G.Skill Sniper Series PC312800 Cas 7 Reviewccokeman -
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To find out just what kind of performance these kits of memory will deliver, I will be running them through a series of benchmarks to see how they compare. Both 4GB and 8GB kits that range in speed from 1600MHz to 2133MHz will be tested at their native speeds as well as overclocked as far as the test platform and CPU will allow. Overclocking on the Intel P67 series platform is very BCLK limited so most of your speed gains will come from adjusting the memory multiplier and working the timings down to a more respectable level if possible in an effort to improve performance. The test setup used for this evaluation is listed below. Turbo Boost has been disabled to eliminate an uncontrolled clock speed increase to skew the results. The operating system is Windows 7 Pro 64bit with all current patches installed at the time of testing. The Video drivers are the AMD Catalyst 11.2.
- Processors: Core i7 2600K @ 3.4GHz 100 x 34
- Motherboard: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme
- Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 1600MHz 7-8-7-24 1.6v
- Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD5870
- Power Supply: Mushkin 1000W Joule Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: Lite-On Blu-Ray
- Case: Cooler Master HAF 932
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Comparison Module #1: Mushkin Redline 996805 6-8-6-24 1600MHz 2 x 2GB
- Comparison Module #2: Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 9-9-9-24 2 x 4GB
- Comparison Module #3: G.Skill [ Ripjaws-X ] F3-17000CL9D-8GBXLD 9-11-9-28 2 x 4GB
- Comparison Module #4: Kingston Special Edition Grey KHX2133C9AD3X2K2/4GX 9-11-9-27 2 x 2GB
- Comparison Module #5: Patriot Division 2 PXD38G1866ELK 9-11-9-27 2 x 4GB
- Comparison Module #6: Mushkin 996995 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 2 x 4GB 1.5v
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.
G.Skill Overclocked settings:
- Processor: Intel Core i7 2600K
- Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB 9-11-9-24 2156MHz
The stock clock speed rating on these G.Skill modules is 1600Mhz. That being said, the expectation that they might reach the 1950Mhz range was where I expected them to wind up. The fact is they kept going on up to just about the 2200MHz level that is occupied by the other G.Skill modules in this comparison, the Ripjaws X. Going this high did mean that the stock timings of 7-8-7-24 had to be thrown to the wind and adjusted as needed to reach the higher clock speeds. I ultimately settled on 9-11-9-24 using 1.70 volts instead of the as-delivered 1.60. A small jump but needed for the speed and timings I was attempting to run. If looked at on a percentage basis the Snipers saw a roughly 35% increase or 556MHz boost in clock speed. Pretty much the highest percentage increase I have run across in my testing. Not all sets will scale like this based on past history but if these sets do then the $149 price point is worth the investment.
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 2011
- Batman Arkham Asylum