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OCZ 6GB PC3-12800 Platinum DDR3 Triple Channel Memory Kit Review

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MAC

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OCZ 6GB PC3-12800 Platinum DDR3 Triple Channel Memory Kit Review




Price: $150+ CND Price Comparison
TechWiki Info: OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 Platinum CL6 Edition Low-Voltage Triple Channel
Manufacturer Product Page:
OCZ Technology
Manufacturer's Part Number: OCZ3P1600LV6GK
Warranty: Lifetime warranty



OCZ is a company that needs no introduction to the tech community. Starting from humble grass-roots beginnings in 2000, OCZ entered the memory market with a determination to manufacture the best enthusiast memory products on the market and with unparalled customer service as well. Having successfully captured the hearts and minds of overclockers worldwide, the company ventured into other areas, creating a business profile that encompassed not only CPU coolers, power supplies and input devices, but also two stints in the graphics card market. The company was further bolstered by its 2007 acquisition of world-renowned power supply manufacturer PC Power & Cooling. More recently, OCZ has begun manufacturing a number of relatively affordable solid state drive (SSD) models, one of which we will be reviewing shortly.

When the Core i7 processors were launched in November, the Intel recommended memory voltage limits, integrated memory controller, and triple-channel memory interface created a new dynamic in the DDR3 memory industry with a wide array of product opportunities and technical challenges. On the one hand, memory manufacturers would now be able to create and sell new product lines based on triple-channel 3GB/6GB/12GB/24GB DDR3 memory kits, but on the other hand no longer could memory manufacturers rely so heavily on voltage in order to maximize frequencies and tighten timings. The result? Well, let's take a look at the product at hand.

Now it has been far too long since Hardware Canucks has tested some OCZ memory, so today we are proud to bring you a review of the OCZ OCZ3P1600LV6GK, a triple-channel 6GB PC3-12800 memory kit sporting 7-7-7-24 timings at 1.65V. While this low latency kit has impressive specifications, it is its admirably low price that draws our attention. This memory kit retails for as low as $150CDN (even lower with available mail-in rebates), which is unbelievable Bang for the Buck. There is no denying that in recent months DDR3 prices have tumbled like a drunk down a flight of stairs, but we would never expected such value so soon.

Evidently we are impressed by its price, but will we be as impressed by its operation? Let's find out.

 
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MAC

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Package & Memory Overview

Package & Memory Overview


A little attention to packaging and design goes a long way towards creating a positive impression of a product, so let's see what OCZ have done with this new triple channel DDR3 memory kit.


OCZ have packaged the OCZ3P1600LV6GK in an attractive little box, which is a step above the standard plastic clamshell with cardboard insert that most manufacturers ship their memory kits in.


Once you open the box, there are two protective plastic clamshells. One shell containing two modules and the other containing the third one. These modules were mounted snugly and there was no indication that they could dislodge and rattle around while in transit. The plastic packaging can thankfully be opened by hand, it does not require a knife to open, so the clumsy among you need not fear losing a digit or three.

OCZ have utilized the attractive silver honeycomb Z3 XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreader design which is an evolution of a design first introduced on their PC3200 DDR memory kits. Although this heatspreader design is relatively conservative, it is fairly attractive, especially when installed on the Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5. We wouldn't mind seeing a coloured PCB, since the usual green screams yesteryear but that is a relatively moot point. The most notable and positive difference between these heatspreaders and the ones used on lesser memory kits is that OCZ have foregone the heatspreader clips, which keeps the overall look sleek and unblemished.


In this close-up, we can see that the modules are double-sided and that the heatspreaders are making good contact with both sides of the ICs. At this point we would be detaching one side of the heatspreader to reveal the thermal material used, but OCZ have wisely chosen to forego the rudimentary thermal tape in favour of a type of thermal cement, which once cured is nearly impossible to remove. As a result, we also cannot reveal to you the ICs used on this memory kit, at least not without destroying a module in the process. Therefore, the true source manufacturer for the memory chips will have to remain a mystery.
 
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MAC

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Specifications

Specifications


Now that he have taken a closer look at the memory and its packaging,let's examine the specifications.

