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Does High-Speed DDR3 Help AMD's FX? Four 8 GB Kits, Reviewed

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
CPUAMD FX-8150: 3.60 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache, Socket AM3+ O/C at 1.30 V to 20 x 200.7 MHz (4.0 GHz)
CPU CoolerSunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
MotherboardAsus Sabertooth 990FX, Firmware 1102 (03/12/2012)
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB: 800 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5000
Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 12.4
ChipsetAMD Platform Driver 3.0.842.0

Asus' high-end Sabertooth 990FX pairs with AMD’s top-model FX-8150 as the foundation for our memory overclocking tests.

Outdated by the launch of its Radeon HD 7900 series, our reference Radeon HD 6950 is the fastest AMD-based graphics card in this editor’s arsenal available for testing.

Benchmark Configuration
Stability TestMemtest86+ v1.70, single pass (~45 minutes) Max Speed at CAS 11 Min Latency at DDR3-2400, 2133, 1866
Bandwidth TestSiSoftware Sandra 2012 SP4 Bandwidth Benchmark
DiRT 31680x1050, High Quality Preset, No AA
Metro 20331680x1050, DX11, High, AAA, 4xAF, no PhysX/DOF
3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mental ray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinRARVersion 4.01: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"

DiRT 3 acts as our platform-bottlenecked gaming benchmark, while Metro 2033 offers the GPU-limited alternative. On the productivity side, 3ds Max 2012 is CPU-bottlenecked, while WinRAR’s performance is affected by multiple parameters, including memory bandwidth.

  • Rockdpm
    Interesting!. Still would wait for Pile driver. But since i do have a Kingston 8GB kit and a Sabertooth 990FX... may just have to try it one day
    Reply
  • jdwii
    Great article this proves a lot of rumors!

    People can finally stop saying how unfair it is to test Amd with slower ram when it supports higher speed ram even though higher speed ram cost more money. It would actually be unfair to Intel its not their fault Amd needs higher speeds to compete(which it doesn't) with Intel's 1333 ram controller.

    Ram speeds do how ever make a big difference on APU's.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    would love to see the same review for Ivy Bridge processors with and without iGPU HD4000.

    and do include more tests in the review.
    Reply
  • sarinaide
    More of the cheap stuff is my mantra.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    sarinaideMore of the cheap stuff is my mantra.Yeh yeh, but I really can't complain about paying $70 for 8GB of DDR3-2133, especially when it overclocks like that.
    Reply
  • Reynod
    AMD has enjoyed the performance benefits of an integrated memory controller for more than twice as long as Intel. And yet, it seems that Intel sets today's standard for acceptability.

    Replace the last word with "performance" crash.

    Good article which gets answers a couple of questions people have been asking - well done !!

    :)
    Reply
  • jaquith
    Thomas thanks for the review.

    First note:
    *KHX2400C11D3K4/8GX - is a Quad Channel kit specifically designed for the X79 ; link http://www.kingston.com/us/company/press?pagename=n1111c&year=2011&prLanguage=english_emea
    *WQ213UB4G vs WQ213UX16G (kit) - is ONE stick of RAM (not a matched kit) and its 'kit version' is Quad Channel kit specifically designed for the X79 ; link http://www.supertalent.com/datasheets/WQ213UX16G.pdf

    After that it makes sense that those (2) "kits" (in one case 4 individual sticks) failed @ Rated, and I wasn't interested in researching the others. I've seen other more in-depth testing on the AMD FX-8150 indicating that overall there's a slight advantage for the DDR3-1866 kits on a most of the AMD FX processors. Though @ 4AM 'to me' I'll edit this post after a few cups of coffee.

    The 'ideal' AMD kits have JEDEC 'SPD' @ Rated 'cloned' (XMP) encoding which is optimized for AMD and sometimes slightly different so you're not 'stuck' as you put it @ DDR3-1333. Those are the better KITS to test on the AMD FX lines.
    Reply
  • SteelCity1981
    Ram sppeds on a Bulldozer CPU means little and this just proves that so it doesn't matter if you are using DDR3 1600 ram or buying high performance RAM that can overclock to DDR3 2800 your not really seeing hardly any improvement with Bulldozer by doing so.
    Reply
  • bartholomew
    Good article, very informative!
    Thanks :)
    Reply
  • RAM speed also has a HUGE impact in controlled cache environments:
    http://thessdreview.com/our-reviews/romex-fancycache-review-ssd-performance-at-13gbs-and-765000-iops-in-60-seconds-flat/

    Even the best SSDs can barely muster 100,000 IOPs, yet even slow RAM can easily exceed 700,000 IOPs.
    Bandwidth, throughput, and latency are equally insane. RAM puts SSDs to shame exponentially more than SSDs put hard drives to shame. Contrary to what many "enthusiasts" believe, RAM timings are virtually irrelevant. Frequency is by far, much more important.
    Reply