Intel i7 920 (retail version)
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P X58 motherboard
Sparkle Calibre P980X+ geForce 9800GTX+ video card
OCZ EliteXStream 800 Watt PSU
Zalman CNPS 9900 LED CPU Cooler
NZXT Tempest extended midtower
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit
A distinct difference in installation on X58 motherboards is the location of memory module placement over the dual-channel Intel motherboards. Rather than place the module in the slot closest to the CPU, when using three memory modules, they should be placed in the second, fourth, and sixth slots as positioned from the CPU. These are colored white on this particular Gigabyte motherboard. Be aware that these slots may be numbered 1-3-5, or 0-2-4, which makes things a bit confusing with the location and numbering differences of the dual-channel that most are accustomed to.
Always be aware that a 32-bit operating system will recognize only about 3.2 gigs of system memory. A 64-bit operating system is required to utilize all 6 gigs provided by the OCZ Platinum.
Also realize that today’s high-performance memory nearly always defaults at a speed lower than the advertised speed to allow the memory to POST in any rig. The desired speed must be set in the BIOS. Regardless of what some may think, this is for the best. If for some reason your rig would not run the memory at the advertised speed, you would have to replace the memory to even get the rig to POST. This would have happened to me recently on three X58 motherboards with DDR3-2000 memory, none of the boards would run at DDR3-2000 due to my locked Engineering Sample CPU. If the memory had defaulted at DDR3-2000, I would have been screwed.trying to figure out why the system wouldn’t POST.
The OCZ Platinum, and most other triple-channel DDR3 kits, default at DDR3-1066. All of the SPD settings run at the stock DDR3 1.5v. The memory easily clocked to DDR3-1600 7-7-7-24.
Before moving on to overclocking, I’d like to mention the difference between running 3GB and 6GB of memory. It felt about the same as upgrading from 2GB to 4GB on a dual-channel motherboard.the rig felt different, like it could breathe. Loading times were faster, as was the Vista launch time. I ran a few benchmarks to see if there was a difference in performance, and no, it wasn’t enough to even mention. So again I guess we have the same situation that we did with the release of the 4GB dual-channel kit. Well, maybe not, because there isn’t that much difference in price between the 3GB and 6GB triple-channel kits.
In my past experience with OCZ Platinum memory, I’ve been able to get a mild overclock, maybe 10-15%, but not much over that. We’ll see how the DDR3-1600 triple-channel 6GB kit performs.
First I checked to see how high the memory would clock at CAS 7. I was able to get to a stable DDR3-1632, which is about half the total overclock I expected. Maybe this memory will perform better than I expected.
After a lot of experimentation, I achieved a stable overclock of DDR3-1872 9-7-7-24. Very impressive, I initially expected not to make it over DDR3-1700. There is plenty of headroom here if needed.