Original Link: http://www.anandtech.com/show/1503




When Corsair 3200XL appeared on the market, it was the first time since the death of Winbond BH5 that we had seen a memory with 2-2-2 timings at DDR400. More than that, this new memory also proved to reach DDR500 performance levels - something that Winbond BH5 could never do. We certainly took notice of the new memory based on Samsung chips, and every other memory maker took notice as well. As you saw in =F-A-S-T= DDR Memory: 2-2-2 Roars on the Scene, almost every top memory maker now has a DDR400 2-2-2 memory in their catalog.

Today, we will compare the two most recent DDR400 2-2-2 memories from G. Skill and PQI to the major-brand DDR400 2-2-2 that we have tested in the past. Do these new DIMMs based on Samsung TCCD chips perform as well as others that we have reviewed? This is not a trivial question because Samsung TCCD memory chips are some of the most expensive memory chips on the market. If some of these newer modules with TCCD chips perform just as well, buyers can shop for DDR400 2-2-2 memory on the basis of price and warranty.

Full results based on new testing on our standard Intel 875 memory test bed are included. We also brought forward results on the new AMD Athlon 64 memory test bed. Both G. Skill and PQI were included in the recent Athlon 64 memory roundup, and the results are repeated in this review for convenient comparison. With both sets of results, you should have a very clear picture of how PQI PC3200 Turbo and G. Skill TCCD compare to the best memory that we have tested on both the Intel and AMD Athlon 64 platforms.




G. Skill TCCD

This is our first complete review of memory modules from G. Skill. You can learn more about this Taiwanese memory maker at www.gskill.com.tw. G.Skill was established in 1989 by Enthusiasts and they specialize in the production of memory.



With a name of G. Skill TCCD, the memory chips should be obvious. This is a DDR sporting Samsung TCCD chips. Where G. Skill is a bit different is in rated speed of the memory. G. Skill actually quotes three different speed ratings - DDR400, DDR500, and DDR560. We have seen recent TCCD DIMMs reach DDR500 and beyond, but this is the first TCCD DIMM that actually specifies speed ratings to DDR560. The Samsung TCCD DIMMs are part of the G. Skill Extreme series and they carry a lifetime warranty.

You will also notice that there are no heat spreaders on the G. Skill DIMMs. Frankly, we have seen little, if any, cooling advantages with heatspreaders, so their absence will not be an issue to most. Heatspreaders are more often a cosmetic appearance item. They also appear useful when manufacturers want to make it a bit more difficult to determine the memory chips used on the DIMM.

Test DIMMs were a 1GB kit, a matched pair of 512MB double-sided DIMMs.

G. Skill TCCD Specifications


 G. Skill TCCD Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size
Total Memory
512 MB
Rated Timings 2-2-2-5 at DDR400
2.5-3-3-6 at DDR500
3-4-4-8 at DDR560
SPD (Auto) Timings 2.5-4-4-8
Rated Voltage 2.7V




PQI 3200 Turbo

PQI is another new name in memory at AnandTech. PQI has US Offices in Fremont, CA and offers a full line of memory products, including flash memory manufactured by the parent PQI Corporation. More information on product line, the lifetime warranty on memory, and the company itself is available at www.pqimemory.com.



The PQI 3200 Turbo comes in a wrap-around bubble package that stands out from the standard memory packaging.



Test DIMMs were a matched pair of PC3200 512MB modules. Like most other 2-2-2 rated DDR400 memory, the PQI is based on Samsung TCCD memory chips.

PQI 3200 Turbo Specifications


 PQI 3200 Turbo Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size
Total Memory
512 MB
1 GB
Rated Timings 2-2-2-5 at DDR400
SPD (Auto) Timings 2.5-4-4-8
Rated Voltage 2.6V




Intel Performance Test Configuration

The G. Skill TCCD and the PQI 3200 Turbo were tested in our standard Intel Pentium 4 Memory testbed. The hardware is the same used in our earlier reviews of DDR400 and faster Memory.

