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DDR3-1600 Memory Performance

Four High-End Quad-Channel DDR3 Memory Kits For X79, Reviewed
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One way to boost the overclocking capability of memory is to give it slower secondary and, if possible, tertiary timings. We’d hope that wouldn’t hurt performance at lower data rates but, well…

Not interested in causing any panic, we went on to test the gaming performance of each module set. The slowest set in Sandra takes second-place here. Clearly, this platform isn't starved for memory bandwidth, else we'd see a closer correlation between the two sets of tests.

Similarly, Corsair ends up in a five-way tie that includes the reference DDR3-1600 CAS 9, with the lowest-latency G.Skill RAM squeaking ahead by a few milliseconds in 3ds Max.

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  • 10 Hide
    panderaamon , December 27, 2011 5:50 AM
    I'll take 8 GB per slot Ram's for my X79 thank you very much.

    Also it would have been nice to add some Ram Disk benchmarks to the review aswell.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    a4mula , December 27, 2011 5:35 AM
    The article seems supports the same basic premise we've since at least the bclk limited 1155. Even with the 125 and 166 straps added to LGA2011 there is still too little base clock manipulation available push memory very far.

    Performance gains via memory even when given a favorable playing field (reduced graphics) are pretty small. The reference CAS 9 1600 appeared to hold its own at a fraction of the cost. As was eluded to I think kits like this are really only aimed towards the small crowd of super-enthusiasts that want to squeeze every last drop out of a system regardless of price.

    Nice article and one that I think illustrates both the benefits (ease of overclocking) and disadvantages (less fine tuning) of the multiplier friendly yet limited bclk of both 1155 and 2011.
  • 10 Hide
    panderaamon , December 27, 2011 5:50 AM
    I'll take 8 GB per slot Ram's for my X79 thank you very much.

    Also it would have been nice to add some Ram Disk benchmarks to the review aswell.
  • -4 Hide
    bauboni , December 27, 2011 8:53 AM
    It would be nice to compare these 2.4Ghz Quad Channel memories with the usual 1.6Ghz DualChannel kits, specialy at gamming scenarios.
  • -2 Hide
    Crashman , December 27, 2011 9:07 AM
    a4mulaThe article seems supports the same basic premise we've since at least the bclk limited 1155. Even with the 125 and 166 straps added to LGA2011 there is still too little base clock manipulation available push memory very far.
    The board supports DDR3-2400 data rate, limitations on this CPU's memory controller made it impossible for most modules to reach that setting. You can underclock or overclock the base clock by a wide enough margin to fill the holes between 2133 and 2400, etc.
    bauboniIt would be nice to compare these 2.4Ghz Quad Channel memories with the usual 1.6Ghz DualChannel kits, specialy at gamming scenarios.
    That's why there's a DDR3-1600 reference data set on each chart. Of course it's quad-channel because that's what the CPU is designed to run, and we wouldn't want to artificially handicap it...would we?
  • -4 Hide
    noob2222 , December 27, 2011 9:11 AM
    Where is AMD's memory testing? Since SB-E was mostly SB, memory already wasn't expected to improve much. http://www.anandtech.com/show/4503/sandy-bridge-memory-scaling-choosing-the-best-ddr3/6

    SB-E hasn't changed much here, at most ~1% boost.
  • 0 Hide
    bauboni , December 27, 2011 9:14 AM
    CrashmanThe board supports DDR3-2400 data rate, limitations on this CPU's memory controller made it impossible for most modules to reach that setting. You can underclock or overclock the base clock by a wide enough margin to fill the holes between 2133 and 2400, etc.That's why there's a DDR3-1600 reference data set on each chart. Of course it's quad-channel because that's what the CPU is designed to run, and we wouldn't want to artificially handicap it...would we?