<div style="float:left;margin:8px;">
</div>As mentioned previously, the OCZ OCZ3P1600LV6GK is a 6GB PC3-12800/DDR3-1600 memory kit rated for 7-7-7-24 timings at 1.65 volts. This new low memory voltage requirement is a direct result of the integrated memory controller (IMC) that is a key feature of the new Intel Core i7 processors. Although the technical and performance benefits of an IMC are undeniable, the end-result is nevertheless a processor design that is more susceptible to failure when high vDIMM is utilized without proper precautions. Although we do not adhere to our own wisdom, we highly recommend that users abide by the recommended 1.65V memory voltage limit just to avoid accidental damage to these pricey new quad-core processors.

The memory kit that we are reviewing is the 6GB (3 x 2GB) version of this product, but as we can see on the lower-right OCZ do offer a 3GB (3 x 1GB) kit with identical specifications, part # OCZ3P1600LV3GK. It retails for as low $111CDN, but frankly you would crazy not to spend the extra $40-50 to get the 6GB kit.

<div style="float:right;margin:14px;">
</div>Those planning on making the leap to Core i7 will need to purchase a new Intel X58 Express-based motherboard, and this particular model has undoubtedly been compatibility tested with some of the best and most popular models on the market. We can personally attest that this memory kit works flawlessly on the ASUS Rampage II Extreme, Gigabyte EX58-UD5, and Intel DX58SO 'SmackOver', and we have no reason to believe that it would have any compatibility issues with the [url="http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/13276-evga-x58-sli-lga-1366-motherboard-review.html]EVGA X58 SLI[/url] or Foxconn BloodRage.




As you can see this memory kit does not have any Extreme Memory Profiles (XMP) profiles, which is slightly disappointing for novice users, but enthusiasts obviously won't even notice their omission. Should you have any functionality or stability problems with your modules, OCZ's memory kits are backed by a lifetime warranty and the company has superlative customer service and technical support, both online and via the more traditional methods.
 
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MAC

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Memory Installation

Memory Installation


Given the low-profile nature of these memory modules we know with great certainty that installation should be problem-free on all current X58 motherboards. Therefore, feel free to consider these pictures gratuitous glamour shots. At the very least, these images can serve to provide a better sense of how these modules would look installed on your respective motherboard(s).


ASUS Rampage II Extreme​






Gigabyte EX58-UD5​






Intel DX58SO 'SmackOver'​




The one common theme among all three motherboards is the fact that depending on how you install the Thermalright Ultra-120 eXtreme 1366 RT CPU cooler it can overhang the first memory slot, making installation/removal of that particular module a little bit more difficult than it otherwise should be. This is obviously just an observation, not a fault with this OCZ triple channel memory kit.
 
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MAC

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Test Setup & Methodologies

Test Setup & Methodologies




Test Platform:


Testing will occur on a Highspeed PC Standard Top Deck Tech Station, and not in a traditional case. This allows easier access to the motherboard for the constant poking and prodding that is required during the reviewing process. The setup remained as pictured during the duration of the benchmarking and stability overclocking process.


Overclocking Methodology


Although the OCZ3P1600LV6GK is not marketed as a overclocking-oriented product, the fact that it has such tight timings hints at the possibility of much higher clock speeds with looser timings. We are definitely going to find out what this low latency triple channel DDR3 memory kit is truly capable of. The overclocking section is the part of our reviews that we take the most pride in, and we spend an excessive number of hours testing, tweaking, failing, and succeeding in order to give you the best possible insight into each product's overclocking capabilities. After all, if you are anything like us, the overclocking section is the first (and often last!) part that you read when checking out a product review.

For the purposes of this review, our overclocking efforts will primarily focus on four different timings configurations (7-7-7/8-8-8/9-9-9/10-10-10) and three different voltage settings (1.55V-1.65V-1.75V). The QPI/DRAM voltage was kept at a relatively high 1.4875V BIOS (1.45V measured) throughout our tests in order to ensure as best as possible that the integrated memory controller would not be a bottleneck. The CPU frequency was kept as close as possible to the stock 3200Mhz, while the Uncore and QPI Link near 3200Mhz and 6400Mhz, respectively.

During our overclocking adventures we put an emphasis on stability. While the question “What is stable?” could be debated endlessly, we have devised a methodology that combines a wide range of programs that test the stability of the entire system.

