Articles: Memory
 

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Testbed and Methods

Now that we have discussed the design and features of the two 2GB kits from G.SKILL, let’s check out their performance and reveal their hidden potential.

For our test session we assembled the following testbed:

  • AMD Sempron 3000+ (Palermo) CPU, Socket 939;
  • ASRock 939DUAL-SATA2 (Uli1695+Uli1567) mainboard ;
  • Water-cooling system (three water units, Eheim 1048 pump, Airplex EVO 360 radiator with a 120mm Foxconn fan);
  • Sapphire Radeon X550 256MB graphics card;
  • be quiet! Dark Power 600W ATX 2.2 PSU;
  • 120GB ATA-100 Hitachi (7200 RPM) HDD;
  • DVD-ROM TSST SH-D162C and DVD-RW NEC ND-3520A optical drives;
  • Windows XP Professional SP1 OS.

The memory power circuitry on the mainboard has been modified and we used digital multi-meter to monitor the supplied voltage.

We overclocked the memory synchronously with the CPU clock generator. If we had to get the frequency below 200MHz, the memory divider was set as DDR166.

We tested the system stability in two stages:

  • Quick test with 3DMark 2003 (you may be surprised but this test very quickly reports even the smallest errors detected during memory functioning);
  • More indepth testing with SuperPi and Prime95 tests.

We decided that we will perform all the tests on our today’s memory solutions to reveal their potential and hidden features. Therefore we split the entire testing session into a few stages. First of all we took into account the specifics of the tested memory modules. Judging by this parameter we set the following timings in the following sequence: CAS Latency (tCL), RAS to CAS delay (tRCD), Row Precharge, tRAS.

1. For G.SKILL F1-4000USU2-2GBHZ:

  • 2-2-2-5;
  • 2-3-3-6;
  • 2.5-3-3-8;
  • 3-4-4-8;
  • 3-5-5-10.

2. For G.SKILL F1-3200PHU2-2GBZX:

  • 2-2-2-5
  • 2-3-2-7
  • 2.5-3-2-7
  • 3-3-2-7
  • 3-3-2-8

Moreover, all the above mentioned timing combinations have also been checked out with the Command Rate set to 1T and 2T.

We tested the modules with Vmem at 2.66V and 2.8V, according to the recommended voltage range for both kits. We have also tried to get each kit to work at 3.0V voltage or close to that, however the results at this Vmem haven’t been included into score charts for the reasons explained later in this article.

 
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