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Haswell And Richland Memory Scaling: Picking A 16 GB DDR3 Kit

Test Settings And Overclocking

Test System Configuration
AMD CPUAMD A10-6800K (Richland): 4.1-4.4 GHz, 4 MB L2 Cache, Socket FM2, Overclocked to 4.50 GHz at 1.425 V
Intel CPUIntel Core i7-4770K (Haswell): 3.5-3.9 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache, LGA 1150, Overclocked to 4.50 GHz at 1.25 V
AMD MotherboardAsus F2A85-V Pro Rev 1.03, BIOS 6104 (05/08/2013)
Intel MotherboardAsus Z87-Pro Rev 1.02, BIOS 1007 (05/17/2013)
AMD GraphicsIntegrated Radeon HD 8670D, 0.84 GHz
Intel GraphicsIntegrated HD Graphics 4600, 1.25 GHz
RAMG.Skill F3-17600CL9D-8GBXLD (8 GB) at DDR3-1600 C9 Defaults
Hard DriveSamsung 840 Series MZ-7PD256, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCorsair AX860i: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Platinum
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 8 Professional RTM x64
AMD PlatformAMD Catalyst 13.4
Intel GraphicsVersion 9.18.10.3111
Intel ChipsetIntel INF 9.4.0.1017

When we heard that AMD’s previous-generation motherboards would work with its new-generation processors, we were happy to pull out Asus’ top-overclocking F2A85-V Pro and give it a simple BIOS update.

Our Asus Z87-Pro sample already had firmware of similar vintage to the F2A85-V Pro’s update, so we left it alone.

Scuttlebutt says that AMD’s A10-6800K reaches 4.5 GHz without much effort, but our sample needed 1.425 V to achieve complete stability. It would easily run 4.4 GHz at 1.30 V, so perhaps 4.5 GHz wasn’t a good target?

The problem with 4.4 GHz was that we didn’t want to give the firm a frequency handicap in an article that includes Intel. Our Core i7-4770K was easily running 4.5 GHz at 1.250 V maximum, and we began testing before AMD's sample arrived.

And so the test began with the Intel processor at 4.50 GHz, secure in the knowledge that both CPUs would support DDR3-2400 via overclocking. Two of the kits were DDR3-2400-rated. And one of the kits would even run at DDR3-2666.

Best DRAM Timings at 1.65 V: Intel Core i7-4770K
Max MT/s 12-15-15-35DDR3-2400 OptimizedDDR3-2133 OptimizedDDR3-1866 OptimizedDDR3-1600 Optimized
Adata XPG V2 AX3U2400W8G11-DMV240011-12-11-3010-11-10-279-9-9-247-8-8-21
AMD Gamer Series AG316G2130U2K213311-13-12-3010-11-10-279-10-9-248-8-8-21
Crucial Ballistix Tactical BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX02133Failed9-10-10-278-8-8-247-7-7-21
G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-14900CL10D-16GBXL240011-12-12-309-10-10-278-9-9-247-8-8-21
Mushkin Redline Ridgeback 997121R240010-12-11-309-10-9-278-9-9-247-8-8-21
Patriot Viper 3 PV316G240C0KRD266610-12-11-309-10-10-278-9-9-247-8-7-21

AMD’s Richland-based A10 pushed better timings out of these modules at several settings, but its integrated graphics engine was not stable at DDR3-2400. After several attempts to adjust memory controller and DRAM voltage to compensate that instability, I eventually found that increasing the APU from the stock 1.20 V to 1.50 V granted temporary stability. This allowed theoretical XMP-2400 performance data to be gathered on the AMD platform, but you’ll see those results discredited throughout the article.

Best DRAM Timings at 1.65 V: AMD A10-6800K
Max MT/s 12-15-15-35DDR3-2400 OptimizedDDR3-2133 OptimizedDDR3-1866 OptimizedDDR3-1600 Optimized
Adata XPG V2 AX3U2400W8G11-DMV2133Failed10-11-10-278-9-9-247-8-7-21
AMD Gamer Series AG316G2130U2K2133Failed10-11-10-278-10-9-248-8-8-21
Crucial Ballistix Tactical BLT2KIT8G3D1869DT1TX02133Failed9-10-9-278-8-8-247-7-7-21
G.Skill Ripjaws X F3-14900CL10D-16GBXL2133Failed9-10-9-278-9-8-247-8-7-21
Mushkin Redline Ridgeback 997121R2133Failed9-10-9-278-9-8-247-8-7-21
Patriot Viper 3 PV316G240C0KRD2133Failed9-10-9-278-9-8-247-8-7-21

The System Builder Marathon gaming suite is easily adapted to integrated graphics performance evaluation by lowering its resolution and/or details to Intel HD Graphics 4600-compliant levels. The HD 8760D won’t even break a sweat.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Battlefield 3Campaign Mode, "Going Hunting" 90-Sec. Fraps Test Settings: Medium Quality Defaults (No AA, 4x AF)
F1 2012Steam Version, In-Game Test Test Settings: High Quality Preset, No AA
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimUpdate 1.5.26, Celedon Aethirborn Level 6, 25-Sec. Fraps Test Settings: Medium Quality Defualts (4x AA, 0x AF)
Far Cry 3V. 1.04, DirectX 11, 50-sec. Fraps "Amanaki Outpost" Test Settings: Medium Quality, No AA, Standard ATC., SSAO
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
SiSoftware Sandra 2013Version 2013.01.19.11, CPU Test = CPU Arithmetic / Cryptography, Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
  • Someone Somewhere
    What about 8GB? That's still a good option for most gamers.
    Reply
  • DjEaZy
    ... GPU 4.T.W.!!!
    Reply
  • Novuake
    Its a shame the AMD memory controller is so lacking, it matters very little for FX series, but here its a real bummer.

