You might not guess it from the understated heat spreaders but the picture above is actually a photo of the world’s fastest production memory, 1 Gigabyte of 1.2GHz DDRII memory in fact. Let’s think about that for a moment…just a year ago enthusiasts were drooling over the prospect of getting 600MHz from their DDR memory. So with this Kingston memory we have exactly doubled in raw MHz what enthusiast’s memory was a year ago. Isn’t technology great?! Last month Kingston raised the bar when it comes to MHz by releasing the first 1.2GHz memory kit and LR has been playing with a couple kits test bench all month.
Today we kick off the new year in high gear with a quick look at what would be considered a current high-end system, (for another week or two anyway) a set of Kingston PC2-9600 memory with the world’s fastest processor, Intel’s Core 2 Duo. While we are using “only” an E6600 we’ve juiced it up a bit, all the way to 3.6GHz in fact. Who in their right mind is going to spend nearly $300 on a 1GB kit of memory and then use it on a processor running at default speeds? We’re using a custom water cooled loop to keep the E6600 from getting too much on the toasty side. Also along for the ride is an XFX 8800 GTX, again the world’s fastest video card. Notice the theme here?
All of this is plugged into a motherboard with NVIDIA’s latest chipset, BFG’s 680i SLI board. For those not familiar with the 680i chipset, among the many features are independent CPU and memory overclocking. This comes in handy for those with extreme memory or those with slower memory. The 680i chipset is also fond of running memory at a 1T Command Rate which adds a new twist to making DDRII memory really fly. The Intel 975x boards don’t give you this option and defaults directly to 2T.
For our testing we ran our memory at its maximum rated voltage of 2.35v. We tested at the rated speed of 1200MHz with 5-5-5-15-2t memory timings and also at 800MHz at 3-3-3-9-1t. Our testing at 800MHz should prove to be a bit faster than the all out speed of 1200MHz due to lower timings and 1T command rate. Let’s take a look!
On to the benchmarks!