Comparison of Memory Timings and Ratios to Performance

One of the goals of this review was to compare performance of the new Ballistix PC2-6400 and PC2-5300 modules to the legendary Micron Fat Body D9 memory. Performance tests were run on both new Ballistix memories and compared to tests run on the earlier OCZ DDR2 PC2-4200 Platinum EB 1GB (2x512MB) kit. The OCZ modules were known to include an early version of the Micron Fat Body D9 chips. Test results below are grouped by the memory under test, with best bandwidth and lowest Super Pi 2M times shown.

Crucial Ballistix DDR2 PC2-6400 Timings SiSoft Sandra Professional 2005 Buffered Results SiSoft Sandra Professional 2005 Unbuffered Results Super PI 2M Time
DDR 533
(350x13@1402MHz)
3-3-3-8 (1:1) 8470 Mb/s 4558 Mb/s 1 minute 5.813 seconds
DDR 667
(350x13@1402MHz)
4-4-4-8 (4:5) 8601 Mb/s 5030 Mb/s 1 minute 5.047 seconds
DDR 800
(323x13@1290MHz)
5-5-5-15(2:3) 8103 Mb/s 4806 Mb/s 1 minute 10.453 seconds

Crucial Ballistix DDR2 PC2-5300 Timings SiSoft Sandra Professional 2005 Buffered Results SiSoft Sandra Professional 2005 Unbuffered Results Super PI 2M Time
DDR 533
(350x13@1402MHz)
3-2-3-8 (1:1) 8542 Mb/s 4648 Mb/s 1 minute 5.078 seconds
DDR 667
(340x13@1362MHz)
4-3-2-8 (4:5) 8467 Mb/s 5127 Mb/s 1 minute 6.547 seconds
DDR 800
(313x13@1254 MHz)
5-5-5-15 (2:3) 8179 Mb/s 4807 Mb/s 1 minute 12.391 seconds

OCZ DDR2 PC2-4200 Platinum EB Timings SiSoft Sandra Professional 2005 Buffered Results SiSoft Sandra Professional 2005 Unbuffered Results Super PI 2M Time
DDR 533
(345x13@1380MHz)
3-2-2-8 (1:1) 8496 Mb/s 4401 Mb/s 1 minute 6.375 seconds
DDR 667
(350x13@1402 MHz)
4-2-3-8 (4:5) 8592 Mb/s 4893 Mb/s 1 minute 5.000 seconds
DDR 800
(315x13@1262 MHz)
4-2-3-8 (3:5) 7867 Mb/s 4613 Mb/s 1 minute 12.454 seconds

The tightest timings were maintained on the PC2-5300 kit, which held 3-2-2-8 timings up to an FSB of 345 (13X multiplier producing 1382.5 MHz set at DDR533 memory strap). This produced buffered bandwidth of 8455 Mb/s on Sisoft Sandra Professional 2005, and 4616 Mb/s unbuffered bandwidth. At 350 FSB, this particular memory held timings of 3-2-3-8, producing 8542 Mb/s buffered bandwidth and 4648 Mb/s unbuffered bandwidth. At DDR667, timings set at 3-2-2-8 held only to 275FSB (X13). However, a slight relaxation to 290x13 at 3-2-3-8 timings worked well to 7241 Mb/s buffered and 4452 Mb/s unbuffered results. More relaxed timings had to be used when the DDR800 memory strap was invoked.

The PC2-6400 modules, tested at the DDR533 memory strap at 1:1, were good up to 327 FSB (X13) or 1310 MHz at 3-2-3-8 timings, which produced 7980 Mb/s buffered and 4334 Mb/s unbuffered bandwidth scores via SiSoft Sandra. Super Pi 2M clocked 1 minute, 10.313 seconds at these settings. We were able to tweak timings further, at 3-3-3-8 at a front side bus speed of 350 (X13), at 1402 MHz to reach buffered numbers of 8470 Mb/s, and unbuffered bandwidth of 4558 Mb/s. Everest Ultimate Edition V2.50.480 showed a memory read speed of 9678 Mb/s while extended to 350x13, with memory write speeds at 3212 Mb/s according to the Everest synthetic benchmarks. While testing at the DDR667 memory strap, we were able to maintain timings of 3-3-3-8 up to only a front side bus speed of 280x13. Beyond that, timings had to be relaxed to 4-4-4-8 to be stable. The best numbers that we saw at the DDR667 strap were at 350x13 yielding 1402 MHz, at 4-4-4-8 timings. This gave us 8601 Mb/s buffered, and 5030 Mb/s unbuffered bandwidth numbers, and Super Pi 2M ran at 1 minute, 5.047 seconds. Running at DDR800 proved somewhat ineffective, since the timings had to be very relaxed for stability. Scaling to 310x13 (effectively 1242 MHz) at 4-4-4-8 timings worked fine, but beyond that point, we used 5-5-5-15 and weren't able to produce much of an improvement.

