Overclocking Results

When it comes to memory overclocking, there are several ways to approach the issue.  Typically memory overclocking is rarely required - only those attempting to run benchmarks need worry about pushing the memory to its uppermost limits.  It also depends highly on the memory kits being used - memory is similar to processors in the fact that the ICs are binned to a rated speed.  The higher the bin, the better the speed - however if there is a demand for lower speed memory, then the higher bin parts may be declocked to increase supply of the lower clocked component.  Similarly, for the high end frequency kits, less than 1% of all ICs tested may actually hit the speed of the kit, hence the price for these kits increase exponentially.

With this in mind, there are several ways a user can approach overclocking memory.  The art of overclocking memory can be as complex or as simple as the user would like - typically the dark side of memory overclocking requires deep in-depth knowledge of how memory works at a fundamental level.  For the purposes of this review, we are taking overclocking in three different scenarios:

a) From XMP, adjust Command Rate from 2T to 1T
b) From XMP, increase Memory Speed strap (e.g. 1333 MHz -> 1400 -> 1600)
c) From XMP, test a range of sub-timings (e.g. 10-12-12 to 13-15-15 to 8-10-10) and find the best MHz theses are rated.

There is plenty of scope to overclock beyond this, such as adjusting voltages or the voltage of the memory controller – for the purposes of this test we raise the memory voltage to the ‘next stage’ above its rated voltage (1.35V to 1.5V, 1.5V to 1.65V, 1.65V to 1.72V).  As long as a user is confident with adjusting these settings, then there is a good chance that the results here will be surpassed.  There is also the fact that individual sticks of memory may perform better than the rest of the kit, or that one of the modules could be a complete dud and hold the rest of the kit back.  For the purpose of this review we are seeing if the memory out of the box, and the performance of the kit as a whole, will work faster at the rated voltage.

In order to ensure that the kit is stable at the new speed, we run the Linpack test within OCCT for five minutes as well as the PovRay benchmark.  This is a small but thorough test, and we understand that users may wish to stability test for longer to reassure themselves of a longer element of stability.  However for the purposes of throughput, a five minute test will catch immediate errors from the overclocking of the memory.

With this in mind, the kit performed as follows:

Test PovRay OCCT
XMP 1619.36 78C
XMP, 2T to 1T 1611.44 79C
2600 10-12-12 No Post No Post

Subtimings Peak MHz PovRay OCCT Final PI
7-9-9 1866 1605.86 76C 267
8-10-10 2133 1606.57 77C 267
9-11-11 2400 1593.42 77C 267
10-12-12 2400 1599.21 77C 240
11-13-13 2400 1610.20 77C 218
12-14-14 2400 1594.08 78C 200
13-15-15 2400 1611.75 77C 185

I was a bit surprised that the memory kit would not add a memory strap to 2600 MHz with the same XMP timings.  This was confirmed in our secondary testing over sub-timings: 2400 C9 is the peak of our kit, giving a PI of 267.

IGP Compute Corsair Vengeance Pro 2x8GB DDR3-2400 C10 1.65V Conclusions


View All Comments

  • UltraWide - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

    On this page:

    What are the exact voltages each timing/subtiming? You only list the subtimings and peak MHz, but no voltages.
  • SorenLerby - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

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  • jeffrey - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

    Ian Cutress,
    Hello! This is another article stating 1866/C9 being the minimum for Haswell and to avoid 1600 or less. Even going so far as to say, "Any kit 1600 MHz or less is usually bad news."

    However, this ignores 1600/C8 modules. The 1600/C8 score a 200 on your Performance Index at stock timings. This is at your recommended 200 level. There are several kits of 2x4 GB 1600/C8 on Newegg that have memory profiles of 8-8-8-24 at 1.5v. I'll repeat, these 1600 8-8-8-24 1.5v kits score 200 on the Performance Index and hit the current memory sweet spot for most people of 2x4 GB. This scores within around 3% of the 1866/C9 kits which have a Performance score of 207.

    The reason I bring this up is that the 1600 8-8-8-24 kits are often less expensive than the 1866/C9 kits and offer essentially all of the performance.

    I enjoy reading your articles and appreciate how active you have been lately!
  • jeffrey - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

    Here is an example of a great value for a 2x4 GB kit. This item has 500+ positive reviews and normally sells out when it goes on sale (as it is now).

    1600 MHz 8-8-8-24 1.5V
  • fractal9 - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

    Where in the article does it state this? These days I want the most compatibility and reliability, and that means being in the JEDEC standard and at 1.5v. I don't care about a few extra fps or synthetic performance figures, I'll save my $80 and enjoy increased stability. Reply
  • Senti - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

    "we are not going to set any records" with tRFC at 10? lol, sure we would! Do you actually understand the timings you are writing about? Real tRFC is the line above where the numbers are near 300. Now we have huge table of timings that is totally useless because we can't trust it at all...

