Because Intel’s new architecture doesn’t support good base clock overclocking options, today’s tests are limited to multiples of 266.6 MHz. Even then, the highest multiplier that works provides a data rate of only DDR3-2133. For most builders, going beyond basic DDR3-2133 performance requires tighter timings rather than higher frequencies, and that’s where we placed our focus.
|Best Timings at 1.60 Volts|
|Row 0 - Cell 0||DDR3-2133||DDR3-1866||DDR3-1600|
|Geil Evo Two GET38GB2200C9ADC||9-11-9-12||8-9-8-10||7-8-7-8|
|G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-12800CL7D-8GBXH||9-11-9-13||8-9-8-12||7-8-7-10|
|PQI Immortality Turbo MFAFR602SA7001||10-11-10-11||9-10-9-10||7-9-7-9|
|Patriot Viper Xtreme PXD38G1866ELK||10-11-10-11||9-10-9-10||8-9-8-9|
|Kingston HyperX T1 KHX1600C9D3T1K2/8GX||10-11-10-12||8-9-8-10||7-8-7-8|
|Crucial Ballistix BL2KIT51264FN2001||10-12-10-12||9-10-9-10||7-9-7-10|
|Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9||Unstable||9-10-9-10||7-9-7-10|
|PNY Optima MD8192KD3-1333||Incapable||Incapable||10-8-8-24|
Geil’s DDR3-2200-rated Evo Two tops the stability charts at DDR3-2133, while Kingston’s modestly-named DDR3-1600 matches it at both DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1866. That’s extra impressive for a set of Kingston modules that are only rated at DDR3-1600 CAS 9.
The two biggest surprises in today’s tests are the G.Skill and Kingston DDR3-1600 modules that clock up to an impressive DDR3-2133. G.Skill even places second in DDR3-2133 timings, though it also starts off with a better DDR3-1600 CAS 7 rating.
By now, some readers are likely screaming that these must be hand-picked samples. And yet, our recent System Builder Marathon machine also reached DDR3-1866 CAS 8 using retail samples of G.Skill’s cheaper DDR3-1600 CAS 8 DIMMs.
Corsair also reaches DDR3-2133, but an error on one memory IC at that frequency prevents it from remaining stable for more than 20 minutes—regardless of timings. Rather than view the other samples as having questionably good luck, it appeas Corsair simply had worse-than-average luck on a single DIMM. Remembering that these are also rated at “only” DDR3-1600 CAS 9, an overclock to DDR3-1866 CAS 9 is more than acceptable.
If we modify our expectations a bit and embrace acceptability, PNY’s low-cost DDR3-1333 kit reached DDR3-1600. It did so at a relatively-poor CAS 10, but with a value-oriented price that helps keep the firm competitive.