular, choosing DDR3-1333 (667MHz clock) with FSB-1600 (400MHz clock) requires a memory ratio that isn't supported by the 400MHz boot strap. The 667:400 DRAM:FSB clock ratio IS supported by FSB-800 at 333:200 (DDR2-667 and FSB-800). So setting DDR3-1333 with FSB-1600 forces the 200MHz boot strap (FSB-800) and overclocks the Northbridge by 100%.
a b } Memory
January 20, 2008 12:58:10 AM

Arbie said:
Is it likely that the expected higher-density DDR3 modules (4GB+) will fit into and operate from the DDR3 sockets going into today's latest motherboards?


Many people expect 4GB modules to work with today's DDR3 boards. Anything greater than that would fall so far outside of the "mainstream" that the motherboard companies might not add BIOS support for it.
January 22, 2008 12:44:42 PM

I've been a Crucial fan for a lot of years as they provide excellent customer support. Did they not provide a sample for review? Also, I agree with many that DDR2 is plenty fast for most applications. I don't think that DDR3 will help a machine run Crysis any better.

Just my 2 cents ....;>)
a b } Memory
January 22, 2008 12:49:37 PM

timby said:
I've been a Crucial fan for a lot of years as they provide excellent customer support. Did they not provide a sample for review? Also, I agree with many that DDR2 is plenty fast for most applications. I don't think that DDR3 will help a machine run Crysis any better.

Just my 2 cents ....;>)


The article says it all, if you didn't see it it's because the company didn't send a sample.
!