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DDR3 1600 vs 2133 is there a difference in game?

post #1 of 184
Thread Starter 
I've pondered about this for some time now and wondered if the increase in frequency would add any real benefit. I've seen most reviews and it's been mixed results from no benefit to some benefit. So, I set out to see what results, if any, where had and if it's worth it with no change to the IQ settings and drivers.

Battlefield 3
1st I tried BF3 MP. The only real thing I noticed was that animations of your character were a bit faster and quicker. Meaning that when I revived someone one the motion to res a player was quicker with ddr3 2133. Also, certain player animations seem more natural. For example, watching someone vault over something didn't result them skipping further ahead. All of these seem to suggest, to me connection related. But that's simply not the case.

Below are some pics I've taken showing comparisons.

3DMark 11
I also looked at 3D11. The biggest gains are found in the physics score.
http://imageshack.us/a/img822/994/p5445stock16001.jpg
P5445
DDR3 1600
Physics score 9367


http://imageshack.us/a/img594/6634/p5467stock21331.jpg
DDR3 2133
P5467
Physics score 9761




AVP Benchmark
In AVP benchmark tool I noticed the following:
DDR3 1600
Number of frames: 3908
Avg. frame time: 26.8
Avg. frames per second: 37.3

DDR3 2133
Number of frames:4013
Avg. frame time: 26.1
Avg. frames per second: 38.3


So does DDR3 2133 provide a big improvement over DDR3 1600? No, it's more of a subtle improvement. But overall I've seen frame rate improvements. What stands out with DDR3 2133 the most so far in game is that minimum frame rates seems to improve the most (which can have an effect in overall frame rates). For example, in one particular game I've noticed that although I was able to max out the frame rates it would fluctuate a lot. With DDR3 2133 it remained steady at the max frame rate more frequently with less frame rate fluctuations.

Edit:
CPU: 2600K
Asus P8P67
DDR3 1600 CL8 vs DDR3 2133 CL9
HD5870
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post

Here are some results using the old version of that benchmark (because that's what I used with DDR3 1600). One thing I will note is that the results of the DDR3 1600 does look a bit lower then normal but that's the result I got.

Heaven Benchmark

DDR3 1600
Min 11 FPS
Avg 54.7 FPS
Max 117.5 FPS


DDR3 2133
Min 28.6
Avg 55 FPS
Max 117.7 FPS

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post

I found this comparison that was posted by someone else. Look at those minimums in Heaven BM.
http://forums.tweaktown.com/memory/48445-does-ddr3-memory-speed-really-matter-ivy-bridge-sandy-bridge-2.html#post448845

That's what is making the difference in how smooth a game can be. Going from 33 FPS to 38 FPS on minimums is what I consider a performance increase even though average didn't change. We all know that the best experience in games are had based on how good minimum frame rates are. For example: If someone is playing a game that only gives them an average of 50 FPS as long as minimums are within the game's level of tolerance the overall gaming experience will be similar if the average was at 80 FPS. It's all about minimum frame rates.





Below is additional benchmarks and information from others




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpg2 View Post





Top picture is 1600Mhz 9-9-9-24 1T. The bottom picture is 2133Mhz 9-10-10-28 1T.

1-2 FPS improvement. Only issue is that this benchmark is dynamic and is not 100% static (the same) each time so I would get fluctuating minimum FPS each time I ran it even with the same settings. I took the highest set of minimum FPS I could get at each RAM setting.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

Here are a few of my results...

System:
- 3930K @ 4.5Ghz (usually 4.8)
- Rampage 4 Extreme
- 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws Z DDR3 2133 9-11-10-27
- EVGA GTX 670 FTW 2GB @ 1326/7460
- Samsung 830 256GB SSD (OS/Sys/Apps)
- WD Blue 320GB (Music/Video)
- HGST 7K500 320GB (Apps)
- WD RE3 1TB (Games)
- Creative Titanium HD
- LG/Hitachi Slim DVD-R/W
- NZXT HALE90 850W PSU
- TRIPP-LITE ISO-BAR-4 ULTRA Line Conditioner/Surge Suppressor/Voltage Regulator

I used the above system for the below tests, with all clocks identical with just the RAM changing. The system is watercooled so no drops in Kepler Boost or anything like that.

*TESTS*

(RAM SPEED + TIMINGS - AVERAGE FPS - MINIMUM FPS - MAXIMUM FPS)
All tests done in 1080p using a Dell P2212Hb connected via DL-DVI-D, all game settings set at maximum unless otherwise noted.

HALF-LIFE 2 EPISODE 2 (CPU @ 3.4Ghz, GPU @ Stock FTW Speeds)
1600 6-7-7-19 - 198.5 - 131.8 - 233
1600 9-9-9-24 - 191.3 - 124.9 - 219
1866 8-8-8-24 - 204.1 - 137.7 - 242
2133 9-11-10-27 - 217 - 147.1 - 259
2133 9-10-9-26 - 226 - 154.3 - 266
2360 9-12-10-29 - 231 - 159.7 - 283

Half-Life 2 and it's countless derivatives (mods, etc) all seem to be CPU Bound at this point, as I see a perfectly linear relationship between a CPU's speed and FPS.


