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Monday, January 30, 2006
OCZ DDR2 PC2-4200 Gold GX XTC Dual Channel

2. Test System - Configuration

In order to test the new DDR2 PC2-4200 Gold GX XTC Dual Channel modules, we used our ASUS motherboard, the P5WD2 Premium, based on the 955X chipset, and an Intel Pentium 4, 640 running at 3.2 GHz. Below are some screenshots from CPU-Z v1.31:

The first tests were done with the speed at 533 MHz and timings of 4-4-4-12, a setting which is automatically detected from the SPD. Below, you can see further details for the memory and the CPU:

The next step was to set the timings according to specifications, at 3-3-3-12. This way, we could check the differences in performance by adjusting only the timings. The memory speed remained at 533 MHz.

The specific timings are rather low for DDR2 modules, so it would be rather interesting to check what would be the limit for the timings, when increasing the memory speed. After several tests, we found that the limit for 3-3-3-12 was at 600 MHz. Higher frequencies reported errors in Memtest86+ early on. In order to do this, we also adjusted the CPU settings, FSB and Voltage. We set the FSB for the CPU at 248 MHz and the Core Speed was raised up to 3.85 GHz.

Finally, we tried to check the frequency limit for the OCZ modules, with the timings at 4-4-4-12. After many retries, we managed to set the memory speed to 701 MHz. The FSB for the CPU was at 263 MHz and the Core Speed at 4.21 GHz. Not bad at all for 533 MHz certified memory and a 3.2 GHz CPU.

Memtest86+ v1.60 Memory Bandwidth (MB/s)
533 - (SPD) 2606
533 - 2787
600 - 3005
701 - 3230
728 - 3353

For convenience, in the following pages we will refer to them as SPD, 533, 600 and 701. With the memory running at 728 MHz, we didn't take any measurements since Windows couldn't boot. According to Memtest86+, this was definitely not a memory issue. At 733MHz for example, it reported errors. It seems that we had exceeded the limits of our Intel processor and the cooling system we used for these tests. Just for reference, the Core Speed was at 4.37 GHz with the FSB set at 273 MHz.

Here's a rundown of our testbed:

System Specifications

CPU: Intel Pentium 4 640 3.20 GHz
Cooler: Thermaltake Blue Orb II
Case: none
Motherboard: Asus P5WD2 PREMIUM
Power supply: Thermaltake PurePower 520W
Memory: DDR2 PC2-4200 Gold GX XTC Dual Channel
VGA: Aopen Aeolus 6800Ultra PCI-E
Hard Disk Drive: WD800JD 80GB 7200RPM
OS: Windows XP Pro SP2
DirectX: v9.0c

Benchmarks & Applications used

Sisoft Sandra 2005
Performance Test V5.0 ( PassMark)
Half Life 2 - VST
CPU-Z v1.31

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