|Patriot PC3-15000 DDR3 1866MHz 2GB RAM Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 25 October 2007|
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Test Results: PDC32G1866LLK
Testing RAM is a subject which requires a bit of technical knowledge. I have recently found many other sites using nothing by video games to benchmark the RAM product they are reviewing, and this whole practice made no sense at all t me. Video games are GPU and CPU dependant, and RAM has a very small impact on framerate performance as I will prove to you in my own tests. So keeping all of this in mind, I use the tools that belong in a system memory review; I use system memory tests for my benchmarks. Additionally, I don't spend three (usually tiny) pages discussing how I overclocked or how I made it to tighter timings. Every memory module comes with its own limit, so one size doesn't fit all.
As it turned out, this Patriot DDR3 1866MHz kit could overclock to 1880MHz without adding additional voltage, and maintaining the default clock values of 8-8-8-24. With nearly no overclocking headroom, this kind of memory overclock isn't much in the big scheme of things. It's also a good idea to keep in mind the default memory voltage for this kit is already +0.4V over spec at 1.9V; which means that there isn't a whole lot of room for safe voltage increases, either.
Our first results were recorded from Lavalys EVEREST using the Cache and Memory Benchmark tool. The results shown below represent the average measurement obtained from the Patriot PC3-15000 High-Speed DDR3 1866MHz 2GB RAM Kit PDC32G1866LLK at the 1:1 RAM to CPU multiplier of 1333MHz and then overclocked to 1880MHz. The results for the average read, write, and copy bandwidth from EVEREST are displayed below.
Everest is among my most trusted benchmark programs, and the Cache and Benchmark tool is one of the more reliable in terms of consistent results. The chart above shows that the extra 547MHz over the 1333MHz baseline certainly amounts to a significant increase in added bandwidth; the read bandwidth improved by nearly 25%.
With both CPU-Z and EVEREST reporting memory clocks at 8-8-8-24, I will believe that the ASUS P5K3 BIOS settings were configured correctly. While Patriot rates this High-Speed PDC32G1866LLK kit for 8-8-8-24, I have discovered that the ASUS P5K3 motherboard sets the clocks to 9-9-9-25 when using the AUTO setting.
Next up was the PassMark Performance Test benchmark which runs several different system memory tests in a row. Although some of the tests are specific to the performance of the RAM, others take the CPU clock speed and front side bus into account when developing a score. Most important are the memory read and write tests, and the score based tests are bias towards CPU speed and other hardware factors.
Passmark's Performance Test offers the most consistent memory test results of the entire group, with each of the test runs resulting in a score nearly identical to the previous test run. Ideally, all of these programs should be this consistent, but until they are I would consider Performance Test to be the best tool available for testing system memory bandwidth.
SiSoftware Sandra Lite XIIc offered identical results nearly the same in regards to increased performance; according to the chart above. Although the bandwidth tests are of a different nature, the improvement of 1880MHz over 1333MHz still resulted in nearly 24% in both the integer bandwidth and float buffered tests.
The last of our memory testing applications to run is RightMark Memory Analyzer. This program may not offer the same level of consistent test results that Performance Test does, but offers a more technical approach to testing the system memory. Plus, this is a shop favorite because it's free.
RightMark Memory Analyzer offer nearly the same tests that EVEREST and Performance Test have, and could be considered a bit redundant, but then again this is a technology article and us geeks like our redundancy. While it's true that Memory Analyzer hasn't been updated in over a year and seems out of development, it's still not a bad tool since it gives the second most consistent results every single run (unlike Sandra). It also offers an average "real" RAM read and write bandwidth result which most enthusiasts don't appreciate because it combines the results of dozens of tests. This is the layman's alternative to the Sciencemark v2.0 test suite, which is also gone but not forgotten.
Finally, I tested with the memory multiplier set at 1:1 for 1333MHz against the overclocked 1880MHz setting in the game World in Conflict. Realizing that games can be either CPU or GPU bound, this made it difficult for me to compare all of the memory sets since the clock speed of the processor would change as I adjust the front side bus for the desired RAM speed. In the end a 547MHz system memory improvement gave the framerate in World in Conflict only 2 FPS more in both the minimum and maximum frame rates. This result is evidence of how insignificant the system memory speed is in relation to video game performance.
But don't misunderstand me, because system memory could have a much larger impact on game performance if you use it to overclock the processor. Obviously, if you are using Patriot PC3-15000 High-Speed DDR3 1866MHz RAM, you aren't going to keep the CPU at the stock speed anyway; and you probably use a video card that more than makes up for the very small gains of overclocked system memory. This means that faster RAM allows for a faster CPU, and in turn produces a faster framerate. But in the world of system memory benchmarks, comparing the different sets of RAM in a game is pointless.