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Ultra-Speed RAM, APU-Style
In our review of the Kingston HyperX Predator 2666MHz kit, we discovered what those knowledgeable about Intel memory scaling already knew: for most applications, and specifically games, there is no significant advantage to increases in memory speed past the current 1600MHz DDR3 standard. But this was only half of the story. What about memory scaling with an AMD processor, and specifically an APU? To find out, we put AMD’s top APU, the A10-7850K, to the test!
Ready for some APU memory testing!
AMD has created a compelling option with their APU lineup, and the inclusion of powerful integrated graphics allows for interesting build options with lower power and space requirements, and even make building tiny mini-ITX systems for gaming realistic. It’s this graphical prowess compared to any other onboard solution that creates an interesting value proposition for any gamer looking at a new low-cost build. The newest Kaveri APU’s are getting a lot of attention and they beg the question, is a discrete graphics card really needed for gaming at reasonable settings?
So Many MHz, So Little Time...
If you've looked at memory for your system lately you've likely noticed a couple of things. First, memory prices have held steady for the past few months, but are still nearly double what they were a little over a year ago. Second, now that DDR3 has been a mature standard for years, there is a vast selection of RAM from many vendors, all with nearly identical specs. The standard has settled at 1600MHz for DDR3, and most desktop memory is programmed for this speed. Granted, many modules run at overclocked speeds, and there are some out there with pretty outlandish numbers, too - and it’s one of those kits that we take a look at today.
Hardly subtle, the Kingston HyperX 'Predator' dual channel kit for review today is clocked at a ridiculous 1066MHz OVER the 1600MHz standard. That's right, this is 2666MHz memory! It seems like such a big jump would have to provide increased system performance across the board, and that's exactly what we're going to find out.
We all want to get the most out of any component, and finding the best option at a given price is part of planning any new build or upgrade. While every core part is sold at a particular speed, and most can be overclocked, there are still some qualifying factors that make selecting the fastest part for your budget a little more complicated. Speed isn't based on MHz alone – as with processors, where it often comes down to number of cores, how many instructions per clock cycle a given CPU can churn out, etc.
Introduction and Technical Specifications
Courtesy of Corsair
Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 memory is the latest edition to their award winning Vengeance line of memory. Corsair re-engineered the included heat sinks for better performance and even designed in the ability to customize the module color via a removable aluminum clip along the top of the modules.
Courtesy of Corsair
Courtesy of Corsair
The Vengeance Pro modules come in three different color schemes - black and red, black and blue, and black and silver. The modules themselves are optimized for use with the 4th generation Intel® Core™ “Haswell” platform and include support for the latest version of Intel XMP (Extreme Memory Profile), XMP 1.3. The modules themselves are available at rated speed grades from 1600MHz to 2933MHz, in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB configurations.
Technical Specifications (taken from the Corsair website)
|Size||Speed||DIMM Count||Part Number|
|16GB||2933MHz, 12-14-14-36, 1.65V||4||CMY16GX3M4A2933C12R|
|32GB||2800 MHz, 12-14-14-36, 1.65V||4||CMY32GX3M4A2800C12R|
|32GB||2666 MHz, 11-13-13-35, 1.65V||4||CMY32GX3M4A2666C11R|
|16GB||2666 MHz, 11-13-13-35, 1.65V||2||CMY16GX3M2A2666C11R|
|32GB||2400MHz, 10-12-12-31, 1.65V||4||CMY32GX3M4A2400C10R|
|16GB||2400MHz, 10-12-12-31, 1.65V||2||CMY16GX3M2A2400C10R|
|32GB||2133 MHz, 11-11-11-27, 1.5V||4||CMY32GX3M4A2133C11|
|16GB||2133 MHz, 11-11-11-27, 1.5V||2||CMY16GX3M2A2133C11R|
|8GB||2133 MHz, 11-11-11-27, 1.5V||2||CMY8GX3M2A2133C11|
|32GB||1866 MHz, 9-10-9-27, 1.5V||4||CMY32GX3M4A1866C9|
|16GB||1866 MHz, 9-10-9-27, 1.5V||2||CMY16GX3M2A1866C9|
|8GB||1866 MHz, 9-10-9-27, 1.5V||2||CMY8GX3M2A1866C9|
|32GB||1600 MHz, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V||4||CMY32GX3M4A1600C9|
|16GB||1600 MHz, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V||2||CMY16GX3M2A1600C9|
|8GB||1600 MHz, 9-9-9-24, 1.5V||2||CMY8GX3M2A1600C9|
Aaah memory. It has been some time since we last had a memory review, and for good reason. Memory got pretty boring. Ten years ago this was not the case. DDR was just fresh on the scene and we were starting to see memory speeds and bandwidths get to a place where it would have a significant effect on performance. Latencies were of utmost importance, and the fastest 220.127.116.11 DIMMs running at DDR 400 speeds were often quite expensive. Then things sort of mellowed out. DDR-2 did not exactly bring faster performance over DDR initially, and it was not until DDR-2 800 and 1066 speeds that we actually saw a significant boost over previous gen DDR 1. DDR-3 brought even more yawns. With the jump to integrated memory controllers from both AMD and Intel, DDR-3 speeds were nearly meaningless.
