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Intel Skylake DDR3 vs. DDR4 Comparison


Test Setups & Methodology

For this review, we are going to be testing the performance of DDR3 and DDR4 on the Skylake-S LGA1151 platform using a variety of memory frequencies and timings. Excluding the motherboards and memory kits, the components and software are the same across both systems, and aside from manually selecting the frequencies, timings, and voltages, every option in the BIOS was at its default setting. The ASUS motherboard set a default Uncore/Cache frequency of 4.1Ghz instead of the default 4.0Ghz, so we lowered that in order to match Gigabyte’s default 4.0Ghz setting.

Intel Core i7 LGA1151 DDR3 Test Setup
Intel Core i7 LGA1151 DDR4 Test Setup

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) Chipset drivers and accessory hardware drivers (audio, network, GPU) are installed.

C)To ensure consistent results, a few tweaks are applied to Windows 7 and the NVIDIA control panel:

  • UAC – Disabled
  • Indexing – Disabled
  • Superfetch – Disabled
  • System Protection/Restore – Disabled
  • Problem & Error Reporting – Disabled
  • Remote Desktop/Assistance – Disabled
  • Windows Security Center Alerts – Disabled
  • Windows Defender – Disabled
  • Screensaver – Disabled
  • Power Plan – High Performance
  • V-Sync – Off

D) All available Windows updates are then installed.

E) All programs are installed and then updated, followed by a defragment.

F) Benchmarks are each run three to eight times, and unless otherwise stated, the results are then averaged.

Here is a full list of the applications that we utilized in our benchmarking suite:

  • 3DMark Vantage Professional Edition v1.1.3
  • 3DMark11 Professional Edition v1.0.132.0
  • 3DMark 2013 Professional Edition v1.5.915
  • AIDA64 Extreme Edition v5.50.3600
  • Cinebench R15 64-bit
  • FAHBench 1.2.0
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Benchmark
  • HEVC Decode Benchmark (Cobra) v1.61
  • LuxMark v3.0
  • PCMark 8
  • SuperPi Mod v1.9 WP
  • Sisoft Sandra 2015.SP3 20.28
  • Valve Particle Simulation Benchmark v1.0.0.0
  • WinRAR x64 5.30 beta 6
  • wPRIME version v2.10
  • X3: Terran Conflict Demo v1.0

That is about all you need to know methodology wise, so let’s get to the good stuff!

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