OCZ Special Ops. Urban Elite Memory Review

Introduction

OCZ are one of the world’s most well established names for memory manufacture in the world. They have produced ground breaking products in the past such as the old VX DDR memory and more recently the first stock supplied water cooled ram. Today however,I have with me something aimed at somewhere other than the enthusiast market, the gamers. The Special Ops. Urban Elite may look combat ready, but does it have what it takes when under hostile fire? Lets find out.

A Little About OCZ

Entering the memory market in August 2000, OCZ Technology was built around the determination to manufacture the best high speed DDR and RDRAM. OCZ was founded by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, and our commitment to the end-user has not digressed. OCZ Technology has been an innovator in many areas. We were the first manufacturer to make Dual Channel optimized memory available to the public, which originally took advantage of nVidia’s Twinbank or Dual DDR architecture, found in their nForce chipset. We have now taken that technology and tailored it for the Canterwood, and Granite Bay chipset’s. OCZ developed and was the first to implement ULN technology, which has been a critical element in our manufacturing process for some time. We at OCZ diligently work to improve communication with CPU and motherboard chipset manufacturers prior to the release of their products. Only in this manner can we fine-tune our memory’s SPD settings, ensuring a synergistic relationship between the memory module, memory controller, and microprocessor. In today’s rapidly evolving semiconductor industry, such communication is not simply research, but a necessary component of our manufacturing process.

OCZ’s Take on the Special Ops Kit

Serious gamers put heavy bandwidth requirements on their memory, and put a premium on both superior performance and dependability. Featuring ultra-low 4-4-3 timings, the new OCZ Special Ops Edition (SOE) Urban Elite is ultimate balance of speed, reliability, and high capacity, making them an ideal solution for gamers.

This new line of limited edition OCZ memory features a distinctive urban camouflage motif heatspreader and a price tag that has an edge over competitors.

SOE Urban Elite 2GB (2x1024MB) dual channel kits are the ultimate memory upgrade for the latest graphic-intensive PC games, such as Battlefield 2, Half Life 2, Doom 3, and Quake 4, which deliver the best end-user experience with 2GB+ of memory.

All Special Ops Edition modules are 100% hand-tested for quality assurance and compatibility and feature high quality XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreaders for the most effective heat dissipation. Furthermore, each OCZ SOE module is backed by the industry leading OCZ Lifetime Warranty and technical support for unparalleled peace of mind.

Specifications

800MHz DDR2
CL 4-4-3-15 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
Available in 1GB modules and 2GB (2X1024) dual channel optimized kits
Unbuffered
Urban Camo Motif XTC Heatspreader
Lifetime Warranty
1.9 – 2.1 Volts
240 Pin DIMM

Features

OCZ Enhanced Latency Technology
2.2V EVP – OCZ’s unique Extended Voltage Protection feature allows PC2-6400 modules to handle voltages up to 2.2V ±5% and still be covered by our Lifetime Warranty.

Bits and Box

The Special Ops. kit comes in the typical orange OCZ blister pack with some features and specs on the front, and OCZ’s achievments and awards from review sites and magazines on the back.

Special Ops Pack

Special Ops Pack Back

Urban Elite Modules

These modules use OCZ’s relatively new honey combed heatspreaders with the fetching “Z” logo on them. These particular sticks though, being Special Ops. edition, feature camo colours instead of the usual gold that OCZ uses. This gives them a very different look from their other modules, some will like it some won’t, its going to be purely down to personal taste.

OCZ Special Ops Modules

OCZ Headspreader

OCZ Heatspreaders

OCZ always have a sticker on each module detailing the specs which I always like. Nothing more annoying than having to install memory just to find out its specifications.

There are no extras with a kit like this, so after the whistle stop tour around the aesthetics, it’s onto the testing.

Testing

For this testing I ran several benchmarks with the memory running at different frequencies to show what kind of speeds and scores can be achieved by the memory at its stock speed and when it is overclocked. The tests that were run were: 3dMark01, SuperPI (Mod 1.5), Sandra Bandwitdh test, Everest Read and Write and for a gaming benchmark I used the F.E.A.R demo. Each test was run 3 times at each different speed and the average of the scores was taken to acheive a true score.

Scores Explained

Everest read and write are score based, as is 3dMark01 and the Sandra tests. SuperPi is measured in seconds and F.E.A.R is measured in Frames Per Second (FPS). In the F.E.A.R results the FPS correspond to: lowest frame rate, average frame rate and highest frame rate respectively. Unfortunately you cannot lock the CPU frequency so when raising the FSB the CPU speed will increase therefore slightly affecting the 3dMark, SuprePi and F.E.A.R results.

Test Rig

Core 2 Duo E6600
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
Sapphire x1900XT
Hiper TypeR 580w PSU (Rear 90mm Exhaust fan removed).
The case is a SLK3800B-UK

Stock Results

Small OC Results

High OC Results

High OC Results

Overclocking

I have to admit, I hoped I would get a little more than 920mhz out of these modules. I have seen other reviewers hit much bigger OCs. However, 120mhz overclock is still a 15% overclock which is hardly something to scoff at. I imagine with slightly higher voltages and a bit of active cooling I could have pushed them a bit harder.

Price

The cheapest I could find this kit for was around the £185 mark. Not the cheapest around considering the specs, but certainly not one of the more expensive sets. These modules come out as pretty good value for money for that much.

Conclusion

These modules epitomise everything that OCZ prides themselves on; they look good, overclock nicely and give you some solid performance. Admitedly they are not the best overclocking kit around, but since they are aimed at gamers (A group notorious for staying stock) this is hardly a big deal. The price is also nothing too hectic, so if you are in the market for a 2gb DDR2 kit, and you fancy having a gamer kit with the overclockability of enthusiast modules, then look no further than the OCZ Special Ops. Urban Elite.

ProsCons
Looks GoodExpected higher overclock
Reasonable overclockabilityNot the cheapest around
Affordable
Quite tight timings for DDR2

I’d like to thank our sponsors OCZ for providing us with the memory.

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