OCZ Blade DDR3 PC3-16000 6GB Kit

Test Setup

Test Setup

For today's testing we will be using the Gigabyte EX-58 UD5, a mid-range Core i7 motherboard from Gigabyte that will allow us to push the memory on test to its absolute limit. Here's a breakdown of the rest of the components:
 
Processor
Intel Core i7 920 'Nehalem' @ 2.66Ghz

Motherboard
Gigabyte EX58-UD5

Memory

OCZ Blade Series CL7 2000MHz 7-8-7-20 3x2GB kit (CPU @ 2717Mhz)
Corsair Dominator GT CL7 1866MHz 7-8-7-20 3x2GB kit
Crucial Ballistix Tracer CL8 1600MHZ 8-8-8-24 3x2GB kit
Mushkin XP CL7 1600MHz 7-8-7-20 3x2GB kit
Patriot Viper CL8 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 3x2GB kit
Corsair Dominator CL8 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 3x2GB kit


Graphics Card
Nvidia 280GTX

Drivers
GeForce 180.60

PSU
Gigabyte Odin 1200w

Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1 + Updates
 
For testing the memory we used a number of synthetic benchmarks and games:
 
Synthetic Benchmarks
  • Lavalys Everest 4.10
  • SuperPI mod_1.5
  • Sisoft Sandra 2009
3D Benchmarks
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • Far Cry 2
 
For the run of benchmarks, we will be comparing the OCZ Blade kit to all the other memory kits we have tested to date for the X58 i7 platform. Consideration needs to be given to the fact that the CPU was mildy overclocked to 2717MHz (see below), 51MHz above stock speed to attain the 2000MHz stock speed when viewing the results overleaf.
 
 
Overclocking
 
Starting from scratch we disabled on the settings that may affect the overclocked settings such as Intel Speed Step as well as disabling the C-State settings which may also affect some of the results in the benchmark testing phase of the review. Here's how the sticks look at stock speed:

stock cpu stock mem
 
SPD 
 
With the kit already running at a mind boggling 2000MHz it was hard to imagine that the kit could possibly be pushed any further. However...
 
pi
 
Yup you're reading that right! A massive 2128MHz was achieved by simply dropping the latency a notch to CAS8. This equals the previous best kit we reviewed, the Dominator GT and while both kits reached this scorching speed, the OCZ needed slightly less Vdimm to get there with a small jump from stock voltage to 1.68v. I tried getting the memory to go higher by slackening the timings further but it seems that either the motherboard just doesn't like anything above this speed (QPI limit?) or the memory has reached it's limit. No amount of voltage tweaks or setting adjustments could surpass this speed so with that in mind I returning the settings back to their stock values and then ran our suite of memory benchmarks to see how the modules compare.
 
Let's see how I got on...
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Most Recent Comments

25-05-2009, 07:18:31

JN
"Want the best performance? Got the money to pay for it? Then maybe you should check out our latest DDR3 memory kit review where we put the OCZ Blade through it's paces..." - by W3bbo

http://www.overclock3d.net/gfx/artic...140625597s.jpg

OCZ Blade DDR3 PC3-16000 6GB Kit

25-05-2009, 07:46:32

Mul.
A very impressive kit there with some incredible bandwith figures, granted, at the price of a high end graphics card!

Excellent review w3bbo.

25-05-2009, 07:53:31

Rastalovich
This is the thing that bothers me about the cpu vS memory benching and testing.

A linked-to website, which has been a companion listing of all cpus in conditions, listing many hardcore intensive processing examples of how cpus compare to others ------- this qualifier out of the way.

On this listing, the comparisons of said cpus show no-difference in running memory kits in single/dual/tri arrangements when running the benches used - but appears to show 1 cpu triumphing over others and is accepted as "well that shows that these cpus are better than others".

Surely this is complete crap. Just as a starter, every1 will know that dual channel memory works more efficiently than single - that's a straight forward 64 bit vS 128 bit logical answer. Same as 2 disks in raid0 vS a single disk, as a loose example.

