Battle of the 16GB SODIMM - Crucial PC3-10600 vs. Ballistix PC-14900 - Test Setup and System Information

Article Index
Battle of the 16GB SODIMM - Crucial PC3-10600 vs. Ballistix PC-14900
Features, Specifications and Setup
Test Setup and System Information
Let the Benchmarking Begin!
Real-World Benchmarks Continued
Final Thoughts

Test Setup:

For this test, I'm using a new Lenovo ThinkPad T540p. This system comes pretty loaded with a Core i7-4800MQ processor and supports 16GB of DDR3. According to the information I was able to dig up on the processor, it can only handle DDR3-1600 memory, but according to the CPU-Z screenshots, it can actually handle 1866MHz memory without issues.

CPU-Z Main CPU-Z Mainboard

 

This CPU can Turbo-boost up to 3.7GHz and it should be more than adequate to push both kits of RAM if we can get it up to speed as indicated in the images below. You'll notice in the image of the Ballistix SPD below, that the memory is rated at PC3-14200 – not PC3-14900. This is because of the JEDEC specification while the XMP profiles (which were properly detected at set) allow it to run right at PC3-14900 without any adjustments in our BIOS.

CPU-Z Memory 1333MHz CPU-Z Memory 1866MHz

 

 
Core i7
CPU
Intel Core i7-4800MQ @ 2.7GHz (Turbo 3.7GHz)
Motherboard
Lenovo T540p / 20BECTO1WW
Memory
Crucial PC3-10600 DDR3-1333 CL9 16GB Kit
Crucial Ballistix PC3-14900 DDR3-1866 CL10 16GB Kit
Graphics
NVIDIA GT730M
Cooling
Stock
Hard Drives
Hitachi Travelstar 7K500 500GB 7,200rpm
Operating System
Windows 8.1 Pro x64
Notes
All Drivers/Software up to date

 

CPU-Z 1333MHz SPD CPU-Z SPD 1866MHz

 

As there isn't any adjustments we can do in the BIOS to change the RAM timings, we ran the memory at stock speeds with stock timings as correctly detected by the BIOS. We ran the DDR3-1333 kit at 9-9-9-24 1T. The DDR3-1866 kit was correctly detected and benchmarks were ran at the faster speed, but slower timings of 10-10-10-32 1T.

By looking at the SPD image above for the Ballistix kit, it has the ability to run (in theory) at up to 2220MHz at CL12 and an amazing 2400MHz at CL13. Those numbers in no way mean that the memory can run at those speeds, but with high-quality DDR3 modules that are rated to run in hot environments at low-voltage, it’s entirely possible. That being said, let’s leave the world of the theoretical and jump into reality as we start the benchmarks on the next page.

On the next page we'll start running some benchmarks to see how the memory stacks up against each other.