Articles: Memory

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General Performance: PCMark Vantage, 3DMark 11

To estimate the average platform performance, PCMark Vantage measures the speed of actual popular algorithms users work with every day. And here we no longer see any dramatic performance differences between the systems featuring memory modules with different specifications. The memory frequency increase by one 266-MHz increment produces a barely noticeable 1-2% performance gain. And the performance difference between the system equipped with the fastest DDR3-2133 and the slowest DDR3-1067 memory is only 5% in nominal mode and 6% in overclocked mode.

According to a popular 3DMark 11 graphics test, the graphics sub-system performance doesn’t really depend on the memory speed at all.

However, besides the general graphics score, 3DMark 11 also generates another score, which is particularly interesting in our specific case – Physics rating. This number is produced by a specific physics test that emulates the work of a complex mechanical system with a large number of objects.

It turns out that the mathematical calculations performed within this test are pretty sensitive to the memory speed. And by simply increasing its frequency you can significantly boost the performance up to 15-20%. Note that the effect from the increase in the memory sub-system performance is most noticeable in an overclocked system. However, when our test Core i5-2500K works at its nominal frequency, most of the performance growth occurs in the interval between DDR3-1067 and DDR3-1600. Faster memory modules have less obvious effect on the performance in the physics test.

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