Although DDR3 is still fresh to the computing industry, there are surprisingly many different kits available right now. For our first DDR3 review, we are taking a fresh look at one of the first kits made available back in May, OCZ’s DDR3-1333 CL7.
Although overclocking any type of memory generally involves the same process, moving from DDR2 up to DDR3 can throw you for a loop. The main reason is that we are dealing with absolutely huge speeds, and it’s a little daunting at first, and requires a little time to fully grasp what to expect from such modules. As I mentioned on the last page, DDR3-2000 speeds have been achieved by eager overclockers, while DDR2-1200 was once considered amazing.
That said, neither of the launch kits I received had such overclocking potential, but were still able to be pushed a fair bit. However when compared to our DDR2 reviews, we are left with a far smaller overclocked settings list, simply because there is no sense of getting intimate with minor frequency jumps.
Once said and done, the top overclock of this kit was DDR3-1500 with 8-8-8 timings, with 2.1v. What’s good about this overclock is that even at it’s speed, we were able to retain a modest voltage. Interestingly enough though, moving from 533MHz to 667MHz to 750MHz all -required- less tight timings.
As I found out, these modules could care less about voltage after a certain point. Up to DDR3-1500, it will take what you got and stay there. I tested the modules all the way up to 2.6v and it didn’t inch the overclock any further. I should mention also that these settings are completely stable, meaning you could run it in your machine 24/7, although that’s not generally recommended when using voltages far beyond stock. You might be alright, you might not be. It’s all luck of the draw and depends on how great the chips are.
Regardless of what performance-related part we are evaluating, there are a few conditions that are first met, prior to testing.
Below is all of the information regarding our testing machine. Links lead to our review of said product.
Because each one of our overclocked settings hit the “right” number as far as dividers are concerned, we were able to run each with a CPU speed of exactly 3.0GHz and not a MHz over. At stock speeds of 333FSB and 9x Multi, both DDR3-1066 and DDR3-1333 speeds can be chosen. At DDR3-1500 speeds, a 375FSB was required, but lowering to an 8x Multi kept us at our 3.0GHz clock setting.
With overclocking and a look at our methodology out of the way, let’s check out some benchmarks.