All test conditions were as close as possible to those used in our earlier memory reviews. We have also eliminated any memory from our charts that has been discontinued, including Winbond BH5 and BH6 versions from several vendors and earlier versions of several current memory products.

 INTEL 875P Performance Test Configuration
Processor(s): Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz (800MHz FSB)
RAM: 2 x 512MB G. Skill TCCD (DS)
2 x 512MB PQI 3200 Turbo (DS)

2 x 512MB OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev 3 (DS)
2 x 512MB Geil PC3200 Ultra X (DS)
2 x 512MB Crucial Ballistix PC3200 (DS)
2 x 512MB Kingston HyperX PC3200 L-L (DS)
2 x 512MB Mushkin PC3200 Level II V2 (DS)
2 x 512MB OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 (DS)
2 x 512MB Corsair 3200XL PRO (DS)
2 x 256MB Samsung PC4000 (SS)
2 x 512MB Buffalo FireStix PC4000 (DS)
2 x 512MB Shika XRAM PC4400 (DS)
2 x 512MB OCZ PC4400 EL Gold (DS)
2 x 512MB OCZ 3700EB (DS)
2 x 512MB OCZ 3500EB (DS)
2 x 512MB Mushkin 2-2-2 Special (DS)
2 x 512MB PMI4200 Gold (DDR533 DS)
4 x 256MB Samsung PC3700 (DDR466 SS)
2 x 512MB Kingmax DDR500 Hardcore Series (DS)
2 x 512MB Kingmax DDR466 Hardcore Series (DS)
2 x 512MB Corsair XMS4400v1.1 TwinX (DS)
2 x 512MB OCZ PC4400 DC Kit (DS)
2 x 512MB OCZ 4200EL(DS)
2 x 512MB Mushkin PC4000 High Performance (DS)
2 x 512MB Corsair TwinX4000 PRO (DS)
2 x 256MB Adata DDR450 (SS)
2 x 512MB Adata PC4000 (DS)
2 x 512MB Corsair PC4000 (DS)
2 x 512MB Geil PC4000 (DS)
2 x 512MB OCZ PC4000 (DS)
Hard Drives 2 Western Digital Raptor Serial ATA 36.7GB 10,000RPM drives in an Intel ICH5R RAID configuration
PCI/AGP Speed Fixed at 33/66
Bus Master Drivers: 875P Intel INF Update v5.00.1012, SATA RAID drivers installed, but IAA not installed
Video Card(s): ATI 9800 PRO 128MB, 128MB aperture, 1024x768x32
Video Drivers: ATI Catalyst 4.9
Power Supply: Vantec Stealth 470Watt Aluminum
Operating System(s): Windows XP Professional SP1
Motherboards: Asus P4C800-E (875) with 1016 Release BIOS

We have found the fastest performance on Intel 865/875 to be achieved at Cycle Time or tRAS of 5, or the fastest tRAS setting that is stable with the tested memory. Intel platform benchmarks were, therefore, run with the fastest stable tRAS timings that we could achieve with PQI or G. Skill memory.

Test Settings

We ran our standard suite of memory performance benchmarks. The following settings were tested with both memories:
  1. 800FSB/DDR400 - the highest stock speed supported on 875/865 and K8T800/nF3/SiS755 motherboards, and the rated speed of both G. Skill TCCD and PQI 3200 Turbo.
  2. 866FSB/DDR433 - a speed rating that we have used in testing other low-latency DDR400 memory.
  3. 933FSB/DDR466 - a standard memory speed also specified as PC3700.
  4. 1000FSB/DDR500 - a standard memory speed used in testing other high-speed memory and the rated speed of OCZ PC4000 Gold Rev. 2
  5. 1066FSB/DDR533 - a standard memory speed included for comparison.
  6. Highest Stable Overclock - the highest settings we could achieve with this memory and other memory that we have tested.
These are the same general settings used in benchmarking other DDR memory in the past year. DDR400, DDR500 and Highest Memory Speed have been used for all benchmarking. DDR433 and 466 were also used for testing other DDR400 2-2-2 modules, so we also ran benchmarks at these timings for comparisons. We also included test results at DDR533, since both memories reached that speed and beyond.




