Value DDR2

Not everyone is prepared to pay $450 for the very best DDR2. Without comparing performance of lower-priced DDR2 it is also not possible to recommend whether high-performance DDR2 represents a good value for you. Looking at what was available in the market, we compiled a list of modules that appeared to be a representative cross-section of the 2GB kit value segment. With prices ranging from around $120 to $180 for a 2GB kit, these DDR2 modules are less than half the price of our high-performance selections.

Value DDR2 Specifications
Manufacturer Description
(Memory Chips)
Rated
Speed
Rated
Timings
Rated
Voltage
Cost
(2x1GB)
AData
Vitesta
ELJKD1A16K
(Elpida)
DDR2-533 4-4-4-12 1.8V $147
Corsair
Value Select
VS2GBKIT667D2
(Elpida)
DDR2-667 4-4-4-12 1.8V $148
Kingston
Value Ram
KVR667D2N5K2
(Elipida)
DDR2-667 5-5-5-15 1.8V $159
Mushkin
eXtreme
991512
(Infineon)
DDR2-667 3-3-3-10 2.1V $170
Patriot
Extreme Series
PDC22G5300LLK
(Elpida)
DDR2-667 4-4-4-12 1.8V $157
PQI
Turbo
PQI25400-2GDB
(Elipida)
DDR2-667 4-4-4-12 2.0V $117
Wintec
AMPX
3AXD2675-1G2S-R
(Elpida)
DDR2-675 4-4-4-10 1.8V $144

The real question, of course, is where you can take these low-cost DDR DIMMs. We ran all the DIMMs at the highest DDR2 speeds and the fastest memory timings we could achieve on a standard Core 2 Duo test platform. The results were truly surprising.


A-Data Vitesta DDR2-5300


A-Data is one of the largest memory application suppliers in the world and their Vitesta DDR2-533 kit performed extremely well in our testing from both a timing and voltage aspect. The quality of the heat spreaders and memory PCB is excellent..

AData Vitesta - DDR2-533 - 2x1GB
Model # ELJKD1A16K
CPU Ratio Memory
Speed
Best Memory Timings
(Voltage)
(4:3) 400 DDR2 3-2-2-5
1.8V
(1:1) 533 DDR2 3-2-2-8
1.9V
(4:5) 667 DDR2 3-3-2-8
2.1V
(2:3) 800 DDR2 4-3-3-8
2.1V


Corsair Value Select DDR2-667


Corsair was able to provide us their ValueSelect 2GB kit. Although Corsair is mainly known for their XMS series of high performance memories they also provide a very good price to performance offering in their ValueSelect series. While the modules do not include any heat spreaders, we did not notice any thermal issues during our testing that required the use of higher voltages to reach our reported numbers.

Corsair Value Select - DDR2-533 - 2x1GB
Model # VS2GBKIT667D2
CPU Ratio Memory
Speed
Best Memory Timings
(Voltage)
(4:3) 400 DDR2 3-2-2-5
1.9V
(1:1) 533 DDR2 3-2-2-7
2.1V
(4:5) 667 DDR2 3-3-3-8
2.1V
(2:3) 800 DDR2 4-3-3-8
2.2V


Kingston Value Ram DDR2-667


Kingston also provided their Value memory series that performed well during testing with timings that basically matched that of the higher rated DDR2-667 modules, although voltages had to be increased above the group average. We did not notice any thermal issues with the memory due to the lack of heat spreaders or the increased voltages. Also note that this is the only 2GB Value kit that used Infineon chips instead of Elpida chips, which likely accounts for some of the slight differences.

Kingston - DDR2-533 - 2x1GB
Model # 3AXD2675-1G2S-R
CPU Ratio Memory
Speed
Best Memory Timings
(Voltage)
(4:3) 400 DDR2 3-2-2-5
1.8V
(1:1) 533 DDR2 3-2-2-7
2.2V
(4:5) 667 DDR2 3-3-3-8
2.2V
(2:3) 800 DDR2 4-3-3-9
2.1V

High-Performance DDR2 (cont'd) Value DDR2 (cont'd)
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  • jonmcguffin - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    Actually, heck, I'm not much of an overclocker at all (I know that makes me the minority here). I'm looking at the Core 2 6600 at its native 2.4Ghz, 4Mb L2 Cache & 1066Mhz BUS Speed and figure that should be seriously fine for me.

