Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

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Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:22 am

Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Now that the new Intel Core i7 platform is on the market and consumers are looking into building systems for the holidays Legit Reviews takes a look at four different memory speeds to see if going with faster memory is worth the extra cost. We run the kits at 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1600MHz and 1866MHz on five different benchmarks to see if any difference can be noticed by just changing the memory speed in the BIOS.

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I was hoping that at the end of testing one speed grade would stand out at the obvious choice, but to be honest since the performance is close to linear there really isn't. With the world wide economy in a recession many consumers have a tight budget, so in the end only buy what you can afford. Also keep in mind that with processors like the Intel Core i7-920 and Intel Core i7-940 have a maximum memory speed of 1066MHz that can't be increased unless you overclock the base clock. That means the only consumers to needs higher clock speed memory are those lucky enough to purchase an Intel Core i7-965 Extreme processor. With the Extreme processor boards like the ASUS P6T Deluxe that I used for testing in this article have memory dividers for for 800MHz, 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1600MHz, 1866MHz, and 2133MHz memory frequencies with no changes needed to the base clock or the QuickPath Interconnect (QPI).


Article Title: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms
Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/842/1/
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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby DMB2000uk » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:05 pm

Did I understand what you wrote correctly in that the i920 and i940 only have one(!) memory divider?

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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:56 pm

yup, they run at 1066MHz and the only way to increase that is to raise the bus speed to get a higher clock frequency. So, yes they have one divider and motherboard makers haven't found a way around them yet, I think they are working on that pretty hard though.
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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby DMB2000uk » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:18 pm

Seems a reason to put off upgrading until they can sort that out.

Hopefully it will be a simple BIOS update to fix it all.

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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby Apoptosis » Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:28 pm

DMB2000uk wrote:Seems a reason to put off upgrading until they can sort that out.

Hopefully it will be a simple BIOS update to fix it all.

Dan


Not really broken to be honest... Just what Intel chose to do with the memory controller on the none Extreme Edition Core i7's. Honestly triple-channel DDR3 1066 with 7-7-7-20 1T timings has plenty of bandwidth for 99% of consumers out there. Gamers and Enthusiasts should be looking more at the Extreme edition.
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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby FZ1 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:29 pm

Good write up Nate. I have been eyeing the new platform and wondering which RAM to get when I make the jump.
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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby gwolfman » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:12 am

I was disappointed in your CAS timings, namely:
1333MHz - 9-9-9-24
With 1066 at CL7 and the higher speeds (even 1866!) were running at CL8. Clearly 1333 should have been at either 7 or 8. Looking at the 1333-3GB kits on newegg right now, there are 3 kits at CL7, 1 at CL8, and 4 at CL9. I think that is why you're seeing the larger (not-so-linear) jump from 1333->1600 than should be expected. I think CAS 8 (or 7) would have evened that out.
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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby Gomeler » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:43 am

What would have been even more interesting would be 2000MHz CAS8 and 2200MHz CAS9. Not all memory kits can do it but I bet that Kingston kit could :)
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Re: Picking The Right Memory Kit For Intel Core i7 Platforms

Postby Apoptosis » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:24 pm

there are just a select few that would want to run that high.

Heck, if you go to Newegg you can't even find any kits that are over 1600MHz... Very few kits of 1866MHz or 2000MHz memory are being sold and the people that want it... you, me and other enthusiasts are getting review samples for free. For the hours it takes to test at each speed grade I see no point of running it that high. Look at the FarCry 2 game testing that I did for this article... You go up 800MHz on the memory and there is a few FPS performance increase.... It's not even worth the cost in this economy.
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