As Microsoft's Vista becomes more and more the OS to "build for", there has been an increase of 2GB kits being reviewed. So much so, it is rare we at VL even get asked to look at a 1GB kit. If you are building a machine to run Ubuntu or Fedora or even an XGL based Linux, 1GB is more then enough, unfortunately that is not the case for Vista.
Our latest sticks come to us via Patriot and sport a PC2-6400 sticker on them, they also have this nifty little stamp "RoHS Compliant", while not a big deal (yet) in the US, in European countries, without it, it means you can't even sell it. The most important aspect that I can see of RoHS Compliance, is that the gear must be built without any lead whatsoever. There are obviously more requirements, however this is not the place to get into those.
We have seen Patriot Memory grace the pages of VL before, and they have always performed to specifications if not beyond. While we are talking about specifications, lets see what the latest offering is for these Patriot sticks:
As mentioned, Patriot has graced the pages of Viperlair a few times previous, and they have shown to be an absolute alternative to the major brands (while quickly becoming one of the major brands themselves). This is the first pair of sticks I have received from Patriot that are marked "Extreme Performance" for a DDR2 solution.
The modules arrive packed well without too much over-packaging, they have black aluminum heat spreaders that look downright sex-ah. Peeking inside, we see that Patriot is using ELPIDA chips. While information is scarce on these chips, I was able to find out that the chips are rated at 667MHz with a latency of 5-5-5-15, however, this was at 1.8V. PDP Systems gathers these chips and pairs performance together, then puts them through a battery of tests. The ones that can withstand these tests at 800MHz 4-4-4-12 then become their PC2-6400 line. These chips are run at 2.2V. In fact, launching CPUz and inspecting the SPD tab, we see this output...
A quick overview if you don't already know, DDR-II memory is identified using PC2 instead of just PC in its speed rating. The Patriot modules I am testing today are PC2-6400, you can take this as being equal to 800MHz.
Patriot 2GB Kit
Super Talent 2GB kit
For comparison, I will be sampling previously tested Super Talent 2GB kit (PC2-6400) at stock speeds. Without further ado, here is the test bed:
Asus P5W DH Deluxe
Samsung 250GB 7200RPM SATA-II
Intel E6400 (C2D 2.13GHz)
Asus A55G 550W PSU
Patriot Extreme Performance (2.2V) (4-4-4-12)
Super Talent (2.2V) (4-3-4-8)
When you set them next to each other (the CL values) you can see some advantages going to Super Talent, we will see if this plays out through the testing phase. Because these are both PC2-6400, I went ahead and raised the baseline to 800MHz, where they are both rated for. Therefore our numbers might be higher then what you are accustom to seeing, just keep in mind, this E6400 is running at an impressive 3.2GHz.
SiSoft Sandra 2005.SR2
TMPGenc Plus 2.5
SiSoft Sandra 2005
Although a synthetic benchmark, it's a popular one, freely available if you wish to make comparison benchmarks. We will be testing the memory speeds at stock 3.2GHz speeds as well as 4.0GHz OC'd
While the Super Talent kit holds a slight advantage here, it isn't surprising as the timings are slightly better. Overclocking the Patriot memory does result in 4% to 5% improvement over stock speeds as well as putting it past Super Talent.
A good indicator of CPU/Motherboard performance is PiFast version 4.3, by Xavier Gourdon. We used a computation of 10000000 digits of Pi, Chudnovsky method, 1024 K FFT, and no disk memory. Note that lower scores are better, and times are in seconds.
While it is close, Super Talent does slightly outperform the Patriot Kit. Apparently those tighter timings are an advantage in more then just the synthetics. Overclocking the Patriot memory does result in 5.76% improvement over stock speeds as well as putting it past Super Talent. In this case, clock speeds help a little more.
TMPGEnc MPEG Encoding
Video encoding is a taxing chore, both on Memory and Processor, we will be encoding a 500mb + VOB file to MPEG2. For the VOB to MPEG2 I used a bit rate of 5000k/Sec, as this is the midrange for a DVD, which is typically between 1000k/Sec to 10,000k/Sec. I used a frame size of 720x480 (DVD Std) and 16:9 NTSC. Note that lower scores are better.
Patriot performs very well here, and with the test within a couple of seconds of each other on this large of a encode, I would call this a virtual tie.
Making the CPU / Memory / Hard Drive earn their pay in this test, we can see that Patriot is just as efficient as Super Talent is here.
Initially I thought I was going to have a problem getting above the rated speed of 800MHz, with Patriot already "juicing" the sticks to get there. I was able to obtain a solid 850MHz clock on the memory (50Mhz over stock). I did have to loosen the timings up a bit and being that I am already at 2.2V, I am not comfortable going beyond that. So how does Patriot OC stack up:
Patriot exceeded my expectations, getting all of the way to 850MHz, while I had to loosen the timings to 5-6-6-18 to get there. The performance increase is negligible (~5%) however it is nice to know that 800MHz is not the top of the rung for this memory. Just to make sure I had not hit the maximum of my E6400, I took the memory off of 1:1 and put the FSB to 450MHz (900MHz if 1:1) and the CPU ran solid.
While the 1GB versus. 2GB debate is over (with 2GB Kit winning) the debate on the sticks you want to use is not. Many of today's games (BF2 and BF2142 come to mind) almost demand 2GB and with Vista pounding at your door, it has become a must.
While not the fastest kid on the block, you will be hard set to find faster at Patriots price point, nor with the look you want in that windowed case. Still, the timings at stock speeds do hurt the performance a little when compared to lower latency parts.
Overclocking was decent, impressive that they could stretch beyond 800MHz @ 4-4-4-12 but none the less, very little gained by doing so.
Patriot once again brings a solid competitor to the market space, giving the consumer a nice alternative to the well known brands that also looks good while doing it with the all black heat spreaders! Another underrated feature is the warranty. Patriot offers a lifetime warranty which is a nice security measure for peace of mind.
If you have any questions or comments on this or other articles here at Viper Lair, then please feel free to leave your thoughts in our forums.