SUMMARY: The performance difference between 6.6ns and 7ns HSDRAM seems negligible – hard to see any justification for premium pricing based on results.
Pushing some CPUs through higher FSBs requires high speed RAM to get the most performance advantage. If you are running at FSBs of 150 MHz, the performance advantage of RAM running at this speed is considerable. Sometimes a stick of PC133 can get you there but most times no. This is where HSDRAM shines.
I am using 7ns HSDRAM and have not had any problems running at 150 MHz with it. Nominally, 7ns translates to about 143 MHz and 6.6ns to 151 MHz. I did a side-by-side comparison in two systems to see if the higher speed HSDRAM resulted in visible performance improvements.
|Si Sandra CPU/FPU|
|Si Sandra MM|
|Si Sandra MEM|
Not too impmressive – If you have to pay a premium over the 7ns SDRAM for this stuff, I’d be hard pressed to see a compelling advantage.
I also found that unless your BIOS can acommodate the higher speed RAM, it will run it at a lower speed. With my ASUS A7V, it would not post at any RAM setting except under “SPD”; at this setting it was running at 2-3-2 and the 6.6ns RAM underperformed my 7ns HSDRAM (which can be set to “7ns” in BIOS and 2-2-2) by about 4-8%. I have not included these benches as they are not representative of true performance.
Bottom Line: First, check your BIOS to see if it can handle faster settings. Next, even up – Why not? At a premium – Why?