The Memories

OCZ VX is unique in being the only memory available that is rated at 2-2-2 timings at DDR500. The memory is based on Winbond memory chips, most likely CH5 die. The downside is that this level of performance requires a rated 3.3V of memory voltage. The only production motherboards to supply this level of voltage are the new DFI LANParty nF4 SLI-DR and the lower cost sister, DFI LANParty UT nF4 Ultra-D. We reviewed these motherboards in DFI nForce4: SLI and Ultra for Mad Overclockers. We also compared the DFI nF4 SLI-DR to other nF4 SLI boards in nForce4 SLI Roundup: Painful and Rewarding.

The other 3 memories were chosen for comparison because they were top performers in our memory tests and they were representative of a memory chip or class of memory.

The OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev.2 is our Reference test memory. It has been a consistent top performer in Athlon 64 tests and is based on Samsung TCCD chips on a Brainpower PCB. This means that performance of the OCZ should be comparable to the similarly configured G. Skill, Corsair, Mushkin, PDP Patriot, PQI and Geil TCCD, which are generally rated at DDR400, but often perform to DDR600 or higher on the Athlon 64 nF4 platform.

The Corsair TwinX1024-4400C25A is also based on Samsung TCCD and the Brainpower PCB, but it is TCCD specifically binned for high-speed performance. This memory is representative of the performance of the best TCCD rated at DDR500 to DDR550. This memory is not always capable of 2-2-2 performance at DDR400, but the mid- to high-end memory timings are usually very good for TCCD-based memory.

Our final contender is Crucial Ballistix PC3200. The Ballistix is based on Micron chips, and the performance curves are similar to the now-discontinued OCZ EB memory, which was also based on similar Micron chips. After we completed testing, we learned that DFI had been working with Crucial to improve performance of Crucial Ballistix on the DFI nF4 motherboards. Therefore, for best performance of Ballistix, make sure that you are using BIOS version 310 (March 10, 2005) or later.

Index Performance Test Configuration
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  • adg1034 - Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - link

    Wesley- could you do a follow-up with the "Value VX"? I'd love to see how that does.
  • Gogar - Friday, April 15, 2005 - link

    I'm wondering how a 3000+ would perform in the used setup with the OCZ Plat rev2. Assuming it can reach the MHZ, would it really be the same as a 4000+?
  • JoKeRr - Sunday, April 3, 2005 - link

    #50, pretty sure A8N SLI gives Vdimm upto 3V.
  • ISS - Saturday, April 2, 2005 - link

    No doubt OCZ VX memory is cool. However, there is 1 major point to consider which I don't think anandtech did mention.

    Whats the long term effects of pushing running 3.5V on A64. I have read from forums that some users ended up with dead CPUs after pushing high memory voltages. I am not sure but I guess they have a dead memory controller. Can A64's on-die memory controller handle 3.5V Vdimm for prolong periods? Such as 3-6 months or even longer?

    AMD did mention before that running high Vdimm may damage the CPU and void the warranty though. Also, you would have notice that literally all board manufacturers other than DFI limits the Vdimm to just 2.85V.
  • cryptonomicon - Thursday, March 31, 2005 - link

    man, i wish they included a sweet pair of BH-5 in all of their mem tests (one of the 280+ mhz pairs 2225 ~3.3-3.4v) just so i would have a point of reference to all this NEW ram.
  • NotoriousGIB - Thursday, March 31, 2005 - link

    Ohh...last comment was for poster 26.
  • NotoriousGIB - Thursday, March 31, 2005 - link

    Thx for the comment, but I was already aware of that. Wesley, plz post your DRAM & Genie BIOS settings used in this comparison. If there are any other OCZ VX users that have busted 250MHz, please post your settings.
  • Zebo - Thursday, March 31, 2005 - link

    "zebo, i have no idea what you tried to just say "

    Don't worry about it just get the cheapest ram like Buffalo B-line /corsiar value and you'll be just fine. All this stuff is overated, overpriced and for competitive benchmarkers only.
  • ozzimark - Thursday, March 31, 2005 - link

    i've been through 4 sticks of ballistix. all of them can make it to 245mhz at 2.5-2-2-5, which is the limit of my memory controller. i think inconsistancy is a thing of the past now.

    i would try to prove you wrong on your second point, but i'd need a new cpu for that :(
  • Teetu - Thursday, March 31, 2005 - link

    is there anyway I get anand's complete settings for the ballistix ram?

    i know with the older bios DFI recommended bank interleave off, but has that changed with the 3/10 bios?

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