Thursday, August 13, 2009

Intel Core i7 In-Depth Performance Scaling Analysis from Madshrimps

I came across this useful article Intel Core i7 In-Depth Performance Scaling Analysis, while surfing over at MADSHRIMPS. The article is quite useful for i7 user that interested to overclock their PC as it has lot of analysis data for different overclocks and performance gain from them.

The article analyze the overclocks of QPI Links, Uncore frequency, CPU frequency, BCLK frequency and memory frequency. Other than that, it also covers memory latency and channels performance scaling.

The results show that overclocking CPU frequency yields the best performance gain followed by uncore frequency. But then, the overclocking uncore frequency is the only way to get higher memory clock since the 1:2 Memory frequency to Uncore frequency in Core i7.

In short: the third memory channel increases the bandwidth SO much that even a 4GHz uncore can't really keep up with the enormous amount of data coming from the memory. Overclocking helps to reduce this problem.

What surprises me from the article is the performance gain with memory frequency overclocking, overclocking memory frequencies does not seems much difference, it only show difference in Everest memory benchmark and does not help much in gaming. And when it comes to latency CL6 is not that much faster than CL8 or even CL9, 1T and 2T difference are not even 1%. And also the minimal gain from third channel of ram, dual channel seems the are the optimum channels.

So in conclusion, I think that for regular user there are no point to go for mid or high end kit performance ram which cost double or triple the price of the value ram. Unless you are really a benchmark enthusiast that want maximum performance form your PC. We can usually overclock ram frequency of value ram to some decent speed depends on luck and chip that the value ram used. On some X58 motherboards it's actually quite easy to tune your low-clocking memory kit to have the performance of a highly overclocked memory kit by changing the Back-to-back Cas Delay memory timing.

For PC and benchmark enthusiast that want maximum performance only, not for Gamers that just want smooth frame rates. Indeed spent the amount of money saved on purchasing a value ram and invest it on a high performance graphic card yield more performance gain. But if you got the cash, why not...

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