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DDR3 Memory: What Makes Performance Better?

DDR3 Performance: What Makes Memory Perform Better?

STOP! I know what you're thinking. And no, this isn't another typical DRAM review, so don't go running off to load up on caffeine. Sure, it will share some things you see in straightforward reviews — the intro, a look at the sets of DRAM, a look at the hardware test bed(s) and a few benchmarks. But the road will be far from straight and narrow.

I spend a fair amount of time in the Tom's Hardware forums, and a number of common problems and questions often arise about DRAM. Often, people don't understanding why the DRAM runs as it does, why one gets worse performance on one platform than another or between similar sets of DRAM, how to set up DRAM to run at its full specifications, whether one kind of DRAM works with another, and so on. I also know the DRAM manufacturers get flooded with the same questions, so I approached them with the idea of a review, but one where I would examine the performance difference on an AMD vs. Intel basis, and answered some of the questions I frequently see in the forums.

A 32GB set of 2400 DRAM would be ideal for the testing, since it can easily be downclocked and possibly overclocked, and we could scale the DRAM down to 16GB, or even 8GB for comparative testing. I approached several DRAM manufacturers and received a healthy dose of samples in response from (in alphabetical order): ADATA, AMD Radeon Memory, Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston, Mushkin Enhanced and Team Group.

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