Skylake Memory Scaling with Kingston Predator DDR4-3000

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Performance Analysis

We arrive at our overall performance figures by giving each memory configuration a proportional score with each test having an equal weighting. The scales have been adjusted so that the 2 x 8GB 2133 MHz C12 configuration is the reference point with a score of 100.

When gaming on integrated graphics, dual channel operation has a 32% advantage over single, so a matched pair is absolutely critical, but filling all four DIMMs instead of two is inconsequential. 3000 MHz delivers a ~10% performance bump over 2133 MHz while C12 offers only a 1% boost over C15.

General performance is so close, an extra decimal point on the chart is needed for a more accurate comparison. The general convention that higher frequency and lower latency is reinforced but the margins of difference are fractions of a percent.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Though the testing for this investigation was brutally tedious, the results were satisfyingly conclusive. On Skylake systems, the type of memory used is only important if you lean heavily on the integrated graphics chip. If this is the case, opting for a single stick rather than a pair of DIMMs in dual channel is a critical mistake that can cost more than 30% performance. Frequency is relevant as well with 3000 MHz offering around 10% improvement over 2133 MHz. The difference between C12 and C15 is negligible and should be ignored unless the price differential is minimal.

On the otherhand, if you only use the integrated graphics for pedestrian uses like video playback or if a discrete video card is to be utilized, the speed and latency of the system memory is inconsequential. Our general performance tests results depict the highest performing settings as having a one third of one percent advantage overall. High speed kits are marketed towards enthusiasts but even the most hardcore overclockers can achieve their desired goal without high frequency RAM. Skylake "K" variant chips have multiplier based overclocking and standard Skylake processors can be clocked up by increasing the BCLK frequency and using low memory dividers.

Our thanks to Kingston for the HyperX Predator DDR4-3000 for the DDR4 memory kit used in this article.

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