    In regards to memory, I'd much rather purchase 2Gig's @ $180.00 than at $450.00 and since I'm not overclocking that shouldn't be a problem. But what I would have liked to have seen in this article were value sticks rated at DDR2 800Mhz as opposed to 667Mhz. So I anxiously await a "value-ram" roundup article of some sorts to not only show us what memory modules work well in the various mobo's but also which sticks can operate at those frequencies with low timing.

    Jon
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Saturday, July 22, 2006 - link

    The Buyers Guide shows all the Value Ram operating at DDR2-800 at 4-3-3-3 at around 2.2V. We also show the timings and voltage of the value Ram at 667, 533, and 400, in addition to 800. Reply
  • jonmcguffin - Sunday, July 23, 2006 - link

    Correct, but the ratings from the manufacture don't have those memory module's spec'd at DDR2-800. You were overclocking them essentially. Check out the

    Corsair 2Gb TWIN2X2048-6400 DDR2-800Mhz set. These two sticks are rated at DDR2, sell for $160 - $170 and run at 5-5-5-12-T1 timings at 1.9V.

    I would consider these a good starting point. Again, I'm not necessarily into running anything beyond the manufacture's claims, but for this price, it would seem these memory modules would fit the bill for a lot of users out there.

    Jon
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    All,

    I received a new beta bios from Abit today. I will be testing it later and will provide a quick update before we publish our final review on the board. Abit has spent considerable time this week testing this bios before release to us and hopefully it will fully address the memory setting issue we first reported in our preview issue.
    Reply
  • perpetualdark - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    I dont know where you priced your motherboards for this review, but I purchased the DFI 975x/g on july 18th from zipzoomfly for $187. It shipped the next day and I should see it today or Monday.

    Given that the DFI board is available for $62 less than your article shows, I think I made a good choice, since I dont need to overclock or run any high end graphics.

    Now I just need to get my hands on a cpu. This is for a work computer, but after things settle out around octoberish I will upgrade my home gaming setup with the conroe. I am playing titan quest right now, and even with a geforce 7950 the game hitches quite a bit in certain areas at most resolutions.. I figure increasing the cpu power will help substantially, at least thats my excuse for upgrading.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    The price was taken at the time the article written (17th) based on pricing from three different suppliers that had the board in stock. Now that ZipZoomFly (would assume others shortly) has it in stock at a price point (slightly below) that we had discussed with DFI I will update our article. The 7950GTX has not been qualified on this board yet so performance issues could occur since the required bios optimizations between the board and card are not completed. We really like this motherboard and for the $187 price, it is a great value now and one that should be seriously considered for purchase by early Core 2 Duo buyers. Although, we expected more in the way of overclocking, a very solild 375FSB is nothing to sneeze at and stock performance is excellent. Thank you for the price update! :) Reply
  • Gary Key - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    Where is the edit button?

    a very solid.....
    Reply
  • Roy2001 - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    I am looking for OC a E6600 with 4MB cache to 4Ghz with minimum budget and I never OC my system. So I don't know which value board/RAM would meet the target. I don't care about timing/latency. I would like to see anandtech to publish guides for high performance OCers and value OCers and help us to reach max speed.

    In addition, I can pickup DDR2-800 RAM priced similar to those 667 RAMs, I don't understand why they are not included in review?

    Thanks.
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    We will have additional guides in the near future. As for the DDR2-800 memory, we will be looking those modules in a mid-range section and a couple of the lower end that we have tested did not do any better than the high end DDR2-533/667 from a timing viewpoint or a high speed. Getting a E6600 to 4GHz is not that easy with a minimum budget but your suggestions are noted for the next guide. Thank you for the comments. :) Reply
  • Roy2001 - Friday, July 21, 2006 - link

    I know minimum budget system won't be easy to hit 4Ghz speed. I am not too sensitive to the money, but I just don't want to spend $450 for best RAM while I can hit 4Ghz with $150 RAM. Same thing happens to motherboard. I don't care 1394 port, optical port, as long as it is stable @4Ghz, I just pick the lowest priced although I can afford a $250 mother board. Hope that helps as I think I am not alone. Thanks for your hard work! Reply

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