Articles: Memory

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Testbed Configuration for Memory Parameters Check

To check out the technical parameters and overclocking potential of the tested kits we assembled a special test platform. Unlike the platform we used in our previous DDR3-1800 SDRAM Roundup, we decided to use a newer platform this time built on an Intel X38 chipset. The testbed was assembled on an Asus P5E3 Deluxe mainboard that later on proved to behave exactly like Asus P5K3 Deluxe on Intel P35, which we used in our previous test session. In other words, DDR3 SDRAM overclocks identically on Asus P5E3 Deluxe and Asus P5K3 Deluxe mainboards, which allows us to compare the today’s results against those obtained earlier.

So, our testbed included the following hardware components:

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 (LGA775, 2.66GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4MB L2, Conroe).
  • Mainboard: ASUS P5E3 Deluxe (LGA775, Intel X38, DDR3 SDRAM).
  • Graphics card: OCZ GeForce 8800GTX.
  • HDD: Western Digital WD1500AHFD.
  • PSU: SilverStone SST-ST85ZF (850W).
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x86

Memory overclocked with the FSB:Mem divider of 1:2. System stability was checked with S&M 1.9.0 and Prime95 25.5 utilities.

I would like to point out that you need to overclock the FSB beyond 450MHz in order to be able to clock the memory at 1800MHz or higher, because the memory controllers of the current DDR3 chipsets – Intel P35 and Intel X38 – do not support any lower FSB:Mem dividers than 1:2. This is why we had to reduce the processor clock frequency multiplier to 7x and increase its Vcore to 1.4V to ensure successful outcome of our overclocking experiments. The North Bridge voltage in this case was also increased to 1.55V.

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