GeIL PC4000 Platinum Series DDR Memory Review
certainly taken the computer enthusiast market by storm; a relatively unknown company, their memory has
caught on so quickly that it rivals the memory big boys like Corsair, Mushkin, or
Kingston now a days! In the past GeIL have only done business in Asia,
but they're now aggressively trying to break into the lucrative North
American/European enthusiast markets. While general markets in the computer
industry have been slow, the enthusiasts are still going strong.
There seems to be a growing
trend amongst manufacturers to build high speed DRAM with high latencies. While
this is not that big a deal for Intel based systems (specifically the 800 MHz
based P4's and the i875P/i865PE), it should be clear to AMD users that this
memory is not built
with them in mind!
I have gotten quite a few e-mails about why I
focused more on the Intel side of things with our Corsair TwinX-4000 memory review. The answer to that question is easy;
many high speed memory modules coming out today are built more for Intel based
systems where bandwidth is king, and latency a far second. On the AMD
side of things, because the Athlon processor is not bandwidth dependant,
latency impacts performance just as much. In all honesty if you're an AMD'er, you're much better off buying something a bit slower, but with much tighter CAS timings.
Anyway back to the GeIL
PC4000 memory! We've had quite a bit of luck with GeIL DIMM's in the past and were hoping
for the same from the two 512MB PC4000 Platinum Series memory modules. The memory
has a default SPD of 2.5-4-4-7.
Under the Armor:
Under the tin-plated copper heat spreaders we find that Geil use 3.5ns
DRAM (GL3LC32G88TG-35, sorry no tech doc can be found) TSOP-II DRAM.
The heat spreaders seemed to work pretty well as
the memory got quite hot in our Intel test system when we were
With our AMD test system we plugged the GeIL PC4000
memory into the DIMM slots and encountered problems right from the get go. It
seems like the GeIL PC4000 Platinum Series memory did not like the aggressive
settings we were using (2-2-2-5) and would lock up while booting WindowsXP - even if
only running at PC3200 DDR memory speeds. Giving the memory more juice did not
seem to help as we up'ed the voltage to 2.9V to try and stabilize the system. Lowering the timings to 2-3-3-6 solved all the
problems so for this review we ran the memory at 2-3-3-6 instead of our usual
Our overclocking adventure did not go very far and unfortunately we seemed
to hit the wall at 215 MHz FSB with the GeIL PC4000 memory which is
not very encouraging. I know the motherboard is capable of more as we have
tested it up to 230 MHz FSB before... but no matter what we did we could not squeeze anymore
performance out of the GEIL PC4000 DDR.
Intel test system we ran into the same latency issue
we had with our AMD based system. No matter what we did we could not boot
the computer while using the aggressive timings of 2-2-2-5. Lowering the timings
back to SPD levels (2.5-4-4-7) allowed the system to run flawlessly.
with our Intel rig we had a lot more success overclocking the
memory. Being a bit impatient, I immediately raised the FSB to 250 MHz
and while the system POSTed it would not successfully load Windows. Raising the
memory voltage to 2.8V solved that problem in a snap; 250 MHz was
perfect and we started to raise the FSB a bit more and we were delighted to see
that the GeIL PC4000 Platinum memory would do a nice 260 MHz FSB.