Searching for the Memory Holy Grail - Part 2by Wesley Fink on August 26, 2003 11:11 PM EST
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We looked for the best performing memory configuration for the 865/875 motherboard in Part 1 of “Searching for the Memory Holy Grail”. In Part 2, we will benchmark the latest high-speed memory, DDR500 and DDR466, to determine how it performs on the Intel 865/875 platform.
When Part 1 was published a few weeks ago, the fastest memory that we had tested was a DDR466 module called OCZ 3700 Gold. It was the first memory we tested to pass the DDR500 mark, which represents a raw bus speed of 250. Since the Pentium 4 bus is quad-pumped, that translates to a Front Side Bus of 1000MHz or ONE GHz — a milestone in FSB speed.
Now, just a few weeks later, we have memory from five manufacturers that claim to run at DDR500. We have even seen a recent announcement from Geil of PC4200 (DDR533) memory. Intel legitimized DDR400 with the 875/865 chipsets, and that is now an official JEDEC standard. These faster memories, however, are basically built to DDR400 specifications, and then tested by their manufacturers to run at the much faster DDR500 speed. There is no official standard yet for DDR500, but all of the manufacturers seem to be using the 875/865 chipset motherboards to verify their high-speed performance. Frankly, there is no real need for DDR500 on the current fastest AMD chipsets — the nForce2 Ultra 400 and VIA KT600 — since neither the chipsets nor the Athlon CPUs have shown any capability of reaching DDR500 performance levels. While this may change with the introduction of Athlon64, the DDR500 and high-speed memory phenomenon is, for now, an Intel chipset playground — primarily related to the Intel 875/865 chipsets.
Things are organized a bit differently in our Part 2 of “Searching for the Memory Holy Grail”. We were forced to modify our testbed in order to better test the performance of the new DDR500 modules. We also added Game performance and Number Crunching benchmarks to Sandra UNBuffered Memory Test to confirm results with real-world benchmarks.
Armed with the fastest memory available from Adata, Corsair, Geil, Kingston, and OCZ, our quest is to find the best performing memory for your Canterwood (875) or Springdale (865) computer.