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Does High-Speed DDR3 Help AMD's FX? Four 8 GB Kits, Reviewed

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
CPUAMD FX-8150: 3.60 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache, Socket AM3+ O/C at 1.30 V to 20 x 200.7 MHz (4.0 GHz)
CPU CoolerSunbeamtech Core-Contact Freezer w/Zalman ZM-STG1 Paste
MotherboardAsus Sabertooth 990FX, Firmware 1102 (03/12/2012)
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 6950 2 GB: 800 MHz GPU, GDDR5-5000
Hard DriveSamsung 470 Series MZ5PA256HMDR, 256 GB SSD
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerSeasonic X760 SS-760KM: ATX12V v2.3, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
GraphicsAMD Catalyst 12.4
ChipsetAMD Platform Driver 3.0.842.0

Asus' high-end Sabertooth 990FX pairs with AMD’s top-model FX-8150 as the foundation for our memory overclocking tests.

Outdated by the launch of its Radeon HD 7900 series, our reference Radeon HD 6950 is the fastest AMD-based graphics card in this editor’s arsenal available for testing.

Benchmark Configuration
Stability TestMemtest86+ v1.70, single pass (~45 minutes) Max Speed at CAS 11 Min Latency at DDR3-2400, 2133, 1866
Bandwidth TestSiSoftware Sandra 2012 SP4 Bandwidth Benchmark
DiRT 31680x1050, High Quality Preset, No AA
Metro 20331680x1050, DX11, High, AAA, 4xAF, no PhysX/DOF
3ds Max 2012Version 14.0 x64: Space Flyby Mental ray, 248 Frames, 1440x1080
WinRARVersion 4.01: THG-Workload (464 MB) to RAR, command line switches "winrar a -r -m3"

DiRT 3 acts as our platform-bottlenecked gaming benchmark, while Metro 2033 offers the GPU-limited alternative. On the productivity side, 3ds Max 2012 is CPU-bottlenecked, while WinRAR’s performance is affected by multiple parameters, including memory bandwidth.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.