Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Tech Link (Memory): DDR2-667 and DDR2-800: An 11-kit Overclocking Comparison

I really need to visit Hardware Upgrade site more frequently so I don't miss out on their nifty articles. They just posted a review of massive dual channel kits available today in the market. Expand for more...

Expand this article to read more.

The test results we received today leave plenty of room for reflection. Looking at the DDR2-667 category, only two kits out of the four tested reached and exceeded DDR2-800 (400MHz). It is highly probably that the overclocking success of the modules that exceeded DDR2-800 can be accredited to the Micron D9 chips which both the Team Group DDR2-667 and Geil DDR2-667 kits used.

Looking at PC2-6400 kits we tested, we find the results to be quite varied. Mushkin’s branding system seems to have worked quite well to classify their products. Their “EP” (Extreme Performance) memory had an overclock of 30% while their “EM” (Enhanced Memory) had an overclock of 17.5%. Their High Performance memory, HP, only experienced an overclock of 12.71%. The HP kit also ended up being the lowest priced kit out of all three Mushkin kits. The GSkill modules didn’t display much potential for serious overclockers either, coming in at only 450 MHz.

The OCZ kits we tested all had rather constrained increments in overclocking. It seems that the primary focus for the modules was to offer a sure guarantee of running at rated speeds and voltages while being aesthetically pleasing. In other words, they weren’t really meant for venturing far past default frequencies.

Pricing for the modules greatly varied according to manufacturer and speed. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find the pricing of the Cellshock modules simply because of a lack of online retailers actually selling the product. If anyone does happen to come by the price with a link, please feel free to drop us an email. Please also note that these prices aren’t the manufacturer suggested retail prices. Instead, they are the lowest price we could find for these modules online. To view our sources for the pricing, please download this excel file. All prices are for 2 x 1Gb kits.

As we said in the introduction of the article, pretty much all modules tested are available at an affordable price. The lowest priced memory kit with a Micron D9 chip was the Geil PC2-5400 Ultra, coming in at $224. Incidentally, the Geil PC2-5400 Ultra offered very impressive overclocking performance for its price. The Mushkin XP2-6400 was the most expensive solution tested, and although it did offer a decent overclock, the performance it offered was virtually the same as the Geil PC2-5400 Ultra. The two Teamgroup kits, which ended up having the highest maximum frequencies, were the second and third most expensive kits. The Teamgroup DDR2-667, however, still ended up being a sub-300 dollar solution.

As can be plainly seen, the results of our tests make available an overclocking solution to pretty much every segment of the market. Modules based on the Micron D9 chip dominated the overclocking tests, and it seems that companies still have not been able to come up with a proper alternative memory chip that is as versatile and offers comparable performance. The Teamgroup kits had the highest overclocked frequencies; however, the Geil PC2-5400 in our opinion was able to offer the highest overall performance for its price. As is evident from reading the article, the primary focus of this article was sheer overclocking of memory kits in the mid-range memory segment. We hope to have a more in-depth performance article for these modules written soon.

Source:DDR2-667 and DDR2-800: An 11-kit Overclocking Comparison

No comments: