System memory speed doesn’t have a serious effect on the platform performance – this rule also works for LGA1156 systems. In fact, we are not surprised with this outcome: every time we test memory modules for contemporary platforms we arrive at this conclusion in the end. The results of our practical performance tests suggest that DDR3 SDRAM frequency and timings can only make as little as 5% difference on average in LGA1156 systems. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule, such as synthetic benchmarks, for example, but they do not affect the overall picture too much.
All this allows us to conclude that it is hard to underestimate the importance of optimal memory sub-system parameters, but at the same time we shouldn’t completely ignore this aspect either, because in most cases getting the best DDR3 SDRAM for your LGA1156 system doesn’t require any serious additional financial investments. As a result of the recent price drop on DDR3 SDRAM, DDR3-1067, DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 kits sell at very close prices. Moreover, the best memory models boast excellent overclocking potential, which makes it possible to build a highs-speed memory sub-system at a very moderate cost.
At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that most LGA1156 platforms working in nominal mode can only clock system memory at 1333 MHz. And only systems with CPU from Core i7-800 series support multipliers that allow settings the memory frequency at 1600 MHz. It means that if you are not planning to overclock, then in most cases you should be fine with DDR3-1333 SDRAM with low timings. However, it you consider yourself an enthusiast and think of doing some overclocking, then it makes more sense to go for a higher-speed DDR3-1600 like Kingston HyperX KHX1600C8D3K2/4GX or Corsair Dominator CMD4GX3M2A1600C8 kits we have discussed today. This memory will provide you with additional flexibility in configuring the system parameters and will deliver a few percent of extra performance. However, we do not recommend considering those overclocker kits that cost much more than the regular DDR3-1333 SDRAM. Instead you can use the available finances for a faster CPU or graphics card.