Here is the suite of applications that will be run in order to validate each of the overclocks:

  • Eight 32MB runs of SuperPi Mod 1.5 (ran at the same time)
  • 1+ hours of Eight-Threaded Prime 95 v25.7 using the Stress Testing Blend
  • 3+ hours of Quad HCI MemTest in Windows using all available memory
  • Multiple loops of 3DMark 06 (30 minutes of looping the full tests each)
  • 1 hour of game play in Team Fortress 2 & Crysis @ 1680x1050

Altogether, the above suite should provide enough stress testing to ensure a completely stable overclock, however we are always up for new suggestions. As always, no two systems are ever alike, so your results may vary. Also, <b>overclock at your own risk!</b> The Core i7 platform is brand new, and if you try to mimic our results there is always the possibility that you could damage any and all of your components. If you aren’t fully confident in what you are doing, feel free to stop by our forums and our helpful community will be glad to offer some assistance.



Benchmark Methodology


For this review, our benchmarking section will focus solely on the OCZ kit, in stock and overclocked configurations. The reasoning behind this approach is that there is an infinitesimal clock-for-clock performance difference between two memory kits that are equally-clocked and with identical timings, thus declaring one product a winner based on a 1% performance advantages seems pointless to us. Since the Core i7 platform and triple-channel memory kits are quite new, we have decided to test the memory at various clock speeds and timings in order to demonstrate the effect they have on overall system performance.


We have outlined the four setups in the sample graph above. The glowing red results will indicate the performance at the default timings. For the DDR3-1600 7/8/9 setups, the CPU is running at stock 3.2Ghz (24 x 133), while the Uncore and QPI Link remained at 3200Mhz and 6400Mhz, respectively. For the DDR3-1922 result, the CPU is clocked at 3.28Ghz (24 x 137), and we used the 2:14 memory multiplier to achieve the higher memory speed. Due multiplier limitations, when running at DDR3-1922 the lowest selectable Uncore/Integrated Memory Controller (IMC) speed was 3844Mhz, so that is what we used throughout our testing.

As was mentioned in the overclocking section, we used Everest bandwidth benchmarks and a few other performance tests to determine which settings were ultimately faster, not just higher. For all of the benchmarks, appropriate lengths are taken to ensure an equal comparison through methodical setup, installation, and testing. The following outlines our testing methodology:

A) Windows is installed using a full format.

B) Intel Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed followed by a defragment and a reboot.

C) Programs and games are then installed followed by another defragment.

D) Windows updates are then completed installing all available updates followed by a defragment.

E) Benchmarks are each ran three times after a clean reboot for every iteration of the benchmark unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged.

We have listed the benchmark versions on each graph as results can vary between updates. That is about all you need to know methodology wise, so let's see what kind of numbers this memory kit has achieved in our overclocking section and in our benchmarking suite.
 
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MAC

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Overclocking Results

Overclocking Results




For our overclocking tests we are interested in two main elements, how well the memory scales with additional voltage and how versatile it is at overclocking with different timings. As mentioned in the methodology, our overclocking efforts will primarily focus on four basic timings configurations (7-7-7 / 8-8-8 / 9-9-9 / 10-10-10) and three different voltage settings (1.55V / 1.65V / 1.75V). The CPU frequency will be kept as close as possible to the stock 3.2Ghz, while the Uncore and QPI Link will be kept near 3200Mhz and 6400Mhz respectively, multipliers permitting. The QPI/DRAM voltage was kept at a relatively high 1.4785V (BIOS)/1.45V (measured via digital multimeter) throughout our tests, in order to ensure (as best as possible) that the integrated memory controller would not bottleneck our memory overclocks. The IMC is without a doubt the determining factor in achieving high memory clocks, and every single Core i7 processor will have different headroom when it comes to memory clocks it can achieve.

With the pleasantries out of the way, let's get to the fun stuff.


Now obviously everyone is going to have the same question on their mind, so let us get it out of the way. The apparent limit at 1922Mhz is, much to our dismay, the highest memory frequency that our engineering sample Core i7-965 XE can handle stably with 1.45V QPI/DRAM voltage. From what we are seeing on enthusiasts forums throughout the interweb, most of the retail chips have a much better integrated memory controller (IMC) than our sample, and can hit higher clocks and often with much lower voltage as well. So with that out of the way, let's get to the memory kit itself.

As you can see by this chart, this particular memory kit really took off once we started loosening the primary timings. Whatever they are, the ICs that OCZ have selected for this model are obviously quite flexible and overclocking-friendly. They also scaled very nicely with additional voltage, which is something that we did not see in our review of the G.Skill F3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ.

