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Monday, 08 October 2007 09:49

OCZ DDR3 1600MHz goes 1800MHz+

Written by Eliot Kucharik

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Review:
Next generation kit


After complete testing the Patriot 1333MHz Kit we received the next speed grade from OCZ, so we take a look at what this Kit can do.


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This OCZ Kit comes with the typical OCZ heatspreaders and it's rated at 1.7V, which is quite nice for a 1600MHz kit. The timings are oc typical at CL7-7-7-20. During our tests the heatspreaders stayed very cool.


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Low latencies do not imply it will run faster than the higher ones, as it all depands on the mainboard you are using. The ASUS P5K3 Deluxe could run fast with CL9 and Boost 3, while the Blitz Extreme refused to run faster than Boost 0, but had no troubles using CL7. The Blitz didn't like the OCZ kit with low speed settings; even with optimizing it was slower than Patriot, but the higher the speed the better OCZ. 1667MHz was no problem for OCZ with the specified settings and some BIOS tweaking:

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Overclocking:
The memory is rated at 1600MHz and overclocking depends on the mainboard. Our ASUS Blitz could boot with 1904MHz (476x7) but it was no way able to run stable tests. The limit is around 1800MHz, but of course you must sacrifice latency on the chipset or the kit, all depending on which board you are using:

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We ran all standards test with AUTO settings, for the fastest clocks to bench we tweaked the BIOS. If you don't know what you are doing, you should avoid BIOS settings, as it may ruin your Windows installation during booting; but any so called "overclocking" board should reach 1667MHz with ease.




Testbed:

Motherboard:
ASUS Blitz Exterme (provided by ASUS)
Intel P35/iCH9R

CPU:
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 (provided by Intel)

CPU-Cooler:
Scythe Andy Samurai Master (provided by Scythe-Europe)

Memory:
OCZ 2GB Kit PC3-12800U CL7 OCZ3P1600G2K Platinunm Edition (provided by OCZ)
CL7-7-7-20-CR2T at 2.00V @1667MHz
Patriot 2GB Kit PC3-10666U CL7 PDC32G1333LLK (provided by Patriot)
CL7-7-7-20-CR2T at 1.70V

Graphics Card:
AMD ATI Radeon X1950XTX (provided by AMD)

Power supply:
Silverstone Element SF50EF-Plus (provided by Silverstone)

Hard disk:
Western Digital WD4000KD (provided by Ditech)

Case fans:
SilenX iXtrema Pro 14dB(A) (provided by PC-Cooling.at)
Scythe DFS122512LS





Benches:
For memory reviews we used synthetic benchmarks, so that we can better compare them to real world applications. The OCZ Kit is slower in lower speeds compared to Patriot, but improves the higher the speed. We could bench memory with 1904MHz, but memory intensive applications such as GordianKnot crashed. As always speed improves with a higher FSB.


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Everest benchmarks shows no significant differences. Of course, higher clockspeed can improve the rates and we compared scores only at the same CPU speed.


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Everest also benchmarks the latency, higher clocks means more latency, but low frequency with low latency needs higher latency on the chipset, which increases access latency a lot. On our board the chipset latency was locked with "Boost 0" settings, so only the frequencies were altered.




You can see for yourself how the results are affected when using a memory intensive program, such as Gordian Knot. Lower rates in synthetics benches do not really reflect in this bench.

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Conclusion:

We have no complaints. The OCZ Kit works without trouble, but needed more tweaking then Patriot. To gain the best speed you need to tweak your BIOS, because AUTO settings won't give you the best transfer rates possible. In our Gordian Knot benches you can see that the performance gain between 1067MHz and 1667MHz is only 3fps, which is a mere 3.5% in the fastest GK setting. When we did some intensive video-manipulations the memory transfer was not important anymore and the difference shrink to 0.5fps @1333MHz and 1fps @1667MHz, but for the later the higher FSB helped, also.

The major complaint is the price of DDR3. For the speed upgrade from 1333MHz to 1600MHz you have to only pay €50,- more, but at a price of €455,- you pay about 5 times the amount compared to standard DDR2 kits. Even 1200MHz DDR2 kits, which are quite the same speed, will cost you only 40% with prices about €200,-. Still, this memory will get you to 1800MHz+ speed, which is  a nice number, but won't add much performance.

DDR3 is far too expensive to justify the upgrade for now. We are eagerly waiting the promised 2000MHz kits, but we fear they will only give a very small improvement at much higher cost.

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Last modified on Monday, 22 October 2007 10:00
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