The following parts were used for today's quick tests:
- Intel Core i7-860 Processor
- ASUS P7P55D-E EVO (Intel P55 Express)
- Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9
- Palit GeForce GTX 580 1536MB
- Western Digital Raptor 74GB
- Cooler Master Silent Pro M1000
- Dell UltraSharp 3007WFP
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
First, we tested the Vengeance kit at its rated specifications of 1600MHz CL-9-9-9-24 at a VDIMM of 1.5V, at which it performed flawlessly.
One can expect a gain in memory bandwidth of about 5% as compared to generic DDR3 memory running at 1333MHz CL9.
Interestingly, Elpida memory chips do not respond positively to more voltage. As such, we left the VDIMM at 1.5V for our overclocking tests. A command rate setting of 1T was used throughout this review.
The first overclocking test was to drop memory timings, but maintaining the kit's rated frequency (and voltage). We managed to lower the timings a notch to 8-8-8-24. The system refused to POST if we attempted to boot with a CAS Latency (CL) of 7 clocks.
Loosening the timings back to 9-9-9-24, we achieved a kit maximum of 1800MHz. Increasing RAS Precharge (tRP) and RAS-to-CAS Delay (tRCD) did not provide us with additional overclocking headroom (sadly).
Unfortunately, enthusiasts on Intel's latest 'Sandy Bridge' platform will be disappointed as this Vengeance kit stops a little short of the nearest 1866MHz memory multiplier. Owing to the platform's overclocking limitations, one will have to either downclock the BCLK quite a bit in order to run the kit at its maximum frequency, or use the 1600MHz divider but running the kit with tightened timings.