Review Index:

Ultra-Speed DDR3 Revisited: AMD APU Memory Scaling

Subject: Memory
Manufacturer: Kingston

Graphics Benchmarks

Synthetic Benchmarks

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Simply put, the APU puts all available memory bandwidth to use. Perfect scaling all the way up to 2500MHz in the synthetic tests. There seems to be no ceiling here!
Next we’ll look at a couple of “real-world” game benchmarks, with both a current DX11 title and an older DX10 example.

In-Game Benchmarks

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At 1366x768 the Thief benchmark was fairly smooth with the DDR3-2500 memory, hitting close to 30FPS, and at 1080p the game was actually approaching playability at nearly 20FPS. A “very low” preset is available as well, which pushes the FPS numbers higher still.

For the DX10 example we look at results from the official Metro 2033 benchmark.

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Once again each memory speed increase brought higher frame rates and smoother results (with the exception of the one lower min FPS 1080p result).

Overall, the results from the game benchmarks were outstanding, and with regard to memory bandwidth from the previous Intel system benchmarks there was no comparison. Memory scaling with this APU was linear all the way up to 2500MHz, and would presumably continue far beyond.

April 11, 2014 | 11:21 AM - Posted by collie (not verified)

Thanks Sebastian, this realy did answer alot of questions. Great read

April 11, 2014 | 12:27 PM - Posted by JohnGR

Mantle results in Thief or BF4 would have been welcomed here, to see how much the combination of faster RAM and Mantle helps with the average and maybe more important, with minimum frames. Or maybe just to see if faster RAM has the same or different impact under Mantle compared to DX11.

April 11, 2014 | 01:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Since Mantle reduces the CPU overhead, I wouldn't think it would have much of an impact at all, but testing that hypothesis wouldn't hurt.

April 11, 2014 | 01:40 PM - Posted by BBMan (not verified)

Thanks for this review. The 2400 point is nice- I hadn't realized how much these have dropped in price. That was almost as surprising as the performance results. Still, someone who is nickle and diming it over the $$$ between 1600 and 2133 kits is probably looking at another system entirely if they're looking at 2400, but from what I've seen, it almost doesn't make sense to at least drop in a 2133 anyhow.

April 11, 2014 | 03:12 PM - Posted by grommet

Are there plans to see how RAM speeds affect an APU/video card crossfire setup? eg. a 7850K with a R7 250

April 11, 2014 | 03:34 PM - Posted by Hikingmike

Thanks for the experiment and review!

"is a discreet graphics card really needed for gaming at reasonable settings?"
"the newest Kaveri APU’s certainly suggest that discreet graphics might not be needed for acceptable 1080p gaming"
"building a system without a discreet graphics card offers the possibility of a full-featured system build"
"and would save nearly enough over the 7850K to buy a discreet GPU as well"

This kind of discrete is spelled discrete.

April 11, 2014 | 10:48 PM - Posted by Sebastian Peak

Hey, if I was going to misspell a word, might as well do it like 10 times! (Corrected, thanks.)

April 11, 2014 | 07:17 PM - Posted by mtrush (not verified)

pretty sure you'd want to save your money on expsensive memory and just get a discrete gpu

April 12, 2014 | 05:55 AM - Posted by RunningDuck

thx for the test.

was the ram dual rank or single rank memory?

if dual rank can you repeat the result of this test ( )

the result on was that dual rank is faster than single rank.

April 12, 2014 | 01:37 PM - Posted by Holly (not verified)

These results aren't surprising. The IGP is basically an underclocked HD 7750 (a card I own).
Any word on DDR4 arrival for the mainstream?

"It’s likely that a different processor would be chosen for a low cost build"

I'm in this situation now. I need something to replace a failing Core i3 530 @3.7Ghz and H55 mobo. I can get a Haswell Pentium and B85 mobo for $120-160 and be content. Budget minded people replace what's broken and salvage what they can.
Shopping Newegg last night Kaveri wasn't on my radar.

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