Walton Chaintech Apogee GT 3x2GB DDR3 1866 ReviewThe Smith - February 26, 2009
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Here is the moment you were all waiting for, testing. To see what kind of performance the Apogee GT modules can deliver, I will install them in an i7-based system since it is a tri-channel kit. I will run synthetic benchmarks and finish with a gaming benchmark, in order to see the real-world capabilities. Of course, this kit will be compared head-to-head to some other kits on the market. Naturally, the same setup is used from one test to another to ensure consistency in the scores. The last step will be to proceed to overclocking of the RAM kit. To discover its hidden potential, I will once more run all the benchmarks at the highest speed attained. So all you need to do is enjoy the results!
- CPU: Intel Core i7 920 150x20 = 3 GHz
- Motherboard: MSI X58 Platinum SLI
- Memory: Walton Chaintech Apogee GT 3x2GB DDR3 1866
- Video Card(s): Nvidia GTX 260
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Modular Power supply
- Hard Drive: Seagate 750GB 7200.11 SATA
- Opticals: Pioneer DVR-212DBK
- O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
- Comparison Module #1: OCZ DDR3-12800 Platinum 3x2GB 7-7-7-24
- Comparison Module #1: Mushkin HP3-12800 3x2GB 9-9-9-24
- Comparison Module #2: Patriot Viper Series DDR3-10666 3x2GB 9-9-9-24
CPU-Z: This application shows us the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings, and SPD chip information.
Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file, and processor usage.
- Processor: Intel Core i7 920 165x20 = 3300MHz
- Memory: Walton Chaintech Apogee GT 3x2GB DDR3 1980MHz
To get the Apogee GTs up to 1980MHz, I first began by lowering the CPU multiplier, increasing the RAM voltage to 1.9V and increasing the main timings to 9-9-9-27-2T. Then, I slowly increased the base clock, testing the RAM stability each time using a bootable CD of MemTest86+, leaving everything else on Auto. This lead me to 2016MHz. Next step was to boot into Windows. Unfortunately, I was savagely attacked by a BSOD as soon as the Windows logo appeared. So I took control over the QPI voltage, increasing it up in 0.05V steps until I could boot into Windows with no problems. I needed to go as high as 1.60V. Once I got into Windows, it was time to get some more aggresive stability tests going on. I fired up OCCT Petroïska and I found out that stability was still far, far away. I verified if another small increase in voltages could help, but unfortunately, no. I finally needed to back up the frequency a bit, down to 1980MHz, and I reduced the RAM voltage back to the stock 1.8V. I thought I would have needed to give them more to get to higher frequencies, but surprisingly, it did not help at all. At that point, everything had no stability problems. Finally, just a bit more tweaking needed and I would be good to go. First of all, I wanted to reduce the QPI voltage, as 1.6V is pretty high considering the stock 1.2V. I could reduce it to 1.58V. That's a bit better. I also worked on the main timings, checking stability in Memtest86+ once again. I could reduce them back to 9-8-8-24-1T. Anything lower lead to errors. Next, now that RAM overclocking was out of the way, I increased the CPU multiplier to 20, along with a small bump in core voltage. Last, but not least, I tweaked the advanced timings one by one.
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.49
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra 2009
- Left For Dead