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:
Intel Core i7 920 'Nehalem' @ 2.66Ghz
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
Gigabyte Odin 1200w
Windows Vista Ultimate 64bit SP1 + Updates
For testing the memory we used a number of synthetic benchmarks and games:
- Lavalys Everest 4.10
- SuperPI mod_1.5
- Sisoft Sandra 2009
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.
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:
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...
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...