Tight CL4 Timings On DDR3 Memory Is Possible!

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Crysis and Conclusion


Crysis is a science fiction first-person shooter computer game that was developed by Crytek, and published by Electronic Arts. It was released on November 15, 2007 in the United States. The game is based off the CryENGINE2 game engine, which is an extended version of CryENGINE, the game engine behind the hit game Far Cry a number of years ago.

Crysis Benchmark Results

On October 26th, 2007, Crytek recently released a single-player demo that has the entire first level, Contact, as well as the sand box editor included. We used FRAPS to benchmark this multi-threaded DirectX 10 beta that came just a few weeks ago. The retail version with build number 5767 was used for testing at 1024×768 with low image quality settings.

Crysis Benchmark Results

Results:Using the full retail version of Crysis it was nice to see performance scale with the memory bandwidth.  At 1350MHz the move from CL7 to CL4 memory timings improved performance by just over 7 frames per second.  Just like the other benchmarks the pair of Corsair CM3X1024-1800C7DIN memory modules turned in the best performance numbers at their rated speed of 1800MHz with CL7 timings.

Final Thoughts and Conclusions

The days of saying DDR3 memory can’t run tight timings are long gone now that memory kits can run 1333MHz with 4-4-4-12 timings thanks to a little extra voltage.  It just goes to show that it is possible to run tight CL4 or CL5 timings on DDR3 and it is likely that upcoming memory IC’s might be able to improve on the frequencies at which these tight timings can be run.  With a very small number of Intel’s 45nm quad-core Yorkfield processors being able to easily 500MHz FSB it is highly likely that memory frequencies will stick around 1800MHz for some time to come.  Not many consumers are able to overclock their processors to 500MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) and that is the FSB speed needed to launch a 2GHz DDR3 memory kit.  If this FSB frequency wall holds, the industry might be forced to lower timings in order to increase performance.  Who knows maybe someday in the future we will see CL4 1333MHz kits and CL5 1600MHz kits in the months ahead.  It wouldn’t be shocking and since most memory IC’s get better with time it is almost certain. 

Corsair and Kingston DDR3 1800MHz Memory Kits

The Corsair WIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN G DDR3 memory kit (datasheet) is the only kit that I have seen run CL4 timings.  I have also had great success with tight timings on the Kingston KHX14400D3K2/2G memory kit. Both of these kits are rated at 1800MHz and are the flagship parts for each company and rightly so. If you happen to own either of them be sure to try lower timings!

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