For the review today we are targeting the Core i5/i7 1156 market so we have built a capable, yet affordable mid range system.
G.SKILL Ripjaws F3 1600mhz 8GB kit 7-8-7-24
Processor: Intel Core i5 760 / 2.8ghz-4ghz
Cooling: Corsair H70
Motherboard: ASRock P55 Extreme4
Graphics: XFX Radeon HD6850
Case: Silverstone Raven 2
Power Supply: Corsair AX850W
Hard Drive: Kingston 256GB SSD
Operating System: Windows 7 64 bit Enterprise Edition
Kingston DDR3 1333mhz 4GB 8-8-8-24
Windows 7 64 bit Enterprise Edition
Adobe Photoshop CS5 64 bit
Everest Ultimate Edition
3D Studio Max 2011
PC Mark Vantage
When overclocking these Intel platforms you need to be careful with voltage. Intel state a maximum figure of 1.65V due to the integrated memory controller and we are not really willing to push any higher than this. If we remained at the reference tight 7-8-7-24 timings it was possible to increase the clocks to around 835mhz (1670mhz), not really much of an overclock.
Raising the voltage to 1.65v we managed to get the memory stable at 970mhz (1940mhz) at 9-9-9-27 timings, which is a rather good overclock, especially for 4GB sticks. Our best performance result however was 960mhz (1920mhz) at 8-9-9-24 1T timings, still at 1.65 volts.
This final validation is available over here.
As this is a memory review we try to keep the locked processor as close to the same speeds as possible with all our configurations – so when we come around to the benchmark results we are only factoring in the memory bandwidth, rather than performance differences with CPU clock speeds. At our maximum overclocks, the CPU is running 80mhz faster, not enough to change the results dramatically, but still worth mentioning.