Now to the fun part, overclocking and benchmarking. Here are the tools I use for testing to make sure the overclocks are solid.
- FireStrike, and TimeSpy
- Sisoft Sandra
Let me explain why I use these pieces of software, please chime in if you would recommend anything different.
- 3DMark: While not a benchmark for memory, it does provide overall system performance. It does of course steer more in the direction for video but memory speeds do play a role in its performance.
- 7Zip: While 7Zip is a tool for file compression and decompression, it also provides a tool to benchmark the speed of your processor and RAM. The Compression speed test relies heavily on your RAM latency, Data cache size and speed and TLB or translation lookaside buffer. The TLB is a memories cache that stores recent translations of virtual memory into physical addresses for faster retrieval of that cache. MIPS stands for millions of instructions per second.
- Decompression relies more on the CPU’s integer operations and very little on memory and its own cache, but it is wrapped in the test. The performance is based off of MIPS (Million Instructions per second. The overall score is calculated from the measured speed of its calculations. I run this test for 100 passes, not only test get a better tested score but also to test system stability under each configuration.
- AIDA64: Is a benchmarking suite that can benchmark the entire system, but I will focus this test only on Memory, since we have a few other suites benchmarking everything. The memory test here benchmark reading, writing with data transfer bandwidth and latency.
- CPU-Z:Well this is not really a test, but a utility to tell you what speed your CPU, Memory and the likes are running at. This piece of software provides information to confirm what you have done in the BIOS making sure all is well, confirming Bus Speeds, Multipliers, Frequencies, Channel’s and more. Yes, many pieces of software do this as well, but this is 1 of them.
- Sisoft Sandra: Sandra is also a suite that can potentially benchmark the entire system and can also be used for diagnostic purposes, like most if not all of the previous software titles mention. For memory, I will be running Sandra’s Memory Bandwidth and Latency tests.
The other test for stability of all the overclocks here is that this is my main machine, the machine I use daily. Each overclock had days of testing playing gaming, editing videos that you see in this review and tons of other uses, so these are each solid.
As you know, the XMP speed is 3200Mhz, so of course I tested at that speed but I overclocked the memory to 3400Mhz and 3500Mhz as well. I tried to get to 3600Mhz but this one would take a lot more work and since I spent so much time with the other speeds, I would have to skip it for now. The times I tried to reach those speeds the system would not P.O.S.T, but I am sure if I had spent more time, I could have hit it or further.
Before I get in the settings, let me show you my system specs.
- Viotek G35DR 35″: http://geni.us/6LrGJ
- Core i9 9900K Processor: https://geni.us/0PrCbaY
- Fractal Design DEFINE S2 Vision RGB: https://geni.us/t6xXT
- Fractal Design Celsius S36 360mm Liquid Cooling Unit: https://geni.us/m6LvD
- EVGA Z390 Dark Motherboard: https://geni.us/UmV6t
- EVGA Geforce RTX 2080 XC Ultra Video Card: https://geni.us/SwBEU6
- WD Black SN750 1TB: https://geni.us/8sqXFs
- Patriot Viper Gaming RGB DDR4 DRAM 3200MHz 16GB Kit: https://geni.us/URlI8
- Patriot Scorch 256GB NVMe M.2 PCIe M.2 SSD: https://geni.us/fPk1BA
- Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD: https://geni.us/QTA2
- WD Black PCI-e NVMe 512GB SSD: https://geni.us/mMNLde
- beQuiet! 1000Watt Power Supply: https://geni.us/jEYLM79
Ok, so let me show you the overclocks and its settings, thankfully most were easy, but I did have to play with voltages a little.
3200Mhz (XMP Profile 1, no modifying)
3400Mhz (XMP Profile 1 bumping Memory Frequency, no modifying). I skipped 3333Mhz.
3500Mhz (XMP Profile 1 bumping Memory Frequency, raising Voltage to 1.370V).
Thankfully there was not a lot of fumbling to do here, but lots of testing in between. On the 3500Mhz, it last about a day or 2 with no issues but on the 3rd day, it froze so I had to bump it up to 1.370V and redo all of my testing and usage. Let’s get started with the benchmarking.
