Articles: Memory

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Application Tests

In Autodesk 3ds max 2014 we benchmark the speed of mental ray rendering of a complex 3D scene.

The memory frequency doesn’t affect the speed of final rendering much. The twofold increase in DDR3 SDRAM bandwidth only translates into an extra 1% of speed.

The performance in Adobe Premiere Pro CC is measured as the time it takes to render a Blu-ray project with HDV 1080p25 video into H.264 format and apply special effects to it.

We've got a different picture when we process HD video content. The difference between DDR3-1333 and DDR3-2933 is up to 8%, which is quite large. So, there are applications that really care about memory subsystem speed.

By the way, if we examine the results closely, we can see that DDR3-2400 is the most optimal memory type for Premier Pro. You don’t get much performance benefits with higher memory frequencies although DDR3-2666 and DDR3-2933 kits cost much more than the slower products.

We benchmark performance in Adobe Photoshop CC using our custom test that is based on the Retouch Artists Photoshop Speed Test and consists of typical processing of four 24-megapixel images captured with a digital camera.

Photoshop is highly sensitive to memory subsystem parameters. Equipped with high-speed dual-channel DDR3-2933 SDRAM, our platform is 12% faster than itself with DDR3-1333. The optimal-buy DDR3-2400 is 8% faster than popular DDR3-1600, too.

To test the processors’ performance at data archiving we use WinRAR 5.0. Using maximum compression rate, we archive a 1.7GB folder with multiple files.

Compressing files always showed good scalability of performance depending on memory frequency, even in the era of LGA1155, LGA1156 and LGA775 processors. And today, each 266MHz increase in DDR3 SDRAM frequency makes WinRAR faster by 3 to 4%. So, DDR3-2933 helps our Haswell processor do 23% faster than with DDR3-1333 at archiving.

In order to measure how fast the tested CPUs can transcode video into H.264 format we used x264 FHD Benchmark 1.0.1 (64 bit). It measures the time it takes the x264 coder to convert an MPEG-4/AVC video recorded in 1920x1080@50fps resolution with default settings. The results have high practical value because the x264 codec is part of popular transcoding utilities such as HandBrake, MeGUI, VirtualDub, etc. We regularly update the coder used in this performance test. This time around, we use version r2389, which supports all contemporary instruction sets including AVX2.

HD video transcoding doesn’t depend that much on memory subsystem parameters. DDR3-2400 is a mere 3% faster than DDR3-1600, a difference of 266MHz in memory frequency translating into a 1% difference in performance. The performance benefits get even smaller after the memory clock rate goes above 2400 MHz.

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