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Test Setup

DDR3 Memory Scaling On AMD's Phenom II X4

System Hardware

AMD Phenom II X4 955 (45 nm, 3.2 GHz, 4x 512 KB L2 and 6 MB L3 Cache, TDP 125 W, Rev. C2)
Motherboard (Socket AM3)
Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5F (Rev. 1.0)

Chipset: AMD 790GX, SB750

BIOS: 3L (04/08/2009)
2 x 2 GB DDR3-1600 (Corsair CM3X2G1600C9DHX)
 operating between DDR3-800 and 1600
Hard Drive
Western Digital VelociRaptor, 300 GB (WD3000HLFS)
10,000 RPM, SATA/300, 16 MB Cache
Blu-Ray Drive
Power Supply
PC Power & Cooling, Silencer 750EPS12V 750W
System Software and Drivers
Operating System
Windows Vista Enterprise Version 6.0 SP1 (Build 6000)
Drivers and Settings
Nvidia GeForce Drivers
Forceware 182.08
AMD Chipset Drivers

Benchmarks and Settings

3D Benchmarks and Settings
Version: 1.2.1

Video Mode: 1680x1050

Overall Quality: low

Demo: CPU-Benchmark2 + Tom's Hardware Tool
Unreal Tournament 3
Version: 1.2

Video Mode: 1680x1050

Sound and DirectX10

Video Quality:
Texture Details: 1

Level Details: 1


Time: 12/60
World In Conflict

Video Mode: 1680x1050 and 800x600

Video Quality: low details

Demo: Game-Benchmark
Audio Benchmarks and Settings

Audio CD (Terminator II SE), 53 min

Default format AAC
Lame MP3
Version 3.98

Audio CD "Terminator II SE", 53 min

wave to mp3

160 Kbps
Video Benchmarks and Settings
Pinnacle Studio 12

Encoding and Transition Rendering

DV camcorder movie

720x576 Pixels, PAL, 25 fps, 6000 Kbits/sec

MPEG Layer 2, 224 Kbits/sec 16 Bit, Stereo 44.1 KHz

File Type: MPEG-2 (DVD Compatible)

Video: Terminator 2 SE DVD (720x576, 16:9) 5 Minutes

Audio: Dolby Digital, 48000 Hz, 6-Channel, English

Advanced Acoustic Engine MP3 Encoder (160 kbps, 44.1 KHz)
DivX 6.8.3
Version: 6.8.3

== Main Menu ==


== Codec Menu ==

Encoding mode: Insane Quality

Enhanced multithreading

Enabled using SSE4

Quarter-pixel search

== Video Menu ==

Quantization: MPEG-2
XviD 1.1.3
Version: 1.1.3

Other Options / Encoder Menu -

Display encoding status = off
Mainconcept Reference 1.5.1
Reference H. 264 Pluggin Pro 1.5.1
Version: 1.5.1

MPEG2 to MPEG2 (H.264)

MainConcept H.264/AVC Codec

28 sec HDTV 1920x1080 (MPEG2)

MPEG2 (44.1 kHz, 2 Channel, 16 Bit, 224 kbps)

Codec: H.264

Mode: PAL (25 FPS)

Profile: Tom's Hardware Settings for Qct-Core
Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 HDTV
Mainconcept H.264 Pluggin 3.2
Windows Media Encoder 9.1 AP HDTV
Windows Audio Encoder 10 Pro
Version: 3.0

NTSC MPEG2-HDTV 1920x1080 (24 sec)

Import: Mainconcept NTSC HDTV 1080i

Export: Adobe Media Encoder

== Video ==

Windows Media Video 9 Advanced Profile

Encoding Passes: one
Mode: Constant

Frame: 1920x1080

Frame Rate: 29.97

Maximum Bitrate [kbps]: 2000

Image Quality: 50.00

== Audio ==

Windows Media Audio 10 Professional

Encoding Passes: one

Bitrate Mode: Constant

Audio Format:
160 kbps, 44.1 kHz, 2 channel 16 bit (A/V) CBR
Application Benchmarks and Settings
Grisoft AVG Anti-virus 8
Version: 8.0.134

Virus base: 270.4.5/1533


Scan: some compressed ZIP and RAR archives
Winrar 3.8
Version 3.80 BETA 4

WinZIP Commandline Version 2.3

Compression = Best

Dictionary = 4096 KB

Benchmark: THG-Workload
Winzip 11
Version 11.2 (8094)

Compression = Best

Benchmark: THG-Workload
Maxon Cinema 4D release 10
Version: 10.008

Rendering from a scene 
(Water drop at a Rose)

Resolution: 1280 x 1024 – 8-Bit (50 frames)
Adobe Photoshop CS3
Version: 10.0x20070321

Filtering a 69 MB TIF-Photo

Benchmark: Tomshardware-Benchmark V1.0.0.4

Programmed by Tomshardware using Delphi 2007




Accented Edges

Angled Strokes

Sprayed Strokes
Deep Fritz 11
Version: 11

Fritz Chess Benchmark Version 4.2
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3-DMark Vantage
Version: 1.02

Options: Performance

Graphics Test 1

Graphics Test 2

CPU Test 1

CPU Test 2
PCMark Vantage
Version: 1.00

PCMark Benchmark

Memories Benchmark

Windows Media Player
Everest Ultimate Edition
Version 4.6

Memory Benchmark
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  • 6 Hide
    cangelini , June 4, 2009 6:50 AM
    judeh101DDR3 memory scaling on AMD's Phenom II X4, why don't cha do one for Intel as well? I'd love to see the performance on the Core i7 platform

    It's coming!
  • 0 Hide
    cangelini , June 4, 2009 7:45 AM
    Much thanks judeh, I appreciate your feedback!

