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Triple-Channel DDR3: 6GB Kit Roundup

Test Settings

Test Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7 920 2.66 GHz, 8.0 MB L3 Cache
MotherboardAsus P6T Deluxe BIOS 1003 (12/05/2008) Intel X58/ICH10R Chipset, LGA-1366
GraphicsGigabyte GV-R487-512H-B HD 4870 GPU (750 MHz), GDDR5-3600
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD5000AAKS, 500 GB 7,200 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16 MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerCoolermaster RS850-EMBA (850W, ATX12V v2.2)
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows Vista Ultimate SP1
Graphics DriverAMD Catalyst 8.9
ChipsetIntel INF 8.3.0.1016
Benchmark Settings
Memtest86+Version 1.70 (Memory Stability Test for Overclocking)
SiSoftware Sandra XII SP2Version 2008.5.14.24, Test=Memory Bandwidth Benchmark

Asus has an excellent reputation for memory stability, so we used its P6T Deluxe to find the best timings and highest speeds of each module set.

The P6T Deluxe supports memory voltage changes in increments of 0.02 V. Since this particular motherboard did not support 1.650 V precisely, we chose the 1.66 V setting, which is probably within the safety factor Intel calculated into its 1.65 V "maximum" voltage recommendation.

Of course, we needed a Core i7 processor, but not just any processor would do. While most reviewers are stuck with Core i7 920 engineering samples that only support DDR3-800 and DDR3-1066 ratios (3x and 4x base clock, times two), our retail sample supports data rates all the way up to 2,133 MHz (8x base clock, times two).

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Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • arkadi
    Grate article!
    What was always bothering me about ram reviews is how much memory speed/timing will really impact on system performance. I it is a lot of work I know, but it was never covered.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    From ArticleOf course, we needed a Core i7 processor, but not just any processor would do. While most reviewers are stuck with engineering samples that only support DDR2-800 and DDR2-1066 ratios (3x and 4x base clock, times two), our retail sample supports data rates all the way up to 2,133 MHz (8x base clock, times two).
    I could be wrong, but shouldn't it be ddr3 ? I'm not aware of i7 supporting ddr2?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    neiroatopelccI could be wrong, but shouldn't it be ddr3 ? I'm not aware of i7 supporting ddr2?
    Heheh, looks like it's been edited.
    Reply
  • azone
    I wounder if amd will do quad channel with its am3 motherboards or even dual 128 bit channels. that would be cool. Just something to beats intels triple 64bit channels.
    Reply
  • Proximon
    Good info. Would have been nice to see at least one real world benchmark.
    Reply
  • goryachev
    Great article. Thanks.
    Reply
  • Gian124
    Anyone know the difference between the following
    Kingston HyperX T1 Series Kits:
    KHX16000D3T1K3/6GX
    KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX

    What does the UL signify?... would it benchmark the same as the former (which was tested in this article)?
    Reply
  • 'The current problem is one of voltage.'
    I loled at that.. maybe it's too early in the morning for me :D
    Reply
  • hexploit
    Interesting just how few people give a damn about DDR3 at this point.
    I guess many are a: Not wowed by i7 like they were core2 and b: Laugh and the prices of DDR3 at a time when DDR2 is not only still very fast relative to the software/games on the market but is dirt cheap.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Gian124Anyone know the difference between the following Kingston HyperX T1 Series Kits:KHX16000D3T1K3/6GXKHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GXWhat does the UL signify?... would it benchmark the same as the former (which was tested in this article)?
    They may have changed the name.
    Reply