AMD Performance Test Configuration

The PQI 3200 Turbo and G. Skill TCCD were included in our recent memory roundup on the new Athlon 64 test bed. The complete review can be read at Athlon 64 Memory: Rewriting the Rules. We have included Athlon 64 tests in this review for completeness.

The A64 test bed includes components that have been proven in Socket 939 Athlon 64 benchmarking, such as the Gold Editors Choice MSI K8N Neo2, the completely unlocked Socket 939 FX53, and the OCZ Power Stream 520 Power Supply. Since the Athlon 64 tests represent a new series of DDR testing, we have chosen the current generation nVidia 6800 Ultra video card for benchmarking. We have found the 6800 Ultra to be a particularly good match to nVidia nForce3 Ultra motherboards.

All other basic test conditions attempted to mirror those used in our earlier Intel memory reviews. However, test results are not directly comparable to tests performed on the Intel test bed.

 AMD nForce3 Ultra Performance Test Configuration
Processor(s): AMD FX53 Athlon 64
(2.4GHz, Socket 939, Dual Channel, 1000HT)
RAM: G. Skill TCCD (DS) 2 x 512MB
PQI 3200 Turbo (DS) 2 x 512MB

Crucial Ballistix (DS) 2 x 512MB
Geil PC3200 Ultra X (DS) 2 x 512MB
OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev 2 (DS) 2 x 512MB
OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev 3 (DS) 2 x 512MB
Hard Drives Seagate 120GB PATA (IDE) 7200RPM 8MB Cache
PCI/AGP Speed Fixed at 33/66
Bus Master Drivers: nVidia nForce Platform Driver 4.24 (5-10-2004)
Video Card(s): nVidia 6800 Ultra 256MB, 256MB aperture, 1024x768x32
Video Drivers: nVidia Forceware 61.77
Power Supply: OCZ Power Stream 520W
Operating System(s): Windows XP Professional SP1
Motherboards: MSI K8N Neo2

We have found the fastest performance on AMD Athlon 64 chipsets (nForce3, VIA K8T800 PRO) to be achieved at Cycle Time or tRAS of 10. Athlon 64 platform benchmarks were therefore run with the tRAS timing of 10 for all A64 benchmarks.

Test Settings

The FX53 is completely unlocked. This allowed a different approach to memory testing, which truly measures performance differences in memory speed alone. All tests were run with CPU speed as close to the specified 2.4GHz of the FX53 as possible, with CPU speed/Memory Speed increased at lower multipliers to achieve 2.4Ghz. This approach allows for true measurement of the impact of higher memory speed and timings on performance, since CPU speed is fixed, while removing CPU speed as a factor in memory performance.

The following settings were tested with the six memories on the Athlon 64 test bed:
  1. 12x200/DDR400 - the highest stock memory speed supported on K8T800/nF3/SiS755 motherboards.
  2. 11x218/DDR436 - a ratio near the standard DDR433 speed.
  3. 10x240/DDR480 - a ratio near the standard rating of DDR466.
  4. 9x267/DDR533 - a standard memory speed used in testing other high-speed memory.
  5. Highest Memory Speed - the highest memory speed that we could achieve regardless of the multiplier. This setting was generally achieved at a 2T command rate and performance is often poorer than slower memory timings at a 1T Command Rate.
  6. Highest Performance - the highest memory performance settings that we could achieve. This setting is normally the highest stable speed using a 1T Command Rate.
Command Rate is not normally a factor in Intel 478 tests, but it is a major concern in Athlon 64 performance. A Command Rate of 1T is considerably faster on Athlon 64 than a 2T Command Rate. For this reason, we had added the Command Rate to the timings and voltage reported for each memory speed setting.

