|OCZ 1GB Gold & Platinum XTC PC2 5400 DDR2 Memory Kits
Installation and Operation:
The OCZ Technology PC2 5400 DDR2 memory was installed in a system with the following additional components:
» Intel Pentium D840 (3.2 GHz Dual-Core) CPU
» ECS Elitegroup C19-A SLI Pentium 4 Motherboard
» 2x BFG GeForce 6600GT OC 128MB Graphics Cards
» 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80GB SATA 1.5 Gbps Hard Drives (RAID 0)
» Tuniq Tower 120mm CPU Cooler
» Ultra Products 2nd Generation X-Finity 600W Power Supply
» Buslink DVD R/RW Optical Drive
» Windows XP Professional SP2 (current with all patches)
The first thing I did after installing either set was to enter the BIOS to see what was reported with the system set to automatically detect timings. It was a bit of a surprise...
The Gold series PC2 5400 DDR2 memory was as expected, 667 MHz with timings of 4-4-4-12-19. The Platinum series was detected as 667 MHz with timings of 4-4-4-11-19, which obviously doesn't equal the label's 3-3-3-12 timings. "Forcing" the 3-3-3-12-19 timings wasn't a problem, and the system ran as expected with the BIOS adjusted to match the published data from OCZ.
Other changes in the BIOS involved setting both timings to have a CPC of 1T, and raising the default voltage of 1.8V up to 2.1V on both modules. With the Gold rated at 1.9V and the Platinum rated at 2.1V, I decided to lock them both in at the higher value since it was still below the maximum 2.2V allowed by OCZ's EVP. One thing to note is that the system was not completely stable when the voltage was left at 1.8V, so give them the voltage they demand!
"Lower" speed, low latency memory is generally targetted to gamers and enthusiasts who want the best performance right out of the box. They may not want to bother with the cost, risk, or time required for extreme overclocks, but they still want their components to perform at their best. The GX (Gamer's Extreme) line of memory from OCZ Technology is geared towards these people, as they offer solid timings at standard speeds in order for them to truly be plug n' play.
Although the test system may be a typical budget minded setup where these modules might wind up at default speed, I tried for a bit of overclocking anyway. Results have always proven to be a bit less than exciting, with the CPU hitting a maximum FSB of only 840 MHz. This has the memory at 700 MHz when 'linked', and although the memory can go faster when manually adjusted, doing so actually decreases overall system performance. So, when we get into the testing portion of the review we will be looking at the memory at 667 MHz and 700 MHz to see what to expect with a modest increase in speed.
Although there are modules out there more intended for overclocking, this isn't to say overclocking isn't possible with these modules. Just have a look at what our buddies at techgage.com were able to do with the Gold series PC2 5400!