Memory MHz Benchmark Impact
Now that we know how much of an impact the CPU clock frequency has in our benchmarks, the next logical step is to find out how the memory clock frequency affects the results. We used CL2.5-4-3-7 timings and changed only the memory speed divider settings throughout the benchmark runs. For this test, disabling the L2 cache actually did produce some interesting results, so we decided to include those graphs.
As you can see, increasing memory clock speed actually helps squeeze the maximum performance out of the system. However, in SuperPI and 3Dmark - which reflect real world performance - we see tiny 5.2% and 3.5% performance increases, respectively, from a big 45% increase in memory clock frequency. Bear in mind that this is 3DMark2001, which, in contrast to newer versions of 3DMark, actually is somewhat bottlenecked by CPU speed or even memory speed when used with a new, yet reasonably-priced, graphics card. This will not necessarily be the case with modern games or benchmarks.
Also, remember that we used the same timings for all memory speeds. This means that if you end up in a situation where you are choosing between DDR400 and DDR600, the effective difference will actually be quite small, since DDR400 can run tighter timings. Exactly how much of a difference this makes we'll examine shortly.
Now let's take a look at how performance scales when changing the system memory timings.