Tuesday, January 15th 2019

MSI Breaks DDR4 World Record at 5608 MHz Using Z390I Gaming Edge AC

Years after year, MSI dominates the memory frequency record to show the strength on overclocking performance. Just in the beginning of 2019, MSI's in-house overclocker, Toppc, pushes the DDR4 speeds to 5.6GHz, setting another barrier using Kingston memory and the MSI Z390I GAMING EDGE AC motherboard by liquid nitrogen cooling. Undoubtedly, this is a revolutionary breakthrough for the Intel 9th generation processors for the first time. This world record not only shows MSI's dominant position on performance for Intel 9th generation processors by using MSI MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC and MSI's unique and patented DDR4 Boost technology, but also reveals team-up power with Kingston DDR4 memory.

More information on the record can be found here.
Stay sharp with a nimble mini-ITX design but mighty power, the MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC is designed with premiere layout, Dr. MOS and DigitAll power. This motherboard releases all Intel 9th Gen CPU performance by MSI exclusive DDR4 Boost and Core Boost. Featuring Twin Turbo M.2 and USB Type-C to make sure the support of high-speed peripherals, MPG Z390I GAMING EDGE AC is the best motherboard choice of performance and space.
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4 Comments on MSI Breaks DDR4 World Record at 5608 MHz Using Z390I Gaming Edge AC

#1
Blueberries
Wow, surprised to see this done with an ITX board, even one as good as that. I suppose VDDR delivery isn't as crippled with that form factor as the CPU but it still looks weird, you would think anybody shooting for a record overclock would be using a full-size PCB with lots of extra phases and MOSFETs to share the voltage required.

Then again, I don't tend to follow world records so as far as I know this could be pretty common.
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#2
Nuckles56
Blueberries
Wow, surprised to see this done with an ITX board, even one as good as that. I suppose VDDR delivery isn't as crippled with that form factor as the CPU but it still looks weird, you would think anybody shooting for a record overclock would be using a full-size PCB with lots of extra phases and MOSFETs to share the voltage required.

Then again, I don't tend to follow world records so as far as I know this could be pretty common.
I think the reason you see them using ITX boards is that the trace lengths are minimized for that last few MHz
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#3
robot zombie
I can see how the ITX form factor could be really beneficial... or more just the two slot configuration. 4 almost always compromises performance on at least two of the slots, just because of added complexity in trace layouts... a little easier to make 2 sets the same length versus 4. Doesnt always shake down that way in reality because of what winds up being most reasonable to produce... two slots winds up being a compromise for other reasons. But a premium two slot board should almost always have better RAM performance, assuming you stay in the sweet spot for two-stick configurations. The traces matter that much. The same two sticks are theoretically gonna be faster on the two-slot-only layout than in the two fastest slots of 4, assuming they use a trace layout that leads to one set being better, as they often do. Of course there are many different ways to terminate either and it comes down to engineering choices with any given board, though. Often it doesn't work that way simply because its not practical for other reasons. The cost of compact boards is already higher and requires more compromises, so even a top-end ATX board with an inferior (in terms of raw speed) 4 slot layout can still work better.

In this case I think MSI specifically designed this board to do insane RAM speeds with a two slot ITX as a calculated decision. It had to be conceived specifically for record breaking in that specific area, no holds barred. I wonder what compromises came along with that though. Im sure there are good reasons why its not usually done the way it had to be done with this board to get those speeds. But that's getting beyond the limits of what I know about motherboard design. I just know that any other ITX board coudnt have done this without losing out in eiter cost, vesatility, or both. For most people, a board built to do these speeds probably isnt worth it... and thats why it isnt done... its not like it couldn't have been done before, you know? Its a matter of balancing on the engineers' parts, not necessarily engineering innovation.

5000+ is as cool as it is stupid to me. Theres a part of me that would have a blast trying for that. And then there's the pragmatist in me that asks "Why? Just... why."
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#4
Valantar
robot zombie
5000+ is as cool as it is stupid to me. Theres a part of me that would have a blast trying for that. And then there's the pragmatist in me that asks "Why? Just... why."
I'm square in the latter camp. This benefits maybe a handful of actual workloads, and certainly none that are likely to be run on that platform. Also, for perspective, outside of pure bandwidth this will likely be noticeably slower than a DDR4-3200 C14 kit. Going by Anandtech's memory "Performance Index" (calculated by dividing data rate by CAS latency), which is a pretty decent predictor of real-life performance across workloads, this is way slower, scoring 180,9 (5608/31) vs. 228,6 (3200/14). It's barely faster than DDR3-1600 C9, and slower than DDR3-2133 C11 or DDR4-2666 C14.

In other words, this is like all most world records: (moderately) impressive on its own grounds, but useless in the real world. Unless your Z390 ITX board is running an extremely bandwidth-hungry server workload, that is.
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