OCZ PC3-17000 Flex EX 12GB Reviewccokeman - October 12, 2010
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This set of OCZ memory is the first 12GB set of modules I will be testing. Testing this 12GB set of water cooled modules from OCZ, the the Flex EX PC3 17000 2133MHz set of modules, will require the use of a small overclock to get to the memory to the rated speeds. To keep the CPU close to its 2.66GHz clock speed, I will be reducing the clock multiplier and raising the bclock to get the 2133MHz rated speed with latencies of 10-10-10-30. The testing will include both stock and overclocked settings to see just how much headroom this set of modules has. 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 1.65v 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.
- Processor: Intel Core I7 920
- Cooling: Air:Noctua NH-U12P SE 1366
- Motherboard: MSI X58 Eclipse SLI
- Memory: OCZ Flex EX PC3 17000 10-10-10-30
- Video Card(s): XFX HD 5870 1GB
- Power Supply: Mushkin 1000 watt Joule Modular power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB SATA
- Optical Drive: NEC DV5700
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Case: Thermaltake Armor +
- Comparison Module #1: Mushkin Redline 996805 6-8-6-24 1600MHz
- Comparison Module #2: G.Skill Pi Series 7-8-7-24 1600MHz
- Comparison Module #3: Mushkin 998687 8-9-8-24 1866MHz
- Comparison Module #4: Corsair Dominator TR3X6G1600C8D 8-8-8-24 1600MHz
- Comparison Module #5: Kingston HyperX T1 9-9-9-27 1600MHz
- Comparison Module #6: Mushkin Blackline 998677B 7-7-7-20 1333MHz
- Comparison Module #7: Patriot Viper II Sector 7 9-9-9-27 1800MHz
- Comparison Module #8 Kingston HyperX H2O PC3 16000 9-10-9-27
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
- Memory: OCZ Flex EX 12GB 10-10-10-30 2214Mhz
Running 12GB of memory at 2133MHz was something I figured would be a pretty tough chore and hard for the IMC on my 920 to do, but was pleasantly surprised to see that I was able to do this quite easily. However, it did take a bit of trial and error setting the QPI voltage to allow it to happen. I had to go to 1.55v to get stable at the 2133MHz stock speeds. Higher than I would like to run but it's what it took to get there. Going higher required me to bump the QPI volts and the memory voltage up to up another few notches until I reached the uncore limit on my chip on air right at about 4400MHz, while reaching 2214MHz on the memory. The bad thing is I feel there is more left in this set. Loosening the sub-timings further did not help to increase the clock speeds any higher. By tightening the timings to 8-9-8-27 I was able to run these modules comfortably at just over 2000MHz by increasing the voltage to the modules to 1.74v to get me prime stable at 2022MHz. Cas 7 could be done up to just over 1900MHz without insane voltages but if you buy a set of modules rated for 2133MHz, you do at least want to run them at that speed. Either air or water cooling this 12GB set of modules from OCZ should get you to at least a 220 bclock on your combo depending on your memory controller. Some are much stronger than others as shown by the results I have gotten with this chip. Time to start looking for a better CPU or switch up to the 980X, it looks like.
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