DDR3 has now started to come to the mainstream market in full force thanks to Intel; only they can be thanked for DDR3 at the moment as AMD still hasn't embraced this new memory standard. This can be considered a good thing when looking back at what happened to DDR owners when AMD brought DDR2 support.
DDR3 is the next step in PC memory architecture; this thanks to its higher clock speeds, improved memory bandwidth and lower power requirements which make it more ideal for laptop and notebook users as well. Not only can it deliver more bandwidth over DDR2, but it runs at a more power efficient 1.5v rather than 1.8v, resulting in longer battery life.
Companies are spitting DDR3 out left, right and centre now, and that is something that can only benefit the end user. The more modules that come to us, the cheaper they become. We have already seen the big players hitting speeds in the 1600-1800 MHz range, and that's just the beginning for DDR3.
We have been sent a new kit from a company that has only just come aboard with TweakTown, and as always we are more than happy to broaden our horizons with new companies and new products. Patriot Memory (who we haven't heard much about until recently) has a pretty impressive range of modules listed on their website, and they've kindly sent us their latest PC3-15000 (1866 MHz) kit for review. Let's see how they perform.
The Patriot Memory PC3-15000 Modules
Patriot ships their modules in a plastic blister pack with the modules clearly visible, so there are no surprises on what you're getting.
The back of the package has some artwork along with a few details of the memory's specifications; the speeds are given as DDR3 of 1866MHz using 1.9v on the memory to achieve this speed. According to these speeds the modules run an 8-8-8-24 timing profile.
Getting down to the more serious parts we unpack the memory from its casing. It's a split away blister that doesn't require any cutting or destruction of the package, so if you do have to return for warranty for any reason, you can ship it back in the original package. The modules come with a raised rib alloy heatspreader to take away heat from the actual memory modules concealed beneath.
On one side of each module is a sticker with the company logo as well as the model number, operating speed, timings and operating voltages. In all, it's not really all that different than other modules on the market, so there should be no major surprises.
Overclocking the Modules
Overclocking was performed on our GIGABYTE P35T-DQ6 motherboard. Now, some might be asking why we go with the older P35 chipset and not the X38. The simple reason is that we can't manage to get as high an FSB out of the X38 as with the P35 due to the X38's higher heat generation. It is slightly more unstable at high clock speeds.
We used the 1:2 memory ratio to prevent the CPU being the limiting factor, and since the FSB is half that of the memory speed we can get the RAM up pretty high. While the modules are rated to do 1866MHz or 933MHz actual clock, we couldn't quite get there in the time we had. However, we did manage to get 901MHz out of the modules, which is extremely impressive nonetheless. With more tweaking and time we are pretty sure these modules will kick well over into the 2000MHz range.
Important Editor Note: Our maximum overclocking result is the best result we managed in our limited time of testing the motherboard. Due to time constraints we weren't able to tweak the motherboard to the absolute maximum and find the highest possible FSB, as this could take days to find properly. We do however spend at least a few hours overclocking every motherboard to try and find the highest possible overclock in that time frame. You may or may not be able to overclock higher if you spend more time tweaking, or as new BIOS updates are released. "Burn-in" time might also come into play if you believe in that.
Test System Setup and Everest
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad QX6700 @ 3GHz (9x333MHz)
Motherboard: GIGABYTE P35T-DQ6 (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Hard Disk: 500GB Seagate 7200.9 (Supplied by Seagate Australia)
Graphics Card: MSI Geforce 8800GTS 640MB (Supplied by MSI)
Cooling: GIGABYTE 3D Galaxy II (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP SP2
Drivers: Intel INF 184.108.40.2069, Forceware 163.21
Today's test system uses our Corsair Dominator 1800MHz memory which managed to top right out at 1800MHz using the same 1.9v that the Patriot memory used.
Our stock tests were done with the memory dividers set to run the memory at 1333MHz, which is the highest DDR3 speed recognised by the JEDEC so this is our set point.
From there we did our overclocked tests which were at the highest memory clock available to us; there will be some definite jumps in the results due to different FSB and CPU clock speeds. However, we did try to keep the CPU as close to each other as possible, around the 3.2GHz to 3.3GHz barrier.
EVEREST Ultimate Edition
Version and / or Patch Used: 2006
Developer Homepage: http://www.lavalys.com
Product Homepage: http://www.lavalys.com
Buy It Here
EVEREST Ultimate Edition is an industry leading system diagnostics and benchmarking solution for enthusiasts PC users, based on the award-winning EVEREST Technology. During system optimizations and tweaking it provides essential system and overclock information, advanced hardware monitoring and diagnostics capabilities to check the effects of the applied settings. CPU, FPU and memory benchmarks are available to measure the actual system performance and compare it to previous states or other systems.
