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Testbed and Methods

Now that we have discussed in detail the peculiarities of our testing participants – new DDR3-1800 overclocker memory kits – it is time we checked out their practical value. These solutions are pretty expensive, so we hope that they can really boost the performance of overclocked systems.

Since contemporary chipsets for Core 2 processors support 1:2 as the smallest FSB:Mem divider, DDR3-1800 SDRAM can only work in nominal mode with 450MHz FSB. So, we used this FSB frequency in our test system.

Other available dividers provide a bunch of other frequencies on the memory bus: 900, 1080, 1125, 1350, 1440 and 1500MHz. These frequencies determined our today’s choice of rivals for DDR3-1800 SDRAM:

  • DDR3-1500 with 6-6-6-18 timings: most overclocker DDR3-1600 modules support this work mode;
  • DDR3-1350 with 7-7-7-20 timings: the widely spread DDR3-1333 SDRAM supports this configuration;
  • DDR2-1125 with 5-5-5-15 timings: contemporary DDR2 SDRAM modules for computer enthusiasts can easily reach this work mode;
  • DDR2-900 with 4-4-4-12 timings: most contemporary modules can work in this mode using synchronous clocking of the memory and front side bus.

We decided to use a quad-core processor to measure the system performance, because these CPUs are very demanding when it comes to memory bus bandwidth. The test CPU was overclocked to 3.6GHz as 8 x 450MHz. DDR3 SDRAM tests were performed in a system built on Asus P5K3 Deluxe mainboard. The performance of DDR2 SDRAM was measured in a similar system built on Asus P5K Deluxe.

So, our test platforms were built using the following equipment:

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, overclocked to 3.6GHz (8 x 450MHz).
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS P5K Deluxe (LGA775, Intel P35, DDR2 SDRAM);
    • ASUS P5K3 Deluxe (LGA775, Intel P35, DDR3 SDRAM).
  • Graphics card: OCZ GeForce 8800GTX.
  • HDD: Western Digital WD1500AHFD.
  • PSU: SilverStone SST-ST85ZF (850W).
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x86.
 
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