G.SKILL Pi Series F3-12800CL7T-6GBP Tri Channel 6GB Reviewccokeman -
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To test the G.Skill Pi Series memory modules, they will be put through a series of benchmarks designed to see how well they perform under load. With the set having lower power requirements, I am curious as to how well they will stand up among other sets designed for raw speed. They will be compared to other sets of memory designed for the Intel Socket LGA 1366 platform running a triple channel memory design. For the overclocking test, I will use a combination of voltages and timing increases while increasing the base clock on the CPU. This will increase the clock speed of the modules to see if they are capable of reaching higher speeds to deliver additional performance.
- CPU:Intel Core I7 920
- Motherboard:MSI X58 Eclipse
- Memory: G.Skill Pi Series F3-12800CL7T-6GBP 3 x 2GB 1600MHz
- Video Card(s): Nvidia GTX 260-216
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Modular Power supply
- Hard Drive: Seagate 1 TB 7200.11 SATA
- Opticals:Asus DVD-R
- O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1
- Comparison Module #1: Kingston HyperX PC3-12800 3x2GB 1600MHz
- Comparison Module #2: Mushkin XP3 15000 3x2GB 8-9-8-24 1866MHz
- Comparison Module #3: Mushkin HP3-12800 3x2GB 9-9-9-24 1600MHz
- Comparison Module #4: Patriot Viper Series DDR3-10666 3x2GB 9-9-9-24 1333MHz
- Comparison Module #4: Geil Black Dragon PC 312800 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 161x20
- Memory: G.Skill Pi series Tri Channel 1926Mhz 6-9-6-24 1.65V
Overclocking these modules from G.Skill was much like the overclocking experience I had with the ECO 4GB set of modules I recently looked at. This set of modules needs a paltry 1.5 volts to run its rated timings of 7-8-7-24 at 1600Mhz. At the rated speed, these modules could easily run Cas 6 with no problems whatsoever. Scaling the modules upwards was easy to a point much like the ECO modules. At this point (1800Mhz) an increase in Cas latency did nothing to increase clock speeds, even upping the cas latency to 9 had no effect, even increasing the voltage did not impact the overclocking at this point either. The only thing to allow higher clock speeds at this point was to increase the TRCD setting to 9 from 8. This opened up a another level of overclocking madness that took me up to 963Mhz. What I found interesting was that the modules would run a Cas latency of 6 at the same level as Cas 7, again much the same way the ECO modules responded. Voltage was kept at or below the 1.65v maximum Intel specification as I did not see a "payoff" going any higher. 963Mhz is an 163Mhz or a roughly 20% increase in clock speed that was reached with just a little massaging of the timings and voltages.
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.53
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra 2009
- Left 4 Dead