It wouldn't be a true review without our overclocking tests. First off we started to overclock the DDR memory.
- DDR Overclocking
We used our Albatron SLI motherboard for our DDR system with an AMD Athlon 64 3000+. This allowed us to get the best possible memory results. We managed to get the memory to a top speed of 325MHz (or 650MHz DDR) which is a little over the rated shipping speed and the highest stable speed we managed to get.
For this we lowered the CPU multiplier to 4x, FSB setting was set to 325Mhz with the newest BIOS from Albatron. We raised the DDR voltage to the max of 3.0 volts that OCZ recommends and kept the DDR SDRAM ratio at 1:1. Lowering multipliers, raising voltages didn't help any further clocks on the Winchester core.
Now while this may seem like a low score, remember AMD Athlon 64 does have a few limiting factors on its overclocking. First and foremost is the memory controller itself. While technically it is a great idea to place the memory controller on the CPU die for direct communications, it limits the CPU's ability to extend on the memory standards. No matter what new AMD Athlon 64 chipset comes out, you can't use higher memory dividers than what the CPU specifies. Winchester cores only support DDR 266, 333 and 400MHz. While San Diego cores do have beta support for DDR-433, 466 and 500, it is not officially supported, so to its actual ability to run these settings is a hit and miss affair.
- DDR-2 Overclocking
Now we look at the DDR-2 memory on the Intel Pentium 4 Platform. For this we used the ASUS P5WD2 motherboard, the most stable Intel based motherboard with the most overclocking options of any board we have seen so far.
We managed to get the memory to a speed of 391MHz (or 782MHz DDR) which is a good deal higher than its default shipping speed of 337.5MHz. This was done with the CPU multiplier backed down to 14x, FSB was raised to 262Mhz, DDR ratio was set in BIOS to 667MHz DDR and voltage at 2.2 volts as OCZ specified. When we over-volted the memory to the maximum 2.4 volts which the ASUS motherboard supports, we managed only 5MHz more. For the memory to do 2.4 volts is a good sign but remember your warranty will be broken at this level and beyond.
Our DDR-2 platform was more responsive, simply due to the memory controller being built into a separate Northbridge rather than on the CPU die. This means that any advancements in the chipset and motherboards can be taken advantage of on Intel based system, where dividers are plentiful.