has had a pretty rough ride in recent years when it comes to customer satisfaction. As a company, they've received a fair amount of flak over their business practices, and this has reflected poorly for them in their reseller rating.
Although I have never dealt with OCZ much in the past, I do know that in the past twelve months, they've gone through some restructuring, and they are working very hard to clean up their image within the community. This hasn't been very easy on their part, as a lot of people don't seem willing to give them much of a chance to redeem themselves. There's a new management team, and I can vouch for them that they work late into the nights, constantly improving on their products.
Today, OCZ is making a push to bring their products to the enthusiasts. What I mean is anybody can market PC2700 ram for the regular consumer, but the target audience OCZ is aiming for have much higher demands. Enthusiasts want fast ram, JEDEC specifications be damned, with aggressive memory timings, lower CAS latency, and good performance.
Today, we're going to be looking at such a product, their . No, this is not their top-of-the-line PC3700 ram, but rather, this ram is specifically designed for the DualDDR platforms such as the nForce2 and Intel's Granite Bay. Knowing that, the PC3500 model we'll be reviewing is the 512MB kit, and it's the top speed rating in their Dual Channel series.
ULN Technology: (U)ltra (L)ow (N)oise shielded PCB
Copper Heat Spreaders
512MB ( 256MB x 2 modules) or 1024MB(512MB x 2 modules) kits based on OCZ brand EL DDR IC (4.5 ns)
217 (434) MHz*- may require async mode
Optimized for dual channel operation
184 Pin Dimm
In case you're wondering about the asterix(s), here's what they have to say about it on their site…
Based on dual module load at 2.5 volts +/- 5% DIMM Voltage. Certain chipsets/motherboards may allow faster timings Due to chipset and motherboard diferences on a non JEDEC standard product Make sure to check our motherboard qualification page for the exact information for your motherboard. OCZ Dual Channel optimized EL DDR modules are rated to handle up to 2.8 volts with heatspreader installed.
Basically, they're telling you that you will be able to do those speeds, or not, depending on the motherboard you use. Since most enthusiasts will have a premium motherboard, I doubt this will be a major problem.
One thing that is tricky with memory reviews is that many reviewers will receive either hand picked (more on this later), or engineering samples, we received actual retail samples from . I am basically telling you that the performance of our modules should realistically reflect the performance you can expect if you pick some up.
Dual Channel - Huh?
I covered this quite extensively in our Corsair TWINX review, but in summary, both the nForce2 and Intel's Granite Bay are DualDDR platforms. What this means is that for the best performance out of, let's say, your nForce2, you are better off with two 256MB sticks of ram, rather than going with one stick of 512MB. DualDDR is effectively a 128-bit interface with two 64-bit controllers working together. Latency is lowered as well by this method. Think of this scenario: The first controller can be gathering information, while the second controller is publishing it. Basically, both hands are working independently of one another, while still working towards the same end result. Therefore, latency is effectively cut in half.
Next Page - The PC3500 Dual Channel EL Kit