While DDR2 memory is anything but passe, DDR3 nonetheless is here. Motherboard manufacturers along with Intel and its new chipsets have started building boards that are DDR3 only solutions.
As with any new technology, as much as I enjoy it and want to delve in with both feet, I know that there is always a learning curve, an initial deployment that might not perform as expected. When I got the call to review some DDR3 memory, I was both excited and wary, I still recall when DDR2 first arrived on the scene, and couldn't outperform DDR.
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.
Patriot has provided VL with a pair of 1GB modules paced at PC3-15000, yes, thats PC3-15000 or 1,866MHz. It only seems silly doesn't it? This is part of Patriots Extreme Performance memory lineup, with Patriots history of performance previous, I would say that its name will probably hold up well. Lets look over some statistics first:
-CL 8-8-8-24 timings
-Platinum Colored Aluminum Heat spreaders
While the DDR3 standard is 1.5V (one of the supposed advantages of DDR3 over DDR2/DDR is less power consumptions) these modules come raring for power, more then likely this is due to their Extreme Performance tag line. Obviously the timings are higher on DDR3 then that of DDR2 memory, I think, however, we all remember that when DDR2 came out, its timings were much higher then that of DDR.
A quick glimpse at DDR3 standards and the performance behind them:
Notice that our PC3-15000 Modules are not even in the table, once again, due to the Extreme Performance tag thrust upon these modules. As you might be expecting, these modules are overclocked out of the box to do your bidding.
As normal since DDR memory evolved, SPD will set the timings if you let things go about their attrition. In the case of the the Patriot PC3-15000 Extreme Performance modules, they clock it at an interesting 7-7-7-20 using only 1.5V. We also get a glimpse that these are in fact PC3-8500 modules, meant to walk about at 533MHz. For our baseline test, we will leave this be, as most will probably do to start out.
Now that we got that out of the way, lets go over the modules in a little more detail. Patriot continues to upgraded their look, this reviewer believes they are going in the proper direction as far as aesthetics go.
The heat spreaders are ribbed Aluminum with raised silver "PATRIOT" on one side of the module and "DDR3" on the other.
As I mention above, it is nicely done. Patriot has also included a "Manual" for the modules, its actually a nice overview of what each number means and a quick synopsis of how to properly install the modules.