From the Manufacturer G.SKILL
- Package : 1024MB kit (2x512MB) 2048MB(2X1024MB) dual channel pack
- CAS Latency : 4-4-4-12 (PC4200)
- Test Voltage : 1.8~2.0V(low voltage)
- PCB Board : 6 Layers PCB
- Speed : DDR II 533 MHz (PC4200)
- Type : 240-pin DDR2 SDRAM
- Error Checking : Non-ECC
- Registered/Unbuffered : Unbuffered
- Quality Control : Comprehensive rigorously tested in pair at dual channel environment
- Warranty : Lifetime
This is the memory package from G.SKILL. It can be opened without a knife and unlike many other packages it will not be destroyed by opening it. A change over previous versions is that it seems that the plastic does not feel so soft anymore.
The memory comes without heatspreaders but there is absolutely no reason you would need a heatspreader with this memory. Even during our overclocking tests at 2.1V the memory got barely warm.
A closer look
There are two stickers on each module. One is giving you the product name and the serial number which you need in case of an RMA. The other one lists the specified clock speeds and timings of this memory. Adding the recommended voltage here would be useful in my opinion.
On the PCB you find BGA chips with a G.SKILL label on them. I would assume G.SKILL buys blank chips from another manufacturer and prints their logo on them.
Using BGA is a good move to reduce the heat output of the chips. When BGA is used, each memory chip is attached with a lot of tiny solder balls which are on the bottom of the chip. This greatly improves heat transfer between PCB and chip.
The PCB is made by Brainpower who are known for making top-quality memory boards.
||P4 3.0E 1MB Prescott
||ABIT Fatal1ty AA8XE i925XE
||2x 512 MB F2-4200PHU2-1GBNT
||ATI Radeon X850 Pro PCI-E
||Maxtor Diamondmax 160GB
||HEC PurePower 475
||Windows XP SP2, Catalyst 5.13
As first test we ran the memory at 200 MHz, at the standard voltage of 1.8V, to see how it performs at everything set to stock. The next test determines the maximum overclocking at 1.8V, which is something you would experience if your motherboard does not allow memory voltage adjustments at all.
For the next three tests we raised voltage in steps to 1.9V, 2.0V and 2.1V. As you can see the overclock scales very nicely with voltage. Further increasing the voltage did not help much. At 2.3V we saw about 375 MHz which is not worth it for the reduction of life span this brings.
In the next test we reduced the timings to 3-3-2-4 which are the tighest timings this memory can run at. The best timings you can set in the Intel chipset are 3-2-2-4, so what is possible with this memory is close to the fastest setting possible.
Next we tried to relax the timings to 5-5-5-15 to find out if we could get a higher maximum overclock out of the memory than at 4-4-4-12 which isn't the case.
For further comparison, the test "JEDEC DDR2-400" shows a generic DDR module running at JEDEC standard timings.
|CPU Clock &
|15 x 200 1:1
|15 x 217 3:4
|15 x 235 3:4
|15 x 253 3:4
|15 x 272 3:4
|15 x 203 3:4
|15 x 272 3:4
For an easier comparison with other modules, we set a maximum voltage of 2.1V and tested until we found the highest clock frequency and fastest timings for this memory. The benchmarks Everest Read, Everest Write and Quake 3 were run. We then calculated the performance increase in percent compared to a generic DDR2-400 memory running at JEDEC DDR2-400 (4-4-4-12). The average percentage of the three benchmarks is listed in following table:
Value and Conclusion
- Two 512 MB modules of G.Skill F2-4200PHU2-1GBNT can be found for around $75, which is an absolute killer price.
- Excellent bargain price
- Overclocks far beyond advertised speeds
- Timings can be tightened a lot
- No heatspreaders (purely cosmetical issue)
- Needs high voltage to perform best
||What makes this memory stand out in the crowd is its awesome price which is pretty much the best price you can find for a brand-name DDR2 memory.
For this price you get a rock stable memory kit which offers a lot of overclocking headroom. Actually so much that I don't see a reason why you would want to buy more expensive memory. The difference between running upward dividers and 1:1 is about 2-3% depending on the application.
Being able to go from the advertised DDR2-4200 to DDR2-5800 is really impressive. Even if you are an overclocker and increase the CPU's FSB there's plenty of headroom, even at the 3:4 memory ratio.