OCZ PC6400 CL3 Flex XLC
OCZ has been a great supporter for our site, and we are happy to welcome a new contestant yet again. As always, a little introduction to the company OCZ itself :
is one of the premier manufacturers of memory modules, and one of the biggest players on the international market. OCZ technology was founded in 2000 and has established quite a name for producing high end ram products, especially among the enthusiast community. Since early 2004, OCZ also produces high-end power supplies, and at the beginning of 2007, nVidia Graphic Cards were added, starting with their flag ship model, the 8800GTX. In 2007, OCZ also has put a new focus on cooling products, by introducing some eye-catching cpu-coolers. Recently OCZ acquired PC Power & Cooling, a high end PSU manufacturer, and Hypersonic, a (very) high-end system builder. Until now, memory remains the most important branch in OCZ's product catalogue, and in that respect it is always nice to be able to test some of their latest kits.
The kit we're talking about today is the PC6400 Cas 3 Flex XLC kit :
The kit comes in OCZ's classic blister, which in relation to the previous Flex model we tested had been reinforced a little to keep the modules locked in place a little better. The package is sturdy and good now, and offers a clear view of what you get.
The Flex kit we're looking at has the following specifications:800MHz DDR2
Latencies : 3-4-4-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
nVidia EPP certified
Parity : Unbuffered
Flex XLC heatsink
Operating voltage : 2.1 Volts
EVP (Extended Voltage Protection) : 2.4V ±5%
Memory size : 2x 1024Mb
OCZ's Flex XLC kits have been around for a while now, and this is what makes it stand out among its fellow contestants:
The new OCZ FlexXLC (Xtreme Liquid Convention) heatsink delivers superior heat dissipation via the integrated hybrid copper and aluminum liquid injection system. The FlexXLC module was engineered with this unique “flexible” design to give enthusiasts the unparalleled option to run the modules passively or water cooled. The concurrent use of both technologies (water-cooling) promotes maximum heat dissipation and pushes thermal management of memory modules one step further to keep up with the ever-increasing frequency demands. FlexXLC modules seamlessly co-migrate with any system upgrade to liquid cooling.
Here's a diagram of the heatsink design and the integrated water-cooling block:
heatsink design diagram, image courtesy of OCZ Technology
For a more detailed description of the Flex XLC technology, please visit our previous article.
A closer look
The heat spreader is obviously the eye-catching feature of these modules, offering water-cooling out of the box by providing 2 1/4" barbs to take your tubing. I think it still is a pity OCZ does not offer any clamps or adapter with their Flex XLC lineup, as it would lower the barrier quite a lot for people that actually want to make use of the feature. Now you have to go out and start looking for the appropriate materials to get it to work. The modules operate quite as well though on normal air cooling, even up to its warranted voltage of 2.4 Volts, provided you take care of some fans inside your case to get some airflow over the heat spreader fins. These modules are capable of reaching their rated performance at only 2.1 Volts though and in practice even less, so one can wonder whether heat spreaders, let alone water-cooled heat spreaders, are really necessary here. They do add quite some bling to your case though... and certainly stand out from the competition.
From the start I was wondering which memory chips would be present on the chips. Up until now, almost every kit that is able to operate at a cas latency of 3 cycles, at 800 Mhz (PC6400), was equipped with micron chips. What got me suspicious though are the TRCD an TRP timings, which are both advertised at 4 cycles, as these are different from the "normal" micron timings at 800Mhz. Upon testing, it soon became clear that we're not talking Micron here, but Elpida... which is good and bad news. But more on that later.
Have a look at some more details of the OCZ package in the thumbnails below.
left to right : back of the package, back of the modules, sticker close-up ; click to open
Our third new competitor comes from Corsair ->