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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  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Thank you for the comments. Our focus on the first cooler roundup will be on units that cost under $25 but the Tuniq will be included as a reference point along with the retail Intel unit. Our follow up will include the high end air coolers and some water cooling units.

    The Tuniq is considered to be one of the best air coolers available at this time although we are starting to see this design being incorporated by other suppliers quickly.
    Reply
  • biggersteve - Tuesday, September 19, 2006 - link

    Hope you can get an Arctic Cooler Pro 7 into that cooler review. Quiet as a tomb and mighty cool. Reply
  • jonmcguffin - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    A feature built into the Core 2 Duo processors is this new Digital Thermal Sensor that supposedly has the ability to provide much quicker and more accurate thermal information about each processor. The key with this though is that it requires support from the motherboard. Why did you guys not mention this feature in any of the motherboards you tested?

    My guess is that since the P965 was "built" for Core 2 Duo, my guess would be that it supports this feature while the older 975 does not. In going back and forth between pro's and con's of the P965, if this feature is in fact built into the chipset/motherboard, it is worth pointing out. I'm not really an overclocker though I do want to buy a system that will be rock solid in stability for many years to come. Quite PC's that are very reliable and stable are critical and this is a good feature.

    Also, you reviewed the Abit AB9 Pro motherboard a few weeks back but somehow it was left out of this overview. At $160 on the street, despite it's layout issue's, this looks to me like perhaps the best board right now for the guy who isn't rich and just wants a very solid Core 2 Duo mobo.

    Hope you get a chance to review and respond.

    Jon
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Jon,

    The Gigabyte DQ6 actually has the ability to select readings from either sensor (Digital/Legacy) on the CPU in the power management settings. We will go over this in detail in our full review of the board or other Conroe capable boards in the future. These type of features along with audio and storage performance are not generally not reviewed in the guide articles but covered in the full product reviews.

    The Abit AB9-Pro is shaping up to be a very good mid-range board (prices around $142 already) once the bios is complete. We are due to receive bios B6 next week that is optimized for Conroe and allows full memory configuration from both a timing and ratio viewpoint. The board was not ready to be included in the buyers guide until Abit had a final bios to us. We will report the results as soon as we complete testing.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    We had planned to include the Abit AB9 in our roundup IF Abit got the memory issue fixed before the review. Unfortunately even the latest beta BIOS we received on Tuesday does not fix the issue. There is no means on the current Abit board to change memory speed or timings. It supposedly reads the SPD and boots at DDR2-533 5-5-5-15 with every dimm we tried. You can't run Value Ram at DDR2-800 for example or run DDR2-800 at rated speed. Or change timings to 3-2-3 at DDR-533 even if you know the ram can run at those timings. We did not think it fair to make a big deal of this in a review since Abit is supposedly working on it, but we see they are now also selling the board at some retailers and memory is still broken as far as we know.

    We consider this problem, if not fixed, to disqualify the Abit from consideration by any Enthusiast. We plan to do a full review of the Abit AB9 Pro if and when Abit fixes this major problem.
    Reply
  • supremelaw - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    Jon,

    Why would more accurate thermal sensors
    have high priority, if the Conroe runs
    much cooler and more efficiently?

    Are you planning extreme O/C, perhaps?

    Wouldn't a superior HSF have higher priority?

    e.g.:
    http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/heatsinks/warnin...">http://www.supremelaw.org/systems/heatsinks/warnin...

    Just curious here.


    Sincerely yours,
    /s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell
    Webmaster, Supreme Law Library
    http://www.supremelaw.org/">http://www.supremelaw.org/
    Reply
  • falc0ne - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    The usual best from Anandtech..I was in a bit of fog if switching to conroe or not, but now I have a mutch more clearer picture. After the part2 of this suite, it will all be clear to me.
    P.S. Your articles on Nvidia's NForce 4 platform made me choose that platform and AMD64.

    My sincere thanks, I owe you a lot
    Reply
  • wackypete - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Thanks for putting this article together. Your effort has not gone unnoticed. Reply
  • Howard - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Anybody know what chips it uses? The 5-5-5-15 DDR2-667 variety, that is. Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We still have additional memory selections from a variety of suppliers arriving for further memory reviews at this time. Reply

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