We ran our standard suite of memory performance benchmarks - Quake 3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein-Enemy Territory-Radar, Super Pi 2M, and Sandra 2004 Standard and UnBuffered. Since the results for Athlon 64 tests are new, we are now including Sandra Buffered (Standard) test results and Sandra UnBuffered test results. RTCW Enemy Territory has also been added as a standard memory benchmark.




Test Results: G. Skill TCCD

To be considered stable for test purposes, Quake3 benchmark, UT2003 Demo, Super PI, Aquamark 3, and Comanche 4 had to complete without incident. Any of these, and in particular Super PI, will crash a less-than stable memory configuration. We have also included results for RCW-ET using the Radar benchmark.

Intel Test Results

G. Skill TCCD (DDR400) - 2 x 512Mb Double-Bank
Speed Memory Timings
& Voltage
Quake3
fps
Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard
Buffered
Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory fps
400DDR800FSB 2-2-2-5
2.5V
335.3 INT 2899
FLT 2923
INT 4513
FLT 4512
130 71.8
433DDR866FSB 2-2-3-5
2.75V
359.8 INT 3046
FLT 3066
INT 4857
FLT 4854
121 77.4
466DDR933FSB 2.5-3-3-5
2.75V
382.3 INT 3112
FLT 3127
INT 5176
FLT 5177
113 81.9
500DDR1000FSB 2.5-3-3-5
2.75V
407.9 INT 3328
FLT 3394
INT 5557
FLT 5551
105 88.2
533DDR1066FSB 2.5-3-4-5
2.75V
426.3 INT 3505
FLT 3533
INT 5896
FLT 5894
100 92.6
561DDR1122FSB 3-3-4-6
2.75V
444.2 INT 3795
FLT 3681
INT 6313
FLT 6248
94 96.3

The G. Skill TCCD performed very well on the Intel platform compared to other TCCD memory. The highest overclock was DDR561, verifying the claim of DDR560 performance.

AMD Test Results

G. Skill TCCD - 2 x 512Mb Double-Bank
CPU Ratio at 2.4GHz Memory Speed Memory Timings
& Voltage
Quake3
fps
Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard
Buffered
Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory fps
12x200 400 DDR 2-2-2-10
2.6V 1T
512.7 INT 2636
FLT 2767
INT 6117
FLT 6046
81 110.4
11x218 436 DDR 2-3-2-10
2.8V 1T
513.4 INT 2791
FLT 2928
INT 6486
FLT 6415
80 110.7
10x240 480 DDR 2.5-3-3-10
2.85V 1T
520.4 INT 2794
FLT 3035
INT 6707
FLT 6609
80 111.5
9x267 533 DDR 2.5-4-3-10
2.85V 1T
525.5 INT 3032
FLT 3226
INT 6956
FLT 6875
79 112.5
8x292(2.34GHz) Highest Mem Speed
584 DDR
3-4-4-10
2.85V 2T
503.9 INT 2779
FLT 2969
INT 6595
FLT 6514
81 108.2
9x285(2.57GHz) HIGHEST
Performance
570 DDR
2.5-4-3-10
2.85V 1T
557.8 INT 3321
FLT 3429
INT 7408
FLT 7287
74 119.8

When we first tested memory based on the Samsung TCCD chips, none of the modules performed as well on the Athlon 64 as they did on the Intel test bed. At that time, TCCD topped out at a bit over 500 on Intel and about 466 on the Athlon 64. The lone exception to this was the newest OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2, which reached much higher on the Intel and to at least DDR500 on the A64 platform.

It is now clear with the G. Skill and other later TCCD memory that the OCZ performance was not a fluke. All of the recent TCCD is now doing even better on the A64 than they do on Intel.

The G. Skill reached DDR584 at 2T and achieved the best performance at 1T at DDR570. Both of these overclocks are substantially higher than what we could achieve on the Intel test bed with the same memory.




