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OCZ 6GB 1600MHz CL7 DDR3 OCZ3P1600LV6GK E-mail
Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory
Written by Olin Coles   
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
Table of Contents: Page Index
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: OCZ DDR3
DDR3 Series Results
RAM Testing Methodology
Performance Test Results
Triple-Channel DDR3 Final Thoughts
OCZ3P1600LV6GK Memory Kit Conclusion

Triple-Channel DDR3 Final Thoughts

Unlike DDR2 memory kits, which generally have a dependency on speed as well as latency, DDR3 reserves itself to performing better with lower latency kits than those of higher speed. The architecture between the two standards is quite different, as we've detailed in our DDR3 RAM: System Memory Technology Explained article. On top of these differences, DDR2 memory kits never made it out of dual-channel configurations and are not ready for triple-channel sets.

The new tri-channel configuration for the Intel Core i7 CPU & DX58SO X58 Platform certainly has its benefits, but some of the old traditions are lost in the new standard. Because of the high penalty for round trip cycles, latency offers a bigger performance incentive than clock speed. Sure, it's nice to reach 1800MHz or faster, but if it takes one or two extra cycles to generate that speed the benefits are lost. This essentially divides triple-channel memory kits into the following preference order:

  1. Low Latency (CL6) / High Speed (1600MHz+) = Most Preferred
  2. Low Latency (CL6) / Normal Speed (1333MHz) = More Preferred
  3. Normal Latency (CL7) / High Speed (1600MHz+) = Preferred
  4. Normal Latency (CL7) / Normal Speed (1333MHz) = Acceptable
  5. High Latency (CL8+) / High Speed (1600MHz+) = Less Preferred
  6. High Latency (CL8+) / Low Speed (1066MHz) = Least Preferred

Some of the faster kits we reviewed are not going to be something system builders and casual users should purchase for vanilla systems, since triple-channel clock speed will not impact real-world performance. Where you'll see high-speed kits come in handy is for overclocking, because they offer plenty of headroom for hardware enthusiasts and overclockers to take advantage of as they increase the processors speed. Of course, low latency memory kits offer the best all-around performance and can have more direct real-world benefits than higher clock speed.

As the Far Cry 2 benchmark tests have shown, in a popular game with realistic settings and hardware, the difference in low-speed triple-channel DDR3 and high-speed kits is barely more than 1 FPS. If you're a gamer looking for faster graphics, my advice is to invest in a better video card. If you're running an audio or video editing system, go for low-latency memory with faster storage drives. Ultimately, there just isn't an argument for faster RAM unless you need the headroom for overclocking.

And as for the decision between 3GB triple-channel DDR3 kits, and those of 6- or 12GB, the answer is much more simple. If you use a 32-bit Operating System such as Windows XP or Vista, you're limited to 4GB total. You might think that there's a 1GB gap between the 3GB supplied and the 4GB limit, but if you're using a video card with a large frame buffer, this amount gets added into the limit and fills the gap. If you're using a 64-bit Operating System, such as 64-bit Windows Vista, my advice is to use as much RAM as allowed by the motherboard.



# my ddr3 ram wont lock into motherboardtheodore hastreiter 2010-02-18 13:26
i just bought some ocz ddr3 6gb sticks and i cant seem to lock them into place it seems the notches are to high my motherboard is a asus m4a77td pro and my ram is OCZ 6gb OCZ3P1333LV6GK DDR3 PC3-10666 1333 can someone plz send their opinion to my email.
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# Without O/C how can we get better performance with PC12800 ?bsquare 2010-11-29 23:59
I've read that intel i7 (particularly 920, 930 ... 950) was limited to equivalent of PC10600.
So without overclocking, HOW can we get better performance with PC12800 (compared to PC10600) ?

Best regards
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# OC Yes....BruceBruce 2010-11-30 05:14
The primary benefit to the higher memory speeds is the ability to keep up with the CPU as it is overclocked, IMHO.
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# RE: OCZ 6GB 1600MHz CL7 DDR3 OCZ3P1600LV6GKbsquare 2010-11-30 05:17
Ok; but without O/C ?!
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# Not just IntelBruceBruce 2010-11-30 05:27
The motherboard manufacturers have been more accomodating than Intel, and have provided additional multiplier settings on most enthusiast products. This allows you to run the memory at the higher speeds, even though Intel never designed the CPU/Chipset to do so.
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# RE: OCZ 6GB 1600MHz CL7 DDR3 OCZ3P1600LV6GKbsquare 2010-11-30 05:32
Hum ... so YES without overclocking, we can get better performance with PC12800, against PC10600, thanks to motherboard technology; right ?
Is it still true with PC17066 ... and PC19200 ?
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# RE: RE: OCZ 6GB 1600MHz CL7 DDR3 OCZ3P1600LV6GKBruceBruce 2010-11-30 21:46
One of the best demonstrations of what you're asking about is here on this site, this 2500 MHz kit that was tested recently.
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# RE: OCZ 6GB 1600MHz CL7 DDR3 OCZ3P1600LV6GKbsquare 2010-12-01 00:09
Thx for information but it confirms overclocking is needed to benefit from such higher frequencies.
My question still exists without overclocking; what is the higher frequencies we can benefit with an core i7 950 ?
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# RE: OCZ 6GB 1600MHz CL7 DDR3 OCZ3P1600LV6GKbsquare 2010-12-02 05:20
WITHOUT overclocking; what is the higher frequencies we can benefit with an core i7 950 ?
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