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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  • preacherman - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    What would be intresting would be a maybe running at least the synth benchmarks on another C2D mobo.. with the same CPU,HDD;DDR2 etc etc.

    This would show us if the mobo as a whole runs at a performance handicap to others mobo or.. as I would hope.. basicly its up or near there in performance with most other C2D mobos with or without DDR2.

    If that is the case then the mobo is truly very good for those of us not wanting to shell out 250e+ for 2x1Gb DDR2 when we already have 2x512Mb DDR sat in our current rigs so we could spend that money on CPU/GPU as you wrote in your atricle and maybe get DDR2 later as and when funds become available.
    thanks.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    quote:

    What would be intresting would be a maybe running at least the synth benchmarks on another C2D mobo.. with the same CPU,HDD;DDR2 etc etc.


    You will see this in the final comparison article. The general performance of the board is about the same as we reported in our Conroe Buying Guide. However, the 1.5 bios has improved performance in some areas.
    Reply
  • yacoub - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    I am surprised how little advantage DDR2 has over DDR memory. Very interesting. Was the difference greater from SDR to DDR? I forget. Reply
  • Locutus465 - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    I'm guessing a higher end board with a better memory controller might show DD2 in a better light. Reply
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    The same can be said for DDR.

    MY DFI Lanparty NF4 runs my Corsair BH-5 chips at 260mhz@ 2-2-2-7 timings. DDR2@ 1000mhz@5-5-5 cant even beat that.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    We did a top-end DDR vs DDR2 on the AM2 at http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?.... Of course, DDR2 bandwidth on the AM2 is huge, even though it doesn't always translate into real-world performance gains. Conroe is not nearly as efficient as AM2 on memory but still outperforms by a wide margin. In the AM2 article we found fast DDR400 and DDR2-533 roughly equivalent, with faster DDR2 speeds providing a bit more performance.

    It appears with Conroe on a VIA chipset DDR2-533 gains more, but real-world is still in the ball park with DDR400. That may be a commentary on the VIA chipset and may not apply to Intel or nVidia or ATI. However, this VIA board is the first to allow a DDR/DDR2 comparison with Conroe.

    There are other boards for Dore 2 Duo coming that will support DDR on Core 2 Duo. For the value builder, it will be interesting to see how this board compares to some of those.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    In some instances DDR was quite a bit faster than SDR. I think it gave about a 10% performance boost on average, and up to 20% in a few special cases. It's also worth noting that the ASRock does offer lower performance than other high-end DDR2 boards, but the price tradeoff makes it justifiable. Reply
  • yyrkoon - Sunday, August 20, 2006 - link

    Well, if you go by pure synthetic benchmarks, DDR is 5x faster than SDRAM most of the time. Actual application performance, may be different. Reply
  • Calin - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    DDR was quite a bit faster than DDR - just the way it is now with DDR2 and SDR. However, in the budget side of the equation, the processors weren't starved enough for bandwidth, so the difference was very small.
    I wonder what the results would have been if a faster processor would have been used.

    Oh, and maybe the chipset/BIOS isn't optimized for DDR2 performance (as for DDR, all the performance that could have been squeezed in about three-four years of building chipsets was already there).
    Reply
  • Jedi2155 - Tuesday, August 08, 2006 - link

    Did you mean DDR was quite a bit faster than SDR and now with DDR2 with DDR? Reply

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