One of the first memory modules to reach stable DDR500 performance levels was OCZ 3700 GOLD. Many of us at AnandTech have been impressed with the performance levels and timings we have seen with this memory. We were a bit surprised, therefore, when we learned that this memory was reportedly achieving these performance levels using Samsung TCB3 memory chips.

The surprise was not that OCZ was using Samsung chips in 3700 GOLD — it is common knowledge that almost every high-end memory manufacturer builds their modules with memory from a wide range of memory chip makers. They may order custom blanks, custom label, or do special "binning" to choose chips for their DIMMs, but virtually all of the custom memory makers use chips from huge memory makers like Samsung, Micron, and Hynix. The surprise in this case was the Samsung chips OCZ was using. We had seen the chips used in DDR333 and DDR400 DIMMs from Samsung and a few other manufacturers. In fact, we had a pair of Crucial DDR333 DIMMs that used Samsung chips with the same ID. We wondered how OCZ was able to get these DDR333/400 chips to perform at the stable DDR466/500 levels, which we had seen in our OCZ 3700 GOLD tests for the upcoming article, 'Searching for the Memory Holy Grail — Part 2'.

A Closer Look
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  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    This coments sections is full of trash, what does any of this have to do with the article
  • MS - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link


    Then that is Corsair, even though they always fervently denied any such practice. Whenever I talked to Robert Pearce, he claimed that it is basically a random choice of module that goes out. I know for a fact that this is how things have been and still are handled at Mushkin, they don't even have the manpower and setup to cherry pick anything.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    All I can understand (& know already) is that
    you guys just have to know where to buy the same
    stuff they sell you for at least half the price.

    I bought modules using the same chips rated as ddr33 - & at oem ddr33 price.

    Laser This :).
    Ill Just use 2.8 & skip your lasering & Rebadging.

  • wixt0r - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    Geez, such an uproar over this OCZ stuff. The memory works!
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link


    I can send you some more evidence if you want? That is pretty much Nicole's job at Corsair to make sure reviewers get the best samples for reviews ;)

  • MS - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    Kristopher, I can assure you that neither Corsair nor Mushkin cherry pick any of their review samples.

    Wesley, I don't mean to say that OCZ quality is bad at all. All I say is that the "EL" process serves a purpose that is different from what OCZ claims. [grin]
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    After reading the article I was wondering if the el ddr process and lasering was so effective then why don't more people do this? Even why Samsung does explore this route. Then I realized what I missed. they are removing 7mill from the surface of the chip. In the chip world size does matter and when you move from nanometer to millimeter thats HUGE. This approach is very risky. I know to well that some mothboards are finiky with memory and I wonder how well today's boards will work with this aggressive approach.
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    Michael - Your review at Lost Circuits and the less stellar performance of the TCB3 modules I had gave me the idea for the article I did here. There is one VERY important piece of info that you do not share here. You bought retail GOLD, and as you stated in your review conclusion, it DID indeed meet specifications and beyond. We can debate the effectiveness of methods all day, but, in the end, performance and reliability is why we buy memory - whatever the brand.

    Anyone who doubts that MS found the retail memory met spec can check his review of the OCZ3700 GOLD at Lost Circuits.
  • KristopherKubicki - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    #29 Someone mentioned it earlier. The memory companies are all "nice" but they all have their misgivings. Do you think Mushkin hands you a stick they found laying on the ground in the fab? Any manufacturer gives you creame of the crop products for a review. Thats just common practice.

  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    #28-that is exactly my problem with this article. Are just supposed to believe that the chips all came out of one pile, and half were lasered and half weren't? I'm sorry, but OCZ hasn't earned any sort of right to be taken at their word. Mushkin or Corsair MAYBE, but certainly not a company with a well established history of buying reviews.

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