By Jake Crimmins posted Dec 02nd 2010
Our new Corsair® Vengeance™ DDR3 memory was specifically designed with overclockers in mind. Vengeance memory combines value, low voltage, overclockability, and a new heat spreader design. To see just how far the new kits can overclock, I chose two high density 1600MHz, Cas 9 kits to test on dual and triple-channel systems. In order to test their stability, I used a combination of HyperPi 32m and Memtest86 to push the Vengence memory to it’s limits. Since the Vengeance kits are rated at 1.5 volts, I tested the modules for overclockability at 1.65 volts as well. We’ll see if the higher 1.65 voltage will help the memory overclock further.
For dual channel systems, I chose the Vengeance 8GB CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 kit for the overclock test. The Vengeance memory kit contains two 4GB modules, rated for 1600MHz 9-9-9-24 at 1.5 volts. The motherboard I chose was the Gigabyte™ GA-P55A-UD4P, with an Intel® Core™ i7-870 processor. I tested the kit at the rated 1.5v with 9-9-9-24 timings, and achieved a frequency of 1787MHz. This was an overclock of 187MHz , without changing anything in the bios except for the base clock. Relaxing the memory timings did not result in a higher overclock at this voltage.
However, when I relaxed the timings and raised the voltage, the kit was able to be overclocked to 2004MHz (that’s a 404MHz overclock if you are keeping track). In order to achieve this overclock, I relaxed the memory timings to 9-10-9-27 and set the voltage to 1.65 volts.
To test Vengeance memory overclockability on triple channel systems, I chose the 12GB CMZ12GX3M3A1600C9 kit. The kit contains three 4GB modules, rated at 1600MHz 9-9-9-24. This kit is also rated at 1.5 volts, just like the dual channel kit. The motherboard I chose to test this kit was the Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD9, with an Intel Core i7-920 processor.
The 12GB triple-channel Vengeance kit was able to reach 1800MHz using the stock rated timings and voltages. Again, the only thing I changed was the base clock, in order to allow the modules to run at a faster frequency.
Similarly to the P55 based dual-channel system, when I relaxed the memory timings and raised the memory voltage the modules overclocked to 2000MHz. I set the memory voltage to 1.65 volts, and the memory timings were set to 9-10-9-24. Again, I achieved a 400MHz overclock over the rated frequency with very minimal effort.
Overall both Vengeance memory kits were highly overclockable, easily achieving a 25% increase in frequency. It was impressive to see both Vengeance 1600MHz Cas 9 kits reaching speeds of 1800MHz without any changes to timings or voltages. Raising the memory voltage and relaxing the tRCD and tRAS timings allowed for another 200MHz of overclocking headroom. Relaxing the timings further may allow for even higher memory overclocks.
Stay tuned to the Corsair Blog for more Vengeance info, news and reviews in the coming weeks!