|12GB Crucial DDR3 Memory Kit CT3KIT51264BA1339|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 05 May 2010|
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Graphics Benchmark Tests
In the last section, each triple-channel memory kit was tested with primarily CPU- or RAM-dependant benchmarks. In this section, Benchmark Reviews tests these DDR3 memory kits using CPU-generated graphics and video game frame rate performance.
Cinebench is a free benchmark tool that tests CPU performance. Since the CPU is closely tied to system memory performance, the two are loosely relevant. In our Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL benchmark tests, each kit performed extremely close to the next while processing the video graphics for this tool. While the low-latency 1333MHz CL7-7-7-20 kit did outperform the faster 1867MHz CL7-8-7-20 kit, both were a full frame behind the 1600MHz Corsair Dominator 12GB kit. At the central processor level, system memory speed has very little impact on graphics performance, and low latency combined with high density memory can make up for the difference in speed.
The Retouch Artists Photoshop CS4 test is a free action script that renders and transforms a specific image. While not exactly a benchmark, primarily because it doesn't report a result (you have to record the start/stop time), it's a very good tool for illustrating real-world performance from system memory differences. The downside to this test is that it relies heavily on the storage device used for the program, and results are not comparable between systems.
Our tests were repeated several times before charting the average time below, but from the results we've received it seems that higher speed is nearly as important at low latency... but not nearly as important as density. This is generally the rule to shop by for graphic artists and multimedia creators: low latency and high speed combined with copious of memory density... the best of both worlds.
Using the absolute lowest possible settings for Far Cry 2, our benchmark tests become dependant on system memory and the Intel Core i7-980X processor in our test system. The minimum and average FPS results are charted below, which illustrates that even in an artificial game environment where RAM is forced to be more relevant than normal, system memory still has very little impact on performance. Using 640x480 system-dependant settings, there was an 8 FPS difference between a 1333MHz and 2002MHz kit. While the Kingston HyperX DDR3 kit offered the best minimum frame rate, the Corsair Dominator-GT memory kit offered the best average FPS.
Turning the settings all the way up enables Far Cry 2 to play like it will on most computer systems: GPU-dependant. Powered by the ASUS GeForce GTX 285 ENGTX285 TOP video card, there was only 3 FPS between the 1333MHz and 2002MHz kits. The Kingston HyperX DDR3 kit offered the best minimum frame rate by nearly one full FPS, and nearly tied performance with the Corsair Dominator-GT memory kit for the average FPS.
Obviously, if you're using an X58-based computer system, you probably aren't going to keep the CPU at the stock speed anyway; and you probably also use a video card that makes up for the very small gains delivered by overclocked system memory. This means that faster RAM allows for a faster CPU, and in turn produces a faster frame rate. But in the world of system memory benchmarks, comparing the different sets of RAM using video games is nearly meaningless.
Here's what the graphics benchmark tests have shown us: