New DDR2 products break different ways

— 9:42 AM on July 1, 2004

In a contrast emblematic of the question over how best to deliver performance with DDR2 memory, two of the enthusiast RAM manufacturers have introduced new products with different approaches to DDR2. The folks at Corsair have introduced XMS2 modules that run DDR2 memory at 667MHz with latencies of 4-4-4-12. Sayeth the press release:

Developed specifically for Alderwood and Grantsdale DDR2 platforms, these products range from 256MB to 1GB. These products are based on the new DDR2 technology which increases the memory bandwidth available for memory intensive applications. JEDEC standard latencies at 667 MHz are 5-5-5-15, but Corsair's 5300C4 modules are rated at 4-4-4-12 to deliver exceptional performance.
Meanwhile, OCZ just announced 533MHz DDR2 modules with 4-3-3-12 timings. The OCZ folks are emphasizing lower latencies over high clock speeds:
"Conventional PC4300 DDR2 modules may be adequate in performance," said Dr. Michael Schuette, Director of Technology Development at OCZ Technology Group. "However, the OCZ Technology PC2-4300 Platinum modules with our Enhanced Bandwidth feature-set will add the extra bite that is only possible by running at reduced latencies."
In my experience, DD2 memory has lots of headroom for either higher clock speeds or tighter timings. We'll have more info about that soon. But it's an intriguing question whether higher clock speeds or tighter timings are the best way to go. Given the Pentium 4's bus speed limits, I'd think dual-channel memory at 667MHz would be a bit of a waste, but then again, who says you've gotta run the bus at stock speeds?
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