    Well, I really wanted to see the practical difference between dual to quad channel at gamming =P
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , December 27, 2011 9:15 AM
    panderaamonI'll take 8 GB per slot Ram's for my X79 thank you very much.Also it would have been nice to add some Ram Disk benchmarks to the review aswell.
    The reason you didn't see 16GB kits in the past is that Tom's Hardware has always had trouble finding "widespread" applications that could benefit from more than 8GB. RAMDISK is an interesting option for eight-DIMM motherboards because 64GB can be employed. That would be really handy for a 48GB RAMDISK and 16GB of free memory!

    Of course we'd like to gauge the marketability of this concept before putting money behind it, so perhaps you can start a thread in the Forums to gauge its popularity? On a platform limited to $500-1000 CPU's, would any readers really spend that much a second time for memory?
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 27, 2011 9:19 AM
    so... while there are differences in synthetic tests, there is no practical difference between 1600 and 2133 (and in some cases a negative effect). A bit disappointing, but it does follow previous test results.
    Just wondering, but does this mean there is a bottleneck in the CPU? Is OCing the ram worth it when paired with a 5ghz processor? It is just hard to suggest any of these products when there is so little difference between them and the stock version. Good article though
  • 0 Hide
    CaedenV , December 27, 2011 9:29 AM
    CrashmanThat would be really handy for a 48GB RAMDISK and 16GB of free memory!Of course we'd like to gauge the marketability of this concept before putting money behind it, so perhaps you can start a thread in the Forums to gauge its popularity? On a platform limited to $500-1000 CPU's, would any readers really spend that much a second time for memory?

    I have always wanted a RAM disc simply due to the slow seek speed of HDDs, but now with SSDs available (and doping in price like a rock) it simply makes sense (and ease of use) to use an SSD or SSD RAID instead. Sure, system RAM is still faster, but SSDs take the cake for speed/size/performance for most applications where a ram disc would have previously had a sizable advantage. Ram discs still have a home in servers, but for video/audio/3d work on a workstation I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.
    All the same I would love to be proved wrong and see some real world tests on the subject!
  • 0 Hide
    theuniquegamer , December 27, 2011 9:33 AM
    I haven't expected that the price of quad channel Rams will be such a premium price like the gskill ripjaw
  • 1 Hide
    Crashman , December 27, 2011 9:37 AM
    bauboniWell, I really wanted to see the practical difference between dual to quad channel at gamming =P
    Nill. If you look at some of the previous articles you'll find that DDR3-1600 CAS 8 in dual-channel is near the top for games, with DDR3-1600 CAS 9 being only marginally behind it. Of course this is up a little from a couple years back, when it was hard to find gaming improvements beyond DDR3-1066, and I credit faster graphics cards and processors for allowing games to make better use of memory bandwidth.

    So, I'm saying that it could take a few more advancements elsewhere before quad-channel is able to prove itself a benefit to gaming performance. Games were included in hopes of improved performance due to reduced latency of the better kits, but you really have to drop the settings below "what anyone would really use" to see significant performance changes.
    caedenvso... while there are differences in synthetic tests, there is no practical difference between 1600 and 2133 (and in some cases a negative effect). A bit disappointing, but it does follow previous test results.Just wondering, but does this mean there is a bottleneck in the CPU? Is OCing the ram worth it when paired with a 5ghz processor? It is just hard to suggest any of these products when there is so little difference between them and the stock version. Good article though
    The settings used here appear to be just above the point where CPU bottlenecks give way to GPU bottlenecks, and were chosen because they represent the lowest settings a real-world gamer might use with similar hardware.
    caedenvI have always wanted a RAM disc simply due to the slow seek speed of HDDs, but now with SSDs available (and doping in price like a rock) it simply makes sense (and ease of use) to use an SSD or SSD RAID instead. Sure, system RAM is still faster, but SSDs take the cake for speed/size/performance for most applications where a ram disc would have previously had a sizable advantage. Ram discs still have a home in servers, but for video/audio/3d work on a workstation I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.All the same I would love to be proved wrong and see some real world tests on the subject!
    This doesn't sound like a project that would require a roundup of competing/similar products. Since Chris has a 64GB set, I'll ask if he's willing to use it in a RAMDISK article :) 
  • 0 Hide
    srgess , December 27, 2011 10:00 AM
    So i dont see any performance boost over 1600 and 2133. People say it perform better on a 2133 are a bunch of liar lol, beside overclocking cpu match speed it seem not worth the price !
  • 1 Hide
    srgess , December 27, 2011 10:02 AM
    And yeah at 32gb/64gb kit toms need to make article of ram disk application games installed on ram disk since transfers speed from ssd to ram disk should take some seconds now !
  • 2 Hide
    panderaamon , December 27, 2011 10:24 AM
    caedenvI have always wanted a RAM disc simply due to the slow seek speed of HDDs, but now with SSDs available (and doping in price like a rock) it simply makes sense (and ease of use) to use an SSD or SSD RAID instead. Sure, system RAM is still faster, but SSDs take the cake for speed/size/performance for most applications where a ram disc would have previously had a sizable advantage. Ram discs still have a home in servers, but for video/audio/3d work on a workstation I think the money would be better spent elsewhere.All the same I would love to be proved wrong and see some real world tests on the subject!



