Adata XPG Z1 DDR4-4600 16GB Review: Extreme Gets Cheaper

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stdragon

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Apr 5, 2018
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I really hope that HS on the DIMMs provides function over form. Otherwise, that no doubt will limit what kind of CPU HSF you can mount without physical interference with the DIMM hight.

Then again, if you're going to blow over $450 for 16GB of RAM, you're probably in the market for a water cooling solution anyways. Whatever....
 
Pay more than twice as much for RAM with only marginal performance gains in almost any real world scenario. : 3

F1 2015 and 7-Zip have extraordinary reliance on DRAM performance
I guess F1 2015 might technically count as a game that benefits from having faster RAM, but surely there must be a better example than that. The game only has 45% positive reviews on Steam, along with a 61 Metascore and 3.8 user score on Metacritic. The general consensus seems to be that it is in numerous ways a broken, buggy mess that is also lacking features common to the series. Codemasters have since released F1 2016 and F1 2017 to far more positive reviews, and F1 2018 will be coming out in a few months, so there should be little reason for someone to care about the performance of that installment now.

 

Crashman

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Right, but our update includes 2017 and we're still working the bugs out of other parts of the test suite. We generally try to do complete test suite upgrades every 2-3 years and only got this one completed for the product launches of January 2016.
But yes, we're sticking with EGO engine for its memory dependence.
You can get a much broader picture by reading more reviews. For example, we've found that four ranks (aka, four "sides" in old-school lingo) perform better than two, and you saw how pushing for the lowest DDR4-4000 timings got us our best results from every dual-rank kit: These patterns expand when considering four-rank kits to reveal additional details about what performs best...rather than what clocks highest.
But you probably don't need to read all of those reviews: It's clear from this review alone that DDR4-3733 overclocked to 4000 beats DDR4-3866 overclocked to 4000, beats DDR4-4600 overclocked to 4000, and the easiest explanation is that lower-frequency performance RAM is programed to take advantage of the tighter advanced timings that are stable at that lower rated frequency. There's obviously some "slack" in the timings of each kit to assure its stability across less-stable platforms, and we're evidently using up that slack when we overclock.
 

salgado18

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I guess it's time to test RAM with an i7 and a Ryzen systems, since the later reacts to memory speed in many different ways to the Intel.
 

Onus

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It might be useful to test this on a couple of Ryzen systems, one an APU. Otherwise, at least for Intel, it looks like Timings > Data Rate as far as performance is concerned. I think some of us suspected that, and this article provides the data point to back it up, at least on Intel systems.
 

stdragon

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Crucial did a pretty good write-up on speed (frequency) vs latency. In the past, I've always choose the highest clocked memory that was still within specification, and not yet classified as OC-ed . Meaning, when it came to cost, I've biased the purchased decision based on latency. Turns out I was kinda wrong. Apparently it's not just latency, it's about "true latency" after factoring in the forumla of clock cycle time (ns) x clock cycles (CL).

http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/memory-performance-speed-latency

Of course, that goes back to what you said of OCing lower latency modules to higher frequencies. But at some point, sacrificing stability for performance isn't a trade off worth having IMHO. Google already did large scale field study on DRAM errors, and surprisingly they were higher than initially thought. And mind you, that's non OCed memory!

"We find that DRAM error behavior in the field differs in many key aspects from commonly held assumptions. For example, we observe DRAM error rates that are orders of magnitude higher than previously reported, with 25,000 to 70,000 errors per billion device hours per Mbit and more than 8% of DIMMs affected by errors per year. We provide strong evidence that memory errors are dominated by hard errors, rather than soft errors, which previous work suspects to be the dominant error mode. We find that temperature, known to strongly impact DIMM error rates in lab conditions, has a surprisingly small effect on error beha vior in the field, when taking all other factors into account. Finally, unlike commonly feared, we don’t observe any indication that newer generations of DIMMs have worse error behavior."-Google

https://ai.google/research/pubs/pub35162

Now consider that the study is about 10 years old already in addition to higher frequencies and denser transistor counts, and I can only imagine bit-flip error stats getting worse. I'd love to see a followup to that study regardless.

