The memory overclocking mode introduced by Intel with its 11th generation Core processors allows higher memory frequencies as well as being more efficient depending on the model.
Blue team’s Rocket Lake processor family is currently the target of negative reviews. An important advantage of the Gear 2 mod, which is available with chips, has emerged.
What are Gear 1 and 2 that come with Rocket Lake?
The Gear 2 mode, which it introduced with Intel Rocket Lake, allows the memory controller to run at half the memory speed (1: 2). In this way, the new platform, which can reach higher memory frequencies, works more stably in Gear 1, that is, when the memories work at a 1: 1 ratio with the memory controller, although they reach lower frequencies.
The terms DDR4-3200 MHz and up to 2933 MHz, which Intel gives in the technical specifications table, are the values that can be reached in Gear 1 mode, where the chip works stably. Moreover, the limits of Gear 1 are set as 3733/3866 MHz. If we look for a user who wants to run their DDR4 RAM at 4000 MHz with Rocket Lake
MCLK = Reference clock rate x Gear x QCLK rate / 2 (Dual Data Rate [DDR])
according to the formula
100 MHz x 1 x 40/2 (practically does not work as the QCLK range is 6-31)
100 MHz x 2 x 20/2
A table of 133 MHz x 2 x 15/2 emerges.
One more small detail. According to these rates, DDR4-7466 and DDR4-7533 MHz are possible, but of course they are not suitable for daily use. We can say that Intel has already made preparations for DDR5 on the side of the integrated memory controller.
Gear 2 higher performance on Core i5-11400F
Yes, going back to the Gear 1/2 performance difference, which is our main topic, the first chips reviewed were also solutions with a larger TDP budget. As expected, Gear 1 had better results than Gear 2. With the publication of the Core i5-11400F’s reviews, a remarkable detail has emerged.
When combined with Core i5-11400F DDR4-3733 MHz RAM, which has 65 watts TDP and is also one of the most popular chips in Rocket Lake, it has been observed that the Gear 2 exhibits an increase in performance compared to Gear 1 at the same RAM frequency.
The difference, which was at the level of 3.42% in the Cinebench R23 multi-track test, reached 6% in the MySQL test. Gear 2 is reported to be in an advantageous position, albeit with a slight difference in games.
The performance difference between Gear 1/2, which works similar to AMD’s UCLK and MCLK, is closely related to the processor’s thermal budget, as we mentioned at the beginning.
Because the processor was able to work more comfortably thanks to the integrated memory controller, which consumes less power as a result of the halved frequency, and the processor has more budget.
More share left for the processor
Let’s add that units other than Uncore, that is, the cores of the processor, consume 5-10 watts more in Gear 1 mode.
There are already questions in the minds of hardware lovers about how the 8-core 16-thread Core i7 and Core i9 processors will react to the Gear 1/2 change.