    There is a video on youtube about X79 Ramdisk vs Ram cahce and SSD performance.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cqfhZvyE80
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , December 27, 2011 10:35 AM
    Most of todays worthwhile desktop cpu's have excellent memory handling coupled with big on die cache making the system memory speed less and less important compared to what it once was. The only exception is when the gpu/gfx lacks dedicated memory and run from system memory, that would be the only time it could be worth spending some premium on mem but more likely a dedicated card would be better anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    animalosity , December 27, 2011 12:20 PM
    Cracks me up to see the guys who are willing to donate their large intestines just to buy an 8gb memory kit that is the ONLY kit to reach 2400 mhz, when obviously the larger capacity memory with better timings runs better and costs less....I don't get it....
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , December 27, 2011 12:21 PM
    okay now let me get this straight, the reference costs $80 the winner costs $210

    in the benchmarks they gave us besides the synthetic, at least I think it was the synthetic, there was no real-world performance gains, yet the winner cost $130 more than reference… How in the world begin call that a winner?

    That said there is something that I'm interested in. How much of the benefit is DDR three over DDR two? I mean yeah you can tell me DDR three is faster than DDR two and I'll believe you, but what's the real world performance differences. I mean outside of video editing is there any difference, and by what I mean is would there be noticeable difference, hell I even let you go a dual channel DDR two and applied channel DDR three overclocked, and I want to see if there's any real world noticeable difference.
  • -2 Hide
    animalosity , December 27, 2011 12:32 PM
    It amazes me that fanboys with mommy and daddy's pocket book are willing to donate their large intestines full of pizza and mountain dew, to buy an 8gb kit based on 1 article just because its the "fastest" kit that actually reaches 2.4 ghz. Come on, open your eyes, the larger capacity memory kits WITH better timings are clearly the answer. You already spent a grand on your CPU, so why not compliment it with the memory it really deserves?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 27, 2011 1:34 PM
    I'm looking at the G.SKILL Ripjaws Z that are exactly the same as the Mushkin Redline and are $40 cheaper on Newegg. The way I see it is if Mushkin is recommended and the Ripjaws OC'ed better then get the Ripjaws equal to the Mushkin and OC them and save a buttload of money.
  • 0 Hide
    billybobser , December 27, 2011 2:29 PM
    board supports quad channel, a bazzilion gb's of ram, bla bla.

    Tests it on games using no more than 2gb, and not suffering a memory bottleneck.

    Notice no difference.

    Conclusion, unless you know you're really going to need 30+ gb of memory, and actually do have a bottlneck.

    2x2gb 1600's is going to be ample.

    On the other hand, the format that does have memory bandwidth problems is AMD, on phenoms and on APU (primarily because of shared resources on APU, but on phenoms because I guess their memory controller is poopzilla)
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