Achieving over DDR3-1800 9-9-9 at a mere 1.55V is a very good result, as is almost reaching 1900Mhz at the same very low voltage. At 1.65V, the kit continued to scale nicely until it was bottlenecked by our Core i7's IMC limit at the 1922Mhz mark. Surprisingly our sample needed the full 1.65V to achieve its rated DDR3-1600 7-7-7 speeds and there was no headroom above that. This is within specification for this model, but either our sample was a little poor in the CAS 7 overclocking department or OCZ is binning these modules very aggressively. We believe that the former is true, and we likely just got unlucky this time around.

By upping the memory voltage to 1.75V, we once again hit our IMC limit, but this time with improved 9-9-9 timings. We have seen samples of this model achieve well over 2.0Ghz (with healthy doses of voltage), and we have no doubts that we would have achieved this milestone too with a better processor. It should be noted that once you started pumping more than 1.75V into these modules they do get quite toasty and they definitely benefit from active cooling to maximize stability and overclocking potential.

We definitely continue to be impressed by this new generation of DDR3 memory kits, which have been specifically designed for low voltage operation as per the needs and requirements of the Core i7 processors. Just six months ago it would have totally laughable to suggest that you could buy a 6GB DDR3-1600 7-7-7 kit for $150CDN, and it would be as absurd to suggest that it would be able to overclock to over 1900Mhz with only 1.55-1.65V. This memory kit may not be able to surpass Corsair's best, but it can certainly give their [url="http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-reviews/14218-corsair-dominator-3x2gb-pc3-12800-c8-memory-review.html]mainstream kits[/url] a good run for their money...and for less of it!


Since we like to provide our readers with ample evidence of our overclocking achievements, feel free to peruse the four screenshots below:

<table align="center" bgcolor="#666666" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="1" width="90%"><tbody><tr><td colspan="4" align="center"><b>Highest Stable Overclocks</b></td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">7-7-7
click for full size...

</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">8-8-8
click for full size...
</td></tr><tr><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">9-9-9
click for full size...
</td><td align="center" bgcolor="#ececec" valign="top" width="50%">10-10-10
click for full size...
</td></tr></table>


Now that we have tested this memory kit's overclocking prowess, and revealed that it can handle a wide range of speeds and timings, let's see how it handles the benchmarks. Do the low 7-7-7 timings make a difference over the more standard 8-8-8 and 9-9-9? That is what we will be examining next in our benchmarking section.
 
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MAC

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Memory Benchmarks

Memory Benchmarks



Everest Ultimate v4.50

Everest Ultimate is the most useful tool for any and all benchmarkers or overclockers. With the ability to pick up most voltage, temperature, and fan sensors on almost every motherboard available, Everest provides the ability to customize the outputs in a number of forms on your desktop. In addition to this, the memory benchmarking utility provides a useful tool of measuring the changes to your memory sub-system.


In the Everest Bandwidth test it should come as no surprise that DDR3-1922 result leads the way, especially given the fact that it benefits from a high 3844Mhz Uncore/Integrated Memory Controller frequency, which is the minimum selectable speed when running at DDR3-1922, while the other configurations make due with the stock 3200Mhz Uncore/IMC frequency. As expected, the DDR3-1600 results are all fairly similar, so we will explore the benefits of tighter timings next.


There is a slightly disproportional difference between 9-9-9 and 8-8-8 in our results, which we can likely attribute to the Rampage II Extreme's new 1104 BIOS. It was surprising to see that DDR3-1600 CL7 and DDR3-1922 CL9 are so similar with regard to latency, since the massive clock speed difference would in most cases negate the looser timings and lead to very low latencies. Either way, 29ns is a very impressive result given our relatively low CPU clock speeds and it is at least partially attributable to the new ASUS 1104 BIOS.


ScienceMark v2.0

Although last updated almost 3 years ago, and despite its rudimentary interface, ScienceMark v2.0 remains a favorite for accurately calculating bandwidth on even the newest chipsets.


As in Everest, we see that the bandwidth is effectively identical across the DDR3-1600 configurations, while there is a healthy boost evident with the DDR3-1922 9-9-9 memory settings. While it is clear that this memory kit can achieve some remarkable memory performance figures, while the patterns demonstrated in these synthetic benchmarks actually translate into faster real-life performance? That is what we are going to find out next.
 
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MAC

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System Benchmarks

System Benchmarks


SuperPi Mod v1.5

When running the SuperPI 32MB benchmark, we are calculating Pi to 32 million digits and timing the process. Obviously more CPU power helps in this intense calculation, but the memory sub-system also plays an important role, as does the operating system.


