Next, I run a battery of benchmarks. I usually compare with results from another set of modules, but I didn't have any to compare to, so I ran tests at stock clock, at max factory tested clock of DDR3-1500, and my max stable overclock of DDR3-1528.
I normally also run 3Dmark05, but for some reason I could not get it to install. I tried a couple of different downloads of the current version, and even an older copy I have onhand. I have no idea what the problem was, I have it on 64-bit Vista, it should have installed on 32-bit Vista Ultimate with no problems. If you really need to see 3Dmark05 scores, I apologize.
Most of the benchmarks are at least somewhat memory intensive, so it will be nice to see how the results progress with higher memory clocks.
For gaming, I used the onboard test in the RTS Supreme Commander. This game is CPU and memory intensive, and heavily multithreaded. When run in Vista, it really tries out a system. I also used the the Crysis Benchmark Tool created by "MadBoris" Vergiza. Besides being heavily multithreaded, Crysis is very memory intensive. I often use either of these benchmarks while overclocking, either will really push your memory enough to get a blue screen with memory dump if your clock isn't rock stable. All game testing was performed at medium settings, AA off, and resolution at 1024 x 768. I saw no need to use higher settings considering the 8600GT I was using during the testing, as my results would reflect the weaknesses of my video card more than that of the memory.
The testing went well, there were definite gains across the board between stock clock and DDR3-1500. At DDR3-1528, the memory-intensive benchmarks started taking some mild hits. The Crysis benchmark wouldn't finish at DDR3-1528, though I couldn't tell whether it was due to shared memory instability or just because my video card didn't like the system overclock I was running. Eventually, I got a blue screen with memory dump, so I am pretty sure it was the memory. I have run Crysis successfully on two gigs of memory, but I can assure you that it prefers four gigs, so that may have helped cause the crash.