We had a very interesting response to part one of our P965 Roundup. There was the central fact that we still have part two and three to deliver over the coming week. Yes, before anyone sends another message, both parts will be published by next Friday. However, there was one recurring theme in the hundreds of emails and private messages we received about the first article. This theme revolved around our choice of memory. We felt like dropping down to performance oriented DDR2-800 would be a better choice for this market in regards to price while it would still allow our P965 motherboards to overclock to their limits.

It turns out our choice of memory for the article is now priced higher than a lot of us make in a week. This was not our intention when we started the P965 roundup but over the course of the last eight weeks our GEIL DDR2-800 memory has witnessed an almost 60% increase in price. We have seen increases on average of 45% across the board since the beginning of summer in the general DDR2 market. The majority of higher end memory is experiencing even larger price increases along with very limited supply.

While we are finishing testing on two recently received P965 motherboards for the value sector roundup we decided to see how our new "value" performance memory would fair on the Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 motherboard. Of course, this new value range is now DDR2-667 memory with typical timings of 4-4-4-12 and prices hovering around $220 for a 2GB kit. We decided to test 2GB memory kits from five different manufacturers to see how well they would perform with optimized timings at DDR2-667, DDR2-800, and however far we could overclock them before they went up in flames. Actually, there were no flames and we promise none of our modules were hurt during testing. Before we get to the results, let's take a quick look at our testbed.

Test System: Benchmark Setup

Performance Test Bed Configuration
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
(1.86GHz, 2MB Unified Cache)
RAM: Various
Hard Drive: Seagate 320GB 7200RPM SATA2 16MB Buffer
System Platform Drivers: Intel -
Video Cards: 1 x MSI X1950XTX
Video Drivers: MSI/ATI Catalyst 6.10
CPU Cooling: Scythe Infinity
Power Supply: OCZ GameXstream 700W
Optical Drive: Sony 18X AW-Q170A-B2
Case: Cooler Master CM Stacker 830
Motherboards: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (Intel P965 C2) - BIOS F7
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2

We are utilizing our standard benchmark testbed from our P965 Roundup article. We chose several different DDR2-667 memory modules that were previously tested in our Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 motherboard for compatibility. Our memory choices represent an excellent blend of performance at today's inflated prices, although we are finally starting to see some price stabilization in the DDR2 market.

A 2GB memory configuration is now standard in the AnandTech testbed as most enthusiasts are currently purchasing this amount of memory. We highly recommend 2GB based upon the pending arrival of Microsoft Windows Vista, newly released games, and video encoding requirements at this time with H.264 standards. We are utilizing the MSI X1950XTX video card to ensure our 1280x1024 resolutions are not completely GPU bound for our memory test results. Our video tests are run at 1280x1024 resolution for this article at standard settings. Let's see how well our five choices faired and if the overclocking results reveal any surprises.

Memory Performance
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  • markolsen - Sunday, October 29, 2006 - link

    Ok I'm new to this, so forgive me if it's a silly question, but why haven't you included Geil DDR2-667 memory in the comparison?
  • KHysiek - Saturday, October 28, 2006 - link

    There is no such memory on ADATA www page, there is just different numbering scheme. So whay memory is this?
  • Afrd2shtstrngerS - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link

    Hi Gary,
    Good article! I have been trying to solve the mystery of dividers/strapping after amd64's but not succeeded yet. I can run my e6400 @ 3.8ghz 1:1 (small fft's for 12.5 hrs) with the ocz 6400 platinum rev2 (hope you will include this ram for your next article) at 1.6vcore (http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/5111/38088x476160...">http://img95.imageshack.us/img95/5111/38088x476160... but it is not stable in blend run (8x476 1:1). I was wondering what did you change in ds3 bios to get 5:4 divider (changed system multiplier to 2.5?). Thanks...
  • Afrd2shtstrngerS - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link

    I think you need to copy-paste the image link to open in a browser - still couldnt learn how to supply correct links!
  • jackalsmith - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link

    Nice work on the article. However, if you really want some great memory for the price there is some ram from crucial that uses D9 ic and it's only $229 for 2gb! This is just binned lower but can run at ddr800 speeds at cas 3 as long as you have the voltage to push it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82...">http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82...
    I can get mine to run ddr1000 4-4-4- and ddr1200 5-5-5-.
  • Gary Key - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link

    We just received that memory for testing. I have already recommended it to a few readers on the forums. In our next memory short story I will include the Crucial along with some SuperTalent and OCZ DDR2-667 that we received yesterday. I also have some revised A-DATA DDR2-533 that hit DDR2-970. ;-)
  • SocrPlyr - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link

    I wish they could have reviewed a single stick of RAM that met the DDR2 spec.

  • SocrPlyr - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link

    I stated that wrong... I am too tired and my posting privileges should be revoked.
  • deathwalker - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link

    I sure hope there are some MicroATX boards in you upcoming reviews. :)
  • VooDooAddict - Friday, October 27, 2006 - link


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