3DMark – FireStrike
The results here are a bit interesting, I highlighted above the champions of each section. From left to right, we can see the Combined Tests on FPS won on 3500Mhz at 54.84 which was 0.93% faster than the runner up at 3200Mhz. Graphics Test 1, the winner was 3200Mhz coming in at 134.32, 0.26% faster than 3400Mhz at 133.97FPS.
Leaving FPS, under Combined Score we can see 3500Mhz took the cake at 11,789, 0.92% faster than its 3200Mhz counter part coming in at 11,681. On Physics, 3500Mhz again clearly wins at 0.85 faster than 3400Mhz at 24,547. Graphics score was actually won by the stock XMP settings of 3200Mhz, coming in at 27,530. This is 0.43% faster than the runner up 3400Mhz score of 27,413.
Lastly, the score most pay attention to, the overall 3DMark score, 3500Mhz takes the lead coming in at 23,865 which is 0.046% faster than the runner up 3200Mhz at 23,854. Ok, let’s jump to TimeSpy.
3DMark – TimeSpy
Ok, this one makes a little more sense. Going again from left to right, on CPU Test, we can see 3500Mhz came in the lead at 37.98, 0.85% faster than the runner up 3400Mhz at 37.66. Picking up the Graphics Test 2, 3500Mhz again dominates by the tiniest of leads by 0.187% on both 3400Mhz and 3200Mhz. Graphics test 1 though changes the reigning champion brining it back down to earth by having 3200Mhz take the lead by 10.58%, that’s a pretty decent increase.
Coming out of the FPS side, the CPU score has 3500Mhz taking the lead coming in at 11.303, 0.826% OVER 3400Mhz at 11,210. The Graphics Score on 3500Mhz, comes in at 11,051 taking the lead over 11,034 by 1.58% at 3200Mhz. The more commonly referenced score of 3DMark shows 3500Mhz taking again the lead at 11,088 over 3400Mhz at 11,035 by 0.60%.
While 3500Mhz did dominate many of the benchmarks, we can see that the base XMP did have a lot of pull, coming above in quite a few. 3400Mhz did not fair as well and actually came in below many of the 3200Mhz as well. Graphics though will not take too much advantage of a bump in memory speeds though it wont hurt. 7Zip being more processor and memory intensive will benefit from this, so let’s check it out.
While 3DMark focused more graphical performance, 7Zip, a compression program focuses on CPU calculations for Decompression but mainly on RAM latency for Compression. 7Zip shows that it favored 3500Mhz which of course it not a surprise. 3500Mhz performed 1.11% faster than 3400Mhz and 50.67% faster than its base XMP frequency of 3200Mhz.
We know 7Zip to be a great compression program, though not regularly known to be a benchmark, so let see what AIDA64 says about the performance, a better-known benchmarking software suite.
AIDA64 Cache & Memory Benchmark
3500Mhz did a great job here, coming up on top in the “Write”, “Read speeds” and “Copy speeds” as you would expect. “Read” came up 2.80% faster, “Copy” 4.48% faster and the “Write” was 5.76% faster, “Latency” was 3.95% lower (Faster) than 3400Mhz, no one wants to wait a long time.
With AIDA64 complete, another well-known suite for overall system benchmarking also allowing you to focus on specific part of the system is SiSoft Sandra. Let’s see what Sandra says.
3500Mhz, yet again trumps the rest. On 3500Mhz, “Time To Copy” had a much better time resulting in less time to copy files, 2.84% faster than 3400Mhz. “Integer Memory Bandwidth”, 8.52% faster, “Aggregate Memory Bandwidth” 2.83% faster and “Float Memory Bandwidth” 2.95% faster than 3400Mhz. This is so important because this is your everyday use of your computer, you can see how that increase in speed helps.
OK, now that we are done with the benchmarking and testing, its for my Final Thoughts and Conclusion.
Continue: Final Thoughts and Conclusion