Part I (1866MHz SODIMM upgrade on G73SW-A1)
Today we are looking at some new laptop memory by Kingston that takes advantage of some late-specs for Sandybridge chipsets: 1600MHz and 1866MHz memory support. These modules are Plug n Play for i7 Gen 2 systems, tho they should be backwards compatible for earlier systems. For systems using integrated Intel graphic solutions, the gaming perks are quite noticeable. Since the GPU uses system RAM for video, the added speed can generate up to 80% in FPS increases.
But we are interested if this DDR3-1866 stuff is good for systems with dedicated graphic solutions. So to start off, I ripped open a G73SW-A1 and swapped out the DDR3-1333 stuff and upgraded the system to 16GB. (With?this much ram, you can kill the pagefile unless you are doing some really intensive video or CAD, or unless you already upgraded to a SSD.)
Just on raw thruput, the system gets a nice performance boost:
and Windows Index tops off:
And for 3DMark results: (1333/1866)
I would have to say the big surprise was the 3DMark11 scores... seems the tests benefit from transfer speeds
Part II will have some real world FPS tests, and Part III will involve testing the older JH/JW series.
PART II (Game Testing)
My overall conclusions for real world application tests show no significant increases in FPS. However, overall system response has improved very nicely, plus if you play a game that tends to have microstutters on transitions and such, then you'll see that they tend to be non-existant, and you'll have a more fluid experience in gameplay.
Video encoding tests show no improvement in FPS speeds, demonstrating that my XT drives are the bottleneck?
Starcraft II performance demonstrates this fluid increase very well on some maps. Mafia II's benchmark did not go up (31 fps still) but less stutters during playback. Dragon Age II still fluctuates between 38 - 60 FPS on DX11.
Conclusion: With a dedicated GPU and VRAM, the faster RAM will help provide a more fluid gameplay experience, possibly solving a microstutter or hesitation issues for some games. I didn't notice any better min or max FPS counts.
So, would I buy this If I was going to do a memory upgrade to replace my 2GB sticks on a Sandybridge, then sure if the prices are decent compared to other 4GB module kits. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother for the $147 cost for 8GB just for the sake of. However there are always those who feel the need to drive Cadillac.
Part III (Testing the older G73JH)
Well, this part was more of a disappointment. I opened up the G73JH and swapped out the memory for 8GB of the HyperX ram. After figuring out how to get it all to boot with Dual mode, I got it running... and the system sets the RAM to 1333 mode. And it didn't help much with overclocking. In fact it was a little less stable than my Kingston 1333 RAM modules.
While Kingston says these modules are "backwards compatible" the Gen 1 chipsets only support memory up to 1333, so the JH sets the 1866 RAM to it's highest known compatible setting: 1333. I was hoping the memory would remove the limit in OC by being able to work at higher speeds, but it seems the memory wasn't my limiting factor.
So if you were thinking of 1866 speeds in a Gen 1, I'm sorry to say you'll need to upgrade to Intel SandyBridge.
This article was originally written by Chastity, TeamROG Notebook Moderator.