by Rob Williams on April 3, 2006 in Miscellaneous
So you think you have fast DDR2? Then you better check out the GeIL PC2-8000 which happens to be the fastest we’ve ever seen, and the benchmarks prove it! It’s also probably the most expensive ‘value’ ram you will set your eyes on, but is it worth the cash for the ultimate performance?
No matter what type of hardware you are talking about, there’s always a low, mid and high end version. Oh, and then there is extreme high-end. In the DDR2 market, PC2-8000 speeds are awarded a spot in the extreme high-end catagory. Do the 1000MHz speeds really help though, with the loose 5-5-5 timings? Because we all know, that whereas 3-3-3 for DDR2-667 is a sweet spot, 5-5-5 for DDR2-1000 may actually end up being slower. That’s what we will find out today.
PC2-8000 speeds for DDR2 is not that common, because not too many modules are actually capable of such speeds even with a great amount of voltage. In fact, as far as I know, Crucial, OCZ and Patriot are the only two other companies that provide 2GB kits at these speeds. All three of these kits use 5-5-5 timings, so it seems that’s a real barrier. Let’s take a quick look at what we received.
GeIL packages all of their Value memory in the same packaging, which is a cardboard box with a small plastic blister pack inside. The modules are kept quite secure this way. The modules themselves are extremely lightweight. They use a brushed aluminum heat spreader which is what helps the modules be ultra light. This could prove useful when trying to keep the modules cool.
I did not open up the modules to see the chips, and I have not received a reply from GeIL yet as to which chips these modules use.
It may sound funny to even want to overclock top of the line memory, but what’s the fun of not bothering? Chances are you will need to overclock your CPU in order to even reach the stock DDR2-1000 speeds. 250FSB worked for me and I was ready to get cracking. After running a 10 hour MemTest run, I found the modules to be completely error free. In order to have them error free though, I had to use 2.3v as even 2.25v would prove to not be enough. That’s a fair amount of voltage but it’s to be expected with modules this fast.
Overclocking is not really a huge option here because DDR2-1000 is no doubt a breaking point to begin with. One thing I did want to try though was simple under clocks to see if we could score better benchmarking results. Here is a quick sum-up of stable overclocks I have found:
- #1 500MHz – DDR2-1000 (PC2-8000) @ 2.3v – 5-5-5-12 : 250FSB – CPU 3.51GHz
- #2 400MHz – DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) @ 1.9v – 4-4-4-12 : 200FSB – CPU 2.8GHz
- #3 400MHz – DDR2-800 (PC2-6400) @ 1.9v – 4-4-4-12 : 267FSB – CPU 3.75GHz
- #4 445MHz – DDR2-890 (PC2-7100) @ 2.2v – 4-4-4-12 : 267FSB – CPU 3.75GHz
- #5 510MHz – DDR2-1020 (PC2-8200) @ 2.3v – 5-5-5-12 : 255FSB – CPU 3.64GHz
- #6 467MHz – DDR2-933 (PC2-7500) @ 2.2v – 4-4-4-12 : 280FSB – CPU 3.93GHz
One option I was unable to try was 300FSB, because my CPU was unable to handle the overclock using the stock cooler. I have another cooler en route, but it did not arrive in time for this review. Once my CPU is able to hit 4.2GHz stable, I am confident that 300FSB with DDR2-1000 speeds will prove to be that fastest setting.