Athlon 64 Memory: Rewriting the Rulesby Wesley Fink on October 1, 2004 12:45 AM EST
- Posted in
Crucial Ballistix PC3200Crucial Ballistix was a Gold Editor's Choice in our recent DDR400 2-2-2 Memory Roundup. On the Intel platform, the memory timings were the best that we have ever seen at DDR500. The logical question is, can Ballistix pull it off again on the Athlon 64?
Ballistix is Crucial's first foray into the Enthusiast market, and Ballistix is intended to compete with the best from Corsair, OCZ and other specialty memory manufacturers. Kingston, another memory giant, has a similar Enthusiast line that they call HyperX.
Crucial supplies Ballistix PC3200 in both 256MB and 512MB DIMMs. Test DIMMs were a pair of Crucial Ballistix PC3200 512MB modules.
Crucial uses distinctive orange-gold Ballistix aluminum heatspreaders with black lettering. Ballistix 3200 is based on Micron chips, and not the Samsung chips used in other fast 2-2-2 DDR400. Micron chips were also used in the now discontinued OCZ 3700EB and 3500EB, which we found to be standout performers on Athlon 64.
With OCZ EB discontinued, Crucial Ballistix is the only memory based on Micron chips in the Athlon 64 testing.
Crucial Ballistix PC3200 Specifications
|Crucial Ballistix PC3200 Memory Specifications|
|Number of DIMMs & Banks||2 DS|
|Rated Timings||2-3-2 at DDR400|
|SPD (Auto) Timings||2-3-2-6|
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saechaka - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linki can't seem to find a legit place to buy that ocz 3200 rev. 2. any suggestions
Avalon - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linkExcellent article. It's good to know what different memories can do on the Athlon 64 platform.
ramclocker - Friday, October 1, 2004 - link14
The psu is probably around 20A on the 12V...I know from my testing 20A doesn't cut it anymore on a high end gaming/benching rig....you also have to remember that at high speed the ram will be drawing high levels of current also and the board will draw higher current due to heat etc.
I found the article an excellent read due to the fact it finally proved to me with reasonably tight timings running high fsb over 2-2-2 at 200 is the way to go...running 2.4gig for all tests Wes was the wise move here...great work.
Blappo - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linkThe computer would probably wouldn't use more than 250W. I understand that you don't want to mention the make and model. The nVidia 6800 Ultra draws most of its power through the 12V connection to the PSU, where the ATI 9800 Pro draws its power from the AGP slot. What is the max current rating on the 12V rail for the 465W PSU that you were using? I agree that a high quality PSU is needed (although not necessarily high max rating).
Wesley Fink - Friday, October 1, 2004 - link#12 - The Asus A8V is reviewed at http://www.anandtech.com/mb/showdoc.aspx?i=2128 and compared to other 939 boards. In memory testing we use a standard test bed to minimize variables.
#11 - The 90nm Athlon 64 tests should appear next week. We have just received 90nm 3500+ and 3000+ processors. AMD did not do a media launch on these processors, so we had to find them on the open market
#9 and #11 - A Value RAM roundup is in the works, but it has been moved out a while because of a large number of new launches this month.
Deuce - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linkIt sure would be nice with tests also conducted on the Asus A8V. I'm still deciding between the two.
PrinceGaz - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linkJust to follow up that comment, I suppose the DDR533/2.4GHz results are actually the most useful out of them all when it comes to comparing those particular modules. All of them were fastest (at 2.4GHz) at that speed, except for the OCZ PC3200 Plat Rev.2 which was marginally faster at 8x300 for DDR600.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to the reviews of the desktop 90nm A64 processors, and especially finding out how well each of them overclocks.
And also the Value Memory review you promised a few weeks ago :)
PrinceGaz - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linkAlthough all the (admittedly premium quality)memory could reach very high speeds, that didn't have much impact on performance.
Taking the highest clocking brand as an example, the OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev.2, from the DDR400 2-2-2 speed to the DDR534 2.5-4-3 speed which was the best result still at a CPU speed of 2.4GHz, the results were
Quake 3: 516.3 -> 525.8
Super PI: 80 -> 79 (lower is better)
Wolf: 110.8 -> 112.7
So running the memory at DDR534 instead of DDR400 provided less than 2% increase in performance. This is to be expected when you compare the real-world performance of S754 and S939. The only thing that is important is that the memory can do 1T command-rate to the maximum overclock of your A64 at default multiplier.
I think the results on the highest memory performance page are probably misleading to some readers. It shows the Crucial Ballistix coming in at 536.5fps on Q3. Looking at the results I see that was at 9x278 for a CPU speed of 2.5GHz. Your CPU was able to reach over 2.6GHz so the performance in real world tests would have been somewhat higher with a 10x multiplier. Sandra results are irrelevant to most people.
It would be better if you included an additional test in addition to Highest Memory Speed, and Highest Memory Performance. This would be Highest CPU Speed where the CPU is maxxed out, and the memory run at whatever multiplier gives best performance on real-world tests (ignoring Sandra). I suspect the results would be a *lot* closer.
AtaStrumf - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linkNow about some value RAM tests? These modules are just too expensive for most of us.
Jalf - Friday, October 1, 2004 - linkOr maybe the "average" user would rather blow $200 on 1GB memory ;)