My only point is that everyone wants to put emphasis on speed while sacrificing stability. At some point, I would not be surprised in fact if the entire industry makes ECC somewhat the defacto standard going forward for consumer products. And in doing so, I'm sure there will be an outcry given the small performance hit that it would have in the OC-ing community.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
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Yes, we focus on primary timings because it only takes a couple days to test a handful of speeds that way, and it takes a couple weeks to find the best timing configuration for a single frequency if we start playing around with more-advanced settings. And then reviews don't get done.

The 3733 kit appears to have an exceptionally well considered timing set, and the 3866 is close to it. We also find worse performance going below DDR4-3200 in almost every set, so the 3200 to 3866 range almost seems ideal at this time. Of course I will always have a slight preference for the broader compatibility of kits that sit on a multiple of 266.667 MHz (3200, 3466, 3733), but that preference doesn't impact test procedure. I'm going to be interested to see if any of the DDR4-4000 kits we receive are optimized for our test platforms and/or vice versa.

 

Onus

Titan
Moderator
Good deal then, because I'm going to want something faster than the DDR4-2800 I have, when the price comes down a little more. I'm not suffering, but it's still a cheaper way to scratch the upgrade itch that still flares up occasionally.
 

bigdragon

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16GB of RAM should not cost more than a high-end video card or CPU. This is absurd. I do really want to build a new PC, but can't while RAM prices remain so ridiculous. Just going to keep waiting.
 

Testing an APU would be kind of pointless, when you consider that anyone putting a $450 16GB RAM kit in their system is probably not going to be using integrated graphics. : P


It doesn't cost that much. There is very little performance gain from going with ultra-high-end RAM like this, so you might as well stick with something more moderately priced, like DDR4-3200. It's possible to buy power supplies and cases in this price range too, but that doesn't mean there's any actual need to do so.
 
May 16, 2018
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Why there are such discrepancies between all the kits in F1 2015, since all kits are running almost the same timings at 3200 and 4000mhz exception being the Super talent at slightly worse CL19 but slightly better at 3200MHZ at Command Rate1. Can someone explain this ?
 
May 16, 2018
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Can someone explain the huge discrepancies in F1 2015, since all ram kits are running almost the same timings at 3200/4000Mhz, only supertalent kit being slightly worse at 4000 but slightly better at 3200Mhz with the Commander Rate 1.
Can someone explain why is that ?
 

Crashman

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Editor
We only adjust the primary timings to the tightest stable settings, so the we can complete testing in a couple days for all four speeds. If we wanted to optimize secondary, tertiary, and even deeper settings, we'd have to spend at least a couple weeks per speed to find optimal values. And that's a problem because higher-frequency DRAM tends to use loser timings for ALL settings.

Tighter advanced timings for "slower" high-performance DRAM are the most likely reason for a clocked-up kit (such as DDR4-3866 at 4000) outperforming a clocked-down kit (such as DDR4-4600 at 4000) when set to the same frequency (DDR4-4000) and primary timings (18-18-18-36).

 
May 16, 2018
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Thanks for your reply and sorry for my double post. As far as i understand you've adjusted only the CL, TRCD, TRP, TRAS ? First of all im pretty noob with ram and sorry for my silly questions. Maybe another one: Since all kits are tested with same motheroard/cpu with almost the same CL timings on 3200/4000 cant you adjust all the subtimings to be somewhat equal ? I still find such discrepancies in real world scenarios pretty huge deall. I Thought that the F4-3866C18D-16GTZ kit is decent, but i guess its not, or its all about adjusting the subtimings.G.skill has some crazy 4400-4500Mhz kits with almost the same latency as F4-3866C18D-16GTZ...
Also if i buy a cheap Z370 will i have a access to options regarding the subtimings ?
Thank you in advance.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
I tried that a couple times, it normally resulted in no-boot.I think there may be additional automatic configuration settings beyond what the board is showing.

 
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