Test Results: PQI 3200 Turbo

To be considered stable for test purposes, Quake3 benchmark, UT2003 Demo, Super PI, Aquamark 3, and RTCW had to complete without incident. Any of these, and in particular Super PI and Return to Castle Wolfenstein, will crash a less-than stable memory configuration.

Intel Test Results

PQI 3200 Turbo (DDR400) - 2 x 512Mb Double-Bank
Speed Memory Timings
& Voltage
Quake3
fps
Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard
Buffered
Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory fps
400DDR800FSB 2-2-2-5
2.5V
337.5 INT 2845
FLT 2935
INT 4523
FLT 4515
129 71.7
433DDR866FSB 2-2-2-5
2.75V
364.8 INT 3172
FLT 3205
INT 4907
FLT 4902
120 77.6
466DDR933FSB 2-3-3-5
2.75V
381.5 INT 3236
FLT 3253
INT 5167
FLT 5165
113 81.5
500DDR1000FSB 2.5-3-3-5
2.75V
405.8 INT 3362
FLT 3395
INT 5557
FLT 5562
106 87.3
533DDR1066FSB 2.4-3-4-5
2.75V
423.0 INT 3599
FLT 3563
INT 5944
FLT 5903
100 91.1
556DR1122FSB 3-3-4-6
2.75V
443.0 INT 3643
FLT 3699
INT 6188
FLT 6183
96 95.3

PQI reached DDR556 on the Intel platform, which places it among the best DDR400 performers we have tested. The memory reached even higher overclocks on the AMD test bed.

AMD Results

PQI 3200 Turbo - 2 x 512Mb Double-Bank
CPU Ratio at 2.4GHz Memory Speed Memory Timings
& Voltage
Quake3
fps
Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard
Buffered
Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory fps
12x200 400 DDR 2-2-2-10
2.6V 1T
512.9 INT 2605
FLT 2796
INT 6091
FLT 6039
81 110.4
11x218 436 DDR 2-3-2-10
2.7V 1T
512.1 INT 2725
FLT 2906
INT 6446
FLT 6368
81 110.1
10x240 480 DDR 3-3-3-10
2.7V 1T
513.0 INT 2849
FLT 2977
INT 6627
FLT 6545
80 110.6
9x267 533 DDR 3-4-3-10
2.75V 1T
517.2 INT 2930
FLT 3159
INT 6910
FLT 6821
80 111.5
8x298(2.38GHz) Highest Mem Speed
596 DDR
3-4-3-10
2.8V 2T
514.7 INT 2916
FLT 3099
INT 6765
FLT 6685
80 110.7
9x285(2.57GHz) HIGHEST
Performance
570 DDR
3-4-3-10
2.75V 1T
551.4 INT 3172
FLT 3413
INT 7402
FLT 7282
74 119.1

The PQI 3200 Turbo is also based on the latest Samsung TCCD chips. The latest TCCD chips appear to perform much better on Athlon 64 than the first TCCD samples tested in =F-A-S-T= DDR Memory: 2-2-2 Roars on the Scene.

PQI reaches DDR596 at the highest memory speed, very close to DDR600. Highest performance was achieved at a Command Rate of 1T at DDR570.




Intel Memory Comparisons

Performance of the PQI 3200 Turbo and G. Skill TCCD was compared to all of the memory recently tested on the Intel 875 memory test bed in:

OCZ 3700 Gold Rev. 3: DDR500 Value for Athlon 64 & Intel 478
Geil PC3200 Ultra X: High Speed & Record Bandwidth
=F-A-S-T= DDR Memory: 2-2-2 Roars on the Scene
Buffalo FireStix: Red Hot Name for a New High-End Memory
New DDR Highs: Shikatronics, OCZ, and the Fastest Memory Yet
The Return of 2-2-2: Corsair 3200XL & Samsung PC4000
OCZ 3700EB: Making Hay with Athlon 64
OCZ 3500EB: The Importance of Balanced Memory Timings
Mushkin PC3200 2-2-2 Special: Last of a Legend
PMI DDR533: A New Name in High-Performance Memory
Samsung PC3700: DDR466 Memory for the Masses
Kingmax Hardcore Memory: Tiny BGA Reaches For Top Speed
New Memory Highs: Corsair and OCZ Introduce DDR550
OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev. 2: The Universal Soldier
OCZ 4200EL: Tops in Memory Performance
Mushkin PC4000 High Performance: DDR500 PLUS
Corsair TwinX1024-4000 PRO: Improving DDR500 Performance
Mushkin & Adata: 2 for the Fast-Timings Lane
Searching for the Memory Holy Grail - Part 2

