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Intel X79 Quad Channel and Z68 Dual Channel Memory Performance Analysis

By Shawn Baker from Nov 15, 2011 @ 22:50 CST
Manufacturer: Intel



We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital and Corsair.


Today we'll be looking at both Dual and Quad Channel memory performance from both the Z68 and X79 platform. Something that hasn't been covered yet is the fact that the new X79 platform offers us Dual Channel memory support, so if you're on a high end Dual Channel kit and you're moving over from Z68, you can make the move without the need to buy more RAM.


We'll be using our Corsair Dominator GTX8 kit today and while that's a 2400MHz DDR kit, we'll actually be running it a little slower than that. Instead we'll be running the kit at 2133MHz DDR across both platforms with the timings running at 9-11-10-30-1T.


We'll be then running each test with our CPU at two different speeds. We'll have the CPU of course running at stock in one set of tests, while in the other we'll be running our CPU overclocked. For our 2600k that means we're coming in at an even 5GHz while our 3960X falls just shy of that at 4.9GHz.


In the end we'll have six sets of tests with Z68 Dual Channel, X79 Dual Channel and X79 Quad Channel all being tested at stock and overclocked speeds.


With so many Quad Channel kits arriving, we want to make sure we're able to get the best idea for overall bandwidth when it comes to testing the kit. At the moment it seems like AIDA64, our normal RAM benchmark, isn't the best option. Today we'll find out if Passmark PerformanceTest is worth using more or SiSoft Sandra which we stopped using a while ago.


Before we get into the performance side of things, the last thing we really need to cover are the motherboards. We've opted for both the flagship ROG boards from ASUS - that means the Maximus IV Extreme-Z for our Z68 machine and the brand new Rampage IV Extreme for our X79 machine.


That should just about cover everything we need, so with haste let's get into the performance side of things to see what kind of bandwidth we're able to get out of the new memory platform.

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