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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Tuesday, April 20, 2004
OCZ PC-4200EL Memory Review

3. MSI Neo2 - FISR Testing procedure

OCZ PC-4200EL Memory - Page 3

- MSI Neo2-FISR general testing procedure

Each DDR memory module was installed in the 1st and 3rd bank respectively. For optimum results we didn?t overclock the SVGA card, running at stock speeds with official Catalyst v4.30 installed.

The following BIOS settings were used for all tests:

- Dynamic overclocking: Disable
- Performance Mode: Slow
- DRAM Frequency: 400Mhz
- Spread Spectrum: Disabled
- AGPI/PCI: 66.66/33.33
- VCore: 1.550V
- AGP: 1.60V
- DDR Voltage: 2.85V
- Burst Length: 4

The first step was to set the memory timings at 2.5-4-4-7 and 2-3-3-6. Unfortunaly the MSI Neo2-FISR, despite our efforts, could not set the memory timings to 2-3-3-6 but only to 2.5-3-3-6. The BIOS showed timings of 2-3-3-6 but under windows we saw that the correct timings were 2.5-3-3-6.

Also, no higher relaxed timings were possible (3-4-4-8). After checking other hardware reviews, we believe the problem lies with the MSI motherboard?

After the initial tests at 200 MHz, we started pushing the system by raising the FSB. We found the upper limit with the tight timings (2.5-3-3-6) at both 1:1 and 5:4 and the maximum speed with default timings (2.5-4-4-7) at both 1:1 and 5:4 (FSB:RAM).

PAT was not used for any test since the system could not boot at either speed (again, possibly a specific M/B problem?). With the FSB 290 MHz (1:1) we raised the DDR voltage up to 2.90V to reach maximum stability. Both Memtest86+ and 3D Mark2001SE did not report any problems but?Prime95 after running for one hour stopped working, producing an error! This is why we selected the FSB 270 MHz as the maximum speed for this test. We decided to provide the FSB 272 MHz results for evaluation proposes. It is possible that a different combination of M/B and CPU cooler could produce higher (and better) results than even 272 MHz as various other testers have shown.

Summarizing, we tested the following FSB/Divider/Timings/DDR Voltage:

FSB
Divider
Memory
Timings
DDR
Voltage
CPU
Speed
Comment
200
1:1
2.5-4-4-7
2.85V
2.40 GHz
200
1:1
2.5-3-3-6
2.40 GHz
228
1:1
2.5-3-3-6
2.73 GHz
(max FSB with tight timings for 1:1 stable)
267
1:1
2.5-4-4-7
3.20 GHz
270
1:1
2.5-4-4-7
3.24 GHz
(max FSB with relaxed timing for 1:1 stable)
272
1:1
2.5-4-4-7
3.26 GHz
280
5:4
2.5-3-3-6
2.90V
3.36 GHz
(max FSB with tight timings for 5:4 not stable)
290
5:4
2.5-4-4-7
2.85V
3.48 GHz
(max FSB with relaxed timings for 5:4 not stable)

As you can see, with FSB 290 MHz (5:4) the CPU reaches the incredible 3.48 GHz. Of course the system was not stable enough to run 3D Mark2001Se neither Prime95 at both FSB 290/280 MHz, however by using liquid cooling, it could produce a stable system?:-)

The system was rock solid at 1:1 at 270 MHz, while the CPU reached?3.240 GHz. That?s a 0.8 GHz overclocking gap!




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