Memory Test Configuration

DDR2 memory performance, in timings and required voltage, are equivalent on the AM2 and Core 2 Duo platforms. This was clearly illustrated in Conroe vs. AM2: Memory & Performance. However, the first generation of AM2 on-processor memory controller does not support any memory timings below 3, or memory speeds above DDR2-800, while 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 high-speed DDR2 memories on an AM2 platform.

For these reasons, the Intel platform is the current AnandTech test platform of choice for DDR2 memory. The Core 2 Extreme processor, which has available speed multipliers both up and down, is the processor of choice. Both the Intel and NVIDIA chipsets for Intel Core 2 Duo Socket 775 processors provide the DDR2-1067 memory ratio option, as well as other intermediate values and values higher than DDR2-1067 with some high-end DDR2 memory. 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 all the Core 2 processors. The P5W-DH Deluxe 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 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 Super Talent T800UX2GC52X1GB 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. Therefore the only results shown in this review are DDR2 memories tested on the X6800 (Core 2 Extreme) platform.

Index Stock Memory Performance
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  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Super Talent has advised:

    "This kit is on sale at ewiz for $241.02. You could point readers to">

    The kits will also appear at other resellers in the near future.
  • Frumious1 - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Try searching for "T800UX2GC5" and you should find it.">eWiz

    Not in stock anywhere else that I see right now, but Newegg has the T800UX2GC4 at $280 with a $20 mailin rebate, so I bet they'll get the C5 as well, and hopefully closer to $200. In the mean time, try">using a search engine like Froogle/
  • Postoasted - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Shouldn't we be suspicious of reviews where the test sample is provided by the product maker?
  • Frumious1 - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Yes, and we should stop reading hardware websites because that's where all their hardware comes from. We should only pay attention to reviews, because all of those people really purchased the products they're reviewing! (/sarcasm)

    I've rarely (if ever) been able to match AnandTech performance results with the same RAM chips they use, but then I rarely have the same CPU and motherboard that they've got either. If they push everything to the same limit, you can at least figure the relative differences are there. Truthfully, I don't think more than a small fraction of people that worry about having the biggest epenis need more than DDR2-800 memory. That will get you just about everywhere you need to go with overclocking (except perhaps with the E6300/E6400 on extreme overclocks), so unless you care about the extra 3% potential performance there's not much reason to buy $500 RAM kits.
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Product on AnandTech is not a one-shot deal. If memory or motherboard manufacturers supply hand-picked hardware and users can't duplicate what we find the RMAs go through the roof. This is very expensive for the manufacturer. They quickly learn it is in their best interest to supply a sample with typical performance. The supply issue becomes self-policing.

    As Editors and enthusiasts we are also not idiots. We do buy samples on a regular basis and compare them to what we find with manufacturer samples. If results are out of line we scream loudly - to the manufacturer and in these pages. Accepting samples from manufacturers for review gets you information MUCH faster, but a review at AT is a privilege - not an obligation. Manufacturers who abuse the "typical sample" rule get moved down in queues or out of our review cycle.

    The performance of the Super Talent is nothing spectacular; it is good performance from a fairly rated DDR2-800 memory. There is nothing in our results to raise any concerns. The point of the review was that value DDR2 is almost as good in performance as the best DDR2, and if you are on a tight budget you can save money with value DDR2, within reason, and get more performance by putting the difference in a video card upgrade or a CPU upgrade.

    We have asked Super Talent to provide info on where this memory can be purchased. We will pass that along as soon as we receive an answer.
  • lopri - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    What if the manufacturers are big, I mean HUGE, or if they command a monopoly/duo-poly status in the market? Namely, Intel, AMD, NV, ASUS, et al. Do they consider it an honor to be reviewed @AT? I remember Anand's E6600/E6700/X6800 all hitting ~4.0GHz when they debuted. Retail samples still can't achieve such clocks even months after the initial review, let alone at that time they were merely achieving 3.30~3.60GHz. But it'd be hard to ignore Intel's new products, I'd assume?
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    There is variation in overclocking among Core 2 Duo samples, but almost all of our retail chips - those we bought - will do in the 3.6GHz to 4.0GHz range. My last retail E6800 does 3.6+ at stock voltage and right at 4GHz on good air cooling. The retail runs 2100 FSB while the Intle sample will not do 1MHz over 1800 FSB.

    Intel supplied the pre-launch chips, but we have bought everything since. There is definitely variation, but our retail purchases do not vary significantly from the Intel supplied chips, except in maximum FSB which we commented on in the nVidia 680i launch review.
  • Hippiekiller - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Poop comes from butts teehee

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