DDR3 On A Budget: Six 6 GB Memory Kits

Test System Configuration

Test System Configuration
Intel Core i7-920 (2.66 GHz, 8.0 MB Cache)
CPU Cooler
Swiftech Apogee GTZ Liquid Cooling
Foxconn Flaming Blade, BIOS P05 (04/13/2009)
Intel X58/ICH10R Chipset, LGA-1366
Zotac GeForce GTX260² 896MB
576/999MHz GPU/Shader, GDDR3-2484
Hard Drive
WD VelociRaptor WD30000HLFS
300 GB, 10,000 RPM, 16 MB Cache
Integrated HD Audio
Integrated Gigabit Networking
Cooler Master RS850-EMBA
850W, ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V
Lite-On LH-20A1L, 20X DVD±R
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1
NVidia Forceware 182.08
Intel INF

Foxconn’s FlamingBlade
has the highest stable memory speed of any motherboard we’ve tested, and that makes it a great choice for overclocking today’s test modules. We set its BIOS to 1.65 V DIMM and +0.36V CPU VTT (Uncore) for today’s test.

Unfortunately, we found out after testing began that this particular motherboard and BIOS has a bad habit of resetting tRAS values at reboot. Timings of 17, 18, and 19 were frequently reset to 16, while timings of 13, 14, and 15 were similarly reset by the motherboard to 12. This would often prevent reboot, causing either a loss of custom BIOS configuration or an “overclock failure” message. Reconfiguring BIOS at every error was nothing more than an inconvenience, but anyone using the FlamingBlade for memory testing needs to know about this issue.

Benchmark Configuration
Stability TestMemtest86+ v1.70, single pass (~45 minutes)
Max Speed at CAS 9-9-9-28
Min Latency at DDR3-1600, 1333, 1066
Bandwidth TestSiSoftware Sandra 2009 Version 2009.4.15.92
Memory Test = Bandwidth Benchmark
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