FAR CRY 3 (CPU @ 4.5Ghz, GPU @ 1326/7460)
1600 6-7-7-19 - 52.2 - 26.1 - 93
1600 9-9-9-24 - 50.8 - 24 - 86
1866 8-8-8-24 - 54.1 - 27.9 - 96
2133 9-11-10-27 - 57.4 - 31.1 - 105
2133 9-10-9-26 - 58.7 - 33 - 107
2360 9-12-10-29 - 60.2 - 35.5 - 108

The biggest thing with FC3 is the increase in smoothness. The slower memory feels choppy at times, such as when you get into a firefight. The faster memory never has this problem. Also, with 2133 and above, I get zero texture "pop in", yet it's present with lower memory speeds.


I did recordings of 9 games, 11 benchmarks, and timed start up/shutdown/opening (Firefox with 25tabs/Photoshop/Paint.Net/Chrome with 25tabs,and a half dozen other things), and a few other things.

There is not a single instance in which the 1600 9-9-9-24 didn't come in dead last. The differences ranged from "benchmark-noticeable" to "Wow that's a huge improvement".


I simply don't recommend getting 1600 when the option for faster memory is there, especially if you have an IVB platform. The tests above are X79, and I have done the same tests on a 3770K + GA-Z77X-UP7, 3770K + Maximus 5 Extreme, 3570K + Extreme6 (for Ivy), a 2700K + Maximus 4 Extreme-Z, 2600K + G3.Sniper3, 2500K + Extreme9 (for Sandy), a Phenom II X4 980BE + ASRock 990FX Fatal1ty, 1100T + Crosshair V Formula-Z, 960T + 990FX Sabertooth R2.0, 1090 + M5A99X, 965BE + Gigabyte 990FX UD5(UD7, can't remember), and 8350 + Crosshair V Formula, 8130 + Sabertooth, 6100 + Extreme6, 4100 + Extreme3.

These have been over the course of 16mo, and variables change, not all systems had all tests run (most only had 2-3 games and a few benchmarks), and it's not a controlled experiment. Still, the results are only compared against the results from the same system, so they are perfectly valid.

Every single system wanted the fastest memory possible, although the Phenom II systems had to be controlled for timings by ensuring that the actual latency in ns was better than the prior test (which means most of the Phenom II tests are more about timings for a given speed than speed itself, although 1800 7-8-7-26 was always the fastest, beating 1600 6-7-6-19 by 9.3% on average).

I will try to get the rest of the results all compiled on a single spreadsheet...



Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post



I always mix it up, but I BELIEVE it is: 1000 / Memory Frequency Actual [ie 800 for DDR3-1600] x CAS...

so....


DDR3-2400 CAS 9 7.5ns
DDR3-2400 CAS10 8.33ns
DDR3-2400 CAS11 9.17ns

DDR3-2133 CAS9 8.44ns
DDR3-2133 CAS10 9.38ns
DDR3-2133 CAS11 10.32ns

DDR3-1600 CAS7 8.75ns
DDR3-1600 CAS8 10.0ns
DDR3-1600 CAS9 11.25ns

Edited by EastCoast - 3/23/13 at 11:43am
post #2 of 184
Interesting, Can I ask what CPU you are using, as AMD likes faster RAM even if it isnt an APU
     
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post #3 of 184
Faster memory really helps with min frame rates. You can grab 8GB of DDR3 2400 these days for 60 dollars. Its a smart upgrade.
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post #4 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedroc1999 View Post

Interesting, Can I ask what CPU you are using, as AMD likes faster RAM even if it isnt an APU

It's a 2600K.
post #5 of 184
Thank you for doing this. It provides visual evidence for something I've been telling people for a while: that DDR3 speed has a beneficial effect on gameplay by increasing the minimum frame rate, resulting in a smoother game, and that the whole "anything above 1600 is a stupid worthless waste of money" argument is wrong.

DDR3 2133 with nice timings (9-10-10-27 works very well, but go for 9-10-9 if you can get it) is the sweet spot in terms of price to performance, in my opinion.

Awesome job, again. +rep
   
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post #6 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post

Thank you for doing this. It provides visual evidence for something I've been telling people for a while: that DDR3 speed has a beneficial effect on gameplay by increasing the minimum frame rate, resulting in a smoother game, and that the whole "anything above 1600 is a stupid worthless waste of money" argument is wrong.

DDR3 2133 with nice timings (9-10-10-27 works very well, but go for 9-10-9 if you can get it) is the sweet spot in terms of price to performance, in my opinion.

Awesome job, again. +rep
Thanks
Yeah, you are right. Low latency DDR3 2133 is the way to go.
Edited by EastCoast - 3/3/13 at 5:18am
post #7 of 184
thank you for doing this thumb.gif
post #8 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd View Post

thank you for doing this thumb.gif
Thanks. I figured that I wasn't the only one looking for information about this.
post #9 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoast View Post

Thanks
Yeah, you are right. Low latency DDR3 2133 is the way to go.


You dont need super low latency with speeds over 2133. Look at the 2400, 2666 kits. They're all Cas 11. Thats perfectly fine for those speeds
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post #10 of 184
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stay Puft View Post

You dont need super low latency with speeds over 2133. Look at the 2400, 2666 kits. They're all Cas 11. Thats perfectly fine for those speeds

DDR3 2133 CL11 isn't the same as DDR3 2400 CL11. If you are going for the fastest clock rate it would be a benefit to get the lowest CL offered for that speeds.
Edited by EastCoast - 3/3/13 at 9:03am
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