    Anyway, I am reasonably sure you could tighten the timings on the Ripjaws considerably, if this is the case with this specific kit, there is NO reason to get the Mushkins...
    Reply
  • Jarmo
    8GB of fast&expensive memory vs 16GB of the cheap stuff?
    Reply
  • CommentariesAnd More
    IMO 4GB and 8GB is what most APU Gaming Rigs have. Those looking for an APU for Gaming probably would love results with similar kits. But still we would love these results for like a baseline. Also , the Elite FTW in my next APU build/proposal :D
    Reply
  • yannigr
    You did it again. Another "let's make Intel looks better than it is" article.

    How can we give an advantage or two to Intel?
    Let's overclock both cpus. So Intel is getting 1GHz extra from it's default frequency while AMD only gets 400MHz. Then we call this fair.
    Let's lower the resolution and graphics. That way the benchmarks will be less gpu intensive and Intel's much better cpu will make things look more even.
    Not to mention the instability problems with AMD and 2400MHz memory, the problem reaching 4.5GHz. We all know that AMD is unstable and hot. Nice job. You are pros in what you are doing. But off course you where just testing memory here. Yeah right. You lowered the resolution even lower than 1366X768 which is the resolution for hdready displays. I guess lowering the resolution and overclocking was necessary so that Intel gpu can reach 30fps in all tests. Nice work.
    Next time try 800X600 and overclock with LN2.
    Reply
  • 4Ryan6
    Scuttlebutt says that AMD’s A10-6800K reaches 4.5 GHz without much effort, but our sample needed 1.425 V to achieve complete stability. It would easily run 4.4 GHz at 1.30 V, so perhaps 4.5 GHz wasn’t a good target? The problem with 4.4 GHz was that we didn’t want to give the firm a frequency handicap in an article that includes Intel. Our Core i7-4770K was easily running 4.5 GHz at 1.250 V maximum, and we began testing before AMD's sample arrived. And so the test began with the Intel processor at 4.50 GHz, secure in the knowledge that both CPUs would support DDR3-2400 via overclocking. Two of the kits were DDR3-2400-rated. And one of the kits would even run at DDR3-2666.

    Thomas, I know it would have involved more work, but wouldn't the right thing to do have been to reset the overclock target to 4.4ghz?

    You'd have been in safer territory not to have overclocked at all, if the overclock was not the same for each testing.

    Additionally for the record, the very reason some of these overclockers are experiencing such high heat levels are they're overclocking the CPUs memory controller from the very beginning of their overclocking, by attempting to run memory past the design specifications of the CPU right out of the box, that may have been partly the reason you couldn't get past 4.4ghz with acceptable voltage with the A10-6800K.

    These memory manufacturers never claimed their memory could be run at higher multiplier overclock levels as they were only tested, and supposedly guaranteed at the stock CPU speed capabilities at the factory, they never guaranteed they would run stably at 45x or beyond, multiplier ranges in the first place.

    I have yet to see the first memory claim that BrandX not only can run 2400mhz but can run it at a 50x multiplier for Intel or 25x for AMD, to reach 5.0ghz or for that matter 45x or 22.5x for your 4.5ghz target.

    So actually just because you can push the memory to make these tests doesn't mean that running memory speeds way past the CPUs memory controllers design specifications is a safe 24/7 run solution to advise others is seemingly OK, but that is exactly what a lot of users take away from these type of tests.

    Just because someone can, doesn't necessarily mean they should, for the longevity of their hardware, isn't THGs responsibility on a higher level than that?

    Reply
  • de5_Roy
    woulda liked to see how these kits would perform on a desktop intel hd5000/5100/5200 sku. shame on intel for not making those available on desktop! hd4600 blows!
    Reply
  • Novuake
    11546494 said:
    woulda liked to see how these kits would perform on a desktop intel hd5000/5100/5200 sku. shame on intel for not making those available on desktop! hd4600 blows!

    I almost think Nvidia and Intel had some nice discussions and deals to keep Iris out of the desktop.
    Just a hunch...
    Reply
  • Reynod
    Nice work crashman ... good to see they still have you chained to the test bench out the back.

    I hope they are feeding you buddy and letting you out once in a while !!

    Its time they let you loose on another serious overclocking campaign too.

    Chris ... get this man a big can of liquid nitrogen, 2 cartons of coke, a box of mars bars and a mobile hot dog vendor for the day ... time to reward crash.

    :)
    Reply