Kingston PC6400CL4 and PC8500CL5 2GB Memory Kits Review

Memory by thorgal @ 2007-02-21

When it comes to high performance memory, Kingston has a name to keep up in the business. We already took some memory kits from Corsair, Team Group and OCZ for a spin, but Kingston was noticeably absent. About time we set this right, and we do this today by looking at two of their products: the PC6400CL4 and PC8500CL5, both 2Gb kits. Let´s see how they stack up against some fierce competition...

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Test setup and Test Methodology

Test setup

Our test setup hasn't changed from the previous reviews, have a look :

Test Setup
Madshrimps (c)
CPU Intel E6700 Core 2 Duo
Cooled by Tuniq Tower 120
Mainboard Asus P5B-Deluxe/wifi AP (modded)
Memory 2x 1Gb Generic PC4300 Ram (4-4-4-15)
2x 1Gb Kingston PC6400 "C4"
2x 1Gb Kingston PC8500 "C5"

2x 1Gb OCZ PC9200 FlexXLC
2x 1Gb OCZ PC6400 Special Ops Edition Urban Elite
2x 1Gb Mushkin PC8000 Redline
2x 1Gb OCZ PC8500Pt SLI/EPP
2x 1Gb Team Group PC6400 "333"
2x 1Gb Corsair Dominator PC8888C4
Sapphire X1950XTX
LG DVD-rom drive
Wester Digital Raptor WD800 SATA
OCZ GameXstream 700 Watt PSU

As we explained in our previous reviews, the "Generic PC4300" module is a 533Mhz part with quite basic timings, at the time of writing. This "Generic" module does not really exist: we constructed this module with the Corsair Dominator modules, but slowed the modules down to 533 Mhz DDR with (relatively) slow timings. The timings we "arranged" are 4-4-4-15 timings. You might wonder why we chose exactly this speed and these timings. We could have picked an even slower part with PC3200 speeds or 5-5-5 timings, but than again, these modules are barely available anymore. The cheapest memory kits you can find nowadays are almost all capable of doing 533Mhz with 4-4-4 timings, so in our opinion, this seemed like a nice performance base to compare our memory kits with.

Test methodology

Every module we test, except for the above mentioned generic module, was put to the test at five different speeds:

  • PC6400 - 800Mhz performance, at the best possible timings
  • PC8500 - 1066Mhz performance, at the best possible timings*
  • Maximum cas 3 performance
  • Maximum cas 4 performance
  • Maximum cas 5 performance

    *1066 Mhz is tested only for the modules for which this is possible, in this case all the modules were capable of reaching this speed, except for the PC6400 kits from OCZ and Kingston. These PC6400 kits are omitted in the DDR1066 table.

    For the 800Mhz and 1066Mhz tests, settings are very simple: in bios only the memory speed was turned up to the appropriate setting, while front side bus (FSB) and cpu speed (and multiplier) remained at the stock settings of 266FSB and 2.66Ghz respectively.

    The maximum cas "x" performance is measured at other than stock cpu and FSB settings, to be able to give the memory sufficient bandwidth, and to play down the influence of the cpu in comparison to the memory. In our tables on page 6 you'll see that the cpu speeds and FSB setting is always mentioned at the bottom, so please bare that in mind when comparing the results. So to be clear: results cannot be directly compared, as the cpu/Fsb factor accounts for a certain % of the performance shown.

    For the cas 3 setting we test with a CPU multiplier of 9, and a memory divider of 4:5 or 667Mhz in bios. For the cas 4 and 5 setting we test with an CPU multiplier of 8, and a memory divider of 2:3 or 800Mhz.

    Onto the overclocking fun ->
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    Comment from Sidney @ 2007/02/21
    Go for the lowest price point is still the best choice?
    Comment from jmke @ 2007/02/21
    best choice for who? If you're concerned about your budget, going for lowest price point is always the best choice
    Comment from Sidney @ 2007/02/21
    Indremental Money spent versus incremental performance/value received.
    Comment from jmke @ 2007/02/21
    for none OC'ers, this article still is true

    cheapest PC6400 DDR2 ram more than enough to satisfy COre 2 bandwidth needs
    Comment from Sidney @ 2007/02/21
    Agree; unless you get a processor that can do +500 FSB everytime, finding mobo and memory become secondary and relatively easier than the formal.
    Comment from jmke @ 2007/02/21
    I think most E6300 can reach 500+, just need a mobo that can do it
    having negative FSB:MEM divider also helps