Technical Analysis of DDR in Macs
6:00 AM | Eddie Park | Comment on this story
Ever since Apple introduced its new line of PowerMac G4s, much debate has raged regarding the practicality of introducing DDR RAM in the current system architecture. Though some websites have released benchmarks showing virtually no performance improvements, it may not be as cut and dried as people think, particularly in regards to the L3 cache debate.
Taking an analytic view of the problem, PowerLogix has released a white paper, titled Real World Analysis on DDR Cache for the Motorola 7450 Family. The paper focuses on both the theoretical and actual gains of DDR vs. SDR, providing benchmarks, theoretical analyses, and a conclusion that some people, at least in part, may find surprising:
The net result is that there is no advantage in using DDR L3 cache memory over SDR L3 cache memory on the 7450 family processors. There is also very little performance difference between an L3 cache of a given type running twice as fast as another L3 cache of the same type! Clearly it is important to have some sort of L3 cache, but the type and speed of the L3 are almost irrelevant. In fact, the only factor that matters to any degree, is L3 cache size, and even that is not a huge difference (about 7% maximum difference in our benchmark tests, which is measurable but not necessarily noticeable in day to day usage.)Though the paper is written in a technical matter, even novices should find its layout easy to follow. Those interested in persuing the whole report can download it at PowerLogix's site.
PowerLogix - DDR White Paper
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