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Best Practices

Why 1600L?

The next generation of DDR3L has arrived. New chipsets and processors from AMD® and Intel® now support low voltage memory operating at 1600MT/s (aka 1600MHz). DDR3L-1600 memory has a module classification of PC3L-12800, which effectively means the peak data rate of the module is 12.8GB/sec (see table). That’s approximately a 17-percent improvement on memory bandwidth over DDR3L-1333.

Technology MHz Speed
(Data Rate)
Module Classification Module Peak Bandwidth
DDR3 (1.5V)
DDR3L (1.35V)
DDR3U (1.25V)
800 (DDR3-800) PC3-6400 6400 MB/sec. or
6.4 GB/sec.
1066 (DDR3-1066) PC3-8500
8500 MB/sec. or
8.5 GB/sec.
1333 (DDR3-1333) PC3-10600
10600 MB/sec. or
10.6 GB/sec.
1600 (DDR3-1600) PC3-12800 12800 MB/sec. or
12.8 GB/sec.
1866 (DDR3-1866) PC3-14900 14900 MB/sec. or
14.9 GB/sec.

  • 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.

Step 1 – Know Your System

Only the latest generation of chipsets and processors support DDR3L-1600 memory.

Quad-channel memory architecture
  • Intel Xeon™ E5 v2
    - C600 Series Chipset

Dual-channel memory architecture
  • 4th Generation Intel Core™ family processors on 8-Series motherboards
    - Z87, Q87, HM87, QM87

  • 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 low voltage capacities at 1600MT/s are:
  • 4GB, 8GB SODIMMs (mobile)

  • 4GB, 8GB unbuffered non-ECC DIMMs (desktop)

  • 2GB, 4GB, 8GB ECC DIMMs (workstation/server)

  • 4GB, 8GB ECC SODIMMs (micro server)

  • 4GB, 8GB, 16GB registered ECC DIMMs (server)

Step 2 – Maximise Server Memory Performance

New Xeon E5 v2 and AMD Opteron 6300 servers support up to 2 DIMMs per channel at low voltage (See table)

Xeon E5 v2 / AMD Opteron 6300 1.35V
Module Type Module Ranks
1 DIMM per
Channel (1 DPC)
2 DIMMs per
Channel (2 DPC)
SR/DR 1600 1333
Step 3 – Determine the memory bandwidth for your applications
  • DDR3L-1600 effectively increases bandwidth over DDR3L-1333 by approximately 17 per cent.

  • Quad-channel architectures such as those supported on Xeon E5 v2 and Opteron 6300 platforms increase memory bandwidth by up to 35 per cent 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.

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