Intel i7 920
Asus P6T X58 Motherboard
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 Toxic VaporX video card
OCZ EliteXStream 800 Watt PSU
Noctua NH-U12P CPU cooler
NZXT Tempest Extended midtower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
Installation of memory modules in an X58 motherboard, at least the two that I have experienced so far, is a little different. Normally with LGA 775 systems you start out in the memory slot closest to the CPU. With the X58 you start in the second slot, and of course place the other modules in the like color slots.
As I mentioned, the Kingston HTX heatspreaders are very tall. As you can see in the photo, there would have been a conflict with my CPU cooler’s fan if I had needed to place a module in the first slot. Since the Noctua cooler supports placing fans on both sides, I ended up putting the fan on the other side on the first motherboard…I guess just because I could.
The HyperX HTX look sharp when installed.very massive looking.
After installation, go into the BIOS to configure the memory speed. The memory supports Intel XMP, so there should be no problem configuring the memory to DDR3-2000.but we find that there is a big issue. Memory speed is a direct function of the CPU’s BCLK (Base Clock). To achieve high memory speed, either lower the BCKL and raise the multiplier, or raise the BCLK and lower the multiplier. The problem here is that the i7 920 is locked at 20x, and it (at least mine) is unable to achieve a high enough BCLK to get the memory much over DDR3-1600. So, at least on the two X58 motherboards I have used so far, reaching DDR3-2000 is limited to the i7 Extreme Edition 965, which is not locked at 20x. I’ve gotten to just above DDR3-1600.
If you are now thinking about how much of a bummer this is, keep in mind a couple of things. First, triple-channel memory has about 50% more bandwidth than dual-channel, so we’re talking about some massive memory performance anyway. Also, tightening the timings normally provides higher memory performance than higher memory speed, so if you can’t afford the grand that the i7 Extreme costs, you will still see benefits from the DDR3-2000.
Keep in mind that we’re still very early in the i7/X58 game. Who knows what the next round of i7s and the next chipset will bring?