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DDR3 Memory: What Makes Performance Better?

Testing Platform And Benchmark Suite

For the testing, I primarily used my existing motherboard and CPU, AMD- and Intel-based combos. Other than the motherboard and CPU, I used the same components in each. I used a Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler, a G.Skill Phoenix Pro 256GB SSD, a SeaSonic 750 PSU, an Asus 290X Matrix GPU and running Win7 Ultimate.

The AMD CPU was the 8370 paired with the Asus Crosshair V Formula Z motherboard. On the Intel side, I used a 4770K in an Asus Z87 Maximus VI Hero.

Testing Software And Testing Methodology

For the testing, I used a variety of staple programs:

  • Aida 64 Engineer Edition
  • PassMark Performance Test
  • Si-Sandra Support-Engineer 2015 (and special thanks to Si-Software for providing a pre-release copy of the 2015 version)
  • Geekbench 3
  • WinRAR
  • Prime95

I selected Aida to test for latency and for read/write memory tests, PassMark for its Memory Mark score as well as its Database score, Si-Sandra for Aggregate Memory Latency, GeekBench 3 for both single and multicored overall scores, and WinRAR to see how memory amounts and frequencies affect overall performance. 

  • blackmagnum
    Since the dawn of computer memory: Faster data rates=More access latency.
    Reply
  • Damn_Rookie
    It's great to see you getting the chance to do some articles on here, Tradesman1 Jim :)
    Reply
  • PaulBags
    Interesting. I'll be coming back here several times over the next several months, as I save up for & consider options for a new computer. Good to know 2x 2 stick kits arn't nessicarily equal to a 4 stick kit, and annoying since I don't see many 4 stick kits in local online stores.

    Also good to know frequency has such a measurable impact on compression, I probably don't need fancy high freq ram but now I'm going to be more annoyed my budget won't allow it.

    Thanks for the ponderous read! :)
    Reply
  • Cryio
    This was such an eye opening read. Until now I though different ram frequencies really didn't amount to much. By those times in multitasking ? Wow.
    Reply
  • damric
    Thanks Tman. Looks like you really worked your butt off in this testing.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    15517997 said:
    Since the dawn of computer memory: Faster data rates=More access latency.
    Nope. Latency stays roughly the same while clock cycles speed up. DDR3-1333 CAS 6 and DDR3-2666 CAS 12 have the same latency in nanoseconds, the number of cycles doubles while each cycle occurs in half the time.

    Reply
  • synphul
    Pretty good review, made for a fun read. I'm still amazed at the ram incompatibility when mixing different sets. I know it exists, it's not the first time people have experienced this. I've mixed various ram just on a roll of the dice and I guess I've been lucky. The brand mixing was random. When upgrading one system from ddr2 to ddr3 I threw 2x2gb of patriot in with 2x2gb of geil evo one without issue. When upgrading one of these systems and adding ram, I added 2x4gb of team zeus at 1600mhz with 2x4gb of geil evo corsa at 1333mhz and just let the motherboard configure it and match to the lower speeds/settings. No issues with either.
    Reply
  • xFolterknechtx
    1.65V sticks on Z87/97 boards? I think the upper limit Intel mentioned in their white paper for Ivy and Haswell was something around 1.55 - 1.575V for DRAM voltage.

    Do what you want with your hardware guys, but I ll stay clear of these voltages.
    Reply
  • Pierre Olivier Vidal
    I have 2 questions for future articles.
    1 - Why do memory control sugest no higher voltage then 1.65V yet my DRAM says it can handle up to 2.4V and why would they make a DRAM capable of handling 2.4V if no memory control can push safely over 1.65V? ( I'm runing on Kingston Beast 32GB 2400MHz )
    2 - Why is there some DRAMs that are not compatible with some motherboards, what makes it compatible or not?
    Reply
  • Onus
    I would hate to risk shortening the life of an expensive Intel CPU by running more than 1.6V through its IMC. You raised it to 1.7??
    Reply