Like a fine wine, installing 4GB of RAM requires an acquired taste. Not everyone likes wine, and not everyone needs 4GB of RAM. However, with Vista and the future looking to change that, many are considering a move on up. Today we are taking a look at a kit that’s not only priced right, but has some overclocking headroom as well.
Here, we compare our overclocks of the memory being reviewed alongside other recently evaluated sticks. These graphs include benchmarks with each kit of ram at DDR2-1000 4-4-4-12-13 2.1v along with each kits own top overclock. While the DDR2-1000 results should not vary much, the top end overclocks will, given that each kit will top out differently.
For reference, here are the top overclocks for each kit of ram included:
(Kits that could not reach DDR2-1066 speeds used a stock CPU frequency)
Entering the 4GB realm has never been easier, thanks to the lower prices. This particular kit retails for $279.99 as mentioned, and I consider that a great buy. If I were to personally run out and pick up a 4GB kit today, this would be it. Why? It offers better timings then the competition that is more expensive, has some overclocking-ability and also has a lifetime warranty.
As we found out through our tests though, stock speeds are likely to be better than overclocked settings, unless you happen to find a better sweet spot than I did. At stock speeds, these modules can handle 1T timings, while anything higher requires 2T. What this does essentially is add latency and decreases the overall performance. In order to offset moving to 2T, an overclock of DDR2-1000 and higher would be required, which I was unable to hit.
Also, CL 4 is simply not possible on these modules. I strengthened the voltage all the way up to 2.5v and even then, the computer would simply not POST. Again, you might have better luck there, but I highly doubt it unless you want to lower the DDR2 frequency.
In the end, I recommend these modules to anyone who wants to upgrade to 4GB of ram, and don’t care to have extreme overclocking ability and who don’t want to spend upwards of $500 for another kit that supports CL4. If you do want to go the CL4 route, you could go with a 4x1GB combination, but that will wipe out the 1T possibilities. Both configurations cost roughly the same, however. It’s hard to go wrong with OCZ’s Platinum PC2-6400 so I am awarding it an 8 out of 10 and our Editors Choice award.
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