Overclocking and Performance
When we overclock memory kits in our reviews we go for all out frequency, this is primarily done by tweaking the DRAM frequency presets in the BIOS. Once we top out at the highest stable frequency divider we see if any more frequency can be had by increasing the base clock, or by changing the base clock (particular relevant for X99). Typically we set timings as the JEDEC profile recommendations for the frequency we are going for, if this does not work we allow auto-timings to be calculated by the motherboard. Normally we will only make small adjustments to the BCLK and timings to keep the system stable. We tweak voltage to 1.65v for DDR3 and 1.5v for DDR4, keeping within safe limits for 24/7 usage.
With the Sport LT kit, at a stock voltage of 1.2v, we managed to achieve an overclock of 2666mhz; not too shabby for 1.2v. However, even with adjusting the voltage up to 1.5v and tweaking all the relevant settings, I couldn’t achieve a stable overclock over 2666mhz. Still that is a gain of 266mhz.
CINEBENCH is a real-world cross platform test suite that evaluates your computer’s CPU performance. Cinebench R15 is a totally free utility and is available for download here. Cinebench is fairly sensitive to changes in memory frequency and timings.
AIDA64 implements a set of 64-bit benchmarks to measure how fast the computer performs various data processing tasks and mathematical calculations. Memory and cache benchmarks are available to analyze system RAM bandwidth and latency. A free version of AIDA64 is available for download here.
The SiSoft Sandra memory benchmark is based on STREAM. STREAM is a popular memory bandwidth benchmark that has been used on personal computers to super computers. It measures sustained memory bandwidth not burst or peak. Therefore, the results may be lower than those of other benchmarks. Download a free trial version of SiSoft Sandra here.
wPrime is a leading multithreaded benchmark for x86 processors that tests your processor performance by calculating square roots with a recursive call of Newton’s method for estimating functions. wPrime is a free utility that is available for download here. WPrime is influenced by memory timings and frequency.
3DMark Firestrike is Futuremark’s latest creation for testing the GPU performance of high-end gaming PCs using Direct X 11 graphics. You can download a free basic version of 3DMark here. We use only the Physics score as this is most sensitive to memory frequency and timing changes.