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Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 DDR2-667 2GB Memory Kit Review

Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 DDR2-667 2GB Memory Kit Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: The memory that we'll be checking out today is Crucial's 2GB PC2-5300 Ballistix set of memory. Rated in a dual channel configuration at 667 MHz with default timings of 3-3-3-12.
 80% Rating:   
Filed under: Memory Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Crucial Jun 29 2006   Colin Sun  
Home > Reviews > Memory > Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300

Ballistix Overclocking!

Overclocking Results:
3-3-3-12 5-5-5-15
Memory Speed: 790 MHz 1056 MHz

If you're new to Overclocking and not sure what to do, check out these two excellent Guides for some pointers:
Overclocking the CPU and Memory
Overclocking the Videocard

Overclocking PC2-5300 class DDR-2 memory is more challenging because of the CPU multiplier issue documented earlier. With that in mind, the first thing PCSTATS did was increase the memory divider to run at DDR2-800 mode... unfortunately that caused the computer to not POST. Increasing the voltage all the way up to 2.2V did nothing to effect change, so we were forced to lower the multiplier to 11x and keep the DDR2-667 setting. From there the motherboard was increased in 4-6 MHz intervals.

The Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 memory handled moderate overclocking steps much better, and with this approach the board reached a speed of 226 MHz (709 MHz memory frequency). To get there, the voltage had to be increased slightly to 2.0V to maintain stability. At 250 MHz motherboard clock speed (780 MHz memory) the Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 memory was given another voltage boost, this time to 2.1V.

Eventually the maximum speed the Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 memory ran at was 252 MHz (790 MHz), anything higher and the system would simply refuse to boot. Another quick test was done with the Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 using loose memory timings. With a CAS latency of 5-5-5-15 dialed in, and a 252 MHz motherboard clock speed it will be interesting to see how the PC2-5300 DDR-2 reacts...

The motherboard clock speed was bumped up in 4-6 MHz, with 2.2V, but even with the lax 5-5-5-15 timings 266 MHz (836 MHz) was the fastest we could push the Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 1GB modules.

Prelude to Benchmarks

The details of how the Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 memory test system was configured for benchmarking, including the specific hardware, software drivers, operating system and benchmark versions are indicated below. In the second column are the general specs for the reference platforms this pair of DDR-2 memory is to be compared against. Please take a moment to look over PCSTATS test system configurations before moving on to the individual benchmark results.

PCSTATS Test System Configurations
Test System Reference System
Processor:

AMD Athlon64 FX-62

Clock Speed:

14 x 200 MHz = 2.8 GHz
11 x 254 MHz = 2.78 GHz

Motherboards:

Foxconn C51XEM2AA (NF 590 SLI)

Videocard:

MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E

Memory: 2x 1024MB Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300

2x 1024MB Super Talent T800UX2GC4
2x 1024MB Patriot PDC22G8000+XBLK
2x 1024MB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4
2x 512MB SyncMAX PC2-5300 Express

Hard Drive: 74GB Western Digital Raptor WD740
CDROM: AOpen Combo 52x
PowerSupply: PC Power & Cooling TurboCool 510 SLI
Heatsink: Athlon64 FX-62 Reference Heatsink
Software Setup:

Microsoft WindowsXP SP2
nVIDIA Forceware NF4 9.34
nVIDIA Forceware 91.27

Benchmarks:

Business Winstone 2004
Content Creation 2004
SiSoft Sandra 2005
PCMark05
3DMark05
Doom 3
Quake 4
Battlefield 2

Office Productivity Source: Zdnet

Business Winstone 2004 runs real applications through a series of scripted activities and uses the time a PC takes to complete these activities to produce its performance scores.

Content Creation Winstone 2004 is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running top, Windows-based, 32-bit, content creation applications in Windows XP.

Office Productivity
Business Winstone 2004: Points Ranking
2x 1024MB Super Talent T800UX2GC4 (200/800) 36.2
2x 1024MB Patriot PDC22G800+XBLK (200/800) 36.3
2x 1024MB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4 (200/800) 36.3
2x 1024MB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 (200/800) 36.8
2x 512MB SyncMAX PC2-5300 Express (200/622) 33.7
2x 1024MB Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 (200/622) 33.9
2x 1024MB Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 (252/784) 37.4
Content Creation 2004: Points Ranking
2x 1024MB Super Talent T800UX2GC4 (200/800) 46.3
2x 1024MB Patriot PDC22G800+XBLK (200/800) 46.7
2x 1024MB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C4 (200/800) 46.2
2x 1024MB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3 (200/800) 47.3
2x 512MB SyncMAX PC2-5300 Express (200/622) 44.6
2x 1024MB Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 (200/622) 46.7
2x 1024MB Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 (252/784) 47.6

The Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 memory does pretty well in the office productivity tests, good considering it runs a little slower than most of the other memory modules in this reference list.

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Contents of Article: Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300
 Pg 1.  Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 DDR2-667 2GB Memory Kit Review
 Pg 2.  — Ballistix Overclocking!
 Pg 3.  Benchmarks: SiSoft Sandra, PCMark05, 3DMark05
 Pg 4.  Benchmarks: Doom 3, Quake 4, Battlefield 2
 Pg 5.  Max OC Chart and Conclusion

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