For easier comparison to other DDR400 2-2-2 memory on the Intel platform, we have color-coded memory from =F-A-S-T= DDR Memory: 2-2-2 Roars on the Scene in light green. Memory performance was compared at DDR400, DDR433, DDR466, DDR500, DDR533 (where possible), and the highest stable overclock we could achieve that would run Quake 3, UT2003, and Super PI to 2MM places.

All discontinued products have been removed from benchmark comparisons. Please note that OCZ EB series memory has recently been discontinued, but we have kept the EB results in the memory charts in this review for better comparisons. EB will be removed from future memory test results.

Results are compared for Quake 3, Sandra UNBufferred Memory Test, and Super PI. SiSoft Sandra 2004 reports 2 results for each memory test - an Integer value and a Float value. Results reported in our charts are the result of averaging the INT and FLOAT scores, which are normally close in value. In other words, INT and FLOAT scores were added and divided by 2 for our reported score.

AMD Memory Comparisons

The G. Skill TCCD and PQI 3200 Turbo were included in our recent Athlon 64 Memory Roundup. Results are repeated here to provide a complete picture of the performance of these two Samsung TCCD memories compared to other top memory on the Athlon 64.

Memory performance was compared at 200x12 (2.4Ghz, DDR400), 218x11 (2.4Ghz, DDR438), 240x10 (2.4Ghz, DDR480), 267x9 (2.4Ghz, DDR533), the Highest Memory Speed that could be reached, and the Highest Memory Performance Settings that we could reach. With a constant CPU speed, memory comparisons show the true impact of faster speed and slower memory timings on memory performance.




Intel DDR400 Performance


DDR400 Gaming Performance

DDR400 UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR400 Standard (Buffered) Memory Test

DDR400 Calculation Performance




Intel DDR433 Performance


DDR433 Gaming Performance

DDR433 UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR433 Calculation Performance




Intel DDR466 Performance


DDR 466 Gaming Performance

DDR 466 UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR 466 Calculation Performance




Intel DDR500 Performance


DDR500 Gaming Performance

DDR500 UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR500 Calculation Performance




Intel DDR533 Performance


DDR533 Gaming Performance

DDR533 UNBuffered Sandra Memory Test

DDR533 Calculation Performance




Intel Highest Memory Speed Performance


HIGHEST Memory Overclock at 1:1

HIGHEST Memory Speed Gaming Performance

HIGHEST Memory Speed UNBuffered Sandra Memory Test

HIGHEST Memory Speed Calculation Performance




AMD DDR400/2.4GHz Performance


DDR400 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance

DDR400 (2.4Ghz) UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR400 (2.4GHz) Standard (Buffered) Memory Test

DDR400 (2.4GHz) Calculation Performance

DDR400 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance




AMD DDR436/2.4GHz Performance


DDR436 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance

DDR436 (2.4Ghz) UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR436 (2.4GHz) Standard (Buffered) Memory Test

DDR436 (2.4GHz) Calculation Performance

DDR436 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance




AMD DDR480/2.4GHz Performance


DDR480 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance

DDR480 (2.4Ghz) UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR480 (2.4GHz) Standard (Buffered) Memory Test

