The G.SKILL F2-6400CL6D-4GBMQ are one of the first 2x 2 GB DDR2 memory kits that let you run high frequencies, DDR2-800 in this case. In our review we will point out the difficulties you will experience when installing 4 GB of memory on 32-bit platforms. Is this $500 memory kit the solution to a smooth Windows Vista experience?
Crucial has always been highly thought of by all serious overclockers. They have catered well for the enthusiast market with their Ballistix and Ballistix Tracer range of memory. Today we take a look at the Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 2 GB kit, which has given us some stunning benchmark results! Reaching speeds of over 1 GHz, and breaking the 10,000 MB/s barrier in Everest Read.
Even though the OCZ PC2-8800 Gold are designed "for gamers" they still offer features that you would usually see only on high-end overclockers' memory. Being able to run at a default of 1100 MHz DDR2 is very impressive, even though it requires around 2.4V to do that. In our testing we could get this $450 memory kit to DDR2-726 at CL3 and DDR2-1178 at CL6. This shows that this kit has something for everybody, no matter if you overclock just a little, or need insane FSB speeds.
With the XP2-6400 Mushkin has released their second generation of DDR2-800 memory. The memory comes with default timings of 4-4-3-10, which is a good deal better than most of the competition. The elegant black heatspreaders add to the look of this memory. But this memory is not only about looks. The timings can be tightened down to 3-2-2-4. Relaxing them has an even better surprise for you - we reached DDR2-1104 at CL5.
AData is well-known in the overclocking scene as a high-quality memory brand which offers good overclocking on all their memory modules. We have their Vitesta DDR2-800 kit on the testbench and were impressed that it could be overclocked to DDR2-900 without any problems. Even though the default timings of 5-5-5-15 are a bit slow, they can be tightened down to 3-2-2-4 when running lower clocks. Another plus is that this memory will work great even at stock voltage of 1.8V.
A few weeks ago I got me a new notebook from Lenovo, the Thinkpad X60s. Soon I realized that the default memory configuration of 512 MB is not enough. Since the official memory upgrades are rather expensive I thought I'd give G.SKILL notebook memory a try. These modules come for about half the price of the original memory and offer rock stable performance for your memory hungry applications.
The F2-4200PHU2-1GBNT are G.SKILL's latest budget DDR2 memory kit. Even though they lack heatspreaders they offer excellent overclocking. Our sample would go from the advertised DDR2-4200 up to a blazing DDR2-5800. What makes this kit even more attractive is that you can tighten the timings to 3-3-2-4. All this comes at a very competitive price of only $75 for a 2x512 MB dual channel kit.
G.SKILL presented their new 2GB F1-4000BIU2-2GBHV DDR memory kit at Cebit. If you are looking for a well overclocking 2GB memory kit you should definitely take a look. Even though it comes with CL3 timings, it will also run at CL2 and CL2.5. It can do all its overclocking magic at only 2.6V so this may be a good choice for users of budget motherboards which do not offer allow voltage adjustments in the BIOS.
OCZ has been a technology leader in the overclocker's memory business for quite a while now. Their new DDR2 PC2-6400 Platinum XTC kit comes with stock timings of 4-5-4-15 which we could tighten down to 3-3-2-4 and still get some serious overclocking out of the memory.
Mushkin has been making performance memory for enthusiasts for a long time. Today we have their new DDR2 XP2-5300 memory on the testbench. This 2 GB kit comes with tight timings of 3-3-3. It can even run at impressive 1000 MHz when the timings are relaxed to 5-5-5. The elegant black heatspreaders add to the excellent impression this memory left.
G.SKILL is well known in the community for making high-quality memory products which perform good and are not too expensive. The F1-32000PHU2-2GBNS 2GB DDR-400 kit is going for around $160 - one of the best prices for a 2 GB kit right now. For such a bargain price you would usually expect slow CL3 timings on memory. However, G.SKILL specifies this memory as 2.5-3-3-6 at only 2.6V.
OCZ is one of the most well known manufacturer of enthusiast memory. Recently they have introduced their XTC line of heatspreaders which are engineered to keep temperatures of the memory down, even when overclocking. The PC2-4200 Gold XTC offer superb overclocking, even at stock voltage. We found that the default timings of 4-4-4-12 can be tightened a good deal without losing much overclocking headroom.
G.SKILL is known for their well performing memory, which doesn't cost an arm and a leg. We have their latest 2GB kit on the testbench and were surprised by the good results. For $200 you get a 2 GB kit which performs very close to Samsung TCCD. Our best result was 272 MHz at only 2.8V. Impressive for a 2GB kit.
