The test setup is identical to that used in our review of the Intel Core i7-3960X processor. The memory kit used is two pairs of Kingston HyperX low voltage performance memory module kits. Each kit comprises two 2GB modules that are rated at 1600MHz with 9-9-9-27 timings at 1.35V. They are ideal as we are not interested in overclocking them beyond their rated frequency. As pointed out earlier , we will be using a pair of this kit to see how performance of our setup is affected by different memory channel modes, starting off with quad-channel mode and worked our way down to dual-channel mode.
The main supporting cast of test setup is the Intel desktop board, the DX79SI which is also known as 'Siler'. The board supports multi-channel mode which makes it an ideal candidate.
We began running our slew of benchmarking software with the board in a quad-channel memory mode setup. After the completion of the test, we removed a single memory module from the corresponding DIMM slot until we whittle down the board to its final configuration, a dual-channel memory mode. Although the X79 platform supports a single-channel memory mode, we decided not to go with this anemic setup as it may not serve any practical purpose in a real-life computing environment.
Memory Channel Mode Population Rules
In the list below, we have stated how we populated the memory DIMM slots of the DX79SI to configure the channel mode of the test setup. For the quad-channel mode, we tested the memory modules at their rated clock frequency of 1600MHz as well as at 1333MHz. We wanted to see if there was any major impact on the benchmark scores from a change in memory frequencies. For the rest of the modes, we configured the BIOS to let them operate at their rated clock frequency of 1600MHz.
We installed our memory modules on our test system which has the following specifications:
The list of benchmarks used: