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LGA1156 Platform and DDR3-1600 Memory

Any real gains?

December 9, 2009



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Data compression



Of all existing applications, archivers are probably the most responsive to the speed of system and cache memory. Another brilliant proof of this thesis -- the 160x10 mode is the fastest here, despite lower processor clock rates, and the 133x12 mode successfully outperforms the 133x10 mode. But can it compare with Turbo Boost? As we can see, it also fails to reach at least parity. But that's a good try.

Compilation (VC++)



They are all the same, that is all other units operating the same frequency, memory speed is irrelevant, and 480 MHz gained by cache memory were used to make up for 80 MHz of CPU clock rates.

Java



The same here. However, if we take a look at the detailed results of all tests, we'll see that some of them respond noticeably to memory speed, and some of them even appreciate faster cache. But the average result is the same. Besides, it's very close to what a processor demonstrates with enabled Turbo Boost (probably the closest result in our today's tests.)

Audio encoding



Fast memory, slow memory -- what's the difference? What matters here is processor clock rates.

Video encoding



We have already come across the situation, when video encoders behave just like rendering, that is there is a small performance gain from fast memory, but factory overclocking is much more efficient.

3D games



Just like archivers, games love fast memory and fast cache. Besides, such tuning may help catch up with Turbo Boost. Unfortunately, this attempt is not a success either.

Conclusions



Do you really need any comments? I don't think so. Upgrading to DDR3-1600 increases performance of Core i7 2.8 GHz by 1-2 points. Using Turbo Boost -- by more than 10 points. How much more? About the amount of performance gained from faster memory. By the way, if you remember the previous article, 1066-CL7 memory reduced the overall performance there by one point (down to 139). So the conclusions about the necessity of high-speed memory are clear.

However, the lack of necessity does not mean uselessness. There are still some low performance gains registered by the benchmarks. It's especially good in games and archivers, where the results of 1600-CL8 in the 160x10 mode (with the overclocked cache) with Turbo Boost disabled (processor clock rates reduced by 80 MHz) are identical to those of 1066-CL7 with Turbo Boost enabled. Obviously, it's the overclocked cache that helps a lot, but the results are still identical!

Drawing a bottom line, we can say that high-speed memory is not necessary, but it's not useless either. Just use common sense and keep in mind that memory performance does not play the decisive role. A gaming PC (where such memory modules are quite justified) needs a well-chosen graphics card in the first place, then goes an appropriate CPU and the necessary memory volume. If you still have some money left to afford higher-speed memory, then don't deny yourself this pleasure. If not, that's still ok. You won't miss much.


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Page 1: Introduction, testbeds

Page 2: Tests

Page 3: More tests, conclusions



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