Memory Test Configuration

It was clearly illustrated in Conroe vs. AM2: Memory & Performance that DDR2 memory performance, in timings and required voltage, are equivalent on the AM2 and Core 2 Duo platforms. However, the first generation of AM2 on-processor memory controller does not support any memory timings below 3, or memory speeds above DDR2-800. Both these features are supported on the Intel platform. Timings of 2 are available for RAS-to-CAS and RAS Precharge, and DDR2-1067 is a memory speed option on most Intel motherboards. The lack of extended memory timings and memory speeds makes it more difficult to test the newest DDR2 memories rated at DDR2-1000, DDR2-1067, DDR2-1100, or even higher, on an AM2 platform

For all of these reasons, the Intel platform is the current AT test platform for DDR2 memory. The Core 2 Duo Extreme processor, which has available CPU ratios both up and down, is the processor of choice. When changes are made in future AMD and Intel products the memory test platform will be examined again.

The ASUS P5W-DH is the latest 975X board in the ASUS family and it fully supports the Core 2 processors, including Core 2 Quad. The P5W-DH Deluxe therefore replaced the P5W-D2-E premium used in past DDR2 reviews. A review of the updated ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe is available in the Conroe Buyers Guide.

Since most of the Core 2 Duo/Extreme processors run at a quad-pumped FSB of 1067 (base 266), instead of the FSB800 used on earlier Intel processors, the available options on the P5W-DH Deluxe at FSB1067 are particularly well-suited for benchmarking memory when a Core 2 chip powers the system.

Memory Configuration Options/ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe Motherboard
  Auto DDR2-400 DDR2-533 DDR2-667 DDR2-711* DDR2-800* DDR2-889* DDR2-1067*
FSB-1067 X X X X X X X X
FSB-800 X X X X   X    
FSB-533 X X X          

The memory test bench uses the following components:

Memory Performance Test Configuration
Processor Intel Core 2 Duo X6800
(Dual core, 2.93GHz, 4MB Unified Cache)
RAM 2X1GB G.Skill DDR2-800
2x1GB Patriot DDR2-1066
2x1GB Super Talent DDR2-1000
2x1GB TEAM DDR2-1000
2 x 1GB Corsair CM2X1024-6400C3
2x1GB OCZ Ti Alpha PC2-8000 VX2
Hard Drive Hitachi 250GB SATA2 enabled (16MB Buffer)
Video Card 1 x EVGA 7900GTX - All Standard Tests
Video Drivers NVIDIA 91.47
CPU Cooling Tuniq Tower 120
Power Supply OCZ PowerStream 520W
Motherboard ASUS P5W-DH Deluxe (Intel 975X)
Operating System Windows XP Professional SP2
BIOS AMI 1407 (October 2, 2006)

Core 2 Duo is as much as 35 to 40% faster than the earlier Intel Presler, which makes comparing memory performance between the two processors impractical. Therefore the only results shown in this review are DDR2 memories tested on the X6800 (Core 2 Duo) platform.

Index Stock Memory Performance
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  • MxChris - Sunday, November 5, 2006 - link

    Thanks for the reply I'll try to get ahold of a G Skill rep and find out.
  • Icepick - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    I'd like to know this too. I purchased from the same product line only my memory is rated at 5-5-5-15 -> F2-6400CL5D-2GBNQ. I haven't been able to build my PC yet so I couldn't test them out. Are these micron chips too?
  • Wesley Fink - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    The 5-5-5 is the low-end G. Skill DDR2-800, selling for around $200 now, and most likely does not use Micron chips. There is also a higher-end DDR2-800 than we tested in this review rated at 3-4-3-8 timings. The highest rated dimms are likely the Micron D9GKX chips, but since we haven't tested that particular memory we cannot say that with authority.
  • Doormat - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    And it performs just fine a 4-4-4-10 at 800MHz. It matches nicely with my E6400 running a 400MHz (1.6GT) FSB at 3.2Ghz.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    "The practical performance of GeIL GX22GB6400UDC memory modules wasn’t too impressive although we ran all tests at 2.1V Vdimm."

    If they never went above 2.1V on the RAM, that's going to hurt. I don't know about the RAM type, but I know some places will just guess at times, and sometimes manufacturers use multiple types of RAM. Given Wes hit DDR2-1066 I'd say it's pretty clear his RAM has Micron chips.
  • Madellga - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    Apples 2 Apples - all memories were tested at 2.1V
  • Madellga - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link">

    There is a gap between the 2 reviews. It mentions also that the chips are Elpida, not Micron.

    Who has the "right" samples?

    If G.Skill is selling both types under the hood, it is a delicate matter to recommend it.

    PS: Xbitlabs recommended Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400?4 and Mushkin 996523 XP2-6400 DDR2 over it.
  • Xajel - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    we may all know the problem with DDR2-800 and AM2 platform, not every ram you can use, it's some how hard to find a compatible one especially from OCZ...

    I hope to find a compatibility test for AM2 and DDR2-800 from several manufactures...
  • amdrockshard - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    This memory looks like a good choice. Did you test it on a AM2 board? How high will it clock on the Foxconn 590SLI? It was nice to see something other than ddr2-1000 tested. Do you have results on the Crucial 10th anniversary ddr2-667 yet? Everyone in the forums is recommending that or the Team ddr2-800. Just wondering how they compare.
  • yyrkoon - Friday, November 3, 2006 - link

    From the sounds of it, they are simular, albiet pricier than my Cosair 6400 XMS sticks. This memory is SUPOSED to be 5-5-5-18, but the systems I've put them in detect them as 4-4-4-12 almost always. Also, I've had these sticks up to DDR 990, without being able to adjust the voltage in the BIOS (cheap Asrock Mobo, in my current system).

    Personaly, I think I'll stick to Crucial. Cosair, and let the rest pass, especialy since they cost just as much, or more than the two brands I preffer.

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