  • 6 Hide
    Antman56 , June 4, 2009 7:59 AM
    The real trick to seeing a greater discrepancy between different clock speed memory(s) could be done by overclocking the CPU-NB. Using SiSoftware Sandra, I get 13.2 GB/s with DDR2 @ 1066 MHz (5-5-5-15) on a 3.4 GHz Phenom II 940 X4 with a 2.4 GHz CPU-NB.

    Overclocking that Integrated Memory Controller is key!

    ...Just a suggestion :p 
  • -2 Hide
    empstar , June 4, 2009 8:34 AM
    why always missing something..... where's the DDR2 RAM ?? should include in the chart!! very disappointed.
  • 0 Hide
    EQPlayer , June 4, 2009 8:47 AM
    Yarr, good point. Overclocking the CPU/NB on these chips seems to have nearly (well that might be a bit of an exaggeration) as much of an effect as overclocking the CPU itself.
  • -1 Hide
    DjEaZy , June 4, 2009 9:25 AM
    ... it is getting better and better with TOM's... more information to compare... for the last month it's enjoyable to read...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 4, 2009 10:16 AM
    Why you didn't have tried a 'synchronized' configuration with base clock, north-bridge, memory and cpu core running on integer or semi-integer divisors ? like 266MHz base clock, 1068 MHz memory clock, 2136 MHz north bridge & HT clock and 3199 core clock.
    This configuration is possible even with DDR2, with lower latencies memories and is much closer to the DDR3/1333 configuration than you think.
  • 2 Hide
    cinergy , June 4, 2009 10:43 AM
    Very nice bench for AMD people.
  • -7 Hide
    apache_lives , June 4, 2009 10:59 AM
    judeh101DDR3 memory scaling on AMD's Phenom II X4, why don't cha do one for Intel as well? I'd love to see the performance on the Core i7 platform

    Why does everyone vote down a valid question?
  • -1 Hide
    apache_lives , June 4, 2009 11:04 AM
    and this is the same old picture - mainstream ram has always been the best price:p erformance, no point in chancing extreme memory, and "high end" memory is only good for overclocking etc
  • -1 Hide
    chripuck , June 4, 2009 11:47 AM
    apache_livesand this is the same old picture - mainstream ram has always been the best priceerformance, no point in chancing extreme memory, and "high end" memory is only good for overclocking etc

    I wouldn't call the two top performers mainstream... with those timings there at least a step above main stream. Now to your point they're definately not the top of the line, but anyone with a clue about electronics knows the best bang for your buck is never the cheapest and never the most expensive... the sweet spot is always in the middle.
  • -3 Hide
    Kill@dor , June 4, 2009 12:39 PM
    Can't wait for Intel's review as well.
  • 1 Hide
    coopchennick , June 4, 2009 12:43 PM
    Soo... I guess Toms just decided not to do the SBM giveaway?
  • -1 Hide
    Kill@dor , June 4, 2009 1:00 PM
    I have to kind of admit this was a little unfair because DDR3 2000 was not in this line up...why i'm not sure. Intel's processors can utilize DDR3 2000 very well with timings like 9-9-9. But even so, its important to show how DDR3 2000 can perform with AMD and the benefits it has for a stable high clock on your system. If you plan on overclocking 3.0GHz to about 3.6 or 3.8 DDR3 1333-1600 is key in my opintion. Anything higher than 4.0GHz will benefit stability with DDR3 2000. I hope Toms can get a review to show this...
  • -1 Hide
    buzznut , June 4, 2009 1:31 PM
    I was disappointed that the memories weren't tested more with overclocking. You did a little bit with the 800 speed, but who is gonna run their ram at that speed?

    Well, nice article. It makes me wonder why ddr3 memory is not more effective, does not offer much beyond ddr2. It seems to make a considerable difference in video cards, ddr2 vs ddr3. Will they skip ddr4 and go to ddr5 for mainboard memory, like the upper end ATI cards?

    As it has been for a few years, latency is the most important factor with AMD processors.
  • 0 Hide
    sublifer , June 4, 2009 1:57 PM
    Only testing in 2T command rate?
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 4, 2009 2:26 PM
    Quote "Why does everyone vote down a valid question?"

    Because if that person would have read the first page of the article, they would have seen that a Intel article is coming.......
  • 2 Hide
    HVDynamo , June 4, 2009 2:30 PM
    apache_livesWhy does everyone vote down a valid question?

    Because it says there is an intel article to follow at the bottom of the first page of the article. He posted before reading.
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