The technology launch of Intel's new G35 chipset - the first to support DDR3 - occurred just 3 days ago. At launch most reviewers were intrigued by the potential of DDR3 but less than excited about the high latencies and high prices that were available at launch. As you saw in Intel P35: Intel's Mainstream Chipset Grows Up and Intel P35 Memory Performance: A Closer Look our first two samples of DDR3 were rated at DDR3-1066 and 7-7-7-20 timings. These DIMMs would also run at DDR3-1333 with 9-9-9-25 timings. While performance at both speeds was promising, we were left to wonder when lower latency DDR3 might become available.

The higher latency DDR3 at launch certainly gave the top DDR2 a run for the money, but it generally took much higher speeds to match or surpass current DDR2 with low latency timings. It was clear lower latency would bring DDR3 much improved performance and make it even more attractive to buyers, but we assumed it would likely be months until we saw lower latency DDR3 - as it was in the launch of DDR2.

With this scenario, imagine our surprise when Kingston asked us if we would like to review their first low-latency DDR3. Where the competition was 9-9-9 at DDR3-1333 and 7-7-7- at DDR3 1066, Kingston specified their new DDR3 memory at 7-7-7 at 1333 and 6-6-6 at 1066. These were definitely some memory sticks we wanted to review.

If these numbers still seem high to you, you need to back up a bit for a larger perspective. While lower speed DDR2 can have latencies as fast as 3, DDR3 starts at 800 and the boards we have seen only allow CAS latencies as low as 5. The CAS range on better P35 boards is normally 5 to 10. Given this range of available latencies at higher speeds than DDR2, it is clear the new Kingston KHX11000D3llK2/2G has found ways to provide the lowest latencies so far in DDR3.

Keep in mind that the actual latency in nanoseconds is what really matters, so while the number of memory cycles from DDR2-533 CL3 through DD2-667 CL4, DDR2/3-800 CL5, DDR3-1067 CL7, and DDR3-1333 CL9 increases, the actual latency in ns only ranges from 11.25ns (DDR2-533 CL3) to a maximum of 13.5ns (DDR3-1333 CL9). While CL7 may sound like a high latency, achieving that with 1333 MHz memory is actually results in a time latency of 10.5ns, and of course that's with much higher bandwidth than some of the other memory speeds.

We presented detailed comparisons of memory performance on the current P965, DDR2 on the P35, and DDR3 on the P35 just last week. This allowed us to run a full suite of comparison tests using the same configurations used in Intel P35 Memory Performance: A Closer Look. Those wondering whether DDR3 can compete with low-latency DDR2, and when that might happen will get some answers to their questions in this comparison.

Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2
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  • Kozusnik - Thursday, December 6, 2007 - link

    Kingstone ram is some of the best ram you can put into your computer by asking me i use it in every computer i build!
  • begsh - Saturday, June 23, 2007 - link

    are you really achieved this??
    i have same modules and they cant get even 1400 at 7-7-7, with mobo asus p5k3 and 0403 bios.
    any tips?
  • Night201 - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link">Seems pretty Expensive: ~ $500
  • MadBoris - Saturday, May 26, 2007 - link

    P.S. Some of the recent reviews almost seem a bit minimalistic. Hope it's not a trend of things to come. Not to be critical, but I would like to see anandtech provide fresh content, perspectives and methodologies like I've grown accustomed to.
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, May 28, 2007 - link

    We would appreciate it if you could share specifics of what would constitute a non-minimalist memory review. What tests and procedures would you add?
  • MadBoris - Saturday, May 26, 2007 - link

    You know the more i think about it, the results aren't that tangible. Sure Sandra shows benefits. But if I am running a game at 40 fps, is DDR3 going to give me 41, 42?
    It won't be noticeable.

    Spend less on reliable decent RAM, get a faster CPU or GPU, seriously.

    Same with the P35, just not too tangible with speed tests. Mobo's should be about reliability, features sets, testing devices(USB, SATA, RAID) on them and how well they work.

    Speed testing with RAM or Mobo's isn't tangible enough. When a new chipset or RAM increases things 15 - 20% then I'll be interested. I'm not really interested in shaving .5 seconds off a compile or an encode.
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    We have updated ALL charts in the review to make it easier to compare performance. Bandwidth Standard, Bandwidth Buffered, Super Pi, and the 3 games now included 1520 (380x7) results in the last column. This means all four rows are now running at 2.66GHz, with just a change in the memory bandwidth. *00, 1066, and 1333 are running 8x333, and 1520 is 7x380 - all 2.66GHz as stated at the top of the chart.

    We have added an Overclocking Chart to p.5 that includes 7x380 (2.66GHz)- 8-8-8-22, 8x380 (same multiplier as 800/1066/1333 but pushed ot highest OC at 3.04GHz)- 8-8-8-20, and 8x275 (3.0GHz - highest speed at 7-7-7 timings) - 7-7-7-15. so you cna see the impact of timings at the very top overclocks. It should be no surprise that 1500 7-7-7-15 results are the fastest.

    With these changes we think we have addressed your suggestions on making the performance charts more useful for readers.
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    For those who requested them, these are the results for the higheest memory speed at slower timings. After further testing, we managed 1520 8-8-8-22 timings at 1.8V.

    The first result is 7x380, which is the same 2.66GHz run at all other memory speeds, and the second is 8x380, which is the same ratio but the highest OC we could reach from the base memory setting of 1333. The sequence is test, 7x380 (2.66), 8x380 (3,04):

    Sandra XI-Standard Buffered - 7329, 7462
    Sandra XI-Standard UNBuffered - 5172, 5263
    Super Pi 1.5 - 45.31, 40.40
    Far Cry River - 107.46, 117.82
    Quake 4 - 116.0, 123.5
    Half Life 2-Lost Coast - 109.5, 111.5

    We will add a chart with these results to the bottom of the overclocking section later today.
  • Googer - Friday, May 25, 2007 - link

    2GB of DDR3 will cost you close to $385!">
  • TA152H - Thursday, May 24, 2007 - link

    A lot is being made of DDR3 latency and such, and performance, but hasn't anyone considered the impact of voltages? I see these grossly inflated voltages for DDR2 memory, and I can't help but wonder if they would have so much better performance, even clock speed normalized, if they were both run at stock voltages.

    A lot of places aren't stupid enough to run DDR2 at 2.2 or 2.3 volts, it creates a lot of heat and lowers the lifespan of the device. Sure, the kiddies will, but the business world isn't that crazy about running things out of spec. Now we have the jackasses at Kingston already producing 1.7v DDR3. Why even bother having a spec if no one pays attention to it???? The memory is just out, and they can't stay to spec.

    But anyway, it might be interesting to compare memory at spec, which, last I remember, was 1.5v for DDR3 and 1.8v for DDR2. Or even at the same voltage, to see what is intrinsic to DDR3 and DDR2. It might be the voltage difference accounts for a lot of the higher timings, and not the standard. Not that I'm advocating running DDR3 at 1.8v, but for testing, it would be informative. Certainly if these nitwits are running DDR2 at 2.2-2.3v, DDR3 at 1.8v can't be too far behind. Good grief.

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