Synthetic testing has a way of elevating what may be a minor difference between hardware into a larger-than-life comparison, despite the effect on the usage of the system being near minimal.  There are several benchmarks which straddle the line between synthetic and real world (such as Cinebench and SPECviewperf) which we include here, plus a couple which users at home can use to compare their memory settings.


The mix of real-world and synthetic benchmarks does not get more complex than SPECviewperf – a benchmarking tool designed to test various capabilities in several modern 3D renders.  Each of these rendering programs come with their own coding practices, and as such can either be memory bound, CPU bound or GPU bound.  In our testing, we use the standard benchmark on the IGP and report the results for comparison.

Each of these tools uses different methods in order to compute and display information.  Some of these are highly optimized to be less taxing on the system, and some are optimized to use less memory.  All the tests benefit in some way moving from DDR3-1333 to DDR3-2400, although some as little as 2%.  The biggest gain was using Maya where a 22% increase was observed.

Cinebench x64

A long time favourite of synthetic benchmarkers the world over is the use of Cinebench, software designed to test the real-world application of rendering software via the CPU or GPU.  In this circumstance we test the CPU single core and multi-core performance, as well as the GPU performance using a single GTX 580 at x16 PCIe 2.0 bandwidth.  Any serial factors have to be processed through the CPU, and as such any memory access will either slow or speed up the benchmark.

Cinebench - CPU

Cinebench - OpenGL

In terms of CPU performance in Cinebench, the boost from faster memory is almost negligible; moving from DDR3-1333 to DDR3-2133 gives the best boost of about 1.5%.

Conversion, Compression and Computation Overclocking Results


View All Comments

  • crackedwiseman - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    OK, just one question: why in the hell are the IGP memory tests done on an i7? The results would be much more meaningful if the tests were on an AMD A10 or similar - it has a beefier IGP, and thus would be more bandwidth-bound. Reply
  • creed3020 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    100% Agree. Doing these tests against a Trinity APU would have been much more interesting from a iGPU point of view. It it well known that AMD APUs benefit from increased memory bandwidth, AT has yet to test Trinity for this yet they did it for Llano. Reply
  • silverblue - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    It makes sense to test; HD 4000 is far superior to HD 3000 and it is worth knowing if that extra power is bandwidth limited. Generally, it is a little, though nowhere near as much as AMD's equivalents are. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    Not to mention, it's surprising to me that AMD wasn't mentioned as a company trying to match memory to motherboard. AMD started making their own memory modules, an interesting fact I think. Reply
  • SeanJ76 - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - link

    AMD is a decade behind Intel, in processor technology and instructions, it really doesn't matter what AMD attempts to do.... Reply
  • SeanJ76 - Saturday, June 21, 2014 - link

    No one gives a shit about APU you moron......these are desktop tests! Reply
  • hp79 - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    Maybe because more people use intel? I agree that it would have stood out more if it was AMD's IGP, but doing the test on intel IGP is also okay and gives an idea of what to expect. I think the article is fine. Besides, do people really play games with IGP? If I am playing demanding games, I want the frame rates to be minimum 60 fps. That's why I use a dedicated graphics card. This might change when AMD's IGP gets even more powerful, but for now I think it's still not there yet. Reply
  • zcat - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - link

    > Besides, do people really play games with IGP?

    Some of us do. My miniitx i7 is primarily for work & everyday use, but its HD4000 is fast enough for Portal 2 and Diablo 3 to be very playable @ 1920x1080p with AA off.

    However, I know the limits of IGP, and intend on upgrading to an overclocked GeForce GTX 650 Ti very soon in order to play some more demanding games this winter.
  • - Monday, October 22, 2012 - link

    you may want to reconsider your choice of video "upgrade"
    nvidia's 2nd number is more significant than the first as far as overall gaming graphics power goes... You'd do better going for a 560 TI than a 650 for approx the same cost
  • Dirk Broer - Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - link

    You should first look at what chip actually powers the card -and it's capabilities- before staring yourself blind on the last two digits. Besides that, a GTX 560 Ti is more expensive than a GTX 650. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now