Lots of memory manufacturers have tried their hand at custom heat spreaders, but most don’t usually make much of a noticeable difference. Being the innovators that OCZ are, they have delivered a very unique new spreader, that incorporates a honeycomb design to aide with better heat transfer. We are taking a look at their Gold GX PC3200 1GB kit.
As you probably could have guessed, the modules we are looking at today are standard DDR400 (PC3200) speeds. The default timings are the expected 2-2-2-5 at 2.8v. There are a couple additions to this memory that makes them special. OCZ offers a Lifetime Warranty on all their modules, which can leave you with a peace of mind. Also included in the warranty is EVP, extra voltage protection. They allow you to use up to 3.0 Â± 5% on the modules without voiding your warranty. This goes to show how confident they are with their memory.. good stuff. Lastly, they use special techniques on the PCB to lower the electrical noise (ULN, Ultra Low Noise), to aide with the performance and stability of the modules.
Like all other OCZ modules, they arrived in a clear orange backed blister pack. One difference between the regular Gold GX and these XTC ones, is that the new ones weigh a little bit less, but it’s noticeable to hold. Another thing that I quickly noticed, was that the heat spreaders could not be taken off in order to inspect the chips. This is because there is no top to the heat spreader! Two sides are simply stuck there in place, so you cannot remove them unless you have the means to put them back. I’d assume that there is no top, to allow even better airflow.
At first, I wasn’t sure what to think of the look, but after seeing them in front of me I think it’s a great design. I’m still skeptical as to whether it will help cool better, but they do have a cool style. Of course, we want to know about the performance, so let’s get to it!
Even though I could not access the chips to find out what they are, I assume they are like their big brother, the PC3500, and use BH-5. I am actually very impressed by how these performed during overclocking, although it got very tricky later on. Here is a quick sum up of the tested and completely stable overclocks, all at 1:1.
During overclocking, it’s apparent that I was trying 5MHz increments, because I did not expect them to hold onto their 2-2-2 timings all the way up to 240MHz. What makes this fact even better, is that my max overclock on the PC3500 GX modules were the same, 2-2-2 at 240HTT. That’s a huge deal, since the PC3500 kit costs near $40 more! Whether or not this overclock was helped due to the XTC heat spreaders is up to you, because I don’t have any means to tell if it made a difference or not. I have not used the Gold PC3200 with the regular heat spreader for comparisons.
Deeper into the overclocks though, 240HTT at 2-2-2-5 was the best that I could muster. Not a single thing I did after that point could bring the overclock higher. Loosening timings did nothing, upping voltage (3.2v) did nothing, and playing with the TRC, TRFC and TREF still did nothing. However, I’m very pleased that these modules could hold onto 2-2-2 this high, it’s awesome for ‘value’ modules.