emory prices are falling, so what's new? Every new technologic part starts at a serious price premium and from then on follows a negative price curve until it is surpassed by the next generation of technology. This is - in the modern world anyway - the normal way of things and we are used to it: DDR2 is surpassed by DDR3 and we're happy to support the new technology and empty our pockets some more....
But wait a minute! Are we really? The "normal way of things" is all good and well, unless the next generation does not offer a tangible difference over the previous. So all the marketing talk aside, are we really waiting for DDR3 to happen? The answer for an increasing number of people is "no", and as DDR2 prices are falling, the consumer wins on all fronts. They can buy great performing DDR2 at very low prices, and put some pressure on DDR3 prices that remain on the shelves.
The reason DDR2 prices are falling is quite simple actually: performance and availability. Availability is a no-brainer: DDR2 has become mainstream now, with DDR almost completely gone, so all manufacturers are on the market right now with very good value parts, competing with each other with razor sharp prices. On the performance side, high end DDR2 modules, aka Micron D9 modules, have come under increasing price pressure from DDR3, which is the new choice for the enthusiast. DDR3 does offer a very small performance gain, but not anywhere near the two digits percentages. Enough for enthusiasts though, that leave high end DDR2 kits in the shops, so they drop in price. The price drop in the high end DDR2 parts has put a lot of pressure on the mid-range kits, which have come down from around $200 less than a year ago to sub $100 now. In the sub $100 segment they have to compete against the real value parts, which are already bottomed out. This results is a situation that the majority of all DDR2 kits out there are now available for $100 or less, giving you tremendous diversity but also a more difficult choice : which one should I get ?3 kits from one manufacturerT
oday we're taking a closer look at three kits from one "Enthusiast" manufacturer: OCZ. All three kits have sunk beneath €80/$100 recently, and are thus available within €25/$35 from each other. All three kits were a whole lot pricier just a couple of months ago and as such offer great value for money now. All three kits offer very distinctive looks, and this way should offer something for everybody. In fact, only one thing is binding them, apart from the manufacturers name, and that is the kind of chips they're based upon : Elpida
First of all, a word about the manufacturer which was kind enough to lend the three for a spin:
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 as such we're lucky to test some of their ram today.
Have a look now at our contestants of the day:
We're taking the following kits out for a spin today:OCZ PC6400 SLI ready
OCZ PC6400 "EB" Reaper HPC
OCZ PC6400C3 Flex XLC
With exception of the last kit, which ran away with our value award in our latest Autumn DDR2 roundup, these kits have not been tested here before, so let's introduce them a bit further now on the next pages.