Articles: Memory

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Forget DDR3-1333? Yes, Indeed!

First of all I would like to clarify why decided to focus on DDR3-1600 SDRAM, while more mainstream DDR3-1333 memory modules are currently much more affordable and wider spread in the market. It really doesn’t make much sense to prefer DDR3-1333 over f faster DDR3 SDRAM, because its high latencies put it behind DDR2-1066 and even DDR2-800. However, the results of our practical tests will be much better evidence to that. We compared the performance of a system equipped with 4GB DDR2 SDRAM against that of a similar system with DDR3-1333 memory. For more illustrative results we tested DDR3-1333 with two sets of timings:  9-9-9-27 and 7-7-7-20. The first set of timings is typical of most mainstream memory kits, while the second set is only available in products from well-known memory makers positioned as overclocker solutions.

The tests were performed in a system with a CPU working at its nominal speed, i.e. at 1333MHz processor bus frequency.

First of all we decided to check out the results of synthetic Everest Ultimate 4.60 test that measures the practical bandwidth and latency of the bus between the processor and the memory during data reading, writing and copying.

Read speed from the memory and memory latency prove to be the most dependent on the memory subsystem parameters. They also affect the system performance in different applications most of all that is why you should pay special attention to them. In fact, the corresponding diagrams show very clearly that DDR3 memory cannot demonstrate any impressive advantage, as we have just said above. In terms of real bandwidth, regular DDR3-1333 with 9-9-9-27 timings turns out equivalent to DDR2-1067, and in terms of latency it can only compete against DDR2-800. DDR3-1333 for computer enthusiasts that can work with CAS Latency 7 performs a little better. It reads the data slightly faster than DDR2, but features latency comparable to that of DDR2-1067.

Judging by these numbers we can expect slower DDR3-1333 to be no rival to the good old DDR2 memory. As for fast DDR3-1333, it may only be able to reach the performance level of DDR2-1067. Further tests will show if these assumptions are correct.

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