Memory Test Configuration

In Conroe vs. AM2: Memory & Performance it was demonstrated that DDR2 memory performance, in timings and voltage, are equivalent on the AM2 and Core 2 Duo platforms. The first generation of AM2 on-processor memory controller does not support any memory timings below 3, while the Intel platform supports settings of 2 for RAS-to-CAS and RAS Precharge. In addition AM2 boards do not officially support DDR2-1067 as a memory speed option, which makes testing some of the newest DDR2 memories rated at DDR2-1067 very difficult. For all of these reasons, the Intel platform will be the test platform for DDR2 memory testing. Specifically, Core 2 Extreme, which has available memory ratios both up and down, is the platform of choice. When updates are made in the AM2 and Core 2 Duo markets the platform will be examined again.

The ASUS P5W-DH is the latest 975X board in the ASUS family and it fully supports the Core 2 processors. The P5W-DH Deluxe therefore replaces the P5W-D2-E premium used in past DDR2 reviews. A review of the updated ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe is available in the Conroe Buyers Guide on page three. The P5W-DH features similar memory options to the earlier versions, but since most of the Core 2 Duo/Extreme processors run at a quad-pumped FSB of 1067, the available options are particularly useful for benchmarking when a Core 2 chip powers the system.

Memory Configuration Options/ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe Motherboard
  Auto DDR2-400 DDR2-533 DDR2-667 DDR2-711* DDR2-800* DDR2-889* DDR2-1067*
FSB-1067 X X X X X X X X
FSB-800 X X X X   X    
FSB-533 X X X          

Our memory test bench uses the following components:

Memory Performance Test Configuration
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo X6800
(Dual core, 2.93GHz, 4MB Unified Cache)
RAM 2 x 1GB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3
2x1GB OCZ Ti Alpha PC2-8000 VX2
Hard Drive(s) Hitachi 250GB SATA2 enabled (16MB Buffer)
System Platform Drivers Intel -
Video Card 1 x EVGA 7900GTX - All Standard Tests
Video Drivers NVIDIA 91.31
CPU Cooling Tuniq Tower 120
Power Supply OCZ PowerStream 520W
Motherboard Asus P5W-DH Deluxe (Intel 975X)
Operating System Windows XP Professional SP2
BIOS AMI 903 (August 1, 2006)

We retested several recently reviewed memories on the P5W-DH since it is an updated board. It still uses the 975X chipset so memory bandwidth and timings did not change with the move to the ASUS P5W-DH. We did find, however, that game benchmarks using the same Presler 955 chip from past testing were 1 to 2 FPS faster on the newer board. It is also almost useless to compare benchmarks with Conroe to older results with Presler - since Core 2 Duo is as much as 35% to 40% faster than Presler. Therefore, the only results shown here are the two new memories tested on the X6800 platform. Previously reported timings and voltages are still useful and can be compared to new results, but performance results on Core 2 begin with this review

Memory Specifications Corsair: Memory Performance


View All Comments

  • Beaner - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    Just curious...

    The picture of the Corsair DIMMs show the bottom one as 512MB.
    Was the wrong one used for the photo?
  • JarredWalton - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    The model name is correct at the top of the sticker, so I'm guessing it's a pre-release sample and the "512MB" is simply a typo. As Wes mentions, it doesn't appear that Corsair has an equivalent 2x512MB kit (yet?). Reply
  • CrappyLuckMan - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    I would still like to see how budget DDR2-800 performs too. For some reason you guys left them out of the feeding the monster article. Do you guys think it's better to just go with value PC5300/5400 and overlock it? However, I would think you could overlock value DDR2-800 to around 1000mhz. In honesty I'm posting this out of selfishness since I ordered Corsair XMS2 1GB kit (my games I run never hit 1GB PF usage) TWIN2X1024-5400C4 4-4-4-12 1.9V for $108 is great for relatively low latency low voltage highly compatible ram.
    Your articles with specifics such as voltage and latencies you use for stable overclocks really save us users some time and we thank you for that.
  • CrappyLuckMan - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    Oops made a bad com error. I should mention I meant to say it would be nice to compare which is better, lower latency lower voltage value pc5300/5400 or higher volt higher latency value pc6400 ram. Sorry tired from waiting on news for new motherboards last night lol. Reply
  • EarthsDM - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    In the discussion of his article, “Conroe Buying Guide: Feeding the Monster” (July 19th, 2006) Gary Key replied to a question on G.Skill memory, saying “We still have additional memory selections from a variety of suppliers arriving for further memory reviews at this time.” Is this what he meant, or are you guys going to review the G.Skill? I don’t want to sound ungrateful for the reviews you do, but G.Skill is a memory that of a lot of us (system builders) are interested in because it seems to offer the best performance/price.
    On a separate but related note, do you know when the next round of motherboard reviews will be posted? I’m sitting on some Core 2 Duos and I need systems to put them in for back-to-school. Thanks a bunch!
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    We have the latest G. Skill on the way. We will schedule a review when it arrives. Reply
  • EarthsDM - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    Thanks! Reply
  • yacoub - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    The enthusiast, by definition, is always looking for more - more speed, more power, more performance. The quest is for the best - performance so good and speeds so fast that no one can touch their results. You may even consider the enthusiast an elitist, but that is no different than the car enthusiast, a photography enthusiast, or any technology area where hobbyists can be found.

    Well that's your opinion and I'd disagree with it. Enthusiast does not always equal elitist (in fact it rarely does) nor a need to have the most expensive and latest item. One can be an enthusiast of cars without owning an exotic supercar. One can be a photography enthusiast without ever taking a picture, but simply appreciating the work of others.

    I'm not picking a nit, but pointing out the fallacy that if you buy the most expensive and newest item you must be an ethusiast. On the contrary, (reviewers excluded) you're most likely just a sucker for marketing or poor monetary management.

    Most computer enthusiasts for that matter are much more interested in building the best bang-for-the-buck system, not the most expensive one they can find, and generally not even using the latest parts. I would say the overclocker is the epitome of the computer enthusiast, as 'he' not only looks for the best performance but often elicits it 'him'self by taking budget parts and using 'his' knowledge and resources available, runs them at the speeds of much more expensive items, thus getting the best of both worlds - cost and performance.

    Just a thought.
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    The most expensive is not always the best performance, as we have pointed out many times. The enthusiast seeks the best. The quest for best performance for "x" dollars is also seeking the best. So is overclocking a cheap part for best performnace.

    I suppose my point was that the enthusiast is not one to "settle" for mediocrity or buy a cookie-cutter system. Your points are well taken and I am in basic agreement.
  • yacoub - Friday, August 4, 2006 - link

    Then they aren't elistists, as elistist brings to mind a rich person who just buys the latest and greatest because 'it is'. Overclockers are economical people to a fault. The two don't match up, hence the discrepancy. =) Reply

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