Now, if the cpu benches in the list are proving "it doesn't matter" - which is bollox imo, I'm sure the majority will agree, then surely the intensive hardcore professional benches they're using, the likes of video conversion, archive packing, are failing the test and the results are worthless.

These memory strips are obviously extremely good. The said site would have u believe that using 2 of these strips instead of 3 will have no-difference to professional apps being used on ur pc (which we have established is a load of crap).

Argument may be that the tests used are done in seconds where the differences in running various memory arrangements aren't appreciated - well that's crap too cos let's realize for a second that it's the 21st century, and although computers and software are moving at a snails-pace compared to the huge strides we would get in the past, these processes are actually done in seconds!

No account either of 12m cache vS 6m over periods - which makes a difference.

Awesome review, great set of memory, and two fingers to stoopid bench listing sites that people rely on to make points about "new tech".

25-05-2009, 12:11:58

Diablo
Looks some great RAM, bit pricey, but you get what you pay for I guess. 12GB might be a little pricey tho

Could you rerun that last far cry test because that overclock will obviosuly massively affect the results?

25-05-2009, 13:43:13

w3bbo
Re run it in what way? You can't have DDR3 running at 2000MHz with the CPU at stock speed I'm afraid. It's either 2180 or 1866.

25-05-2009, 13:50:25

FarFarAway
Fantastic review mate and a scrummy looking piece of kit. Luff OCZ RAM (8GB myself )

25-05-2009, 14:45:06

Diablo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
Re run it in what way? You can't have DDR3 running at 2000MHz with the CPU at stock speed I'm afraid. It's either 2180 or 1866.
Aaah, fair shout, hadn't thought of that. Just thought it skewed the results, I should have put my brain in gear :damn:

25-05-2009, 16:00:28

w3bbo
lol, no worries m8. Tbh it's a pita reviewing kits that need the CPU overclocking to attain the speed required as you are correct, it does skew the results slightly hence I put the disclaimer in there.

Still, the bandwidth results speak for themselves .

27-05-2009, 07:58:59

de_lenni
sweet looking and performing set of sticks

pitty they don't add some kind of 'dominator fan'-like thing

28-05-2009, 15:33:10

w3bbo
Yeah that is a shame as the Dominator coolers are sweet pieces of kit. I would maybe like to have seen one of OCZ's XTC coolers included with a nice black paint job.

04-06-2009, 12:20:27

Skiddywinks
Hate to seem ungrateful (which I am not, since I loved this review), but I would be very interested to know if you could drop the latency at all while retaining the stock MHz, or see how much you would have to drop the MHz to get some lower timings. Just for the sake of completeness.

Shame we can't find out what chips it is running. Anyone happen to know by any chance?

04-06-2009, 12:42:51

w3bbo
IC's used are reportedly Elpida MNH-E Hyper which are the best around at present.

I did try lowering the timings further but not by lowering bandwidth (which defeats the object of high speed ram imo). Sadly they wouldn't run at anything lower than the stock CAS7 @2000MHz.

04-06-2009, 14:20:10

Rastalovich
http://www.elpida.com/en/index.html

Not as well known as other memory companies.

I can verify that their "el-cheapo" memory rocks http://forum.overclock3d.net/picture...463581&thumb=1

05-06-2009, 10:03:04

Skiddywinks
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='w3bbo'
IC's used are reportedly Elpida MNH-E Hyper which are the best around at present.

I did try lowering the timings further but not by lowering bandwidth (which defeats the object of high speed ram imo). Sadly they wouldn't run at anything lower than the stock CAS7 @2000MHz.
Thanks a lot for the info! I can't blame you for not dropping the MHz really. Only reason I mentioned it was for completeness' sake and out of curiosity. Bit gutted them wouldn't go to any lower timings. Oh well, they are already the most phenomenal sticks I have seen, so I am more than impressed!

I am so very tempted to save up and fork out for some near Christmas. I finally plan on watercooling my NB and Mosfets as well as my (current) CPU and 4870X2. I think these sticks would do me wonders in reaching the highest overclocks possible. Only the best will do :P
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