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

    Which board did you use #17? Early 865PE and 875P boards had BIOS issues with lots of memory modules (Corsair, Kingston, etc.), not just OCZ.
  • Anonymous User - Saturday, August 9, 2003 - link

    Companies get turned around all of the time - for better or for worse.

    If I had read this before my June upgrade, things may have gone differently.

    In my case, I got OCZ for the first time (2 x 256 3200) for my 865PE board. Despite Anandtech's report on compatibility, I have to run in "slow" timing mode to make sure my system won't crash. Never have I had such poor performance in memory. The full featured board (I skipped a few options) and the 875 version cost about the same as good memory replacements. Oh well...
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    Apparently the 'lasering' process is performed after binning, so why were unbinned DIMMs used? Unless the sample size was significant (I would not be confident with under 30 DIMMs of each type, personally) it would make a lot more sense to have the modules binned before modification so that at least some baseline is established. Without this then all you have is a statistical correlation (by the way, what was the nature of this beyond it being positive?) hence the higher number of modules required. That is not to say of course that even if they are binned then you can get away with a very small population, but at least reduce it to perhaps 10 to 15 of each type.

    I would be very interested to learn what n and r were in each case. Also, what statistical method was used to determine correlation? Spearman's rank method? Was this tested at 10%? 5%? 1%?

    On a different note, I've become aware that some of OCZ's banner adverts suffer unfortunate spelling and punctuation errors...
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    I've read alot of things about OCZ a lot of them bad....but that was probably a year or two back. I've also read the reviews for this ram on Hexus and they seem to reach similar conclusions as the article here. It makes me wonder is everyone just shilling for this product or has OCZ turned their image around and are they now producing good cutting edge products....being in the market for some ram for my IS7 I'm really tempeted to try these.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    Of course there's no word about OCZ's shady practices. OCZ bought favor over on ABX, and now they've infested AT with their garbage. Hell, why not just print an OCZ press release instead of an article?

    Watching what's happening to AT is like watching Tom's HW after Tom decided he was too important to write. When you pass off all of your work onto unqualified lackeys, articles like this and the power supply one are the result.
  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    Can someone please explain memory timings to me?

    What's the differance from 2-7-3-3 to 3-8-4-4? Is it more than the amount of data written per CPU cycle? Or does it have nothing to do with that?

  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    Im not a huge OCZ fan, but it does piss me off that so many people continue to believe that they are this fraudulent enterprise that doesnt exist. I suppose you think Mushkin doesnt buy reviews? Maybe you have the notion that Kingston doesnt relable memory? Ive seen Corsair shut sites down for comments they didnt agree with.

  • Anonymous User - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link


    Everyone at one point or another has a bad piece of hardware, it happens. You just need to RMA it. You think no one else has RMAs? LOL check out Corsair's forums and their RMA rate, then get back to me.
  • Kishkumen - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    OCZ makes me extremely nervous. I've had 2X256MB of PC-2700 stuff from them that has never worked at 333MHz from day one on both modules. So I relegated them to a KT266A motherboard running 266MHz with crappy timeing and wrote them off as a bad decision. Well, all of a sudden this Gold stuff suddenly appears and since I've recently upgraded to a Barton core and don't have memory that with work at 333MHz, I ask myself why I'm living with memory that is bordering on fraud so I decide to give tech support a ring and was surprised to find them somewhat helpful. I'm sending back the modules and if they send me back two modules that actually work as advertised, perhaps they'll warrant a second chance. In the meantime, however, I'm going to stay the hell away from OCZ. There are no shortcuts in this business and it seems OCZ has tried them all and failed 90% of the time while pawning off those failures to their customers.
  • Radelon - Friday, August 8, 2003 - link

    Great article, for me personally this article is showing the average experience that people will receive from their OCZ 3700 or higher ram. I have 2x256 OCZ PC3700 Gold that will reach DDR540 @ 2-6-3-3 timings. I have 2x256 OCZ PC3700 Premier that will reach DDR530 @ 2.5-6-3-3. That's way beyond spec and I'm very pleased with them. You just can't go wrong using OCZ these days.

    For comparison, I have 2x256 Corsair 3700xms that will only do DDR490 3-8-4-4, and they aren't 100% stable there. From personal experience I will never buy Corsair again, not when I can get OCZ which will run way over spec.

    Again great article, it seems things are always gettin' better for OCZ.

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