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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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Erm... onboard sound isn't "legacy". As for the others, the instant you release something without floppy support, someone is going to want to install an OS that needs drivers on a floppy (XP). I still find BIOS updates to be far more successful when done from a floppy as well. Give it another year and the floppy might truly start to disappear; we just need better support for USB storage devices. Reply
  • Makaveli - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Could u elaborate little more on the painful part of going from the AMD system to the conroe. Reply
  • rjm55 - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    What they said in the recommendations was pretty clear: "Most of our Reference systems have been based on AMD/AM2 for the last couple of years. To be honest, going back to some of those same systems after our Conroe testing, the differences are more obvious and painful than you might think. Conroe is clearly the faster platform - and not by small, barely measurable differences."

    They said it was painful going back to the slower AMD systems for some testing after working with all these Conroe boards.
    Reply
  • phusg - Thursday, July 20, 2006 - link

    I think Makaveli's point is how is is slower? Gaming, switching apps, overall? I'm interested in some elaboration on this point too. Reply
  • mine - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    missed the abit ab 9 pro
    only 965 board so far that showed some improvements in real wotld apps. over the 975.

    but great review so far ...wait for more ..
    Reply
  • Gary Key - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    We really wanted to include the Abit AB9 Pro, however we did not have time to fully test the latest bios that unlocks the memory timings. We did not feel it would be fair to the readers or Abit to publish numbers until we had a shipping bios for review. I will not go through another a review of system with a bios that is not going to be released. ;-) We will post a follow up once we have concluded our testing. Reply
  • DeathSniper - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    On page 3:
    quote:

    However, the P5W-DH only extends to 2.4V compared to the 2.5V on the M2N32-SLI and granularity of the adjustments is a pretty course 0.5V compared to 0.2V on the M2N32-SLIl.


    I'm thinking you wanted to use 'coarse'? :D
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Our grammar checking software needs an education :D Fixed. Reply
  • archcommus - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Once again you guys continue to impress me. Can't think of another site that delivers this much (and this high quality) content.

    Thanks for keeping us informed!
    Reply
  • vmsein - Wednesday, July 19, 2006 - link

    Hello gentlemen and thanks for the informative article. Could you let us know which BIOS version was used for testing on the P5W-DH? Thanks in advance! Reply

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