The primary reason for this rather vanilla time in the memory market was that of individual bandwidth needs for CPU cores. Most research into this issue points to an individual CPU core needing only 3 to 4 GB/sec of bandwidth to support its data needs. AMD and Intel have gone to great lengths to increase the efficiency of not only their memory controllers and prefetchers, but also the internal caches so fewer main memory accesses are needed. So essentially a quad core processor would really only need upwards of 12 to 13 GB/sec of bandwidth in real world scenarios. DDR-3 1333 memory modules in a dual channel configuration would be able to support that kind of bandwidth quite easily. So what exactly was the point of having faster memory? Also, CPUs using DDR-3 memory are not as sensitive to latencies as we have seen in previous generations of parts.
If you have been visiting PC Perspective at all over the last week there is no doubt you have seen a lot of discussion about the currently running Battlefield 3 beta. We posted an article looking at performance of several different GPUs in the game and then followed it up with a look at older cards like the GeForce 9800 GT. We did a live stream of some PC Perspective staff playing BF3 with readers and fans, showed off and tested the locked Caspian Border map and even looked at multi-GPU scaling performance. It was a lot of testing and a lot of time, but now that we have completed it, we are ready to summarize our findings in a piece that many have been clamoring for - a Battlefield 3 system build guide.
The purpose of this article is simple: gather our many hours or testing and research and present the results in a way that simply says "here is the hardware we recommend." It is a the exact same philosophy that makes our PC Perspective Hardware Leaderboard so successful as it gives the reader all the information they need, all in one place.
Yesterday OCZ Technology announced that it was going to exit the memory market as of February 2011, the very same memory market that helped make it the well-known company it is today. After hearing the news we were both saddened and curious: why did they make this decision, what happens to all of those current OCZ memory users and where are they going from here?
Before Gigabyte’s Open Overclocking Championship 2009 North America Regional Final this weekend, Kingston invited several members of the media to tour their global headquarters and manufacturing facility located in Fountain Valley, Calif. Check out our quick overview of Kington's main production facility for their newest DDR3 memory modules.
One, singular sensation...
Corsair has always been one of our favorite brands of memory as they have consistently catered to our enthusiast desires with newer, faster options. This time Corsair is offering up a reasonably-priced 4GB kit of DDR3 memory that still runs at 1600 MHz or beyond. Come see if DDR3 has FINALLY overtaken DDR2 for our recommendations.
Introduction to Domination
Corsair shows us another DDR3 Dominator installment: this time using Intel Extreme Memory Profiles to overclock to 1800 MHz on a CAS 7 latency. Sure DDR3 is still expensive, but now it's also fast and easy to overclock!
Corsair and Super Talent sent along some of their top speed DDR3 memory for us to play around with and we came away more than slightly impressed about the future of DDR3 memory for the enthusiast!
Flex XLC Module Technology
OCZ has a very impressive memory option on the test bed today that offers both a great passive cooling option as well as liquid cooling for enthusiasts that really want to push their memory overclocking.
The New Dominator Module
Corsair's Dominator memory modules look like nothing else you have seen on system memory before with a unique cooling device and fantastic overclocking results to go along with it.
Introduction and Specifications
We review the latest Corsair XMS2 8500 dual-channel memory kit. Unlike other reviews you may have read, we overclock using three different motherboards to give you a better idea of how it will perform.
Introduction & Specs
We take a look at two DDR2 offerings from Corsair. The overclocking results are surprising which bodes well for Corsair's current DDR2 line-up.
Corsair is set to release a new memory technology with the ability to monitor and display temperature, voltage and frequency in a cool new package.
A detailed look at how memory functions and you can find the best memory for your particular configuration.