3. Test Configuration & System
After installing the four memory modules in our test system, two from Apacer and two from Transcend, both dual channel, we ran CPU-Z in order to see how they were identified under WinXP (SP2).
The first tests were done at 533Mhz with timings left to SPD settings. We selected this mode because a beginner will most likely set everything in the BIOS to auto and avoid any advanced settings configuration. Below you can see details of the configuration for both memories:
Then, we increased the frequency, looking for the upper limit for the DDR2 modules, with the help of Memtest86+. The timings were left at 4-4-4-11. The limit for both was the same, at 654MHz. At 655MHz, Memtest86+ reported errors. The bandwidth, as it was reported by Memtest86+, was 3493MHz for the Apacer set and 3425MHz for the Transcend. The FSB at this point was set at 245 instead of 200 and the CPU was running at 3.68GHz.
Finally, we tried to find the higher limit for each memory, once again with Memtest86+. Although Transcend at 693MHz had a marginally higher limit than Apacer at 691MHz, Apacer had better timings and higher bandwidth in Memtest86+, 3710MHz instead of 3319MHz. Also notice that the bandwidth for Transcend at 693MHz is lower than at 654MHz. More details on the timings and the CPU clock can be found in the following table.
In the following pages, you can see the difference in performance between the two memory sets from Apacer and Transcend.
Here's a rundown of our testbed:
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 3.00Ghz 530
Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer 7
Motherboard: Asus P5WD2 Premium
Power supply: CoolerMaster 450W
Memory: Apacer, Transcend PC4300 (dual channel)
VGA: Aopen Aeolus 6800Ultra PCI-E
Hard Disk Drive: WD800JD 80GB 7200RPM
OS: Windows XP Pro SP2
Benchmarks & Applications used
- Sisoft Sandra 2005
- Performance Test V5.0 ( PassMark)
- Half Life 2 - VST
- CPU-Z v1.29