OCZ 2GB PC6400 Special Ops Edition Urban Elite Review

Memory by thorgal @ 2006-12-11

For those that do not want to break the bank just for a pair of performance memory sticks, we´ve got a promising PC6400 DDR2 kit from OCZ, let´s find out how it stacks up to the competition.

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A closer look

Choice, choices and even more choices

Madshrimps (c)


As we pointed out in the previous page, the PC6400 Special Ops Edition Urban Elite, are part of the special edition lineup from OCZ. What I would like to show you though, is the tremendous choice OCZ offers you, even when you made up your mind to go for a PC6400 part.

These are the modules that OCZ offers at this time, restricted to PC6400 :

  • PC6400 Special Ops Edition Urban Elite : 4-4-3-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 1.9-2.1V, EVP 2.2V
  • PC6400 Special Ops Edition : 5-5-5-12 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 2.0V, EVP 2.2V
  • PC6400 Gold GX XTC : 5-5-5-12 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 2.0V, EVP 2.2V
  • PC6400 Golf GX XTC rev.2 : 4-5-5-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 1.95-2.1V, EVP 2.2V
  • PC6400 System Elite Edition : 5-5-5-12 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 1.8V, EVP 2.0V (new arrival)
  • PC6400 Platinum DFI Special : 4-4-4-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 2.2V, EVP 2.4V
  • PC6400 Platinum : 4-5-4-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 2.1V, EVP 2.2V
  • PC6400 Platinum rev.2 : 4-4-4-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 1.9-2.1V, EVP 2.2V
  • PC6400 ATI Crossfire Certified : 4-4-4-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 2.1V, EVP 2.2V
  • PC6400 Titanium EPP-ready : 4-4-4-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 2.2V, EVP 2.3V
  • PC6400 Titanium Alpha : 3-4-3-9 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) timings @ 2.2V, EVP 2.25V (End of Life)

    Are you confused now? Well, you should be, because in many cases it's not as easy as it looks. Most of the time, faster timings for the same speed mean faster ram, but you should also have a look at the accompanying voltages. When you want to overclock, you should have a look at the maximum warranted voltage, as these are an indication of how good your module will handle extra voltage, and mostly of how high it will scale. What tends to be true though when you compare memory from one and the same manufacturer, is that more expensive modules equal better performing modules, some exceptions not withstanding of course...

    To wrap this little discussion up, I'd like to say that, from what I can see from the above PC6400 list of OCZ parts, the Urban Elite looks like one of the most promising kits out there, if not the most promising except for the now discontinued Titanium Alpha : today's kit provides rather sharp timings at acceptable voltages that are available to all but the most basic motherboards...

    Look and Feel

    This is OCZ's PR on the Urban Elite kit:

    ” Serious gamers put heavy bandwidth requirements on their memory, and put a premium on both superior performance and dependability. Featuring ultra-low 4-4-3 timings, the new OCZ Special Ops Edition (SOE) Urban Elite is ultimate balance of speed, reliability, and high capacity, making them an ideal solution for gamers.
    This new line of limited edition OCZ memory features a distinctive urban camouflage motif heatspreader and a price tag that has an edge over competitors.
    SOE Urban Elite 2GB (2x1024MB) dual channel kits are the ultimate memory upgrade for the latest graphic-intensive PC games, such as Battlefield 2, Half Life 2, Doom 3, and Quake 4, which deliver the best end-user experience with 2GB+ of memory.
    All Special Ops Edition modules are 100% hand-tested for quality assurance and compatibility and feature high quality XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreaders for the most effective heat dissipation. Furthermore, each OCZ SOE module is backed by the industry leading OCZ Lifetime Warranty and technical support for unparalleled peace of mind.”



    Let's have a closer now:

    Madshrimps (c)
    front of the modules with the part label


    Madshrimps (c)
    back of the modules, the typical OCZ design style



    A little over a year ago, at the end of October of 2005, OCZ decided to update their enthusiast line of memory modules with a revamped heat spreader design: the already famous "honeycomb grill". For this redesign OCZ has received much and deserved praise from all around the globe, not in the least for having the courage to bring some designing motion into the - let's face it – visually rather dull memory market. If you want to be picky, the design is actually not a real honeycomb, but the overall sight is there... The difference between this heat spreader design and a classical design is huge: the top of the memory module is open, and the closed heat spreaders have been opened up by drilling dozens of holes in them. This way cooling is improved tremendously of course: air is allowed to move between the different memories chips, and the surface for heat exchange by convection is multiplied.

    OCZ gave the heat spreaders the prefix XTC, and this is what it stands for:

    ”XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreaders optimize the thermal management of memory modules by promoting greater airflow by means of micro-convection throughout what is usually the dead air space inside conventional heatspreader designs. In this manner, build-up of heat is avoided and thermal dissipation of the memory components is offloaded more efficiently through the honeycomb design. At the same time, mechanical stability is maintained”


    For a more complete description of the heat exchange principles, please visit our article on the Corsair Dominator.

    The heat spreader design is also what makes these modules stand out and what gives them their name : they have a "camouflage" drawing on the metal of the heat spreader, and the difference between the Urban Elites and the "normal" Special Ops Edition is the color : in this case its almost black, whereas the Special Ops is more greenish. The name of the kit hints to the many "battlefield like" FPS (first person shooter) games out there. The look as well as the name of the kit surely brings over the "made for gaming" message, which is the whole point of course...

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)

    Left to right (click to open) : some more details


    Time to start the testing now ->
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    Comment from jort @ 2006/12/11
    great review thorgal nicely written and edited john

     

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