DDR2 Memory Roundup Summer 2007

Memory by thorgal @ 2007-08-27

We take a look at the performance numbers of nine DDR2 2x1Gb Kits from OCZ, Kingston, Mushkin, Team Group and Corsair on the Intel P965 platform. Join us as we try to determine who´s got the fastest and most overclockable kits out there in Part 1 of our summer DDR2 Roundup.

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Corsair Dominator - P2

Dominator fan cooling

In addtition to the already great stock cooling capacity of the modules, the Dominator fan assembly can be added to the mix to improve cooling even more. The fan assembly is constructed of aluminum, with three 4cm fans which spin at about 5000rpm, which is quite reasonable for 4cm fans.

The mounting of the fan assembly is done by metal clips, which place the fans about an inch above the heatsink fins. The fans blow the air down over the heatsinks, and into the heatsink assembly, over the PCB. This adds greatly to the cooling of the modules, as the fans allow for an additional 4°C drop in temperature when compared to the Dominator fanless heatsink, making the chips a total of 17°C cooler than a memory kit without heatsinks.

Madshrimps (c)

Also noteworthy is the fact that the fan assembly can bring equal cooling improvement to other heatsink designs, like the XMS pro design. Tests on the XMS pro provided almost a 6°C improvement over a fanless setup. Corsair might be bringing the fan assembly onto the market as a standalone product but it did not make its online appearance yet.

Now before you all run to the shops to preorder one, a small word of caution: the fan assembly will not fit every motherboard. Motherboards where the PCIe slot is directly adjacent to the memory slots (in a perpendicular arrangement) could be a problem. For example my Intel D975XBX "Bad Axe" will not accommodate the fan assembly when combined with a very long graphics card, like the nVidia 7950GX2 or the ATI X1900 series (or the upcoming NVIDIA 8800 series)

Madshrimps (c)

Of course, when you install fans into your system, noise will be an obvious concern, so here you have some basic measurements:

Madshrimps (c)

A little bit to my surprise the fans did not add that much noise to my system at all. An increase of 0.8 to 1dB is not much; then again, I’m using a fairly noisy CPU cooler so that minimizes the effect on the total noise. What I did experience is that the fans can be influenced by turbulence in the neighborhood of the assembly. For example cable clutter above or next to the fans can make them vibrate a little, which makes them a lot louder. By rearranging the cables a little I soon got rid of the noise though, as you can also see from our graph.

Madshrimps (c)Madshrimps (c)
Side and top view (click to open)

Onto our next contestant for the crown ->
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Comment from Massman @ 2007/08/27
Fantastic review
Comment from Jaco @ 2007/08/27
nice review
Comment from jodiuh @ 2007/08/27
So glad to see the #1 spot goes to cheap ram. Far too much importance has been placed on C21 @ 1,000 jigga watts for only $699. That's an 8800 AND your ram rec...

I understand the ram needs to hit a set speed, but 1200mhz just isn't necessary to enjoy a game, encode a light speed, browse the web, etc. Perhaps this upsets the .001% who throw gobs of $$ to see their bar graphs rise 1/4" over us n00bs, eh?

*raises $109 G.Skill 2x1GB HZ that lives around stock speeds up high*

Comment from Carni4 @ 2007/08/27
Great roundup.

Maybe you can add these in the next part: Team Xtreem Dark 2GB DDR2 800MHz CL 4-4-4-12 It's cheap, around €100 and it has been reported to hit 1200 Mhz.

That's pretty good memory. Would be cool if you guys could bench those sticks.

Nevertheless, very nice article. Cheers!