OCZ PC3000 DDR366 RAM Review
AMD Athlon processors received a huge boost in performance when the motherboard manufacturers transitioned from SDRRAM based systems to DDR. Regardless of the gains PC1600 DDR and PC2100 first brought to the table, the performance market craved more,
and shortly thereafter PC2400 and PC2700 rated DDR began to pop up. Sooner or later, even the mighty PC2700 DDR333 would be surpassed
by something better and faster.
The next level in DDR memory was met by PC3000, or DDR366.
But first a little history.
Soon after DDR came out companies such as TwinMOS, OCZ and Corsair
started releasing DDR RAM that catered towards all those warranty voiding people such as myself, some of it was
true PC2400 or PC2700, and some of it was overclocked memory.
We've seen some really good results from the PC2400 DDR
that OCZ released earlier, which is reviewed right here, and now they have up'ed the ante with their
PC3000 memory. Priced at about $90USD for a 256MB stick, it's some of the
least expensive "high" performance DDR DIMM's available!
The first thing you'll notice when you
look at the pretty red 256MB OCZ PC3000 DIMM's are the nice large copper heat
spreaders used on both sides of the stick. During our testing, the copper did
get quite warm so this extra cooling is great for peace of mind. OCZ's
custom designed copper ramsinks are attached via a
thick thermal pad. Unfortunately the pad doesn't completely cover the full height of the chips,
but it is probably better than using thin double sided tape of the same size.
The memory is rated to run at a CAS Latency (CL) of 2.5
at 183 MHz FSB (366 DDR) so it should blow the doors off the
other memory we have in the lab. Most of the
other DDR modules could
only do about 175 MHz at CL 2.5, and 171 MHz at CL2.
First thing I did when the PC3000 DDRAM arrived was pop it into
our reference Epox 8KHA+ (VIA KT266A) motherboard. However I was soon met with disappointment
as the 512MB of memory we were testing (2X 256Mb)
just wouldn't run at
the rated frequency of 183 MHz, even with the most relaxed memory timings.
On the Epox 8KHA+ board, the PC3000 would hit just 175 MHz, and any attempt to go
higher would result in a 2B or 26 error on the port 80 card. Perhaps we
had hit the limit of the 8KHA+ as we had had two other sticks max out
at 175 MHz CL 2.5 before. Nuts to that, I decided to use
another board to test the PC3000, and this time our candidate
was the brand new MSI KT3 Ultra.
After updating the Epox 8KHA+
BIOS to the latest one on Epox's website (8khi2108.exe), we were able to run the PC3000 at 183 MHz with CAS
2.5/3/3 with no stability problems.
the just released VIA KT333 chipset, the MSI KT3 Ultra was able to run the OCZ
PC3000 memory at 183 MHz CL2.5, however stability was a problem.
Often times, when benchmarking
3DMark2001SE the system would crash back to desktop. This is usually
an indication that the memory is running too fast. Raising the
voltage in the BIOS didn't seem to help much with the stability of the
overclocked OCZ PC3000 memory and I just couldn't get the board to run stable.
KT3 Ultra wasn't working too well with the PC3000, the next board up on the block was the Iwill XP333-R. Officially
validated to run the PC3000 DDR, we couldn't get the PC3000 to run in
it either. It seemed as though anything above 166 MHz wouldn't work. This may have been
a problem with the BIOS version, and not the board. Upon flashing the IWill
XP333-R to an older version (12/13/01) we could run the PC3000 memory at 180 MHz,
which was just 3 MHz off the rated spec.
wasn't good enough to satisfy my need for speed, or do justice to the memory so
I quickly shot over
to OCZ's website again to see their list of "recommended motherboards". On that list they also
had the Abit KR7A so I made a call to our buddy Mike atPSI to borrow
a fresh Abit KR7A. Thankfully, that finally did the job! With the ABit KR7A, we were able to not only use
the PC3000 DDRAM at it's rated spec, but we were also able to push it up even higher.
On the KR7A, the two sticks of PC3000
were able to do an amazing 200 MHz FSB at CL 2.5!!! At a setting of CL 2 the memory did a
rather unimpressive 168 MHz however. It's weird that the PC3000 ran so low when set to CL 2.
|test system specs:|
||AMD AthlonXP 1900+ |
Around 1.7-1.8 GHz for each test
10.5 x 170 = 1.78
9.5 x 183 = 1.74 GHz
8.5 x 200 = 1.7 GHz
||Abit KR7A-RAID |
||VIA KT266A |
MSI GeForce 3 Ti500 (MS-8850)
256MB Corsair XMS PC2400 CL2
2x 256 MB OCZ PC3000 CL2.5 DDR
||Maxtor 10 GB Ultra/66
||Panasonic 48x CD-ROM
Panasonic 1.44MB Floppy
||ThermalTake Dragon Orb3 |
||Windows 2000 Pro + SP2|
SiSoft Sandra 2002 Pro
Quake III Arena
Return to Castle
Serious Sam 2
Corsair XMS PC2400 DDRRAM, timings were set to the most aggressive, while benchmarking
the OCZ PC3000, the memory was set to most conservative.
Not that it should affect performance, but the HDD was set to PIO mode
4 so it could handle the high 200 MHz FSB.