Crucial 2GB Kit (2x1024MB) PC2-4200/DDR2-533 Memory Review

 

The introduction ...

In the last months there were speculations in many forums regarding the Micron ICs used on the
very inexpensive Crucial PC2-4200 DDR2 memory modules (e.g. here in our forum).
At ocinside.de we've already published several reviews of Crucial PC2-8500, PC2-8000, PC2-6400
and PC2-5300 memory modules, whereby we've recently also tested a 2GB PC2-4200 ECC kit.
However the ECC kit was equipped with Elpida memory chips instead of high overclockable Micron D9GMH ICs.
Who order the memory modules in online shops, has usually no further information regarding the
module assembly and can only trust reviews or experiences of other buyers.

 

 

 

Thanks for the support ...

Many thanks for the support with the CT2KIT12864AA53E 2GB PC2 4200 / DDR2 533 CL4 kit by Crucial.

Click Here

The 2 GB kit contains 2x 1024 MB 240-pin DIMM DDR2-533 (PC2-4200) memory modules and has at present
a manufacturer price recommendation of 79 euro (08/2007).
They're available with the upper banner in the Crucial Shop and at our sponsors.

 

 

The supply of the two 1024MB PC2-4200 memory modules ...

The two well protected memory modules are delivered in this box:

 

 

That is contained in the scope of delivery ...

Crucial supplies the two memory modules as well as an English installation guide, which should make it possible for
less experienced users to install them easily.

Here is a picture of the memory modules with the installation guide:

 

 

The technical data ...

Manufacturer Crucial
Article number CT2KIT12864AA53E or 2x CT12864AA53E
Memory 2GB kit (1024MBx2)
Package 240-pin DIMM
Type DDR2 PC2-4200
Configuration 128Meg x 64
DIMM Type UNBUFFERED
Error correction ECC
Speed DDR2 533 (266 MHz * 2)
Voltage 1.8 Volt
Memory timing 4-4-4-12 (Tcl-Trcd-Tras-Trp)

 

 

Characteristics and other features ...

The memory modules comes without heatpreaders (passive heatsinks), so it's necessary to watch the temperature
with higher voltages and/or higher overclocking.
Alternatively it's possible to spend them passive or active memory coolers, which are available in different types
at our sponsors like e.g. OC-Card.de

Crucial by the way grants lifelong warranty (Limited Lifetime Warranty) for the buyer
(all informations to manufacturer conditions are of course without guarantee by ocinside.de).

The PC2-4200 kit was unfortunately equipped not as hoped with the Micron D9GMH chip, but with the Micron D9HNH.
D9HNH ICs are tested according to Micron only to 266 MHz and not like the desired D9GMH chip to 333 MHz.
Who find the PC2-4200 1GB modules with double-sided assembly, has clearly higher chances to get the fast 333 MHz ICs,
because for 1 gigabyte altogether 16 x 512 MBit chips would be necessary.
In order to be able to understand the technology better, another article is already in work.
But let us return to the test report of the Crucial PC2-4200 DDR2 memory modules and let us see, on which frequency
those D9HNH ICs can be overclocked.

Here is picture of the two Crucial modules ...

 

 

Benchmark values and test results ...

The test results are based on an ASRock AM2XLI eSATA2 SLI motherboard with an Athlon 64 Socket AM2 3000+
CPU on different frequencies depending on the reference clock for the different memory benchmarks.
Thus the multiplier adjustment remains on 9x with all frequencies, because an adjustment for the CPU in half multiplier
steps would be too inaccurate to get nearly the same CPU frequency for all tests.

Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2 is used as the operating system.
The stability was examined with the software Memtest86 and SiSoft Sandra Lite 2007.SP1 program is used for all
benchmarks, since it offers extensive adjustments and a fast result comparison.
BTW. the latest SiSoft Sandra 2008 version is available on our download server and can be downloaded much faster and
very easily - ALL benchmarks are also included in the free Lite version.

First the maximum possible frequency of the memory module was determined.
The memory frequency was increased in small steps with a fixed memory timing of 4-4-4-10 2T and default memory voltage, as long as the detailed memory test with Memtest86 runs without any errors.
This quite long testing time ensured that this frequency works really stable with these modules.

The highest possible frequency with 4-4-4-10 (Tcl Trcd Tras Trp) timings was stable with 347 MHz !

Of course it's possible to run higher frequencies with increased voltages or lower timings, because the frequency values
and timings depends directly from each other.
Officially Crucial specify the highest voltage of 1.8 V without loosing the warranty.
But overclocking is usually higher than the specification, so with heatsinks it should be possible to give them more voltage.

This highest possible frequency was compared to two other settings. On the one hand 347 MHz with SPD values (these are given by the manufacturer in the SPD IC), and on the other hand 200 MHz (x2) with SPD values.

By the way, the "Memory Bus Range" is no benchmark value, but this value is quite simple to calculate by the frequency and
is useful for the benchmark comparison.

 

Here're the benchmark results:

Frequency
Timing
RAM Range Int Buff'd iSSE2
Memory bus range
347 MHz
fix (4-4-4-10 2T)
5596 MB/s
11072 MB/s
347 MHz
SPD (4-4-4-12 2T)
5596 MB/s
11072 MB/s
200 MHz
SPD (3-3-3-9 2T)
4619 MB/s
6432 MB/s

 

Here's a diagram of the benchmark values:

 

Here is a direct benchmark result comparison of some DDR2 and DDR memory modules:

The results of the Crucial PC2-4200 CL4 of memory modules are slightly over the PC2-4200 ECC modules,
whereby these memory modules were equipped with the additional chip for the error correction.
ECC has a slower benchmark result in spite of higher overclocking frequency and higher memory bus range.
The 1GB PC2-4200 modules with Micron D9HNH can be set to DDR2-667 in the BIOS, but without much more OC.

 

Result and general impression ...

The Crucial PC2-4200 2GB kit (CT2KIT12864AA53E) is very inexpensive, but offers maximally PC2-5300 modules a
competition regarding overclocking.
The performance was a little bit faster than the speed of PC2-4200 ECC modules, but it is not surprising that modules
with error correction are somewhat slower.
Who would not like to overclock its PC and set the memory to standard frequency can buy these inexpensive modules.
But all overclocker should however either look for these PC2-4200 modules with Micron D9GMH assembly,
or spend a little bit more money for the higher DDR2 specifications.

 

 

Read on in the hardware test area with several hardware reviews ...

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All pictures and article copyright 2007 www.ocinside.de