OCZ EL DDR PC-3700 GOLD DUAL CHANNEL MEMORY
The need for speed
You have to hand it to Intel and AMD. Before their intervention PC3200 memory was considered enthusiast-only territory. Niche marketing to the enthusiast crowd allowed, amongst others, OCZ, Corsair, Mushkin, Geil and TwinMOS to market PC3200 memory as premium RAM. Premium RAM attracts premium prices, so memory manufacturers were relatively happy. Today, though, both major home processor players have successfully moved on to a 200FSB. With rubber-stamped JEDEC approval, PC3200 is merely standard specification now, and if a memory manufacturer is to distinguish themselves from the rest of the crowd they need to produce modules that go way beyond normal specifications.
It seems as if high MHz system RAM production has been stagnated for some time now. We saw the pseudo PC3500 standard emerge at the end of '02. We've now been witness to a few selected PC3700 (DDR466) modules from some of the industry's heavyweights. The problem with such fast RAM has always been latency. Generally speaking, the higher you go in MHz terms, the more you have to relax the all-important latencies if you're going to produce a reasonable yield.
The recent discovery that almost every Canterwood and Springdale Pentium 4 chipset-based motherboard can surpass 250FSB has put the onus on RAM manufacturers to produce modules that can run this sort of speed in a synchronous manner. OCZ take up the baton with their latest set of DDR modules. The all-new OCZ EL DDR PC-3700 Gold dual channel memory is pre-tested to run at PC3700 speeds (DDR466, 233MHz) with reasonably latencies (2-7-3-3). Add to this a modest 2.75v of voltage and you have the basic recipe for some super-fast RAM. We're not looking at 3v+ Geil-like voltage here, either.
Our brief yet succinct history lesson leads us into OCZ's flagship DDR memory. Reiterating the specifications of a guarantee that it will work in pairs at DDR466 speeds it certainly arrives with promise. Let's delve a little deeper to find out if it can deliver.