Final Words

There 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!

Highest Performance
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  • Lymphatik - Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - link

    Hi I would like to know if u think that thoose dimms could be enough cooled by a 120 mm fan in extraction and a 120 mm fan from a power suply

    Because i would like to put thoose dimm in antec Sonata and as it's a small case i don't know if i will have enough space to put a fan
    Reply
  • Lymphatik - Wednesday, March 30, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • OCedHrt - Thursday, March 24, 2005 - link

    Figured it out, seems like the cpu speed plays a role here. 2.25 ghz maxes out at 6600-6700. 2.34 gets 6900-7000. I wonder if going even higher will set a new bandwidth record. Reply
  • OCedHrt - Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - link

    Hmm, I can't seem to duplicate the results here and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I have 2 sticks of pc3200 ocz vx and a dfi ultra (non-sli). I have the ram running at ddr500 at 2-2-6-2 T1 @3.3v and sandra reports a bandwidth of 6000-6100. The weird part is that sandra reports a timing of 2T but if I drop the timing from 1T to 2T in the bios, the results drop to 5700 so I'm pretty sure 1T is enabled. Any ideas? Reply
  • zumbi9in - Saturday, March 19, 2005 - link

    I would like you to help me with a MotherBoard/RAM question.



    I’m about to buy a DFI Lanparty NFORCE 4 Ultra MB with 2 GB of RAM.

    This machine will be for audio sampling and recording, and some gaming too J



    I’m worried if it can run 2 GB of RAM at DDR400, I don’t know if it will drop the memory speed with this config.



    I would like to buy 4x512 KINGSTON PC3200 ULTRA LL 2-2-2-5, but as they are double sided, maybe they will run at DDR333

    The 2nd option would be 2x1024 of OCZ memory PC 3200 3-3-3-7 OCZ4001024PF, is its performance good with this latency?



    I have searched lots of forums and didn’t find a final word about this issue.



    What would be the best performance choice? Do you think it can work?



    Thank you very much,

    Alexandre Zumbi.
    Reply
  • Rand - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • ozzimark - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    #60-

    iirc, the dfi was tuned for tccd and bh-5/vx.
    other stuff that overclocks somewhat does terribly on the dfi, that includes ballistix's micron 5b-g chips.
    Reply
  • L3p3rM355i4h - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    hmm...good performance, but also a lot of questions. How well does ballistix do on the mobo? Reply
  • Quanticles - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    For everyone hung up on the on-board memory controller...

    The motherboard will make a difference for the on-board memory controller, not because of the chipset, but due to the characteristics of the routing. The type of material used, the thickness and width of the copper traces, and how well the traces are matched in length, will all make a huge difference in signal integrity. Even differences in what layers of the board you route to make a difference, and what power plains they're coupled against are. The list goes on...

    DFI put a lot more effort into their routing, and it makes a significant difference.
    Reply
  • slashbinslashbash - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    #56 - Wow. Thanks for pointing this out. This review is bogus. I hope that you cc'd Mr. Shimpi on that e-mail. Reply

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