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DDR-2 Memory Investigation Guide - Making sense of memory settings - Benchmarks - Test System Setup and Further Information

In our latest guide we investigate DDR-2 memory on the Intel Pentium 4 platform and the differences between high bandwidth and timings to figure out which offers the best system performance. What is better - higher clock speed or super tight timings? We discuss the reasons why one is better than the other and prove our claims through a range of different system configuration benchmarks.

| DDR-2 Memory in RAM | Posted: Apr 21, 2005 4:00 am

Test System Setup

 

Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.46GHz (1066 FSB) (Supplied by Spectrum Communications)

 

Memory: 2x 512MB OCZ DDR2-5400 Performance Series (Supplied by OCZ Technology)

 

Motherboard: ASUS P5AD2-E Premium (Supplied by ASUS)

 

Graphics Card: ATI Radeon X700 256MB

 

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP SP1

 

Drivers ATI Catalyst 5.2 and DirectX 9.0c

 

All tests were ran with ASUS Hyper Path turned on which is supposed to increase memory performance but in the majority of our tests, it didn't make any difference. All tests with the memory voltage set to 2.2v which is the maximum the OCZ memory will accept and the highest available on the ASUS motherboard.

 

We tested each of the memory settings with Mem Test using the standard 100% coverage test on all unused memory at default to check memory for errors and we had 0 errors. Mem Tests locks up when sticks are overclocked but Mem Test is questionable in this area since the overclocked settings passed all other tests except Mem Test.

 

For our results, we actually ran the FSB, memory and CPU at a range of different speeds and combinations which affect the outcome of the results. We did this to show you which setup manages to gain the best overall performance. In order for you to understand, the following settings were used for each result:

 

- Max Memory Clock / Loose Timings: CPU Speed was 3780MHz with a DDR2 ratio of 3:4 running at 840MHz. FSB rating was 315Mhz with a 12x multiplier - timings were 5-5-5-8

 

- Max 1:1 / Default Timings: CPU speed was 3780MHz. DDR2 ratio was 1:1 at 630MBz. FSB running at 315MHz with a 12x multiplier - timings were 4-4-4-8

 

- 266 1:1 / Best Possible Timings: CPU speed was 3458MHz with a DDR ratio of 1:1 at 533MHz. FSB was 266MHz with a CPU Ratio of 13x - timings were 3-3-3-4

 

- 266 1:1 / Default Timings: CPU speed was 3458MHz with a DDR Ratio of 1:1 at 533MHz. FSB was 266MHz with a multiplier of 13x - timings were 4-4-4-8

 

- Best on Paper Combo: CPU speed was 3720MHz with a DDR Ratio of 3:4 at 826. FSB was 310MHz with a multiplier of 12x - timings were 4-4-4-1

 

Further Reading: Read and find more RAM content at our RAM reviews, guides and articles index page.

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