The next generation of DDR3 has arrived. New chipsets and processors from AMD® and Intel® now support memory operating at 1600MT/s (aka 1600MHz). DDR3-1600 memory has a module classification of PC3-12800, which effectively means the peak data rate of the module is 12.8GB/sec (see table). That’s about a 17% improvement on memory bandwidth over DDR3-1333.
In servers, the processor model number affects how fast the memory can operate. Higher model numbers support 1600MT/s, but may be limited by the number of DIMMs per Channel that are installed.
Some entry-level mobile and desktop processors, such as the Intel Core i3, may not support 1600MT/s memory.
|Module Classification||Module Peak Bandwidth|
|800 (DDR3-800)||PC3-6400||6400 MB/sec. or
|8500 MB/sec. or
|10600 MB/sec. or
|1600 (DDR3-1600)||PC3-12800||12800 MB/sec. or
|1866 (DDR3-1866)||PC3-14900||14900 MB/sec. or
Only the latest generation of chipsets and processors support DDR3-1600 memory.
Quad Channel Memory Architecture
– Intel® Core™ i7 Extreme Processor on a 7-Series motherboard
Dual Channel Memory Architecture
– 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ Family Processors on 7-Series motherboards
– Z77, H77, B75
– AMD® AM3+ A-Series / FX™ Series APUs on 9-Series motherboards
– 990X , 990FX, 980G, 970
– AMD® A10-M, A8-M, and A6-M series mobile APUs on 9-Series motherboards
Available capacities at 1600MT/s are:
– 2GB, 4GB, 8GB SODIMMs (Mobile)
– 2GB, 4GB, 8GB Unbuffered non-ECC DIMMs (Desktop)
– 2GB, 4GB, 8GB ECC DIMMs (Workstation)
– 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB Registered ECC DIMMs (Server)
New Xeon E5 and AMD Opteron 6200 servers support up to 2 DIMMs per Channel (See table)
|Xeon E5 / AMD Opteron 6200*||1.5V|
|Module Type||Module Ranks
|1 DIMM per Channel
|2 DIMMs per Channel
*Due to architecture limitations, some systems with 3 Sockets per Channel may limit 1600MT/s performance to 1 DIMM per Channel populated. Additional DIMMs will force the memory to clock down to 1333MT/s
DDR3-1600 effectively increases bandwidth over DDR3-1333 by about 17%
Quad Channel architecture such as those supported on Xeon E5 and Opteron 6200 platforms increases memory bandwidth by up to 35% over previous Triple Channel architecture.
Some applications may require the maximum memory bandwidth available, such as 3D applications, CG, CAD and mechanical/industrial design, technical and scientific computing, digital content creation, video games, and many more.