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DDR3: Impact of channels & timings
by Guillaume Louel
Published on February 22, 2011

We’ll now finish with our applied tests, for which we look at the impact of clocks and timings on performance.


The 7-Zip compression test confirms the significance of bandwidth over timings, even if the timings do play a role. The Phenom II X4 965’s poor showing with DDR3-1600 confirms what we saw in the theoretical tests. The impact of memory on performance is significant indeed: between the slowest and fastest of the memories, the time needed for compression is reduced by 25%. The gains given by the higher clock on the LGA 1155 processors is tiny however.


Not all compressions, however advanced they may be, are necessarily limited by memory. Avidemux and x264 demonstrate this here. Latency, which falls as timings are increased, and the clock allow a reduction in compression times, but only by a maximum of 5%. Once again the clock has more impact than timings. The LGA 1155s can’t combine efficiently with memory at 1866 or 2133 MHz in this test.

Grand Theft Auto IV

With a gap of up to 20% between the fastest and slowest, memory speed makes a real difference in GTA IV. Once again increasing the clock has more of an impact than timings. This is the test which demonstrates the best use of available additional bandwidth, whether triple channel with the Core i7 1366s or faster clocked memory with the LGA 1155s.

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