OCZ VX Memory + DFI nForce4 = DDR533 at 2-2-2by Wesley Fink on March 4, 2005 6:45 AM EST
- Posted in
Final WordsThere is some interesting creative thinking going on at OCZ these days. OCZ threw CAS out the window and brought us their EB, or Enhanced Bandwidth, memory. Now, we see the standard JEDEC voltage of 2.6V (or 2.5V from the past) thrown out the window with VX, or eXtended Voltage, memory taking its place. Breaking rules is one way of making performance gains in this industry, but it only matters if the results justify the rule-bending. EB proved to be a great performer, and now OCZ VX extends the envelope even further. If I sound excited, it is because I am. The new OCZ EL PC4000 VX Gold is a mouthful of a name and a pot-load of new performance records.
Some of you may recall in the last days of BH5 memory last year that BH5 actually performed faster than the new Samsung TCCD at the exact same memory timings. This is a pattern that we have seen before, but OCZ 4000 VX Gold blows the hinges off the door of this concept. What can you say about a memory that outperforms the fastest memory that you have previously tested, except "wow"? What replaces "wow" when you realize that OCZ VX running at DDR533 outperforms the previous best running at DDR610? There are no superlatives that really do justice to this kind of performance. We are absolutely blown away with the performance of the OCZ DDR500 VX.
Across the board from DDR400 to DDR538, VX manages to perform with stability in all our benchmarks at 2-2-2-6 timings. In addition, it is faster at the same timings than any memory that we have tested so far. This is why DDR533 outperforms the top TCCD memory - even those specially binned for highest-speed performance. We would also add that we did try slower timings to see where we could go, but this memory is very interesting in its performance curves. It can do, at 2-2-2 at high voltage, essentially the same as the highest OC at lower timings at any voltage. This is another way of saying that there is absolutely no reason to run VX at any timings other than 2-2-2 - unless you simply don't have the voltage to reach 2-2-2 performance.
This brings us to the handicap with VX, and it will be a huge one for many users. VX requires high voltage to stand out from crowd - voltages not generally available on standard motherboards. You will need to start about 3.0V and extend to at least 3.5V to 3.6V to get the most from VX memory. The good news is that OCZ still provides a lifetime warranty on VX even if you run it all day long at 3.5V.
The new DFI nForce4 motherboards, both Ultra and SLI, supply voltages at stock to 4.0V. They are a very good match to VX and will take VX to whatever heights it can reach in your setup. If you have a board that you love or you're thinking of one without these extreme voltage ranges, then you can still feed VX what it needs with the OCZ DDR Booster, but you will give up a DIMM slot (translate to pair in dual-channel) to run the DDR Booster. At least there are options available, and for many enthusiasts, it will be worth the effort to find a way to use VX.
In the end, OCZ VX Gold is the best performing memory that we have tested on the Athlon 64 platform. At the same speed and same timings, it significantly outperforms any other memory that we have tested on A64. VX does not run at the fastest memory speeds that we have found in our benchmarks - quite a few memories based on Samsung TCCD or Hynix memory chips reach significantly higher speeds than the DDR538 of OCZ VX Gold. However, at DDR534 2-2-2-6 timings, no memory that we have tested outperforms VX. VX is so fast that 533 actually outperforms memory that have achieved DDR600 or more in our memory tests.
If you are a raving enthusiast, you will have to have OCZ VX memory. If you are considering a DFI nForce4 purchase, then VX should be at the top of your memory list. If you want top performance, then you should at least consider OCZ Gold VX even if it requires a DDR Booster to run. Yes, OCZ PC4000 VX Gold is that good!