(oops, thought I lost this entire post. good thing OCN has edit history)
Gaming vs Priming? I think it just stresses different parts of the system. PCI-E controller is onboard the chip, and also stresses the BCLK and motherboard. also I've seen memory errors come up as artifacts in games if your timings are off or ram overclocked too much. so my conclusion is that gaming stresses the BCLK, memory controllers, memory, and PCI-controller pretty hard. but not the cores and decode engines and such that are core-specific. so I like to game with prime running on low priority so I have all angles covered because I've seen systems stable while gaming and stable while priming, but not both at the same time. I strive for stability, so i do both.
I usually do a custom 1024-1024 with 4096MB mem in prime since that seems to hit the cores and mem pretty hard. why 1024k FFT? I saw one of my "blend" tests fail at 1024 when it was LinX stable, so I figure that must hit it pretty hard. I've heard the small FFT (8K) can cause some unnecessarily high strain to the cores and possibly degrade them faster, not to mention it heats it up more. from what I've heard, the weak points of these CPU's is the decode engine or something (hence why we run prime and not LinX/IBT). so I'm guessing larger FFT's swapping in/out of cache to the core would hit that hard maybe. but this is only my own speculation based on only a very basic understanding of how these CPU's work. I could be wrong and perhaps smaller FFT's make more instructions to be decoded per second and thus stress harder. either way, I think this workload is pretty unrealistic for real-world gaming circumstances.
so anyways, don't take what I say as gospel. these are only my own theories from my own experience. we're all still kind of feeling our way in the dark with these new CPU's and the best we can do is speculate based on testing and observation
1. Use your experience: Consider the problem and try to make sense of it. Look for previous explanations. If this is a new problem to you, then move to step 2.
2. Form a conjecture: When nothing else is yet known, try to state an explanation, to someone else, or to your notebook.
3. Deduce a prediction from that explanation: If you assume 2 is true, what consequences follow?
4. Test: Look for the opposite of each consequence in order to disprove 2. It is a logical error to seek 3 directly as proof of 2. This error is called affirming the consequentEdited by s74r1 - 3/14/11 at 11:30pm