Never having seem BGA ram before, I was
quite surprised at the layout, figuring that there would be DRAM on both sides.Rather
than a double sided PCB, the MicroBGA modules are located on the front only. Close inspection
of the DRAM modules showed that they were produced by Tonicom and had a rating of
6 nanoseconds. This gives the memory a theoretical speed rating of 166 MHz (1000 MHz/6 =
stick of Tonicom memory in my trusty Asus A7V133 I was only met with
disappointing overclocking results. The highest I could
push the memory to go with my board was 153 MHz! No matter if I
set it to CL2 or CL3 it didn't matter - I wasn't too
did find a savior in the form of the Iwill KK266 (check back for the review
shortly). As I had always heard good things about how much head room this
motherboard had I dropped in the Tonicom MicroBGA memory and decided to see what
the board thought. This round I had a much better overclocking experience!
Since I was
only interested in the maximum performance I could squeeze out of the memory I
used the extremely aggressive settings of 2-2-2-5. At those settings I could get the system to post the BIOS at 169
MHz! Unfortunately having the computer just post the BIOS doesn't really mean much in terms of usability.
So I settled in and tried a few other settings to see what I
could get... 166MHz nope, 163MHz no. Finally, I settled for a bus speed of 160 MHz.
Not bad, but not 166MHz it's theoretically supposed to be able to run at.
Test System Specs:
Athlon "T-Bird" 1 GHz AVIA at 1.2 GHz using various bus speeds
Iwill KK266 BIOS Mar. 06/2001 Via 4in1 4.32V
MSI StarForce 822 (GeForce 3 200/460)
30 GB IBM DeskStar 75 GXP
OCZ MicroBGA PC-166 256 MB Dimm
Windows 98 SE
DirectX 8.1 Beta
SiSoft Sandra 2001 SE
Let the show begin!
SiSoft Sandra 2001
100 MHz Bus
133 MHz Bus
150 MHz Bus
160 MHz bus
increases in the memory benchmarks. In fact,
even better then DDR scores once we hit 150 MHz or higher!
the Tonicom MicroBGA memory hand under
12 x 100
9 x 133
8 x 150
7.5 x 160
It's amazing that we haven't changed the CPU
speed, but there has been roughly a 12% performance gain just by upping the bus
speed to 160 MHz!
We all know how important a high bus speed is. As you can see, even if you're
not overclocking the processor, it can still lead to a VERY healthy boost
in overall system performance.
With a price at about $95 CAN, you'll be really hard pressed
to find an excuse for not getting a stick of OCZ's Tonicom MicroBGA SDRAM. Sure it's a
little more then the generic memory out there, but I've always been a
big advocate of "you get what you pay
m Even though the Tonicom memory didn't hit
166 MHz, I'd still recommend this to anyone who considers themselves hardware enthusiast
for its moderate performance increases in an overclocked