To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
CPU: Intel i7-870 @ 4GHz
Motherboard: MSI P55-GD80
Memory: 2x2GB GSkill Trident @2000MHz 9-9-9-24
HD : Hitachi Deskstar 7k160 7200rpm 160GB
GPU: Asus GTX275
PSU: Gigabyte ODIN 1200w
During the testing of the setups above, special care was taken to ensure that the BIOS settings used matched whenever possible. A fresh install of Windows Vista was also used before the benchmarking began, with a full defrag of the hard drive once all the drivers and software were installed, preventing any possible performance issues due to leftover drivers from the previous motherboard installations. For the 3DMark and gaming tests a single card configuration was used.
For testing the memory we used a number of synthetic benchmarks and games:
- Lavalys Everest 4.10
- SuperPI mod_1.5
- Sisoft Sandra 2009
To get the stock speed of 1000MHz you will either have to overclock your CPU to up the base clock frequency and thereby enable the memory multipliers to adjust the ram to it's stock speed of 2000MHz or if you are lucky enough and your motherboard supports it, take advantage of the XMP feature which acts pretty much like SPD but alters voltage and frequencies to the same effect as overclocking the ram manually. Our MSI test board the GD-80 did have the XMP feature available and here are the results of enabling it:
Our previous review of the GSkill Trident 6GB kit for the X58 chipset produced poor results in the overclocking department and as such I was not expecting to get much change from this identical kit.
Surprisingly the kit overclocked very well, reaching 2150MHz with no voltage increase at all. This speed was however a little unstable so I upped the vDIMM a couple of notches to 1.68v which seemed to stabilise things enough to run our suite of memory benchmarks.
To find the tightest latencies at it's rated speed I kept the voltage to the recommended 1.65v and proceeded to lower them. Again, the kit produced a fantastic result of 7-8-7-24 against rated latencies of 9-9-9-24. Again this was rock solid during testing. No doubt the P55 chipset has a lot of influence on the memory being more amiable than the 6GB kit but the performance is still outstanding for a kit that overclocks to this speed and latency.
After returning the kit back to it's default speed, I ran our standard set of memory benchmarks at three different speeds, SPD(1600MHz), XMP(2000MHz) and overclocked(2150MHz)...