iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






DDR Memory Analysis. Part 1: Kingmax DDR-466

Test Results

According to our method, the memory modules were tested in two modes. The first series of tests (performance tests) were carried out in normal mode, with standard timings set in motherboard BIOS according to the SPD chip data. The second series (stability tests) – in the "extreme" mode with maximum possible timings for a given module on a given motherboard.

Tests in dual channel mode

Performance tests

The first series of tests in dual channel mode was carried out with "standard" settings – memory operating in DDR-400 mode, timings being set "by SPD". You can easily see that different BIOS versions on different motherboards interpret data in this chip differently. Most of them "agree" to 2.5-4-4-8, being the true values for these modules operating at 200 MHz – we have already shown that above. Enabled PAT (Testbed #1) slightly pulls up timings (up to 2.5-3-3-7), while the on-board memory controller of AMD64 (Testbed #8) ignores tRAS and sets its own value (2.5-4-4-6). But, running a few steps forward, we can note that it's not very successful – most likely, Kingmax DDR-466 modules (like the majority of other modules) simply ignore this parameter in chipset settings and use their own values. Quite an unexpected result is demonstrated by the Gigabyte K8NS Ultra-939 motherboard based on nForce3 250 chipset (Testbed #9)... to be more exact, the lack of result! The memory modules just refused to operate with this motherboard for some unclear reason, taking into account that the memory controller is part of an AMD Athlon 64 processor, not part of a chipset. We are only to guess that BIOS of this motherboard modifies some settings of the integrated memory controller (for example, memory interleaving) different from those used by BIOS in ASUS A8V Deluxe (Testbed #8).

Let's proceed to test results. Among the testbeds of the same type (Testbeds #1 – 7, except for the AMD system) the leadership both by memory bandwidth and by latency is taken by Albatron PX865PE Pro (Testbed #1) with enabled PAT. The second place is occupied by ASUS P5P800 (Testbed #3), which also uses the memory performance acceleration technology. Putting aside these results, we can see that almost all platforms based on Pentium 4 demonstrate more or less equal results: maximum memory read bandwidth is within 6150-6200 MB/sec, pseudo-random memory access latency is within 55-65 ns. But there are exceptions: ASUS P4P800-VM (Testbed #2) is obviously lagging behind by latency (60-70 ns).

Athlon 64 based system (ASUS A8V Deluxe, Testbed #8) expectedly keeps aloof. Its distinctive features are a considerably higher maximum real memory write bandwidth, and consequently lower pseudo-random access latency (only 34-38 ns).

Stability tests

The second series of tests was carried out with minimum possible timing values not resulting in memory glitches.

From this table you can clearly see that you can set any tRAS timing value in config registers of the chipset (up to 4 inclusive) without ruining memory operation stability. Values of the other timings are the same for all tested systems – 2.0-3-3. Note that the modules under review can operate at lower timings – 2.0-3-2, but it practically immediately resulted in read/write errors (it should be noted that the number of these errors was considerably less in Testbed #8 with Athlon 64 processor). What concerns low level characteristics of the memory system – it's easy to see that switching to the "extreme" mode didn't change the disposition. With PAT enabled, Testbeds #1 and #3 are still leading by their memory bandwidth and latency (among the "equal", that is excluding the AMD system). The other motherboards demonstrate average results, except for ASUS P4P800-VM (Testbed #2), which is loosing by its pseudo-random memory access latency.

Tests in single channel mode

Performance tests

Test conditions of the first series of tests in single channel mode match those in the dual channel mode – all settings are by default. Albatron PX865PE Lite Pro (Testbed #10) acts like the "dual channel" model (Testbed #1) – when PAT is enabled, "tougher" timings are set (2.5-3-3-7). nForce 3 250 chipset again brings a surprise, this time it's EPOX 8KDA3J (Testbed #12) that won't work. There is no sense in comparing the values in this case – they will only demonstrate obvious differences in memory system characteristics with and without PAT as well as no less obvious differences between the integrated memory controller in AMD64 and the controller in the i865PE chipset.

Stability tests

Stability tests in the single channel mode reveal some differences from the test results in dual channel mode. Namely, we managed to set 2.0-3-2 memory timings in Athlon 64 system retaining system stability! (remember that this configuration in dual channel mode resulted only in reduced number of glitches).

Bottom line

First of all, we should dwell on the compatibility issue of Kingmax DDR-466 memory modules with motherboards based on various chipsets. So, these modules are not recommended to use with motherboards based on NVIDIA nForce3 chipsets (both in single and in dual channel mode), because you risk to jeopardize your memory system stability (it may even result in complete inoperability). What concerns the other motherboards and chipsets tested (VIA K8T800/Pro, i865PE/G, i915P/G), we can say that they demonstrate approximately the same stability results (minimum timings, in particular). We should name Albatron PX865PE Pro (Testbed #1) and ASUS P5P800 (Testbed #3) as obvious leaders in memory system performance due to PAT support, while the worst result was demonstrated by ASUS P4P800-VM (Testbed #2), which is characterized by high memory latencies.

Dmitry Besedin (dmitri_b@ixbt.com)

November 30, 2004

Write a comment below. No registration needed!

Article navigation:

blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.