We have always been quite fond of this application because it provides excellent insight as how to the processing and memory sub-systems are performing, and it is also perfect for demonstrating the slightest performance variances. With the processor locked to 3.2Ghz, and the memory set to 1600Mhz, we can clearly isolate how SuperPI scales responds to different memory timings. The 7-7-7 does boast a healthy 5 second improvement over 9-9-9, but that is a less than 1% difference. On the other hand, the DDR3-1922 result demonstrates that SPi is quite fond of increased memory bandwidth, as seen by the significant 18 second gap between DDR3-1600 CL7 and DDR3-1922 CL9. Clearly, memory bandwidth plays a huge factor in SuperPI 32M, with tight timings coming in a distant second.


PCMark Vantage x64

The latest iteration of the popular system benchmark is PCMark Vantage from the Futuremark crew. The PCMark series has always been a great way to either test specific areas of a system or to get a general overview of how your system is performing. For our results, we simply run the basic benchmark suite which consists of a wide range of tests involving all the sub-systems of the computer.


Much to our surprise, the Memory Suite suggested that performance gap between the slowest and fastest results was a mere 1%, and this despite the 20% frequency difference between the stock and overclocked scores. Strangely, the PCMark Vantage Memory Suite is quite CPU dependent, and since our Core i7 965 was clocked at 3.20-3.28Ghz for all four memory configurations, this hypothesis would explain the seemingly identical scores. Timings clearly do not play a noteworthy role.


Cinebench R10

Developed by MAXON, creators of Cinema 4D, Cinebench 10 is designed using the popular Cinema software and created to compare system performance in 3D Animation and Photo applications. There are two parts to the test; the first stresses only the primary CPU or Core, the second, makes use of up to 16 CPUs/Cores. Both are done rendering a realistic photo while utilizing various CPU-intensive features such as reflection, ambient occlusion, area lights and procedural shaders.


Cinebench is an exceptional CPU benchmark, and the Intel Core i7 blows past all previous platforms in this test, but clearly memory timings do not have a noteworthy impact. The DDR3-1922 result is a bit higher than the others, but that could be attributed to its higher Uncore/IMC frequency.


Lame Front End

Unlike many audio conversion programs, Lame Front End is not multi-threaded and only utilizes a single processor thread. This will obviously limit performance but we should still achieve significant time savings going from the stock to the overclocked settings. We will be encoding a WAV rip of Santana’s Supernatural album and converting it to MP3 using the VBR 0 quality preset.


A second here, a second there, LFE does not appear to gain much of a performance boost from the increased bandwidth nor lower latencies. We can't really complain though, since we are able to rip and convert an entire CD album to high-quality MP3s in under 2 minutes 40 seconds.


Photoshop CS3

For the image editing portion of this review, we will use Photoshop CS3 in coordination with our very own HWC Speed Test, which is an excellent measure of CPU power and memory bandwidth. This is a scripted benchmark that individually applies 12 different actions and filters to a 3.72MB JPEG, and uses Photoshop’s built-in timing feature to provide a result at each test stage. Then it’s simply a matter of adding up the 12 results to reach a final figure.


Photoshop does appear to benefit from both tighter timings and lower latencies. There is a 2% performance improvement between the DDR3-1600 CL7 and CL9 results, and a slightly more respectable 5% improvement between DDR3-1600 CL9 and DDR3-1922 CL9 results, which would suggest that Photoshop performance does somewhat scale with increased memory bandwidth.


WinRAR 3.80

The last of our real-life tests will be with the highly popular & multi-threaded WinRAR 3.80 tool, in which we take a 1GB batch of assorted files and archive them, timing the task until completion.


Although WinRAR compression is a heavily memory bandwidth bound workload, the Core i7 processor's triple memory interface provices so much memory bandwidth that the difference between the slowest and fastest results is a minor 3%, with memory latencies not having a particularly appreciable difference on compression performance.
 
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MAC

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Gaming Benchmarks

Gaming Benchmarks


Futuremark 3DMark Vantage

You asked for it, so we have finally included 3DMark Vantage, Futuremark’s latest release in their renowned line of 3D benchmarking software. This latest DX10-only 3DMark comes with a variety of presets, but for our tests will be use the standard Performance preset which is suitable for a much greater range of system specifications than the other more demanding presets.


Although there is a healthy 4% performance improvement between the DDR3-1600 CL9 and DDR3-1922 CL9 results, the remaining results are effectively identically, so it's clear that memory timings do not have an appreciable impact in 3DMark Vantage. This situation may change sometime in the future, when faster graphics cards turn the benchmark increasingly CPU dependent.


