OCZ PC3200 Gold: "Value BH5"

When OCZ submitted three different memories for this Value RAM roundup, we first thought it was overkill and an attempt to hijack the roundup. However, as we looked closer at the three memories and the benchmark results with all 3, it is clear that these are memories aimed at 3 different market segments. While all three meet our requirement of costing less than $200 for a Gigabyte, the PC3200 Premier is the more traditional Value RAM that will work on almost any motherboard. The second OCZ memory, PC3200 Gold, will appeal to the enthusiast - particularly those enthusiasts who foam at the mouth over OCZ VX at 3.6V.

OCZ PC3200 Gold is sold as a 1 GB kit with two 512MB DIMMs at a price of about $195. That is where the Value designation ends because this value memory is rated at 2-2-2-5 timings and uses BH5 memory chips that have miraculously risen from their memory grave. OCZ referred to PC3200 Gold as Value BH5 and tells us that they are built with currently available BH5 chips from Winbond, which are manufactured on the old BH5 dies. Those of you who may wonder why BH5 is a memory legend have only to look at our test results to see why this is the case.

Fitting the Gold name, OCZ uses gold-colored heatspreaders on the 3200 Gold. Memory chips are Winbond BH5 based on old memory dies.

Specifications

OCZ PC3200 Gold is the only memory in the Value RAM roundup to be rated at 2-2-2-5 timings.

 OCZ PC3200 Gold (DDR400) Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
DIMM Size
Total Memory
512 MB
1GB
Rated Timings 2-2-2-5 at DDR400
SPD (Auto) Timings 2-3-2-5
Rated Voltage 2.6V

The SPD is set for "auto" timings to 2-3-2-5. To achieve full 2-2-2 timings, you need to adjust memory timings in BIOS. This is the first opportunity that we have had to test BH5 with high memory voltages. The DFI nForce4 SLI has adjustments to 4.0V in BIOS, so we were able to see for ourselves if the BH5 legends were really true.

Test Results

3.4V is hardly the kind of voltages available on most motherboards - particularly those boards that might use Value RAM. To get this kind of voltage, you need a production DFI nForce4 board - Ultra at about $133 or SLI for $184 to $215. You can also achieve these voltages on many motherboards with an OCZ DDR Booster at about $40. What you can do with voltage and BH5, however, is amazing.

OCZ PC3200 Gold (DDR400) - 2 x 512Mb Double-Bank
CPU Ratio at 2.4GHz Memory
Speed
Memory Timings
& Voltage
Quake3
fps
Sandra UNBuffered Sandra Standard
Buffered
Super PI 2M places
(time in sec)
Wolfenstein - Radar - Enemy Territory fps
12x200 400 DDR 2-2-2-6
2.6V 1T
568.9 INT 2984
FLT 2960
INT 6100
FLT 6095
81 120.0
11x218 436 DDR 2-2-2-6
2.8V 1T
580.0 INT 3053
FLT 3132
INT 6486
FLT 6413
81 122.3
10x240 480 DDR 2-2-2-6
3.1V 1T
596.7 INT 3234
FLT 3241
INT 6731
FLT 6769
80 124.6
11x255
(2.8GHz)
Highest CPU/Mem Performance
510 DDR
2-2-2-7
3.4V 1T
636.5 INT 3359
FLT 3517
INT 7575
FLT 7493
69 133.5
To be considered stable for test purposes, Quake3 benchmark, UT2003 Demo, Super PI, Aquamark 3, and Comanche 4 had to complete without incident. Any of these, and in particular Super PI, will crash a less-than stable memory configuration.

The original BH5 was great up to about DDR450 at decent timings. Above that, it quickly gave out of range - or at least we thought it did in those days. It appears that BH5 with voltage allows 2-2-2 timings to be maintained to levels over DDR500. Frankly, for most users searching for Value RAM, this OCZ PC3200 Gold should be considered as very good and useful to about DDR450 to DDR460, at voltages of 2.9V and lower with very good 2-2-2 to 2.5-3-2 timings. Mad overclockers can consider this an incredible bargain. Feed this value BH5 the voltage and it will deliver at 2-2-2 timings. If you have one of the DFI nForce4 boards, this is one of the memories that can show off what high memory voltage can do.

We have found Aida benchmarks to be very useful in examining read/write performance and memory latency. Aida 32 is now available as Everest Home Edition, a free download from www.lavalys.com.

OCZ PC3200 Gold (DDR400) 2x512Mb Double-Bank
Everest 1.51
CPU Ratio at 2.4GHz Memory Speed Memory Timings
& Voltage
Everest READ
MB/s
Everest WRITE
MB/s
Everest Latency
ns
12x200 400 DDR 2-2-2-6
2.6V 1T
5892 2027 45.8
11x218 436 DDR 2-2-2-6
2.8V 1T
6275 2135 43.4
10x240 480 DDR 2-2-2-6
3.1V 1T
6803 2323 39.5
11x255
(2.8GHz)
Highest CPU/Mem Performance
510 DDR
2-2-2-7
3.4V 1T
7268 2460 37.0

Maintaining a constant CPU Speed of 2.4GHz and constant memory timings of 2-2-2, we measured the impact of increasing the Memory Speed from 200 to 240, a 20% increase. Both Memory Read and Memory Write performance increased by about 15%, while Latency improved by a similar 14%. This translated into improvement in game FPS from 4% to 5% at a constant CPU speed.

