Exploring the impact of memory speed on Core i7 performance

The Tech Report: "One of the defining features of Intel's Core i7 processor is its integrated memory controller. There's certainly nothing revolutionary about moving this logic onto the processor die-AMD's been doing it for years, ever since the first Opteron launched way back in 2003. However, with support for three channels of DDR3 memory at speeds up to 1600MHz and beyond, the Core i7's integrated memory controller is clearly a cut above what's available in even AMD's latest Phenom processors.

With three channels of lowly DDR3-1066, you're looking at a whopping 25.6GB/s of memory bandwidth. Crank the memory clock up to 1600MHz, and bandwidth jumps to an even more impressive 38.4GB/s. This fat pipe, combined with the low access latencies inherent to on-die memory controllers, gives the Core i7 a formidable memory subsystem. It also poses an interesting question: how bound by memory speed is Intel's new processor architecture?"

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