DDR2 Memory Roundup Autumn 2007

Memory by thorgal @ 2007-12-14

As two different platforms do not treat memory in the same way, let´s swap motherboards and user a new test system. In this second part of our DDR2 roundup we continue our stress test with a DFI 680i based board. Find out how different nVidia´s 680i chipset clocks your ram in the following review, and see if the latest memory kits can threaten our previous champions

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OCZ PC6400C3 Flex XLC

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 :

OCZ 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 :

Madshrimps (c)

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
  • 240pin DIMM
  • Parity : Unbuffered
  • Flex XLC heatsink
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 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:

    Madshrimps (c)
    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

    Madshrimps (c)

    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.

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    left to right : back of the package, back of the modules, sticker close-up ; click to open

    Madshrimps (c)

    Our third new competitor comes from Corsair ->
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    Comment from Massman @ 2007/12/15
    Excellent write-up, Thorgal
    Comment from thorgal @ 2007/12/15
    Originally Posted by Massman View Post
    Excellent write-up, Thorgal
    Thanks Massie !

    Better late than never I guess, but doing a roundup like this always takes more time than expected.
    Comment from Oscar @ 2007/12/15
    Excellent review, thorgal ! I especially like the "Value for Money" section at the end. It's what a lot of reviews at other websites are lacking.

    I was wondering whether MadShrimps would consider including RAM from Patriot Memory for review in the future? I have heard great things about them from time to time.
    Comment from maher @ 2007/12/16
    excellent job but that memorys are out my range so I just can look and hope.............
    Comment from thorgal @ 2007/12/16
    Originally Posted by maher View Post
    excellent job but that memorys are out my range so I just can look and hope.............
    Stay tuned then, because we just might have a give-away coming up that might interest you
    Comment from maher @ 2007/12/17
    can't wait