Memory Test Configuration

The comparison of Kingston DDR3 to earlier DDR3 and DDR2 used exactly the same components in the same test bed wherever possible. For the fairest comparison to both other DDR3 and the best DDR2, the Asus P5K and P5K3 motherboards were both powered by an Intel X6800 processor running at an 8x1333 FSB (333 quad pumped). All that was required to do this was up the base CPU bus to 333, and lowering the default multiplier to 8 (from 11). We did not need to make any changes to CPU voltage and left it at default settings. Due to issues with memory ratios on the P965 we were forced to use 10x266 timings for comparison on that chipset. The P965 was not designed for 1333 FSB speed, so when 1333 is set the available memory ratios do not allow comparison at standard memory speeds. 10x266 or 2.66GHz is the same speed as 8x333 and the same X6800 CPU was used in all three test beds.

The 1333 processor bus does improve performance in some benchmarks compared to 1066. The recent Intel P35 Memory Performance: A Closer Look examined the components of increased performance on the 1333 bus and found that the performance impact of the increased bus speed on gaming was minimal.

Memory Performance Test Configuration
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo X6800
(x2, 2.93GHz unlocked, 4MB Unified Cache)
10x266 - 2.66 GHz
8x333 - 2.66GHz
RAM Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2
(2GB kit - 2x1GB, DDR3-1333 7-7-7)

Corsair CM3X1024-1066C7
(2GB Kit - 2x1GB- DDR3-1066 7-7-7)

Corsair Dominator CM2X1024-8888C4
(2GB Kit - 2x1GB - DDR2-1250 5-5-5)
Hard Drive Samsung 250GB SATA2 enabled (8MB Buffer)
System Platform Drivers Intel - 8.3.0.1013
Video Card Leadtek WinFast 7950GT 256MB
Video Drivers NVIDIA 93.71
CPU Cooling Intel Retail HSF
Power Supply Corsair HX620W
Motherboards Asus P5K3 Deluxe (Intel P35 DDR3)
Asus P5K Deluxe (Intel P35 DDR2)
Asus P5B Deluxe (Intel P965 DDR2)
Operating System(s) Windows XP Professional SP2

To fairly compare this new low-latency Kingston DDR3 to existing DDR2 memory, one of the best DDR2 memories tested so far, Corsair Dominator, was also run at the fastest timings available at DDR2-800 3-3-3-9 and DDR-1066 at 4-4-3-11. The Dominator DDR2-1111 cannot run at DDR2-1333, so it was not possible to compare standard speeds above 1066. The same DDR2 memory was also tested on a P965 motherboard at the same fast memory timings of 800 3-3-3-9 and 1066 4-4-3-11. This allows comparison of performance of the current P965 with the fastest DDR2 memory to the new P35 chipset with both the fastest DDR2 memory and the low-latency DDR3 being reviewed.

Every 1066 FSB Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad CPU we had in the lab ran fine at 1333 processor bus at default voltage. The only exception was the top line X6800 at the default 11x multiplier, which did require a modest voltage boost for stable 3.66GHz operation. Of course 1333 is the FSB frequency Intel will be introducing on their soon-to-be-announced processor upgrades.

Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2 Bandwidth and Memory Scaling
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  • Kozusnik - Thursday, December 06, 2007 - link

    Kingstone ram is some of the best ram you can put into your computer by asking me i use it in every computer i build! Reply
  • begsh - Saturday, June 23, 2007 - link

    are you really achieved this??
    i have same modules and they cant get even 1400 at 7-7-7, with mobo asus p5k3 and 0403 bios.
    any tips?
    Reply
  • Night201 - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    http://www.memory4less.com/m4l_itemdetail.asp?rid=...">Seems pretty Expensive: ~ $500 Reply
  • MadBoris - Saturday, May 26, 2007 - link

    P.S. Some of the recent reviews almost seem a bit minimalistic. Hope it's not a trend of things to come. Not to be critical, but I would like to see anandtech provide fresh content, perspectives and methodologies like I've grown accustomed to. Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, May 28, 2007 - link

    We would appreciate it if you could share specifics of what would constitute a non-minimalist memory review. What tests and procedures would you add? Reply
  • MadBoris - Saturday, May 26, 2007 - link

    You know the more i think about it, the results aren't that tangible. Sure Sandra shows benefits. But if I am running a game at 40 fps, is DDR3 going to give me 41, 42?
    It won't be noticeable.

