Exploring the performance impact of memory latency
Is 2-2-2-5-1T really worth it?
THESE DAYS, SEEMINGLY
every major memory module manufacturer is producing fancy low-latency DIMMs. These DIMMs are equipped with tricked-out heat spreaders and come in a variety of different colors, making them easy to pick out in a crowd. There's more to them than funky cosmetics, though. The most exotic low-latency DIMMs are rated to run at extremely tight 2-2-2-5 timings at 400MHz. Unfortunately, you'll pay a small fortune for the privilege. Low-latency modules cost close to twice as much as more pedestrian DIMMs, if not more.
Lower latencies are a good thing, of course, but how much can they really improve system performance? Are exotic, low-latency DIMMs worth the price premium? Read on as we explore the effects of memory latency on Athlon 64 performance in synthetic memory benchmarks, games, and real-world applications.