Thanks to the emergence of first DDR3 modules, memory is once again an important issue in computer circles. We also joined the fun and on our site you can see the results of first DDR3 memories. In case you overlooked them, you can find the advantages of DDR3 over wide-spread DDR2 memory here.
DDR2 is the present, and the situation is not likely to change just yet. Most of us have DDR2 motherboards and the decision to buy new motherboards and quite expensive DDR3 is not going to be easy. Talking about prices we can’t help but notice that DDR2 has taken a significant drop in prices, so this may be the right time to increase your “supplies” of RAM, as well as your computers’ performance
Quality memory is the foundation of system stability, and we’re trying to find and test memory modules that are not only stable but fast and cheap too.
US readers will instantly recognize Patriot, but Patriot is quickly catching up with EU markets and making a name for themselves. We’ve managed to get our hands on a 2GB set and we’ll try to feed you as much information as possible. The set consists of two modules of 1GB running at 1066MHz.
Full name is Patriot Extreme Performance DDR2 2GB (2 x 1GB) PC2-8500 Eased Latency DIMM Kit. You can also find it under the abbreviated name PDC22G8500ELK.
The modules are easy to spot – black thermal aluminum plates that help with cooling, and memory's stability. One side of this module features a slightly raised polished aluminum sign saying Patriot, and the other side has the same DDR2 sign together with a sticker showing all the required details.
Memory latencies are 5-5-5-9 and we already mentioned that the memory runs at 1066MHz. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, complies with RoHS standards and is attributed as EPP Ready. The last characteristic makes it possible for EPP Ready motherboards to automatically recognize and set up the modules.
Many motherboards are not capable of supporting 1066MHz memory, so while buying memory you should keep in mind the capabilities of your motherboard. If you are limited to a maximum of 800MHz, you better find a module running at that speed but with lower latencies. We’ve recently tested such a module so if you want to read more about Patriot DIMM Kit 2048MB PC2-6400U CL 4-4-4-12 memory (113€ + shipping) you can do so here.
For those who own for instance EVGA 680i SLI motherboard, or any motherboard with similar capabilities, extreme performance PC2-8500 memory we’re testing today, will be a smarter choice.
This should go well with those who like over-clocking as we’ve managed to get this baby up to 1200MHz with no trouble whatsoever.
If you’re a fan of lower latencies, this memory runs T1 command rate at 800MHz.
For testing we used water-cooled EVGA 680i The Black Pearl motherboard. Heavy and pricey but sweet, this motherboard is a real beauty. The only flaw is that it’s limited to using only single-slot cards or water-cooled cards taking up only one slot. In return you’ll get a stable motherboard, practically infallible and noise-free. Small Northbridge cooler without a water block is unbearably loud. Let’s move on to the results of this test.