Synthetic benchmarks like Sandra and AIDA64 are often the most obvious ways to demonstrate the increased bandwidth using faster memory allows. We will start our testing with Sandra. SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility that works on either 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows XP, Vista, 7, Server 2003/R2, and Server 2008/R2. Sandra takes advantage of multiple CPUs and CPU cores, Hyperthreading, advanced CPU instruction sets like SSE 4.2, NUMA, and 64-bit extensions. Sandra includes benchmarks for system memory as well as CPU, GPU, APU (simultaneous CPU+GPU), and GPGPU benchmarks. However, perhaps Sandra’s greatest strength is that it remains one of the most popular tests used to benchmark memory bandwidth and latency, and we are using the latest 2011 version to perform these benchmarks.
The Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 demonstrates bandwidth very close to the Kingston Hyperx 1600 kit with similar timings. However, the extra latency of the Vengeance RAM rears its ugly head in the latency benchmark, where this kit is the slowest among those in our test. The Crucial Ballistix kit running at similar timings but at 1866MHz flexes its muscle here in both tests.
In late 2010 Finalwire acquired the software known as EVEREST from Lavalys and changed the name to AIDA64. AIDA64 Extreme Edition is a diagnostic and benchmarking tool that offers comprehensive system monitoring of data such as CPU, motherboard, hard drive, and GPU temperatures and voltages as well as CPU and memory benchmarks and system stress testing utilities that are useful for diagnosing stability issues or ensuring a system overclock is stable.
We are using version 1.80.1450 to measure the memory latency, read, and write speeds.
Again the Vengeance 8GB kit turns in bandwidth numbers very similar to the Hyperx and latency results noticeably slower than the Kingston. Also once again, both kits are outclassed by the Ballistix.
With the synthetic tests finished, we next turned to our real world tests on the following pages.