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Performance: DDR3 vs. DDR2

In this part of our review we are going to compare the performance of our Phenom II X4 810 in different types of mainboards: Gigabyte MA790GP-DS4H and Gigabyte MA790FXT-UD5P. In both cases we used two widely spread memory configurations.

Socket AM2+ system worked with DDR2-800 with 5-5-5-15 timings and 1T Command Rate, and with DDR2-1067 with 5-5-5-15 timings and 2T Command Rate. Note that we had to use 2T Command Rate in the latter case because Phenom II memory controller doesn’t allow a more aggressive setting for this latency with 2GB DDR2-1067 SDRAM modules in the system.

Socket AM3 system worked with the following two configurations: DDR3-1333 with 7-7-7-20 timings and DDR3-1600 with 7-7-7-20 timings. Command Rate parameter was set at 1T in both cases. Luckily, there is no problem with this setting for high-speed DDR3 memory.

Synthetic Benchmarks

First of all we decided to check out the practical parameters of different platforms’ memory subsystems in synthetic benchmarks.

As we have expected, synthetic benchmarks all show the superiority of the Socket AM3 platform. In other words, the new platform supporting DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 promises only better performance.

Here I have to add the following. The additional testing showed that the memory controller in the Socket AM3 CPU installed into a Socket AM2+ system with DDR2 memory performs as fast as the memory controller of the “native” Socket AM2+ processors (provided the built-in North Bridges work at the same exact frequencies). In other words, the universal memory controller in the new Socket AM3 processors doesn’t cause any performance drops when working with DDR2 SDRAM.

 
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