Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 45nm Wolfdale
Asus Striker II NSE nForce 790i SLI
Asus EN9800GTX Top geForce 9800GTX
OCZ EliteXStream 800 watt PSU
Thermaltake M9 midtower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
The TW3X2G1600C9DHXNV is optimized for an nVidia nForce 790i Ultra SLI board. The 790i SLI chipset is basically the same but the Ultra model natively supports memory up to DDR3-2000, the non-Ultra supports up to DDR3-1800. A cool feature of the Striker II NSE is that the memory speed is totally independent of the FSB, so we can overclock the memory without raising the FSB, which could hold the memory back.
Installation amounts to placing the memory modules into the memory slots, and set the memory speed in the BIOS when rebooting. It defaults to DDR3-1333, the FSB speed, so I change it to DDR3-1600. Leaving the timings set at "Auto", they defaulted at 9-11-11-29 @ 1.5v.
The SPD chart shows a wide variety of speeds and latencies, all at the DDR3 Standard 1.5v. It will be fun trying to see how we can improve on those.
Corsair tested this memory on an Asus Striker Extreme, which has the nVidia nForce 790i Ultra chipset. They sent a copy of the results with the memory. To keep my testing as objective as possible, I did all of the testing before reading their test results. Then, I looked at the test results, and tweaked my settings by using the ones they did.
During the testing I decided to try out Asus' latest BIOS for this motherboard, 0405. It is a beta BIOS, something I seldom attempt. but there are some settings on the Striker II Extreme (nForce 790i Ultra) that weren't on the original 0305 BIOS, and I flashed the beta BIOS, hoping that these settings were on it. They were.
Testing - Flexibility
Before I started overclocking, I wanted to see how much I could tighten the timings at lower speeds. Someone without a rig conducive to overclocking or without Vdimm options can possibly see a performance boost by tightening the timings.
Though I doubt that anyone would run this memory at DDR3-1000, I tried to see how much I could tighten the timings, and actually got to CAS 6 at 1.5v, I tried again with the new settings and got 5-5-5-15. A more practical test was tightening them at DDR3-1333, the SPD chart gave timings of 9-10-10-25 at 1.5v, but I was able to get timings of 6-7-7-15, at 1.6v. With the new BIOS, I was able to get 6-6-6-24.
Next I clocked the XMS3 DHX to DDR3-1600, and tried to get the best timings I could. Though the memory is rated at 9-9-9-24, with the new BIOS, I was able to get the impressive timings of 8-7-7-24.
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