Articles: Memory

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Of course, OCZ Technology, another well-known manufacturer of overclocker DDR3 SDRAM couldn’t stay uninvolved into the competition. They joined the DDR3-1333 club with their DDR3 PC3-10666 Platinum Dual Channel kit.

This kit is designed to work at 1333MHz frequency with 7-7-7-20 timings. The recommended voltage setting in this case is 1.8V.

OCZ DDR3 PC3-10666 Platinum Dual Channel modules are built using the same Elpida chips, as the Kingston kit. Therefore, they behave very similar to Kingston HyperX KHX11000D3LLK2/2G DIMMs during overclocking experiments. DDR3-1333 memory modules from OCZ overclocked to 1410MHz with default timings and to 1440MHz with less aggressive 8-8-8-22 timings. Note that increasing the voltage over the default 1.8V will only lower the overclocking results in this case.

As you see, the currently available DDR3 memory cannot boast any remarkable overclocking potential, although it is being offered by the leading manufacturers of overclocking-friendly DDR2 solutions. As for the price, DDR3-1333 SDRAM kits are much more expensive than slower modules. Therefore, it seems extremely interesting to check out the overclocking potential of slower DDR3-1066 memory as well. Today this memory will be represented by SuperTalent W1066UX2G7 kit.

These DDR3 modules are designed to work at 1067MHz with 7-7-7-15 timings at the nominal voltage of 1.5V.

If you raise the voltage to 1.8V, the potential of these modules can be increased significantly. They will work stably and reliably at 1340MHz with 1.8V voltage and 7-7-7-20 timings. Changing the timings to less aggressive 8-8-8-22 doesn’t have any noticeable effect on the speed: the maximum these modules can hit is 1370MHz. Nevertheless, we can conclude that overclocker DDR3-1066 memory, unlike DDR3-1333, can overclock to the next performance level.

Testing Methodology

Now let’s get to the most interesting part of our review: performance comparison. We will compare the performance of Intel P35 based systems with DDR2 SDRAM and DDR3 SDRAM.

We assembled a few testbeds using the following hardware components:

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 (LGA775, 3.0GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 4MB L2, Conroe).
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS P5K Deluxe (LGA775, Intel P35, DDR2 SDRAM);
    • ASUS P5K3 Deluxe (LGA775, Intel P35, DDR3 SDRAM).
  • Memory:
    • Corsair Dominator TWIN2X2048-8888C4DF (DDR2 SDRAM, 2 x 1GB Kit);
    • Kingston HyperX KHX11000D3LLK2/2G (DDR3 SDRAM, 2 x 1GB Kit).
  • Graphics card: OCZ GeForce 8800GTX.
  • HDD: Western Digital WD1500AHFD.
  • PSU: SilverStone SST-ST85ZF (850W).
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x86.

During our test session we had our memory kits working in different modes: to get the complete list of results we changed the memory frequencies and timings. You should understand, though, that far not all the work modes can be replicated on the memory modules available in the market today. For example, there are very few overclocker DDR2 SDRAM modules that can work at 800MHz with 3-3-3-10 timings. Also, only memory modules built using Micron D9 chips can hit 1066MHz with 4-4-4-12 timings. The same is true for the DDR3 SDRAM work modes, especially those requiring the modules to run at 1333MHz. And 6-7-6-18 timings settings are obviously non-standard for this memory type, but we still included this work mode into our results, because we managed to get Kingston HyperX KHX11000D3LLK2/2G kit to work just fine with these settings, and as I have already said, we selected Kingston as the today’ best and fastest DDR3 memory kit available in the market.

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