Lab Update - Patriot Memory Viper Series DDR3-1333by Gary Key on March 17, 2009 11:30 PM EST
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Far Cry 2
This highly awaited title from last year has beautiful graphics, an open ended environment, and is fun to play... but the traveling between missions tends to get repetitive. If you dial up the graphics options, the game rewards with you some fantastic visuals courtesy of the Dunia Engine. The game also features the most impressive benchmark tool we have seen in a PC game. We set the performance feature set to Very High, graphics to High, and enable DX10 with AA set to 2x. The in-game benchmark tool is utilized with the Ranch Small level.
In both the average and minimum frame rate results we notice scaling rates around 1% going from DDR3-1333 C9 to DDR3-1866 C9. At stock CPU and GPU speeds, improving memory timing rates and speeds just does not matter with our particular platform. In fact, overclocking the system only results in a 3% improvement in average frame rates and 2% in minimum rates. Our GPU selection in this benchmark is the leading performance factor for determining frame rates. We had similar results in other games and only the Source based games like Left 4 Dead showed improvements above FarCry 2.
PCMark Vantage: TV and Movies -
This particular test suite concentrates on video transcoding and playback with simultaneous threads. It is one of the more demanding tasks in our test suite and results are dependent on CPU efficiency, core count, and memory bandwidth along with a fast storage system.
Scaling is linear as we increase memory speed and improve latencies with our best results occurring at DDR3-1866, at least until we overclock the system. The DDR3-1866 result is 5.6% better than our base DDR3-1333 C9 score. Improving our timings and latencies at 1333/1600 resulted in a 1% or so improvement, certainly nothing that would ever be noticed in actual usage.
PCMark Vantage: Productivity -
The productivity test suite focuses on general workloads in an office environment such as word processing, contact searches, email, web page rendering, and malware scanning. It also features simultaneous thread testing and is dependent on CPU speed, memory bandwidth, and a fast storage system.
Scaling is similar to the TV/Movies test suite with our best results occurring at DDR3-1866 until we overclock the system. The DDR3-1866 result is 3.8% better than our base DDR3-1333 C9 score and is not noticeable in actual usage. Improving our timings and latencies at 1333/1600 resulted in almost no improvement.
Quick Thoughts -
The Patriot Viper Series (PVT36G1333ELK) DDR3-1333 CAS9 6GB memory kit surprised us with its ability to scale memory speeds up to DDR3-1866 effortlessly or to operate at tight timings with very safe voltage settings. Even with the platform overclocked, the memory had no problems operating at DDR3-1600/1766 with reasonable timings and voltages.
While certainly not a memory kit that an enthusiast would need to break SuperPI or 3DMark records, it would suffice for about 95% of users needing a solid and high quality DDR3 6GB memory kit. Current pricing at Newegg shows this kit to be available for $97.99 with a $15 mail-in-rebate bringing the cost down to $82.99 with free shipping. Just to make sure we did not receive a “cherry” kit the first time from Newegg, we ordered a second kit a week later and had the exact same results with it. As such, we have no qualms about recommending this kit based on price, performance, and customer support provided by Patriot Memory.
We will not delve into our test results until the roundup. We will say that the majority of application benchmarks we have completed to date have resulted in similar patterns provided today at stock processor speeds with a single GPU. However, there is a place for high performance DDR3 memory. We will discuss and show results where it becomes an advantage shortly. In the meantime, a memory kit like the one previewed today will work just fine for most of us.