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DDR-2 vs. DDR-3 Memory - An exhaustive look at the Intel P35 platform - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Sandra

What difference is DDR-3 is going to make and is it worth jumping on the bandwagon now? We find out in our first tests!

| DDR-2 Memory in RAM | Posted: Jan 1, 1970 12:00 am

Test System Setup

 

Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3GHz (333MHz FSB x 9)

 

Motherboard(s): ASUS P5B Deluxe, ASUS P5K Deluxe and ASUS P5K3 Deluxe (Supplied by ASUS)

 

Video Card(s): XFX GeForce 8800 Ultra XXX (Supplied by XFX)

 

Memory: 2 X 1GB Crucial PC6400 5-5-5-15 (Supplied by Crucial) and 2 X 1GB Corsair XMS3 DDR-3 1066MHz 7-7-7-21 (Supplied by Corsair)

 

Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA 2

 

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2

 

Drivers: Nvidia ForceWare 158.22 and DX9c

 

Intel P35 chipset brings with it full support for the new 333MHz FSB processors coming from Intel in the coming months. Setting our FSB to 333MHz we achieve a clock speed of 3GHz and emulate what the new E6850 Core 2 Duo processor from Intel should be like.

 

Now while we achieved this front side bus on all three boards without any problems, the RAM dividers on the P965 motherboard from ASUS is slightly different to that of the new P35 chipset and its motherboards. When at 333MHz FSB we could set the P5K and P5K3 to run our memory at 800MHz (DDR-2 only!), 1066MHz (default speed for the XMS3) and 1333MHz (DDR-3 only!).

 

The P5B Deluxe P965 let us run at 833MHz and 1000MHz on our DDR-2 memory, meaning that at the lower speed it was clocked slightly higher and at the higher slightly lower than its P35 DDR-2 counterpart.

 

1500MHz Results

 

While we thought all these different setups were exciting we thought we had to have a closer look at what DDR-3 was going to be capable of, while leaving the voltage at the standard 1.5V it was time to increase the FSB since at 333MHz the highest divider was setting the memory at 1333MHz. The only way we would increase the DDR-3 beyond this meant that the processor was also going to get a bump in speed so please make a note of this. With default voltage in hand we found ourselves hitting a wall at 1500MHz DDR or 375MHz FSB with a 1:2 divider.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE - Now while the results are significantly higher in most sections please remember that the processor is now running at 3.375GHz as opposed to the flat 3GHz in all our other tests.

 

SiSoft Sandra XI

 

Version and / or Patch Used: XL

 

Developer Homepage: http://www.sisoftware.co.uk

 

Product Homepage: http://sisoftware.jaggedonline.com/index.php?location=home&a=TTA&lang=en

 

Buy It Here

 

 

SiSoft Sandra (System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a synthetic Windows benchmark that features different tests used to evaluate different PC subsystems.

 

 

 

Looking at the P965 and P35 DDR-2 performance we can see that results are very similar. Moving to DDR-2 vs. DDR-3 it is not until we are at 1333MHz that we see that we are slightly ahead of all the other setups. The looser 7-7-7-21 timings see us slightly behind DDR-2 running at the same speed (1066MHz) using 5-5-5-15 but going slightly more aggressive with the DDR-3 and getting 7-5-5-10 we can see that it is slightly faster than all the other memory clocked at 1066MHz. 1333MHz gives us another slight increase at 1500MHz with our CPU speed running faster showing us the biggest amount of performance.

 

 

Across the board the latency of the DDR-3 generally seems to be better, especially when we become more aggressive with the timings. What is interesting is at 1333MHz the latency takes a bit of a hit thanks to the very loose timings. It is not until we move higher up to 1500MHz with the CPU clocked up that we are able to achieve results only slightly better than the DDR-3 at 7-5-5-10 or DDR-2 at 5-5-5-15.

ASUS P5B Deluxe Motherboard

 

Further Reading: Read and find more RAM content at our RAM reviews, guides and articles index page.

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