OCZ Enhanced Bandwidth PC3500 Platinum 1GB (2x512MB)

Article Index
OCZ Enhanced Bandwidth PC3500 Platinum 1GB (2x512MB)
Performance Tests and Conclusion

Product: OCZ DDR PC-3500 Enhanced Bandwidth Dual Channel (1GB Kit)

Introduction:
 
As CPU's and Graphics cards get faster, more stress is put on the computers subsystem. Memory Bandwidth is suddenly a much larger deal that it was back in the days of the P3 and Athlon "Thunderbird". Today, latency and bandwidth are things to be sought after like crown jewels, and without them, a rather smokin' gaming rig or server is reduced to a mid-range system. In this review we're going to take a look at the OCZ PC3500 Enhanced Bandwidth kit on a nForce 2 system, and see how it compares to some of their PC3200 Rev.2. Stick around and see if it's worth your hard earned green.
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To be honest, I ordered this stuff from Ramstore.ca for my personal rig as I'd just snagged a Barton Mobility 2500+, and unfortunately my current OCZ PC3200 Rev.2 CAS 2 memory could not overclock above stock speed by more than 7MHz. At 210 (420DDR) it caused memtest errors, and system instability. We'll see if this can take the Barton M higher.


Specs & Info:
 
This memory comes with very shiny heat spreader, and although it doesn't reflect the quality of the finish in the pictures, it appears to be a flawless chrome finish. Very classy stuff indeed.

Here are the memory specifications according to OCZ:

  • 434MHz DDR
  • CL 2.5-3-2-8 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS) 1T
  • Available in 512MB (2x256MB) and 1GB (2x512MB) Dual Channel Optimized Kits
  • Unbuffered
  • Mirrored Platinum Copper Heatspreader
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 2.8 Volts
  • 184 Pin DIMM
  • 1GB Dual Channel Kit PN- OCZ4331024EBDCPE-K

 

It's interesting to note that although this is labeled "Enhanced Bandwidth" it is actually CAS 2.5 memory. Most high-end memory is CAS 2, but at this PC3500 spec, OCZ has elected to raise the latency to CAS 2.5. So where does the bandwidth come from? It comes from the 1T wait state of these modules. Most other ram has a wait state of 2T, and these modules effectively cut that time in half by running at a 1T state. You'll have to stick around and see if it makes enough difference.
 
Now that we've seen the actual memory modules, and what they claim to be able to do, let's take a look at the test setup and and testing information.

 

Test Setup:

 

  • ABIT NF7S Rev.2 (BIOS 24, 4-22-2004)
  • 2x512MB OCZ PC3200 2-2-3-7
  • 120GB Western Digital JB 7200rpm IDE 0 - Master
  • 2 - WD1200JD SATA drives in RAID 0
  • Plextor Premium 52x32x52x IDE 1 - Slave
  • Audigy 2 ZS
  • Belkin 54GWireless Ethernet
  • nForce 3.13 drivers
  • AMD XP Mobility 2500+ (Barton)
  • 2x512MB OCZ PC3500 EB Platinum 2.5-3-2-8
  • 40GB Maxtor Diamond Max Plus 7200rpm IDE 0 - Slave
  • Plextor PX-712A DVD±RW IDE 1 - Master
  • Sapphire Atlantis 9800 Pro
  • GVC Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000)
  • Windows XP SP1 with all available updates
  • Catalyst 4.6 Drivers

For the following benchmarks I kept my video card at stock speeds, and ran the memory synchronously with the CPU. All tests were repeated several times and averages were calculated. All results were posted whether they were a win, lose, or draw situation. This is the real deal, and shows what you can expect with a similar setup. Overclocking was limited due to having an onboard SATA RAID 0 setup. With the stock ABIT BIOS' many people are reporting SATA RAID corruption at speeds over 225MHz FSB. I didn't want to corrupt my drives so I stayed well below this "breaking point."

Head on over to the next page and check out the performance of this Platinum memory.