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DDR-3 Gaming Performance Analysis

By: Shawn Baker | Editorials in RAM | Posted: Jun 26, 2007 4:00 am

Test System Setup


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


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


Memory: 2 X 1GB Corsair XMS3 DDR-3 1066MHz and 2 x 1GB Crucial DDR-2 1066MHz (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


The chances are that if you're buying DDR-3 memory, you're also looking at some of the fastest equipment on the market.


Teamed up with the ASUS P5K3 Deluxe (which uses the Intel P35 Express chipset) we have with us the Corsair XMS3 modules along with the XFX 8800 Ultra XXX edition, which is the fastest graphics card currently on the market. One of the key reasons we selected this graphics card was for its performance - it will help us avoid the VGA as a bottleneck.


We will be looking through similar benchmarks to our ATI Catalyst driver articles. We tested in a range of different settings - the only setting to look out for is DDR-3 at 1500MHz with 9-9-9-24 timings. At this speed, the CPU was actually running about 400MHz faster at 3.39GHz, which is obviously going to influence the results, but there is little we can do about that with the dividers available to us.


Let's not delay and have a look if DDR-3 is going to be doing anything for the gamer in terms of improved performance.




Version and / or Patch Used: Build 130


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3DMark05 is now the second latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and above.


For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.



The more aggressive timings of the DDR-2 means at clock for clock it runs slightly better than the DDR-3 offering.


When we start moving up, and at 1333MHz DDR, it evens out and then than we move up to 1500MHz DDR and let the CPU go with it, the biggest gains are seen.


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