OCZ PC3500 Platinum: A Return to the Fastest Timingsby Wesley Fink on October 30, 2003 11:33 PM EST
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Corsair had started the ball rolling some time ago with their low-latency series. As our standard for benchmarking, we were always pleased to see Corsair 3200LL crank out 2-2-2-5 or 2-2-2-6 memory timings in our benchmarks. In recent months, with later revisions, things have been changing in the memory market. The newest memory revisions now could do only 2-2-3-6 at SPD, and it appeared that 2-2-2-5 at DDR400 was passing away with the death of Winbond BH5 memory modules.
Mushkin was the first to revitalize fast DDR400 timings with their PC3500 Level II, which again gave us 2-2-2-5 timings at DDR400. In our review of Mushkin's new memory, we found this DDR433 memory was very capable of 2-2-2-5 performance at DDR400, while providing 2-2-3-6 timings at DDR433. Mushkin had stockpiled the discontinued Winbond BH5 chips and promised that they had enough supply to last until at least the end of 2003.
Enter OCZ, who claims that their new OCZ PC3500 Platinum is capable of 2-2-2-5 memory performance at DDR400. While specified as 2-2-3-6 at DDR433, we are told that this new memory also can do 2-2-2-6 timings at DDR433 at a higher voltage of around 2.75V. OCZ tells us that this new memory is also based on Winbond BH5 chips, and it appears Winbond has begun manufacturing these chips again, since there was so much demand for them. This is certainly good news for those who demand the absolute fastest timings at DDR400.
While AnandTech's reviews of recent DDR500 and 533 from Corsair, Mushkin, and OCZ have found the newest memory capable of operating at DDR400 at 2-3-3-5 timings in addition to good performance at DDR500/533, this is still not the same as 2-2-2-5 performance. Many would point out that DDR500 to DDR533 are only really useful for a processor like the Pentium 4 2.4C, which is often capable of reaching FSB speeds of 250 to 300. This is not the processor most people buy, and for the 2.8 to 3.2 Pentium 4, the Athlon64 3200+, and AMD Barton processors, a memory that can do the absolute fastest timings at DDR400 to DDR433 or so is likely to provide the best performance. It is for these computer enthusiasts that OCZ has designed the new PC3500 Platinum.
While Intel legitimized DDR400 with the 875/865 chipsets, DDR400 is now an official JEDEC standard. In fact, the fastest memory that the Intel 875/865, AMD Athlon64, and AMD Athlon/Barton are designed to run is DDR400. Anything faster than DDR400 is overclocking the memory or the system in one form or another. So, for those of you who do not overclock the FSB, or those of you who overclock a mid- to high-end CPU, then the OCZ PC3500 Platinum is designed to provide the fastest memory performance that you can achieve.
OCZ PC3500 Platinum Specifications
|OCZ PC3500 Platinum Memory Specifications|
|Number of DIMMs & Banks||2 DS|
|Rated Timings||2-2-3-6 at DDR433|
Maximum Voltage 3.0V
OCZ tests performance of PC3500 on Asus and Abit Intel 865/875 motherboards. While compatibility tests are run on other motherboards, these popular boards are used for Production Line testing.