Articles: Memory

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Memory Modules Overclocking Results

Trying to shape up our verdict about the 4GB (2x2GB) dual-channel memory kits we got for this review, we tested them in order to determine their maximum stable operational frequency and bets timings configuration. For this purpose we used a perfectly suited Memtest86+ 2.11 benchmark testing how well the memory subsystem works under maximum load.

First we decided to find out the most aggressive timings configuration for the memory to work as DDR3-1600. We used the highest safe voltage setting of 1.9V for all memory kits except Aeneon XTUNE AXH860UD20-16H-K-4G that performed best at 1.6V voltage.

Only one kit of all tested - Aeneon XTUNE AXH860UD20-16H-K-4G – failed to work at 1600MHz frequency with CAS Latency 7. However, we can easily forgive it, taking into account phenomenally low voltage for an overclocker memory kit. As for other testing participants, we saw the best timings configurations by Mushkin 996601 4GB XP3-12800 and, surprisingly, Wintec 3AXH1600C9-4096K. They managed to outperform even the OCZ modules with much better original specifications.

Now let’s check out how far we can push the maximum frequency of our 4GB memory kits. We performed the first test with 9-9-9-27 timings and 1.9V voltage.

The results show the OCZ memory has fully rehabilitated itself. It overclocked to a record-high frequency, although it still couldn’t conquer a psychologically important DDR3-1800 barrier. The second prize goes to Aeneon modules that have suddenly revealed very good overclocking potential even despite low voltage setting. All other memory modules overclocked similarly except Corsair TW3X4G1600C9DHXNV kit that turned out a disappointment. Although it is one of the most expensive DDR3-1600 memory kits, its frequency potential is lower than that of all other competitors even with the “weakest” 9-9-9-27 timings.

The second overclocking test was intended to find out the maximum frequencies at which 2GB memory modules could work with aggressive 7-7-7-20 timings. This time we also set the voltage at 1.9V for all DDR3 SDRAM except Aeneon modules tested at 1.6V voltage setting.

And the winner with CAS Latency 7 is Wintec 3AXH1600C9-4096K! This is something out of the ordinary because according to the specs these memory modules are designed to work with CAS Latency 9! Nevertheless, the fact is undeniable: close family ties to the best OCZ products doesn’t go unnoticed in practical experiments. The “authentic” OCZ modules demonstrated very close results, too.

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