G.SKILL Trident 2x1GB DDR3-1600MHz Memory Reviewajmatson - July 16, 2009
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Now we get to the most important part of the review, the testing. When I went into this review, I had two questions I wanted answered. One was whether there a big difference between 2GB of system memory and 4GB, especially when working with Windows Vista. The second question was whether enhanced latencies have a big effect on a memory's performance? To answer these questions, I set up the testing twofold. First I ran every set at the speed and latency of the Trident series, which was 1600MHz @ 8-8-8-21. This was done to see the differences of 2GB vs 4GB, as well as judge the head-to-head performance when matched. Then I ran the two 4GB sets at their stock speeds, which were 1600MHz for both sets, with timings of 9-9-9-24 for the Corsair XMS3 set and 8-8-8-24 for the OCZ Spec Ops set (the ReaperX 2GB set is 1333MHz at stock, so it was not feasible to test them at stock speeds).
- Processor(s): AMD Phenom II X4 955
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair III Formula
- Memory: G.Skill Trident 2x1GB DDR3-1600MHz 8-8-8-21
- Video Card : NVIDIA GTX 260 (216)
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800w Modular Power Supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 7200.11 750GB SATA w/ 32MB Cache
- Optical Drive: Lite-On 8x DVD+/-RW
- OS: Windows Vista Ultimate Edition
- Comparison Module #1: OCZ Spec Ops Urban Elite DDR3 2 x 2GB 1600MHz 8-8-8-21 (Matched run) / 8-8-8-24 (Stock run)
- Comparison Module #2: Corsair XMS3 DHX 2x2GB DDR3-1600MHz 8-8-8-21 (Matched run) / 9-9-9-24 (Stock run)
- Comparison Module #3: OCZ ReaperX 2x1GB DDR3-1333MHz @ 1600MHz 8-8-8-21
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: AMD Phenom II X4 955 233x16= 3728MHz
- Memory: G.Skill Trident DDR3 2x1GB 1860MHz @ 9-9-9-24 1.65v
When it comes to overclocking memory, it is not all about the maximum frequency you can obtain, but rather a delicate balance between the voltage, frequency, and latencies that allow you to get the maximum memory bandwidth. I had to play with raising the clocks while tightening and loosening the timings to get a balance of speed and performance. I was able to get the memory to boot at 2000MHz at 9-9-9-27, however the memory bandwidth was less and the performance was lower than 1860MHz at 9-9-9-24. I did try to bump the voltage up to get 2000MHz to run with lower latencies, but it was not stable. So for the overclocking test, I will be running at 1860MHz with timings of 9-9-9-24 for a total overclock of 260MHz.
The benchmarks used in this review include the following:
- CPU-Z Version 1.49
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra 2009
- Left 4 Dead