When building yourself a gaming rig there are several names you think of when it comes to buying the memory; Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin among some. However the one name that has always stood out for me in terms of performance and style is OCZ. They have recently sent me their lovely 2GB EB PC3700 kit for me to test, lets see if this kit lives upto their already sterling reputation.
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 PC-3700 EB Platinum Kit
The new OCZ PC-3700 2GB Platinum Edition featuring Enhanced Bandwidth Technology allows for improved memory bandwidth and stability over existing 1GB modules and was developed for the unique needs of gamers and enthusiasts. The PC-3700 Platinum XTC is the ultimate memory solution for contemporary graphic-intensive PC titles and provides unsurpassed reliability and performance to unleash every graphic possibility.
The new OCZ EB PC-3700 1024MB Platinum Edition utilizes the latest OCZ heatspreader design. XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) Heatspreaders allow increased ventilation and heat dissipation due to an innovative honeycomb design providing more direct access to the actual memory ICs.
As part of the award winning OCZ Platinum series, the PC-3700 1024MB XTC edition is built with leading edge technology designed and qualified with special selection of premium components to maximize performance when playing even the most demanding graphics intensive games. At DDR466, these 1GB modules turn out heart-pounding 3-3-2 timings with flawless performance and stability.
OCZ PC-3700 products are 100% hand-tested to ensure compliance with stringent quality standards. In addition, each member of the OCZ Platinum XTC PC-3700 family is backed by an industry-leading lifetime warranty, toll-free technical support and the exclusive EVP (Extended Voltage Protection) coverage.
With its ultra-fast performance, high quality and reliability, the OCZ PC-3700 1024MB Platinum XTC edition is a perfect memory upgrade for memory-hungry enthusiast and gaming rig
Specifications of the PC-3700 EB Platinum Kit
|CL 3-3-2-8 |
|Also available in a 1gb Module|
|Mirrored Platinum XTC Heatspreader*|
|184 Pin DIMM|
As normal when receiving a product from OCZ I was rather excited. Would this kit top it in my opinions over my much cherished 1gb VX kit? As you can see below we have the memory modules held nicely in the typically colourful OCZ blister pack. Each module is nicely secured between plastic holdings with some nice markting phrases all over the front.
On the back we have a spec and feature list accompanied with the logos and review quotes of some of the larger review sites.
After popping out the modules themselves you can see what these modules actually look like. As you can see, they both sport the legendary OCZ “Z” honey combed ram sink covers. These sinks are supposed to aid in the cooling of the ram at high frequencies and high voltages. There is a debate among most hardware know-it-alls about how effective ram sinks actually are, but I personally would not touch a kit unless it had sinks fitted.
Both modules also have the typical stickers giving you their specifications.
Something I did notice while handling these modules was how light they are. The new heatspreaders have really dropped a lot of weight since the old sink covers that were on the revered VX range.
Since there isn’t a lot tomuch else to say about the ram modules, we can move straight along to the testing.
The test rig for these tests was as follows:
DFI Lanparty SLI-DR
XFX 6600 256mb running at 425/518
Hiper TypeR 580w
The tests I ran were as follows:
SuperPi Mod 1.4
Sisoft Sandra Memory Bandwidth
Fear Gaming Benchmark
I performed these tests with the ram running with different timings and at different frequencies to see how well the sticks perform.
NB. During these tests I was suffering from motherboard stability problems so when reading these results please bare in mind that this may have effected the results.
As you can see from the graph shown above I was able to overclock the memory/cpu by 20mhz, but was only just able to hit the state 225 speeds that the memory should reach since it is PC3700. You can also see that tightening the timings did very little but increasing the memory speed in terms of bandwidth lowered the times by a fair ammount.
Everest Read test next. The one didn’t go as well as I was unable to make the test run at anything over 220FSB. Even pushing the voltage to 2.9v didn’t do anything to improve this.
It is also plain to see how tightening the timings improved things a little, but again it was a win for increasing the memory bandwidth.
Everest Write test. Again I couldn’t get the ram to hit 225, but 220 seemed fine. Also, yet again the increase in memory bandwidth pulled the highest score here.
FEAR’s own gaming benchmark was used here as a real world test situation.
Now, onto the cooler itself. This Jetart model is a bit special. As I said before, Jetart have used this model to move away from their traditional cooler style, and have added some wonderful little innovations that I have yet to see elsewhere. Here tightening the timings did the most in upping the average FPS, but only by a little.
Well what can I say, not the best overclocking kit OCZ have ever produced by a long shot. Its a shame my motherboard was playing up as I would have liked to have pushed these modules harder, and I am sure with a more stable system they could go slightly beyond what they are stated to do. Throughout the tests I tried tightenting the timimgs as much as I could, but as the results show they did not make much of a difference. However it is interesting to see that in a real world game test the timimgs played more of a part than the badnwidth, which was the opposite in the synthetic tests.
Also, due to the stability problems I have reverted to my VX kit which seems to sit more comfortably than the EB kit. However, in terms of performance they were getting close to VX kit, so who knows what will be in my next rig.
|Good performance||Quite expensive|
|Good cooling performance||Not as overclockable as other OCZ modules|