Articles: Memory
 

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Testbed and Methods

We will try to check how profitable it is to use DDR700 SDRAM in an Athlon 64 platform on a condition that you have to go for some serious concessions in terms of memory timings for the system to be stable in this mode. To perform this test session we took a system with an Athlon 64 FX-57 processor (2.8GHz default clock rate) and tested its performance at varying clock-gen and memory frequencies. At each memory frequency we chose the most aggressive timings that overclocker-friendly modules on Samsung TCCD and Winbond UTT chips permitted.

We took two pairs of modules from OCZ to perform our tests: OCZ EL DDR PC-4800 Dual Channel Platinum (on Samsung TCCD chips) and OCZ EL DDR PC-3500 Gold GX (on Winbond chips). The table below lists the tested modes:

CPU clock frequency
multiplier

Clock generator
frequency

Resulting
CPU
frequency

Memory
frequency

Timings

Memory
modules

14x

200 MHz

2800 MHz

DDR400

2-2-2-10-1T

OCZ EL DDR
PC-3500
Gold GX

13x

215 MHz

2795 MHz

DDR430

2-2-2-10-1T

12x

233 MHz

2796 MHz

DDR466

2-2-2-10-1T

11x

255 MHz

2805 MHz

DDR510

2.5-3-3-10-1T

OCZ EL DDR
PC-4800
Dual Channel
Platinum

10x

280 MHz

2800 MHz

DDR560

2.5-4-4-10-1T

9x

311 MHz

2799 MHz

DDR622

3-4-4-10-1T

8x

350 MHz

2800 MHz

DDR700

3-5-5-10-2T

As you see, the processor frequency is nearly the same in all the modes, so any variation in the system performance will only be due to the differences in the memory subsystem configuration.

The testbed was configured in the following way:

  • AMD Athlon 64 FX-57 CPU (Socket 939, 2.8GHz, 1024KB L2 cache, San Diego core)
  • DFI NF4 Ultra-D mainboard (Socket 939, NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra chipset)
  • Memory modules:
    • OCZ EL DDR PC4800 Dual Channel Platinum
    • OCZ EL DDR PC3500 Gold GX
  • PowerColor RADEON X800 XT graphics card (PCI-Express x16)
  • Maxtor MaXLine III 250GB hard disk drive (Serial ATA-150)
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2

Although the title product of this review, Patriot PDC1G5600ELK, doesn’t take part in these tests, the results will show us if DDR700 SDRAM is at all worth the trouble.

 
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