DDR480 (2.4GHz) Calculation Performance

DDR480 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance




AMD 533/2.4GHz Performance


DDR533 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance

DDR533 (2.4Ghz) UNBuffered Memory Test

DDR533 (2.4GHz) Standard (Buffered) Memory Test

DDR533 (2.4GHz) Calculation Performance

DDR533 (2.4GHz) Gaming Performance




AMD Highest Memory Speed Performance


Highest Memory Speed Gaming Performance

Highest Memory Speed UNBuffered Memory Test

Highest Memory Speed Standard (Buffered) Memory Test

Highest Memory Speed Gaming Performance

Highest Memory Speed Calculation Performance

Highest 1:1 Memory Speed




AMD Highest Performance


Highest Performance - Gaming Performance

Highest Performance - UNBuffered Memory Test

Highest Performance - Standard (Buffered) Memory Test

Highest Performance - Calculation Performance

Highest Performance - Gaming Performance

Highest Performance - 1:1 Memory Speed




Final Words

Both the G. Skill TCCD and the PQI 3200 Turbo did very well on the Intel test bed. As we are seeing with other DIMMs based on recent TCCD chips, the bandwidth is getting better with later runs of Samsung TCCD. Both the G. Skill and PQI reached well beyond DDR533 to DDR561 and DDR556 respectively. With this Intel performance, the G. Skill and PQI join the OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 and Geil 3200 Ultra X as DDR400 memories that can reach over DDR550. Considering these four memories are rated at DDR400 2-2-2, this extended bandwidth is all the more remarkable.

In Athlon 64 Memory: Rewriting the Rules, we speculated that PQI 3200 Turbo appeared to be optimized for the Intel platform. Our testing here certainly confirms that. While the PQI does very well on the Intel platform, it tends to hug the bottom of our Athlon 64 TCCD comparisons. PQI could just as easily have tweaked the memory for the AMD Athlon 64 platform. If they had, we expect performance would have been on a par with the best of the new DDR400 2-2-2 memories.

In the Athlon 64 tests, both memories also showed great bandwidth, reaching to DDR596 with the PQI and DDR584 with the G. Skill. As we have seen with other recent TCCD memory, the Athlon 64 bandwidth is much better than the bandwidth on Intel 875.

Overall, on both Intel and AMD Athlon 64, the PQI and G. Skill performed very well. Performance was on par with the best TCCD memories that we have tested. This gives two new options to those searching for DDR400 2-2-2. You can now choose between Corsair, Crucial, Geil, Kingston, Mushkin, OCZ, G. Skill and PQI if you're in the market for memory based on Samsung TCCD chips. Certainly, not all of these memories are created equal or perform exactly the same. As we saw in our reviews, a few reach to DDR600, and some are capable of better timings at higher speeds. However, all of the TCCD DIMMs performed at stock DDR400, at 2-2-2 timings. All eight memories also reached at least DDR 500 when overclocked. If these specifications meet your needs, then you can select any of these memories based on which offers the best price and warranty.

Crucial Ballistix is another memory to consider in this group. It is based on Micron memory chips, but certainly performed well at DDR400 2-2-2 timings. Ballistix also reached DDR500 with the fastest timings that we have ever seen at that speed.

The only concern with both PQI and G. Skill is that we don't really know what to expect with either memory company. Both offer a lifetime warranty on their top memories, including the two tested here, but we have no experience in warranty claims with either company. With time, we will know more what to expect, but for now, quality of service is a question looking for answers. We will also be more comfortable recommending PQI or G. Skill when we have heard more from readers using these DIMMs. Is the excellent performance we found typical of memory from both companies? Is the great performance we tested here what buyers will get with both G. Skill and PQI? We can't answer these questions yet, but we are interested in hearing about any experience that you have with PQI or G. Skill memory.

Even without answers to all the questions, at the very least, you should definitely check the prices of G. Skill and PQI if you are in the market for fast DDR memory with excellent overclocking capabilities. 2-2-2 timings are readily available again, and these latest Samsung TCCD and Micron G DIMMs are the best memory that we have ever seen for fast timings and extraordinary overclocking.

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