Benchmarks

For our benchmarking testing we used the Intel Z68 platform with a 2600K processor. This particular CPU used for our testing is limited to about 105.5bclk, so to maintain a level benchmarking playing field, we chose 40×105 and 42×100 for the memory tests. In both cases the resulting CPU speed is 4.2Ghz leaving the memory clock as the difference. 2240MHz is very close to the maximum stable memory speed with this particular CPU and motherboard.

Test Setup

CPU Intel i7 2600K @ 4.2Ghz
Motherboard Asus P8Z68-V-Pro
Memory G.Skill ARES 8GAB 2133MHz 9-11-10 2x4Gb
Graphics Card Nvidia GTX 580
Hard Drive Western Digital Velociraptor 150Gb
OS Windows 7 x64 w/ SP1
PSU Antec HCP-1200
Cooling Noctua NH-D14

There's no problem fitting the G.Skill ARES under the huge Noctua NH-D14.

IMG 2195 G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz memory kit review

 

Synthetic tests

Synthetic benchmarks such as these show the best case scenarios of the effects of bandwidth increases.

 

Aida64

aida(1) G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz memory kit review

 

MaxxMem latency

maxmem G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz memory kit review

 

SuperPi 32M

32m G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz memory kit review

SuperPi 32M is quite a memory intensive benchmark and we can see the difference higher speed memory makes here.

 

Real world tests

These tests give a better indication of the effects of bandwidth increases using real workloads.

X264 is a high quality, commonly used video encoding software library. This benchmark provides a good indication of the effects of multithreading, CPU clocks and memory clocks etc. A user spending hours doing video encoding will want good fast memory to trim a little time off of their encodes.

x264 G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz memory kit review

 

Winrar is a file archiving and data compression program similar to Winzip and 7zip. It is particularly sensitive to memory bandwidth and latency improvements.

winrar G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz memory kit review

 

For a gaming test we used the now aged Far Cry 2 benchmark. This test was run at medium settings at 1920×1080 and so begins to run into CPU limitations at high FPS levels. Modern games tend to be GPU limited, so memory bandwidth improvements typically don't show any discernable effect outside of helping with minimum FPS and boosting games that are CPU limited. This is what we see here.

fc2 G.Skill ARES 8GB (2x4GB) 2133MHz memory kit review

 

These benchmarks do show some performance benefits. Overclocking the memory doesn't provide massive performance gains in general usage, but these days with memory prices dropping through the floor, a high spec kit such as the G.Skill ARES 2133MHz kit only costs a few dollars more than a common 1600MHz kit. Why not drop the extra few dollars on some fast RAM?