At stock speeds the Patriot memory is able to lower its timings down to a very respectable 7-7-7-20, which gives it a very good result for the stock speeds. At overclocked however it increases to 8-8-8-24. Corsair on the other hand managed to keep its 7-7-7-20 timings so it gains a slight leg up in the overall bandwidth.
Benchmarks - PCMark05
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2.0
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/pcmark04/
Buy It Here
PCMark is a multipurpose benchmark, suited for benchmarking all kinds of PCs, from laptops to workstations, as well as across multiple Windows operating systems. This easy-to-use benchmark makes professional strength benchmarking software available even to novice users. PCMark consists of a series of tests that represent common tasks in home and office programs. PCMark also covers many additional areas outside the scope of other MadOnion.com benchmarks.
PCMark05 shows similar results here. When at stock speeds both modules are dead on with each other, but when overclocking comes into play we see that the lower latencies of the Corsair modules manages to keep it in the lead.
Benchmarks - Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0
Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0
Version and / or Patch Used: 3.0
Developer Homepage: http://www.adobe.com
Product Homepage: http://www.adobe.com/products/premiereel/
Buy It Here
Our test with Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 is performed with a raw two hour AVI file. It is then compressed into DivX format using the latest version codec. We measure the time it takes to encode and then record CPU usage.
Premiere Elements puts both modules dead even in both overclocked and stock speed results. The lower latencies of the Corsair don't play a big role here, rather CPU speed and memory bandwidth.
Benchmarks - ScienceMark
ScienceMark 2.0 is a mathematical program designed to stress the memory subsystems of both desktop/workstation and server environments to determine the read/write latency as well as the overall memory bandwidth available between the CPU and the memory controller.
Pushing into where bandwidth and latency play a vital role, we see that at stock speeds all are equal, but when we overclock we see Patriot just falling behind due to higher latencies across the board.
Benchmarks - Prey
Version and / or Patch Used: 1.2
Timedemo or Level Used: Hardware OC Demo
Developer Homepage: http://www.humanhead.com
Product Homepage: http://www.prey.com
Buy It Here
Prey is one of the newest games to be added to our benchmark line-up. It is based off the Doom 3 engine and offers stunning graphics passing what we've seen in Quake 4 and does put quite a lot of strain on our test systems.
Prey puts the Corsair in front only when overclocked, but it doesn't make it a resounding victory.
Benchmarks - Battlefield 2142
Version and / or Patch Used: Unpatched
Timedemo or Level Used: Custom Timedemo
Developer Homepage: http://www.dice.se/
Product Homepage: http://www.battlefield.ea.com/battlefield/bf2142/
Buy It Here
In Battlefield 2142, players choose to fight for one of two military superpowers - the European Union or the newly formed Pan Asian Coalition -in an epic battle for survival.
Armed with a devastating arsenal of hi-tech weaponry, including assault rifles, cloaking devices and sentry guns, players will also take control of the most lethal vehicles known to man. Massive Battle Walkers wage fierce combat on the ground, while futuristic aircraft rule the skies. When taking on this futuristic armor players will need to use their wits and an arsenal of new hi-tech countermeasures like EMP grenades and smart mines to level the playing field.
Lastly we use our newest addition, Battlefield 2142 which puts a bit more stress on the CPU and memory than on graphics. While if you turn it up high it will tax the graphics card, on the lower settings we see the CPU and memory working. Here the Corsair and Patriot at stock are dead on. When overclocking we see Corsair get a few extra FPS.
Memory technology has come a long way, and it's good to see companies now starting to really embrace the DDR3 memory standard. While some people may be a bit gun shy following a memory pattern that Intel has laid out (especially regarding the RDRAM/i820 failure), Intel's moves of late have really seen a true light at the end of the tunnel, and it's only continuing to get brighter.
As for Patriot, this is our very first kit we have managed to receive from them, and hopefully not the last. While the modules didn't reach their full rated speeds in our test lab, it's all a matter of trial and error. Getting the right voltages set for each different component of the board makes for all the difference, and our limited time with our test samples makes it hard to really get the most out of the products available.
Overall, the modules we were sent were very impressive, and with more time I don't doubt they are capable of more as we only experienced a few resets when under heavy load, which if tracked down could be rectified and possibly fixed to make the memory work even harder and faster.
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