Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

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Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby Apoptosis » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:44 am

Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7 Platforms

Enthusiasts have been talking about running 12GB of memory on an Intel Core i7 platform since the day the platform came out. With many enthusiasts getting into photo editing using CS4 other memory intensive applications we take a look at running 12GB of system memory. Read on to see how tight we can get the timings and how far they can be overclocked.

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Armed with two Corsair DOMINATOR 6GB 1866MHz CL9 memory kits with the AIRFLOW fan I set out to see how easy it would be to run 12GB of memory on an Intel Core i7 desktop system. These TR3X6G1866C9DF memory kits retail for $449 each and are fastest Core i7 triple channel memory kit that Corsair has to offer. Since these kits go through the tightest screening and binning at Corsair I figured that a pair of these kits should provide not only the best chance at getting 12GB of memory running, but also the best performance should overclocking be in order.


Article Title: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7 Platforms
Article URL: http://legitreviews.com/article/879/1/
DIGG IT: http://digg.com/pc_games/Running_12GB_o ... el_Core_i7
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby DMB2000uk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:32 am

When you are packing this much memory in such a small space, I think it's one of the few times that the more extreme memory cooling methods become feasible.

I know the whole point of this article was a "look at what I can do" :finga:, but were there any times that you could actually find a benefit for having 12GB instead of 6GB?

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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby Apoptosis » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:44 am

You have to be doing some crazy stuff to really need 12GB of memory in your system.

What this article does show is that the Intel Core i7 Platform is friendly to double-sided memory modules. Each side of the memory module is on a different 'rank' than the other, so this system was loaded up with 12 ranks and was still stable. That alone is impressive and good news as over time memory prices fall and those early adopters of Intel X58 Express chipsets will be able to add in another triple channel memory kit down the road without having to worry about stability issues at say 1600MHz.
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby Skippman » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:53 am

Nate,

Are you pretty convinced that i7 is the next gen platform or do you still expect to see AMD pull a miracle out of it's pocket? I'm thinking I'll likely stick with my current setup for another 12 months then go i7 after board/chip prices have had a chance to cool off.

To be honest, I'm wondering if the biggest performance gains we see this year are going to be from processors, GPU's, or SSD's. I'm beginning to suspect that SSD's are going to be the thing that goes mainstream this year that will have the biggest "felt" impact in gaming.
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby martini161 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:58 am

DMB2000uk wrote:When you are packing this much memory in such a small space, I think it's one of the few times that the more extreme memory cooling methods become feasible.

I know the whole point of this article was a "look at what I can do" :finga:, but were there any times that you could actually find a benefit for having 12GB instead of 6GB?

Dan

dont really need extreme, just a fan or two. a little air goes a long way :)
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby Apoptosis » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:05 pm

Skippman wrote:Nate,

Are you pretty convinced that i7 is the next gen platform or do you still expect to see AMD pull a miracle out of it's pocket? I'm thinking I'll likely stick with my current setup for another 12 months then go i7 after board/chip prices have had a chance to cool off.

To be honest, I'm wondering if the biggest performance gains we see this year are going to be from processors, GPU's, or SSD's. I'm beginning to suspect that SSD's are going to be the thing that goes mainstream this year that will have the biggest "felt" impact in gaming.


I'm staying away from SSD's till Windows 7 launches due to the OS tweaks needed for SSD's to run great...

Processors for 2009 -- You seen the Phenom II and Core i7 numbers... You'll see AM3 based Phenom II's coming soon and from the ones I have so far they are looking solid, but no surprises. For those looking for the fastest thing around Core i7 is where it is at... As with everything buy what you can afford and something new is always coming out, so if you wait for the next best thing you'll be waiting forever.
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby Skippman » Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:44 pm

That's true. I just upgraded from twin X1900's to a 4870, from 2GB RAM to 8GB, and from 2.4G to 3.2G. So I've done my work for the "season". Next upgrades a new motherboard and chip so I figure i7's where I'll head. Was wondering if I could creep a LITTLE more out of the ole C2D using SSD's but I think your right and that technology needs to mature a bit.
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby martini161 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:24 pm

Skippman wrote:That's true. I just upgraded from twin X1900's to a 4870, from 2GB RAM to 8GB, and from 2.4G to 3.2G. So I've done my work for the "season". Next upgrades a new motherboard and chip so I figure i7's where I'll head. Was wondering if I could creep a LITTLE more out of the ole C2D using SSD's but I think your right and that technology needs to mature a bit.

if you want more out of your current chip get a p45 board and ddr3 :)
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby turnsoutitwas » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:14 pm

martini161 wrote:
Skippman wrote:That's true. I just upgraded from twin X1900's to a 4870, from 2GB RAM to 8GB, and from 2.4G to 3.2G. So I've done my work for the "season". Next upgrades a new motherboard and chip so I figure i7's where I'll head. Was wondering if I could creep a LITTLE more out of the ole C2D using SSD's but I think your right and that technology needs to mature a bit.

if you want more out of your current chip get a p45 board and ddr3 :)



Don't necessarally need DDR3, just need a good overclocking P35/45 motherboard.
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby Gomeler » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:40 pm

I'm waiting on cheap 4GB DDR3 modules.. 48GB of DDR3 makes me drool. Run 12GB of system memory and a 36GB ram drive.. :lol: :lol:

I need to talk to Corsair, was promised a 6GB kit months ago :rolleyes:
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby Bwall » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:02 pm

I've been playing around with VM's lately and plan to get really serious on it soon to get certified. I've been running them on my file server but would rather not compromise the stability and 24/7 nature of that system. It looks like it might be time for me to move over to Core i7, the systems have everything that I need.
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby kappage » Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:35 pm

nice review but i found a typo in the last paragraph
The new triple channel Corsair Airflow is has two 60mm fans and is 2.6" wide.
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby gwolfman » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:19 am

What model of the 40mm fan is it that you're using to cool the chipset heatsink?
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby aircommando13 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:51 pm

you should have done benchies, would really like to see how it stacks up against 6GB
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Re: Running 12GB of DDR3 Triple Channel Memory on Intel Core i7

Postby egtx » Sun Feb 01, 2009 5:15 am

Nice review.

Did you have to up your vQPI any? I am runnign OCZ Gold 1600 12GB kit and found that I need 1.66 vDRAM and 1.3 vQPI for stability.

As for others wondering "why 12GB" I can speak to my experience as a software developer needing a ton of memory for extreme multitasking. Often I will have 3 or more IDE instances open, emails, web browsing, etc... and memory usage can easily climb to near my previous system's max of 8GB. Having an extra 4GB will be very useful as the OS will be able to provide extra ram for file cache. It will also open up the possibility of doing some more background tasks like video encoding while I am doing work, since before the background tasks could consume too much memory and the system would need to swap more than I would like.
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