Last month Intel officially announced and released their new desktop CPU, the Core 2. With rave reviews from all over the web
it's hard to imagine this CPU not being a success with the hardware enthusiasts.
With the spotlight on the CPU and sometimes the motherboards it seems the DDR2 memory modules are mostly being left in the dark. We aim to answer the following question in this article: Do you need expensive higher rated DDR2 modules to get the most from a Core 2 setup?
With AMD's AM2 we've seen
that you need DDR2 800 with rather strict timings to achieve optimal performance and match that of the older S939/DDR1 combo. Prices for these high speed DDR2 memory modules can easily be double of the value minded products, yet the performance increase is unfortunately not doubled. Will Core 2 + high speed DDR2 tell a different story?
In order to test a wide range of memory speeds and timings we needed high quality modules, OCZ Technology
helped us out with 2x 1GB DDR2 PC2-7200 Platinum SLI-Ready.
Rated at DDR2 900 at very low timings (for DDR2) of 4-4-3-15 they should scale well from bottom to top of the different memory speeds/timings available.What speeds did we test?
We tested 4 different memory speeds with 3 different timings and compared performance using six different benchmarks (including synthetic, games and applications). Using pricing info from Newegg.com
for 2x1Gb modules we created the following table as a brief overview:
Depending on where you shop you will run into similar prices, $/€150 seems to be a popular price point for the value line products.Test Setup
|CPU || Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 |
|Mainboard || Intel Desktop mainboard D975XBX ?bad axe?|
|Memory ||2 * 1024 Mb DDR2 PC7200 EPP OCZ |
|Other ||Connect 3D X1900XT|
Silverstone Zeus 750 Watt PSUNec 2050 DVD writerSeagate 120 gig2x Seagate 200Gb SATA
Let the benchmarks begin ->