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Corsair Vengeance 12GB DDR3 1600 Review

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This set of Vengeance series memory from Corsair is but one of the seven sets offered in dual channel and triple channel configurations up to 16GB. The testing will include both stock and overclocked settings to see just how much headroom this set of modules has over and above the stock 1600MHz rated speed. Each set of modules is tested in this method to keep the CPU as close to the 2.66GHz default speed as possible, while maximizing the memory speed. The voltages used will be all the available options in the BIOS to reach the maximum clock speed while using the default 1.5v for the stock testing. For the overclocked testing, all bets are off. The test system is listed below and was used for each of the modules tested with a fresh install of Windows 7 Professional 64 bit.


Testing Setup:

Comparison Modules:


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.

Task Manager



Overclocked settings:

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 920
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance 12GB 1974MHz 9-10-9-27


Overclocking a 12GB set of memory should present some challenges but when playing with this set is was no harder to overclock than a 6GB set. I say that knowing it should take more QPI volts to stabilize the overclock than you might use with a 6GB set. All it took was the right combination of settings to reach the number. 1700MHz came without much fuss but 1800Mhz took an increase in voltage while maintaining the 9-9-9-24 timings. Moving up further required another bump to 1.65v and to finally reach 1974MHz  (374MHz over the rated 1600Mhz) the timings needed to be relaxed to 9-10-9-27. Any further bumps in voltages did not bring about a further increase in clock speed. The 374Mz increase in clock speed if looked at as a percentage increase would come in at a roughly 23% increase. Now will we see a 23% bump in performance? Not likely, but we should see a measurable increase. If overclocking is not your thing you can definitely tighten the timings up at the rated 1600MHz speed. In this case, to 7-8-7-24 with a slight bump in the VDIMM to 1.60 from the rated 1.5v. However, you do give up any power efficiency gains by doing this. Corsair has put together pretty informative blog post on how they were able to overclock these Vengeance modules in case you get stuck and need some guidance for both P55 and X58 platforms. We also have an 8GB set of these modules for review with Intel's Sandybridge processor and P67 platform coming here shortly. So stay tuned for that.



The maximum memory speed for each set of modules when overclocked is a measure of how well the modules ran on this test system. As such, your results may differ in either a positive or negative way based on the capabilities of your hardware. That said, your mileage may vary!



The benchmarks used in this review include the following:


  • CPU-Z Version 1.54
  • Windows Task Manager
  • PCMark Vantage
  • Geekbench 2.1
  • Super Pi 1.5
  • SiSoft Sandra 2010
  • Batman Arkham Asylum

  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Specifications & Features
  3. Testing: Setup & Overclocking
  4. Testing: PCMark Vantage, SiSoft Sandra 2010
  5. Testing: Geekbench, Super Pi Mod 1.5
  6. Testing: Batman Arkham Asylum
  7. Conclusion
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