Modern games require more and more memory. One gigabyte of system memory has pretty much become today's standard. Once you turn up the eye candy you are much better off having 2 GB. OCZ is using their new XTC honey-comb heatspreaders on these modules which offer much better thermal properties than the traditional solid heatspreaders. For 1024 MB modules the overclocking works quite well too, we reached up to 240 MHz without any voltage increase.
OCZ is well known for being constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve performance of their enthusiast memories. The 3200 Gold GX XTC are using OCZ's completely reingeneered heatspreaders which feature a pattern of honeycomb holes for improved heat transfer. Being able to run tight latencies of 2-2-2-5 1T is a great way to improve system performance. In our tests we could run at DDR476 with those timings.
Mushkin has been well known for producing top-notch overclocker's memory. Now they have released a 2 GB kit which features their brand-new reengineered heatspreaders. Even though it uses 6 ns rated memory chips from Infineon we could overclock them to 280 MHz, a great result for a 2 GB kit.
The G.SKILL F1-4000USU2-2GBHZ unite overclocking and 2GB. They almost overclock like the best 1 GB Dual-Channel kits, but offer double the amount of capacity. We reached 275 MHz (DDR550) at low 2.6V. If you want the smoothness of 2 GB and also overclocking, they can be yours for about $245, which is an excellent price.
G.SKILL uses Samsung TCCD or TCC5 chips on these DDR memory modules. The timings of 2.5-4-4-8 are pretty much what you would expect from modules using these chips. During our overclocking tests we could get DDR600 speeds out of the sticks, at a rather small voltage of 2.8V. The best about this memory? It's the price. You can find a 2x 512MB kit for around $170 online.
Unlike all other memory manufacturers who merely buy DDR-chips and solder them on PCBs of other manufacturers, Crucial builds their own memory chips and PCB. On the Tracer PC4000 you will also find unique leds for a good look. Although Crucial/Micron is not very known for overlocking RAM we will do an xtreme overclocking test with high voltages and try to determine if they are a good alternative to sticks with Samsung TCCDs or low latency modules like Winbond UTT BH-5/CH-5.
OCZ has released the PC4800 Elite Edition in reply to user's claims that their 4800 Platinum modules used Samsung TCC5 chips instead of TCCD. OCZ guarantees that only Samsung TCCD chips are used on the PC-4800 Platinum Elite, but at a higher cost. These modules are specified to run both 2-2-2-5 and 2.5-4-4-10 timings. At the CL2.5 setting up to a whopping DDR600.
OCZ has geared their DDR2 Value Pro towards "mainstream desktop users". We had the DDR2 PC2-4200 Value Pro modules on our testbench and were surprised by how far we could overclock this memory. Close to DDR2-750 at stock voltage is certainly not mainstream. Timings could also be tightened from 4-4-4-8 to 3-3-2-4. Great results, especially if you consider the price of $120 for a 2x512MB kit.
After the success of the old "BH-5" PC3500 LVL2, Mushkin tries to continue the success story with the new Redline XP4000. They select the best Winbond UTT CH-5 and use them on these modules to have a big clearance above the specifications. The modules offer 250 MHz with tightest timings of 2-2-2, but require active cooling. We test these sticks at up to 3.5V and see how far they go.
If you ask an overclocker "Best memory chips ever?" you will most probably get the reply "Winbond BH5". Unfortunately Winbond stopped production some time in 2003 and supply of these chips was running dry pretty fast. Now Winbond is back with their BH5 UTT and OCZ has built the PC-3500 Gold Gamer Extreme modules with it. The modules run at aggressive timings of 2-2-2-5 and offer a lifetime warranty for up to 3.1V memory voltage.
OCZ is known as a memory manufacturer who produces high-end enthusiast memory. The recently released Titanium Line is more focused on stability of operation, than for overclockers. It features OCZ's Lifetime PowerSwap Warranty which is a unique feature to the Titanium Series. If your memory breaks at any time, you call up OCZ and they will send out a replacement via Fedex on the same day. Once you got your system up and running you ship the defective memory back to them within two weeks.
Right now, DDR2 is only available to the Intel Platform. The biggest drawback people are complaining about, is that DDR2 is running at slower timings than traditional DDR. That is why OCZ, who have always been designing products with the enthusiast in mind, came up with a memory that can run at 667 MHz but at tighter timings than the standard JEDEC Spec. The maximum clock we could get out of the memory at 2.4V was DDR726 at Timings of 4-2-2-8.