OCZ PC3200 Value Series: "Value VX" Transcend JM366D643A-50
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  • 2cpuminimum - Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - link

    I have to agree that a value ram analysis would be more useful if it checked stability of less well known brands, such as memory pro. Also it would be useful to review sodimm ram 512MB modules, as many budget laptops come with scanty ram and it is usually cheaper to add it aftermarket than buy more from the manufacturer. Reply
  • Pjotr - Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - link

    Oh, I forgot, the package does say it has EVP! Reply
  • Pjotr - Wednesday, May 4, 2005 - link

    "If you are interested in the OCZ Value VX, note the differences in the two part numbers, one with a "W" and one without.
    Value VX = OCZ4001024WV3DC-K
    2.5-3-3-7 (picture) Supports EVP (Extended Voltage Protection)

    Value = OCZ4001024V3DC-K
    3-4-4-8 Does not Support EVP"

    I bought the OCZ Value 2x512 RAM with 3-4-4-8 timings for $115 at Fry's, so basically I got fooled at that price?

    I have this setup: DFI nF4 SLI-D, X800XL, Winchester 3000+.

    I've tried this RAM and it won't run at CAS2 at all, I think, I need to do some more work. I've tried 3.0 to 3.2 V in general. I do get it to run 2.5-3-3-8 up to about 240 MHz, from there I need to relax to 2.5-4-3-8 and I then hit 250 quite stable, 255 SuperPI stable but not 3DMark stable.

    I'm a bit disappointed now... any hints? Shouldn't I be able to get better timings at 240-250 MHz too? The memory chips are marked OCZ, not blank. Don't know exact markings right now.
    Reply
  • Baldeagle76 - Friday, April 29, 2005 - link

    Edit I am an idiot and don't know how to read page 2. Thanks for a good article. Do compliments from idiots count ? As far as the voltages go I was happy to see what it "could" handle if this is not anything that I would ever do in my motherboard, the curiousity inside me found this interesting. I thank you for pushing the ram to the limit because in the long run I think the ram that tolerates that type of voltage would have an advantage in OC'ing. I was very curious about the posts earlier saying that you can keep your Ram at ddr400 (effective) and increase your FSB and have no asynchronous lag. This probably isn't the place for that discussion but I nonetheless was very interested in this information. Maybe a review of that is in order for the next Ram test if you have the time ?
    Reply
  • Baldeagle76 - Friday, April 29, 2005 - link

    I have a question. After reading this article I went to NEW EGG to look up the current prices of RAM. Specifically I was looking for the prices on the Value VX ram. Sadly, I did not find anything that fit this description. I don't know if it because I don't know what I am looking for. In None of the titles of the RAM did they mention Value VX. Value was mentioned but how do I know if it is the VX or not? Also looked for the OCZ value BH5 and again I am not sure if I don't know what to look for or if they are out of stock because I didn't see any. It might be helpful for consumers making purchases based off of the articles on Anandtech to include the manufacturer part number so we know whether or not we are getting the same thing reviewed or not. Maybe you could help me out with this because I was looking at getting some of this 512x2 for a second machine i am building but would definetly want the stuff reviewed and not stuff I don't know how good it is. Just including the manufacturer part number would be very helpful in this regard, especially for ram.
    Reply
  • Baldeagle76 - Friday, April 29, 2005 - link

    Reply
  • alexXx - Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - link

    wow, honestly now. For a reputable website, why is it that the level of english used in this article could be bested by a 4th grader.
    YOU CANNOT pluralize 'memory' If you want to refer to more than one you use 'pieces of memory' or 'memory sticks'. Also when you say 'the memories' you can bloody just say 'the memory'. It is not a hard concept. Would you see this in a newspaper? NO. Same should go for online articles.
    Reply
  • wakeboarder3 - Tuesday, April 19, 2005 - link

    I just got some of this ram, 2 gigs after reading the review "0CZ4001024WV3DC-K" And all I can say is WOW!!!!! 2-2-2-11 @2.9 220 X 11 on my 2500m/ABIT
    And for $115 a gig. Runs better then my old bh-5
    Reply
  • CanadianDoc - Monday, April 18, 2005 - link

    #93 As Wesley said in the opening paragraph, the PURPOSE of this RAM review is to help the reader find the combination of components yielding the best overall "system performance" for the money.

    That's the Big Picture that you need to keep in mind.

    In that context, the combination of Crucial Ballistix RAM, a DFI nF4 mobo, and a Venice 3200+ CPU at 10 x 280 MHz is a very attractive one, in terms of system speed versus cost.

    Of course, "system performance" can include other things than just speed, such as fault tolerance, noise, heat, portability, availability, etc.

    I happen to value low noise as well as high speed, which is why I suggested the other components, too. I simply hope that my comments give other readers a few ideas of their own.

    And that's the point of these forums, isn't it?
    Reply
  • JoKeRr - Sunday, April 17, 2005 - link

    #92 this is a ram review.

    wesley: it's interesting to see that the new BH-5, tccd, Micron rev.g, and UTT chip, at 2-2-2-5 timing ddr400, they never reached over 3k on sandra unbuffered test. However, going back to the old P4 2.4C test bed, Mushkin and OCZ 3500 BH-5 running at ddr400 2-2-2-5 had over 3.1k each.

    Guess the old BH-5 is still faster than the new one.
    Reply

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