    Spend less on reliable decent RAM, get a faster CPU or GPU, seriously.

    Same with the P35, just not too tangible with speed tests. Mobo's should be about reliability, features sets, testing devices(USB, SATA, RAID) on them and how well they work.

    Speed testing with RAM or Mobo's isn't tangible enough. When a new chipset or RAM increases things 15 - 20% then I'll be interested. I'm not really interested in shaving .5 seconds off a compile or an encode.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    We have updated ALL charts in the review to make it easier to compare performance. Bandwidth Standard, Bandwidth Buffered, Super Pi, and the 3 games now included 1520 (380x7) results in the last column. This means all four rows are now running at 2.66GHz, with just a change in the memory bandwidth. *00, 1066, and 1333 are running 8x333, and 1520 is 7x380 - all 2.66GHz as stated at the top of the chart.

    We have added an Overclocking Chart to p.5 that includes 7x380 (2.66GHz)- 8-8-8-22, 8x380 (same multiplier as 800/1066/1333 but pushed ot highest OC at 3.04GHz)- 8-8-8-20, and 8x275 (3.0GHz - highest speed at 7-7-7 timings) - 7-7-7-15. so you cna see the impact of timings at the very top overclocks. It should be no surprise that 1500 7-7-7-15 results are the fastest.

    With these changes we think we have addressed your suggestions on making the performance charts more useful for readers.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    For those who requested them, these are the results for the higheest memory speed at slower timings. After further testing, we managed 1520 8-8-8-22 timings at 1.8V.

    The first result is 7x380, which is the same 2.66GHz run at all other memory speeds, and the second is 8x380, which is the same ratio but the highest OC we could reach from the base memory setting of 1333. The sequence is test, 7x380 (2.66), 8x380 (3,04):

    Sandra XI-Standard Buffered - 7329, 7462
    Sandra XI-Standard UNBuffered - 5172, 5263
    Super Pi 1.5 - 45.31, 40.40
    Far Cry River - 107.46, 117.82
    Quake 4 - 116.0, 123.5
    Half Life 2-Lost Coast - 109.5, 111.5

    We will add a chart with these results to the bottom of the overclocking section later today.
    Reply
  • Googer - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    2GB of DDR3 will cost you close to $385!

    http://www.google.com/products?q=KHX11000D3LLK2&am...">http://www.google.com/products?q=KHX11000D3LLK2&am...
    Reply
  • TA152H - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    A lot is being made of DDR3 latency and such, and performance, but hasn't anyone considered the impact of voltages? I see these grossly inflated voltages for DDR2 memory, and I can't help but wonder if they would have so much better performance, even clock speed normalized, if they were both run at stock voltages.

    A lot of places aren't stupid enough to run DDR2 at 2.2 or 2.3 volts, it creates a lot of heat and lowers the lifespan of the device. Sure, the kiddies will, but the business world isn't that crazy about running things out of spec. Now we have the jackasses at Kingston already producing 1.7v DDR3. Why even bother having a spec if no one pays attention to it???? The memory is just out, and they can't stay to spec.

    But anyway, it might be interesting to compare memory at spec, which, last I remember, was 1.5v for DDR3 and 1.8v for DDR2. Or even at the same voltage, to see what is intrinsic to DDR3 and DDR2. It might be the voltage difference accounts for a lot of the higher timings, and not the standard. Not that I'm advocating running DDR3 at 1.8v, but for testing, it would be informative. Certainly if these nitwits are running DDR2 at 2.2-2.3v, DDR3 at 1.8v can't be too far behind. Good grief.
    Reply

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