    Btw, your spam filter is awful – looks like it blocked my (dynamic) IP for unknown reason.
  • Hairs_ - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

    Oh dear god. Not this again. It is time for a thorough debunking, based on the data presented, because clearly it is not going to stop.

    Established from Anandtech's own testing data:
    There is no distinguishable, patternable difference between 8GB and 16GB memory kits. In some cases, there is a swing one way or the other, but nothing is consistent.
    I think that most enthusiasts would recommend, if asked by a friend on a midrange budget, a 1600 8gb kit. The lowest price for that at C9 timings on newegg is $55. Not the $150 - 250 being bandied about for these moronic kits.


    An 1866 C9 16GB kit comes in at ~$115. (It is safe to assume that *some* kit will always be on offer.)

    So let's look at the conclusive data:

    From all the graphs, we can conclude the difference between the Best "stupid" kit and a reasonable 1600 c9 kit is:

    Average 2.78%
    Max 13.27%
    Min 0.00%

    The best results for the stupid kits are:
    13.27% running Explicit Finite Solver (3d only, the 2d result was 3.3%) on an IGP. Anyone running this is not using an IGP to do it, I suspect.
    12.91% on USB3 copy. The page for those results states they are pulled from the Motherboard reviews, so there's no indication this speed isn't motherboard specific rather than memory specific (as some AsRock boards have USB boost which allegedly seems to work). One result on this same test had a 34.55% lead, but it had the same lead (or larger) on "faster" kits than the 1600 kit, so I am treating this as an outlier.

    The vast majority of the results are just not in the stupid kit's favour.

    Test Difference Best Stupid Kit 1600 C9 Kit Testing
    Graph 1 5.67% 12.86 12.17 IGP
    Graph 2 1.66% 9.2 9.05 IGP
    Graph 3 4.65% 9 8.6 IGP
    Graph 4 1.29% 105.39 104.05 Direct
    Graph 5 1.47% 62.94 62.03 Direct
    Graph 6 1.28% 47.4 46.8 Direct
    Graph 7 0.41% 49.55 49.35 Direct
    Graph 8 3.14% 212.5 206.03 Weird triple unbalanced which won't ever occur
    Graph 9 3.13% 123.93 120.17 Weird triple unbalanced which won't ever occur
    Graph 10 1.04% 91 90.06 Weird triple unbalanced which won't ever occur
    Graph 11 5.86% 113.85 107.55 Weird triple unbalanced which won't ever occur
    Graph 12 1.00% 54.834 55.383 CPU - From MOBO reviews so no indication if same testbed was used
    Graph 13 12.91% 47.33 53.44 CPU - From MOBO reviews so no indication if same testbed was used or if MOBO had USB speed boost.
    Graph 14 0.00% 47 47 CPU - From MOBO reviews so no indication if same testbed was used
    Graph 15 1.56% 64 65 CPU - From MOBO reviews so no indication if same testbed was used
    Graph 16 3.71% 190.32 183.51 CPU - From MOBO reviews so no indication if same testbed was used
    Graph 17 1.23% 49.57 48.97 CPU - From MOBO reviews so no indication if same testbed was used
    Graph 18 2.13% 4.8 4.7 CPU - From MOBO reviews so no indication if same testbed was used
    Graph 19 0.10% 132.06 131.93 CPU Compute
    Graph 20 1.59% 755.04 743.25 CPU Compute
    Graph 21 0.01% 38.793 38.791 CPU Compute
    Graph 22 0.45% 1354 1348 CPU Compute
    Graph 23 1.32% 613 605 CPU Compute
    Graph 24 1.33% 152 150 CPU Compute
    Graph 25 3.31% 1780 1723 IGP Compute
    Graph 26 13.27% 222 196 IGP Compute - Explicit Finite Difference Solver (3d), not something going to run on an IGP…
    Graph 27 2.49% 150.653 146.993 IGP Compute
    Graph 28 1.93% 50.731 49.769 IGP Compute
    Graph 29 2.60% 7103 6923 IGP Compute
  • Hairs_ - Friday, December 13, 2013 - link

    The "Weird triple unbalanced" above refers to the idea that there is some lunatic out there running a 4 generation old Dual GPU card in crossfire with a different, single GPU from the same generation but a different spec. This is referred to as "esoteric" but I think it's safe to assume that the only person doing this is someone who has video cards sitting in a pile next to a testbed because they're a video card reviewer.

    Suffice to say I don't think this test is representative of any real world use pattern, but then neither are a lot of the tests where the stupid kits "shine" (if you can call 12% advantage for a 300% price premium "shining").

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