Memory Specifications

We decided to utilize a 1Gb (2x512MB) memory configuration as it is probably one of the widely used setups today. Our choice of memory was more difficult as we had an abundance of modules available due to our recent upgrade of many systems to 2GB configurations. In the end we tested several different modules and came to the conclusion that almost all of it generated the same results on this board. Turning to the "scientific method", we flipped a coin a couple of times, tossed darts at the manufacturer's packages, strapped on a blindfold, and then picked a couple of modules from the pile.

Our DDR memory is from Patriot Memory and it previously resided in one of our test systems for several weeks. The memory features low latencies at DDR-400 (PC3200) while costing around $100 for a 1GB kit.

Patriot PDC1G3200LLK Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size 512MB
Total Memory 1 GB
Rated Timings 2-3-2-5 1T at DDR-400
Rated Voltage 2.6V

Additional Information on these very popular DIMMs is available at the Patriot website. We have memory that offers additional headroom for overclocking and also memory that was representative of PC3200 modules shipped a couple of years ago with 2.5 CAS ratings. However, we felt like this memory is a good blend of performance and pricing for our testing.

Our DDR2 memory is from Transcend and was utilized in some extensive HTPC testing for our upcoming Intel DHCAT article. The memory features decent latencies at DDR2-667 but was able to perform at much lower latencies in our testing while costing around $70 for a 1GB kit. We highly recommend this memory for users needing an inexpensive yet great performing memory in their budget or mid-range systems.

Transcend JetRam Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size 512MB
Total Memory 1 GB
Rated Timings 5-5-5-12 at DDR2-667
Rated Voltage 1.8V

Transcend has additional specifications for this memory listed here. We also had 512MB memory modules that offered much lower latencies, but these cost the same as current 2GB value kits based on Elpida memory. Our memory choice is representative of speeds and latencies shipped in OEM systems that have been widely available the past couple of years for Intel users.

Our ASRock motherboard offers the following options for each memory speed. Although DDR-266 is fully supported we will not be testing at this memory speed. The current BIOS offers a wide array of memory speed settings but is very limited in voltage options with low, normal, and high being the only choices.

ASRock 775Dual-VSTA
Auto DDR2-533 DDR2-667 DDR-266 DDR-333 DDR-400
FSB 1066 X X X X X X
FSB 800 X X X X X X
FSB 533 X X X X X X

We have tested the board with our Pentium D 805 and 950 processors to ensure proper FSB support at 533 and 800. We did not find any anomalies during testing with our processors that also included a Core 2 Extreme X6800.

Index System Configuration
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  • Kougar - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    They mention the OCing details in their Conroe: Feeding the Monster article. IIRC this board was about 300FSB give or take 5. Not bad, considering the nForce4 & 5 series maxes out at 320 tops! Reply
  • poohbear - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    thanks for this great article, i hope ASrock's efforts w/ PCI-E/agp and ddr/ddr2 solutions gets noticed by some of the big dogs cause im still using my ASrock Dualsata2 and intend on keeping it for my upgrade to dualcore and hang on to it for atleast another year. After that, looks like i'll keep my DDR memory and head on over to the Core duo camp. ASrock really knows how to squeeze the life outta all your components especially since most of these "upgrades" like DDR-DDR2 and AGP-PCI-E do NOT provide ANY performance improvements. just marketing BS so these companies can sell hardware.:( Reply
  • Calin - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Moving from DDR to DDR2 allows you to buy cheaper components (a bit cheaper). As for AGP and PCI-E, top of the line cards are PCI-E, on AGP you can find only mainstream (maybe because PCI-E x16 gives more juice to the card than AGP can?)
    Reply
  • poohbear - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    erm, moving to ddr2 isnt cheaper if i hafta ditch my 1gb of ddr ram.;) as for the PCI-E, im taking about bandwidth wise, PCI-E hasnt offered any performance increases at all. Sure, what's available now is only high end PCI-E, but if they did make a high end 7900GTX in AGP im sure it wouldnt perform 1 fps less than the PCI-E version. AGP8x was simply never saturated enough. Reply
  • saiku - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    Yes!! I would love to know if I can bring over my AGP 6800GT and my 2 GB of Ram from my Socket 754 world to the Core 2 Duo platform. Great article !!

    Anandtech, just when I thought that you had stopped caring about the "common man", here comes this great article !

    Thank you for remembering those of us who don't spend 500 bucks on 2 GB of RAM !!
    Reply
  • Rike - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    Second that. Thanks, for looking out for those of us who still have some tight budgets. Reply
  • VooDooAddict - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    What I find interesting is that even DDR-333 works very well on the platform.

    This makes it tempting to upgrade my existing Dual Xeon 2.66 to Core 2 Duo. It's got 2 gigs of low latency (2-2-2-5) DDR-333.
    Reply
  • VooDooAddict - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    Also looking forward to the PCIe / AGP comparison. Reply
  • KingofL337 - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    Does this board allow for any overclocking at all? Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    Yes, figure about 10~15% on average. There is not a VCore adjustment on the board and it is limited already due to design. Reply

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