The 2006 edition of 3DMark offers a sampling of tests that are used to develop a composite score to reflect your system's potential gaming performance. The results are presented in unitless "Marks", and higher is better.
The results here were very interesting, or perhaps not interesting at all (depending on how you look at them). The best score was achieved using the Gold series PC2 5400 DDR2 at default speed! This set of tests was also repeated several times in order to confirm results, and everything was pretty much repeatable.
What this test shows is that the potential gaming performance as predicted by 3DMark06 does not improve with this slight of an overclock, and that the lower latency memory also did not do anything for improving the score. The results don't look interesting, but I found it interesting, and looked forward to see what real world gaming results might indicate...
Real World 3D Gaming:
For the last test of the Gold and Platinum PC2 5400 DDR2 grom OCZ, I tried out a couple 3D games. At 1024x768 resolution, I ran through a few rounds of Battlefield 2 and Far Cry. The results below are the average frames per second values as recorded by FRAPS over 5 minute periods where I tried to duplicate my actions as best possible. Higher results are better in these tests, and as you can see 3DMark06 was not the best predictor of real world gaming performance. Although the scores are all tightly packed in the same general range for each game, the Platinum series did do maginally better.
On paper a difference of 1-4 frames per second may look better than it does in reality. Actually, I'd like someone to honestly believe they can see the difference between 130 and 134 fps, or even 68 and 69 fps.
What these results tell me is that the Gold series might be worth consideration despite the 'weaker' specifications. The test results all show that at or around default speed the Gold series can provide results close to what the Platinum series offers, and for about $25 less. The differences in scores between the two sets of memory will also disappear when translated to real world experience, and the bottom line is that you will have a few more dollars left in your wallet.
Extreme overclocking is where the Platinum will most likely shine, as our basic tests show that the margin of victory increases as the tighter timings are applied to higher memory speeds. That said, the market for 'lower speed', low latency memory is generally targetted to those looking to get the most out of their memory without overclocking. They want the best bang for the buck, right out of the box, and it appears that the Gold may be the asnwer.