10th Anniversary PC2-5300 From Crucial - Test Setup and CPU-Z Info

Article Index
10th Anniversary PC2-5300 From Crucial
Test Setup and CPU-Z Info
Benchmarking 10th Anniversary RAM

Test Setup & Info:

It is really hard to test memory bandwidth in real-world tests on virtually any system.  In order to speed up the memory on Athlon 64 systems, you first select the appropriate memory speed in the BIOS.  Unfortunately, the integrated memory controller on the CPU runs at the same speed as it is based on the overall CPU speed.  In order to speed up the memory very effectively, the CPU must also be sped up as well.  Our tests on these memory modules are actually synthetic benchmarks that show theoretical memory performance, and are very effective at showing how the memory scales when the system is overclocked.  Speaking of systems, check out the specs below.

  • AMD Athlon 64 4200+ X2 AM2 Processor 2.2GHz - MemoryExpress
  • MSI K9N Platinum Motherboard - MemoryExpress
  • 2GB Kit - Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300 (DDR2-667) - Crucial
  • Seagate 250GB 7200.9 SATA HDD
  • eVGA 7600GT 256MB 
  • Windows XP Professional with all available updates.
  • nForce 9.16 Platform Drivers
  • Forceware 91.47 Graphics Drivers

We ran a series of benchmarks to find out how stock performance compared to overclocked performance.  We wanted to see how high these little 667MHz sticks could go at 3-3-3-12 1T timings.  We were very impressed as they settled in over DDR2-800 with no trouble and finally topped out at DDR2-834.

We overclocked our system using only FSB adjustments and left the multiplier at stock 11x on our 4200+ X2.  This gave us a 228MHz bus speed and an 1140MHz HT Link.  Below are some CPU-Z screenshots for your viewing pleasure.

CPU-Z SPD Settings
CPU-Z SPD Settings


Crucial has stated that this memory is PC2-5300 which runs at 667MHz.  They also state that the memory timings are 3-3-3-12 at 667MHz.  As you can see in the CPU-Z screenshot above, their are three sets of timings on these modules - 3-3-3-12 or 4-3-3-12 at 266Mhz (533MHz) and 5-3-3-15 at 333MHz (DDR2-667).  This is the only major issue we had with this memory - the advertised SPD timings are much looser than what the memory modules are detected and run at in our test system.  While this appears to be an issue at first glance, this is actually designed for compatibility.  Most high-end DDR2 requires more than the standard 1.8v.  These modules actually require 2.2v to function properly.  If the came clocked at 3-3-3-12 at 667MHz, and a new motherboard tried to run them at 1.8v, it may not post.  Because they run at relaxed timings by default, they should post on virtually any system.  Once running you can up the voltage and tighten the timings.

CPU-Z Overclocked CPU
 CPU-Z Overclocked CPU

CPU-Z Overclocked Memory
 CPU-Z Overclocked Memory

By adding a little extra voltage to the memory we were able to keep the timings at tight stock 3-3-3-12 all the way up to DDR2-834.  This offers much better performance than most DDR2-800.  Take a look at the performance numbers on the next page.