Test results show that the new Crucial Ballistix, using Micron's latest DDR2 chips, is competitive with any DDR2 memory that we have tested in the recent past. The performance appears to be better than early versions of Micron's Fat Body D chips - at least on the latest Intel 975X platform. It will be interesting to see how the new Crucial Ballistix memory modules will perform on the upcoming AM2.

It is very interesting that our very early OCZ memory, rated at DDR2-533 and based on Micron Fat Body D chips, actually performed well, since it contained an early version of the first Fat Body D chips. This leads one to believe in the promise of the new die version of Micron's Fat Body D IC's, based on the performance that we saw in our testing.

Windows XP Professional x64 Performance Comparison Graphs
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  • Griotspeak - Sunday, March 12, 2006 - link

    2GB PC-5300 modules should be available?

    i KNOW there isnt much hope of a definite answer, but i'd like to have some idea since i could wait a month or so.
    Reply
  • Regs - Saturday, February 25, 2006 - link

    Maybe i'll wait until it has a use. Reply
  • pnyffeler - Thursday, February 23, 2006 - link

    I'm feeling a little uncertain about why anyone would want to rush out and purchase a new AM2 system ASAP. What advantage would you gain over a 939 rig? Right now, DDR2 memory is loads more expensive than DDR, and according to Tom's Hardware's analysis, there isn't any advantage. Well, at least, not theoretically until DDR2-800 becomes available, but even so, are we going to see a significant increase in performance? It seems that the smart move is to set up a 939 system, dump it full of good, cheap DDR RAM, and save your pennies for the new DirectX 10 graphics card that will be available at the end of the year when Vista comes out. I just see DDR2 as the next logical transition, especially with chip makers changing over time to DDR2, but you won't see me jumping on the bandwagon any time soon.... Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=270...">http://www.anandtech.com/memory/showdoc.aspx?i=270...

    WTF is up with this review in terms of spelling errors and inconsistencies??

    quote:

    The tightest timings were maintained on the PC2-5300 kit, which held 3-2-2-8 timings up to an FSB of 345 (13X multiplier producing 1382.5 MHz set at DDR533 memory strap).


    The tightest timings are NOT the PC2-5300 kit according to the table, but RATHER THE OCZ DDR2 PC2-4200.

    The only one I see that achieves 3-2-2-8 at FSB of 345 is OCZ DDR2 PC2-4200, not the Crucial PC2-5300 kit.

    quote:

    This produced buffered bandwidth of 8455 MB/s on Sisoft Sandra Professional 2005, and 4616 MB/s unbuffered bandwidth.


    Plus, CONSISTENT spelling errors that say MB/s. I sure don't want my memory bandwidth to be single digit MB/s even on a 486 PC.

    Reply
  • leexgx - Saturday, February 25, 2006 - link

    quote:

    This produced buffered bandwidth of 8455 MB/s on Sisoft Sandra Professional 2005, and 4616 MB/s unbuffered bandwidth.


    what spelling errors (ram does not work at 9000GB/s) that result is right
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Tuesday, February 28, 2006 - link

    quote:

    what spelling errors (ram does not work at 9000GB/s) that result is right


    I was likely referring to the fact that the table and the paragraph below is inconsistent. There are no such numbers on the table.
    Reply
  • hwhacker - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    He explains this in the article. Overclocking the FSB on intel's chips is different than on AMD chips. You can much finer tune an AMD because of the adjustable multiplier...unless you have mega-cooling to allow the processor to scale with the memory speed...It's kind of tough.

    RTFA. ;)

    Reply
  • Marlowe - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    They could reach 400 MHz mem easily with the 4:5 divider. (would require 320 MHz FSB) Reply
  • Marlowe - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    Last time I checked DDR800 is 400 MHz real frequency. I've looked through the heap of hard to manage screenshots, (yes what happened to graphs?) but the highest I saw was 350 MHz. Did I miss something? Were you not able to reach 400 MHz? Reply
  • ATWindsor - Wednesday, February 22, 2006 - link

    Why do I suddenly hae to enable referer logging to see the pictures in the article? Reply

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