OCZ EL DDR2 PC2-4200 Gold GX XTC

OCZ EL DDR2 PC2-4200 Gold GX XTC

Value and Conclusion »

Test Setup

Test System
CPU:P4 3.0E 1MB Prescott
Motherboard:ABIT Fatal1ty AA8XE i925XE
Memory:2x 512 MB OCZ EL DDR2 PC2-4200 Gold GX XTC
Video Card:ATI Radeon X850 Pro PCI-E
Harddisk:Maxtor Diamondmax 160GB
Power Supply:HEC PurePower 475
Software:Windows XP SP2, Catalyst 5.13


Usually we are showing you here a comparison of how well memory gains from increasing voltage. During first tests we found out that the PC2-4200 Gold GX does not gain any overclocking at all from increased voltage.
That's why we will be focusing on memory timings during this review.

First, we tested how the memory performs at the default settings recommended by OCZ. When these settings are applied and the overclocking starts, this memory reached fast DDR2-720 speeds.
If you can overclock that much, why not reduce the timings some and get extra performance in return? We gradually tried tightening timings and saw a sweet spot which offers a good compromise between timings and overclocking headroom at the 4-4-2-4 setting. Here the maximum overclocking is reduced only by a few MHz, while performance is a good deal better due to the tighter timings.
Another timing set we tried was 3-3-2-4 which is the best we could get the memory to run at. While overclocking is down a lot here, this might be a good setting for people who are not going to overclock, but still want to get the most out of their memory.

Running more relaxed timings, which would usually give you a higher maximum memory overclock did not help at all. At best we saw a 1 MHz increase over the plateau of DDR2-720. Such a small overclock is not worth it, for the loss of performance caused by the loose timings.

For further comparison, the test "JEDEC DDR2-400" shows a generic DDR module running at JEDEC standard timings.

CPU Clock &
Memory Ratio
Quake 3
Mod 1M
15 x 200 1:1200 MHz4-4-4-12 1.8V 5331 MB/s 1591 MB/s 104.3 ns 285.6 fps 2036044.63 s
15 x 200 1:1200 MHz4-4-2-4 1.8V 5539 MB/s 1738 MB/s 99.3 ns 287.7 fps 2057443.84 s
15 x 200 1:1200 MHz3-3-2-4 1.8V 5656 MB/s 1842 MB/s 93.2 ns 289.6 fps 2071443.38 s
15 x 269 3:4 360 MHz4-4-4-12 1.8V 7654 MB/s 2574 MB/s 70.5 ns 388.6 fps 2632132.26 s
15 x 264 3:4 352 MHz4-4-2-4 1.8V 7869 MB/s 2732 MB/s 70.6 ns 348.0 fps 2610232.56 s
15 x 213 3:4 284 MHz3-3-2-4 1.8V 5958 MB/s 2141 MB/s 82.8 ns 311.5 fps 2205640.11 s
JEDEC DDR2-400 200 MHz4-4-4-12 1.8V 5331 MB/s 1591 MB/s 104.3 ns 285.6 fps 2036044.63 s

Overall performance is very good across the board. With that much overclocking headroom there is no reason to run your memory 1:1 to your FSB.

For an easier comparison with other modules, we set a maximum voltage of 2.9V 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 some standard DDR2-400 memory running at JEDEC DDR2-400 (4-4-4-12). The average percentage of the three benchmarks is listed in following table:

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