Most notebooks sold currently come either with 512MB or 1GB of DD2-533 memory.
Latest laptop chipsets support up to DDR2 SO-DIMM 667, supposing to full release
memory bandwith and speed. We wanted to see if upgrading from stock laptop
memory of DDR2-533 to DDR-667 Mhz would offer any significant performance gain
either with benchmarks or real life gaming. OCZ kindly offered us their fastest
available memory for laptops, the OCZ PC2-5400 SO-DIMM.
- OCZ PC2-5400 DDR2 SO-DIMM
OCZ offers a full line of products for laptop users. Checking over www.ocztechnology.com we can see that OCZ supports DDR2 667Mhz with the following specs:
- 667MHz DDR2
- CL 5-5-5-15
- Available in 512MB and 1GB modules
- 1.8 Volts
- Lifetime Warranty
- 200 Pin DIMM
OCZ DDR2 SO-DIMMs are built with idrustry standards, 200 Pin DIMM and CL 5. Most laptop's doesn't offer any kind of overclocking features for memory, that means you are stuck with default memory timings and voltage.
We received the retail package of OCZ PC2-5400 SO-DIMM2. The exact codename is OCZ26671024VSO, while there is a 512MB version (OCZ2667512VSO). The latest Intel 945p chipset for laptops support dual channel memory, but its advised to have the exact two same memory kits in order to eliminate chances of in-compatibility. According to OCZ website, the 1GB module can be found at the retail price of $87. The retail package is very small and includes only the memory module:
Unpacking the module, we can see more about the used memory chipsets, that
come from Aeneon
In order to install the memory module, you need to find out where the memory kits are based, usually at the bottom, remove the mounting scews and gently press the two metal plates so the existing memory can be removed. The same procedure will be followed to install the new one back.
OCZ PC2-5400 memory installed and ready to be benchmarked!
The OCZ PC2-5400 memory kit was mainly tested with an ASUS A6JA. There were
no in-compatibility issues, either alone or combined with the stock 1GB DDR-533
memory. All tests performed under the same enviroment, using the same benchmark
utilities. After installing the memory module, we checked its preferences with
the latest available version of Everest Ultimate Edition 2006. The memory runs
at 333Mhz with 5-5-5-15 cache latency.
Everest Ultimate Edition 2006 gives us more info about the CPU's current FSB clock/speed. Due to higher FSB speed, we expect higher performance, our test results will unveil if that true or not...
- Benchmark Software
At the PC Mark 05, the 1GB OCZ PC2-5400 had the best score with 2751 mark.
Everest Ultimate Edition 2006 offers many tests, inclujding read/write/copy and latency. The OCZ module had the best read performance, while the 2GB PC2-4200 (OCZ+Nanya), showed better write, copy and lower latency...
Performance Test 6 includes a MemoryMark that shows the memory's overall performance. The results showed that the stock 1GB Nanya PC-4200 had the best mark, probably due to its lower timings...
RightMark offers much information about memory modules, combined with some tests. As the synthetic tests showed, OCZ PC2-5400 had the higher reading, while the 2GB of RAM seems to have higher writing performance. During the "Performance Tests", the 2GB PC2-4200 performed better with higher average and max MB/sec.
Sisoft Sandra 2007 Lite is the latest version of the famous benchmarking software. The results showed that the 2GB will benefit your laptop's performance.
SuperPI is the best known utility to stretch CPUs and test its overall performance. As the results showed, the performance difference is very low, up to 1/2 secs...
- Gaming Performance
F.E.A.R has one of the most demanding graphic engine. At maximum quality settings, all memory configurations showed equal performance (22FPS average). The 2GB of RAM didn't seemed to affect gaming performance at all.
Same results happened also with Heroes of Might And Magic V (v1.1). Using FRAPS, we got an average of 19 fps, at 1280x800 resolution with best quality settings.
Before testing OCZ PC2-5400 I was curious if we would see any performance gain jumping from PC2-4200 (533Mhz) to PC2-5400 (667Mhz). The fact is that in most benchmark software, OCZ PC2-5400 performed better than stock PC-4200 memory, even it had higher CL timings. Unfortunaly no laptop offers advanced settings to lower timings that would further boost performance gain. During gaming testing, we didn't witnessed any serious performance gain between PC2-5400 and PC2-4200 configurations that made us troubled... Probably the higher timings of CL5 doesn't offer much help to see gaming difference, where probably, faster HDD or CPU would help.
We tried OCZ's PC2-5400 at several laptops and didn't had any in-compatibility issues which showed OCZ promise to deliver trouble-free products. An interesting configuration would be 2GB of DDR2 667, which might offered most benefits with latest games. At any case, OCZ proposal for laptop users offers the highest memory speeds with the appropriate performance gain.