OCZ 2GB nVidia SLI-Ready Edition Kit (2x1024MB) PC2-8500/DDR2-1066 Memory Review

 

The introduction ...

OCZ offers optimized memory modules for different application ranges for years. It does not only concern the memory module overclocking with sophisticated RAM heatsinks, but also an optimal adjustment of the RAM to the respective system.
For example the reviewed OCZ PC2-8500 nVidia SLI-Ready Edition 2GB kit is optimized for current nVidia motherboards.
This SLI ready PC2-8500 memory was tested on a motherboard with ULi M1697 chipset and also on a motherboard with
nVidia nForce 590 SLI chipset (SLI-Ready support). Of course the memory was overclocked up to the limit.

 

 

 

Thanks for the support ...

Many thanks for the support with the PC2 8500 CL5 nVidia SLI-Ready Edition 2GB kit OCZ2N1066SR2GK by OCZ.

The 2 GB kit contains 2x 1024 MB 240-pin DIMM DDR2 1066 (PC2-8500) memory modules and
has currently a price of approx. 110 Euro (01/2008).
They're available e.g. at our sponsors.

 

 

The supply of the two 1024MB PC2-8500 memory modules ...

The two memory modules are delivered in this packing:

 

 

That is contained in the scope of delivery ...

OCZ supplies the two memory modules as well as an installation guide on the inlay of the packing,
which should make it possible for less experienced users to install them easily.

Here is a picture of the two contained PC2-8500 memory modules:

 

 

The technical data ...

Manufacturer OCZ
Article number OCZ2N1066SR2GK
Memory 2GB kit (1024MBx2)
Package 240-pin DIMM
Type DDR2 PC2-8500
Configuration 128Meg x 64
DIMM Type UNBUFFERED
Error correction NON-ECC
Speed DDR2 1066 (533 MHz * 2)
Voltage 2.30 Volt
Memory timing 5-5-5-15 (Tcl-Trcd-Tras-Trp) - EPP

 

 

Characteristics and other features ...

The memory modules are provided on a green plate with black passive heatsinks (heatspreader) to get lower temperatures
with higher voltages and higher frequencies.
The heatspreader is pressed very evenly to the thermal pads of the memory chips and offers a good heat dissipation.
A good contact between heatsink and memory chips is especially very important with a high memory voltage and/or frequency,
because too high temperatures could destroy the DDR2 RAM very soon.
Furthermore, these modules comes with EPP (Enhanced Performance Profile) support.
This additional entry in the SPD EEPROM is helpful to get good timings and frequencies for easy overclocking on latest generation motherboards with EPP support.
And nVidia SLI-Ready offers a full automatically system overclocking.

 

 

Benchmark values and test results ...

Let us begin with the most important part of the test report, because the optics and packing is of course rather
secondary and the highest possible stable performance is the most important factor.
The test results are based on an ASRock AM2XLI eSATA2 SLI motherboard (ULi M1697 chipset) with an Athlon 64 Socket AM2 3000+ CPU on different frequencies depending on the reference clock for the different memory benchmarks.
Furthermore the memory modules were tested on another reference board to test the high frequency and higher voltages.
The Foxconn C51XEM2AA motherboard comes with the nVidia nForce 590 SLI chipset and supports the EPP feature to
realize an automatically adjustment of the memory timings.
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 - ALL benchmarks are also included in the free Lite version.

But let us continue with the review ...
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 high 453 MHz !

Of course it's possible to run much higher frequencies with increased voltages or lower timings, because the frequency values and timings depends directly from each other.
Officially OCZ specify the voltage of 2.30 Volt without loosing the warranty.
The OCZ EVP (Extended Voltage Protection) technology allows a maximum voltage of 2.45 Volt and this is a considerable voltage also for ambitious overclocker.
It was no problem to overclock these modules with 2.30 Volt (instead of 1.80V) higher than 1066 MHz (533 MHz x2 CL5).
But this isn't possible on all motherboards, because these high clock rates are not supported on all motherboards and
on a lower memory voltage (Vmem) it's not possible to achieve these nice results.

The slightly modified Foxconn C51XEM2AA reference board supports up to 2.50 Volt Vmem, which results in a very fast
frequency of more than 600 MHz (DDR2-1200).
Nevertheless all memory overclocking comparisons are done with default 1.80 Volt and this was enough to reach 453 MHz.

This highest possible frequency was compared with two settings.
On the one hand 453 MHz with SPD values (these are programmed in the SPD IC by the manufacturer),
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
453 MHz
fix (4-4-4-10 2T)
6338 MB/s
14496 MB/s
453 MHz
SPD (5-5-5-15 2T)
6267 MB/s
14496 MB/s
200 MHz
SPD (4-3-3-8 2T)
4651 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:

With a default voltage of 1.80 V the PC2-8500 kit already reaches a quite good result, but for a high overclocking result
it is - like so often - necessary to rise the memory voltage.
With 2.30 Volt or more the can be overclocked easily over 1066 MHz and thanks to the EPP support OCZ offers for these
high overclocking values an official permission - tuning desired!

 

Result and general impression ...

The OCZ 2GB PC2-8500 nVidia SLI-Ready Edition kit achieves already with standard settings good results and permits thanks to the EPP support an automatic SLI-Ready tuning to high overclocking values.
Who attaches no importance to a manual memory timing adjustment and is satisfied with the SLI ready manufacturer values, can buy these fast DDR2 modules with closed eyes. The experience shows that EPP values are not high enough for high-end overclockers, so they will use manual frequency and timing settings.
In this case SLI-Ready is deactivated with manual settings without further ado and thus becomes redundant.
All in all OCZ thus offers with these modules something for overclocker and for risk-free users.

 

 

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