Far Cry 2

Far Cry 2 is the hot new new first-person shooter from Ubisoft's Montreal studio, and the first game to utilize the new visually stunning Dunia Engine, which will undoubtedly be used by numerous future games. Using the provided Benchmarking Tool, we ran the Ranch Long demo in DX10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings set to very high.


At first glance, the results seem to be effectively identical across the board. However, there is a noteworthy 4% performance improvement in minimum frame rate between the DDR3-1600 CL9 and DDR3-1922 CL9 results. There is a 2.5% improvement between the DDR3-1600 CL9 and CL7 results, which suggests that timings are at least having a minimal impact. A 1-2FPS improvement is nothing to write home about, but all gains are good gains.


Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts

This test consists of actual gameplay using a single mission (Authie: Boudica's Boys from the British Campaign) since it holds a bit of everything the game has to offer: vehicle battles, artillery barrages and house-to-house fighting. We recorded framerates using FRAPS up until the 15 minute mark of the mission and excluding any in-game briefings / cut scenes. The game was run in DirectX 10 mode at 1680x1050 with all settings maxed out.


Although aging, COH: OF is not quietly fading away. With all settings set to max this remains a very graphically intensive game, bringing our GeForce GTX 280 to its knees on several occasions. There is a roughly 2.5% average frame rate difference between the DDR3-1600 CL9 and CL7 results, suggesting that memory timings do play a role in this game. There is a fairly noticeable scaling of maximum frame rates as the timing tighten and the memory bandwidth is increased.


Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead is the latest disorienting, fast-paced zombie apocalypse mega-hit from Valve. L4D uses the latest version of the Source engine with enhancements such as multi-core processor support and physics-based animation. We test here with in-game details at their highest levels, with MSAA 4X and AF 8X. For benching, we used a pre-recorded 20 minute timedemo taken on the No Mercy campaign during The Apartments mission.


L4D seems to place precedence on bandwidth over latencies, as the DDR3-1600 are all effectively identical, but the DDR3-1922 result is a healthy 3.3% higher, equating to an extra 5 FPS. CPU and memory bandwidth scaling has always been a strong suit of the versatile Source engine, and it appears that this quality is also present in this latest iteration of the engine.
 
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MAC

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Conclusion

Conclusion


While the Core i7 platform might have seemed like a price prohibitive luxury when it was first released, the sharp decline in DDR3 prices and the availability of sub-$250 X58 motherboards have helped push the platform towards the mainstream limelight. This is great news, because even in this tough economic climate the allure of a quad-core, eight-thread, SLI-capable über-computer is hard to resist for your average tech aficionado. Thankfully, those making the plunge will be greeted with several affordable DDR3 triple channel kit options, led by the OCZ3P1600LV6GK model that we have tested today.


At this point in the review we could throw around a bunch of superlatives, but ultimately this is the recommendation that matters: buy it! While <i>hardcore</i> overclockers should only have their eyes in one place, this memory kit is perfect for everyone else. At a $150 price point and with these specifications, it would foolhardy to not have the OCZ3P1600LV6GK near the top of the list for your Core i7 build.

Since this is a low latency model, we weren't necessarily expecting it to be a tremendous overclocker, but once we loosened the primary timings it really took off. Achieving DDR3-1800+ CL8 at mere 1.55V and DDR3-1900+ CL9 at 1.65V demonstrates this memory kit's solid overclocking capabilities, and really highlights the versatility of the mystery ICs that OCZ have chosen for this kit. Given how well this model performed, we can't wait to get our hands on OCZ's drool-worthy PC3-12800 6-6-6 or PC3-15000 7-7-7 triple-channel models.

To summarize, this is a memory kit that will not only impress you with its surprisingly low price, but also its tight timings and superior overclocking capabilities. As a result, it is absolutely worthy of our Dam Good Value award! Now if only OCZ offered some some red one's to colour coordinate with our ASUS Rampage II Extreme...


Pros
  • Fantastic price.
  • Excellent default performance.
  • Low profile, attractive heatspreader design.
  • Superb overclocking potential.
  • Lifetime warranty and support.


Cons
  • 7-7-7 overclocking could be better.
  • No XMP profiles.
  • Runs a little bit on the hot side under full load.



Thanks to OCZ for making this review possible!

OCZ 6GB PC3-12800 Platinum 7-7-7 DDR3 Memory Kit Review Comment Thread
 
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