Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Benchmarks: How We Tested

Ups and Downs: Memory Timings Put to the Test
By

While it’s next to impossible to find one single RAM module that will work on all four platforms, that won’t really affect our test results. We weren’t aiming to compare different platforms, but to see what kind of an impact best-case and worst-case timings would have on performance.

We used the fastest-possible memory configuration for each platform. For the Pentium 4 and Pentium 4 Extreme Edition on the Asus P4C800-E (Intel 875P), we used four 256 MB DIMMs from Corsair because they allowed us to set the fastest-possible timings of CL2.0-2-2-5.

This was not possible with two 512 MB DIMMs because the fastest ones we could find - also from Corsair - supported "a mere" CL2.0-3-2-6.

That means that we had to test all the other platforms because the Athlon 64 FX and the Athlon 64 would only run stably with four DIMMs and much slower timings, while the nForce2 board from Asus only ships with three DIMM slots. For the Athlon 64 FX, we swapped out the Corsair RAM for a matched pair of Legacy Electronics modules.

System Platform RAM Used Reason Why
AMD Athlon XP nVIDIA nForce2 Ultra 400 2x 512 MB Corsair TWINX, CL2.0-3-2-6 No faster 512 MB DIMMs available
AMD Athlon 64 VIA K8T800 2x 512 MB Corsair TWINX, CL2.0-3-2-6 No faster 512 MB DIMMS available, 4x 256 MB only possible with slow timings
AMD Athlon 64 FX VIA K8T800 2x 512 MB Legacy Electronics, CL2.0-3-2-6 The fastest-possible RAM since no faster 512 MB DIMMs were available
Intel Pentium 4 Intel 875P 4x 256 MB Corsair TWINX CL2.0-2-2-5 Fastest-possible RAM
Intel Pentium 4 EE Intel 875P 4x 256 MB Corsair TWINX CL2.0-2-2-5 Fastest-possible RAM
Best Case Average Worst Case
AMD Athlon XP 2.0-3-2-6 2.5-3-3-6 3.0-4-4-8
AMD Athlon 64 2.0-3-2-6 2.5-3-3-6 3.0-4-4-8
AMD Athlon 64 FX 2.0-3-2-6 2.5-3-2-6 3.0-3-2-6
Intel Pentium 4 2.0-2-2-5 2.5-3-3-6 3.0-4-4-8
Intel Pentium 4 EE 2.0-2-2-5 2.5-3-3-6 3.0-4-4-8
React To This Article