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OCZ Flex II XLC PC2-9200

Going For 4GB: DDR2-1066 Kit Round-Up
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OCZ is one of the most popular enthusiast memory brands and has always been on top of the memory speed race, along with Corsair and a few others. There are lots of interesting memory products to be found on the OCZ Web site, but we have to say that there are too many memory products and it has become rather difficult to differentiate them from each other : Gold, Titanium, Platinum, Reaper, Limited Edition, Fatal1ty, Flex XLC, Crossfire or Nvidia SLI-Ready, Performance Series, Vista Special…

Specifications

Be that as it may, we once again received an attractive product for review : the Flex II XLC series using memory capable of running DDR2-1150 speeds reliably. This equals DDR2-9200, and it is slightly more than arch rival Corsair offers with its PC2-9136 DIMMs. The memory comes in a nice, stylish and adequately cool retail box. The Flex II XLC PC2-9200 DIMMs are specified for 2.1 V operation at the maximum DDR2-1150 speed and at CL5-5-5-18 timings. A maximum of 2.15 V is possible utilizing OCZ’s enhanced voltage protection feature, which allows running the memory at faster speeds without voiding the warranty.

Liquid Cooling On Board

Flex II XLC is the second-generation memory that comes equipped with a cooling device ready for liquid cooling solutions. While the Flex XLC DIMMs had one cooling intake and one outlet for the entire DIMM, Flex II XLC provides two different cooling circuits for both sides of the memory modules. As a consequence, the coolant flowing through the device only has to cool eight memory chips instead of all 16 on both sides of the DIMM. 

While we’re confident that this solution provides maximum cooling for the memory chips, it also requires maximum space on the motherboard. You will only be able to insert more than two DIMMs if you have a board that comes with six instead of four DIMM sockets. OCZ adds all necessary adapters (1/8” and 3/8” barb adaptors) for hooking up the Flex II XLC DIMMs to your liquid cooling solution. We’re just not sure if a total of 16 interfaces—eight on the adapters to the main tubes and eight more on the DIMMs—is really a good thing, a they all increase the potential risk for leaks.

You do not have to install a liquid cooling solution to operate the Flex II XLC DIMMs—we did not do that, for the sake of keeping the comparison simple. But we didn’t try to reach maximum clock speeds by all means possible either, meaning increasing the voltage to even higher levels. Thanks to the massive heat sinks on the top of the DIMMs, you can also apply conventional airflow cooling. OCZ provides protective covers, which also act as heat sinks, if you don’t want to use any liquid cooling solution at all.

Overclocking

We achieved the specified DDR2-1150 speed applying the nominal 2.1 V voltage, but couldn’t go much higher. Once we switched to 2.3 V memory voltage it became possible to overclock these modules reliably up to DDR2-1180 speed. This is as far as we could go with the Corsair Dominator DIMMs at the same voltage, and only Chaintech’s Apogee memory managed to reach a bit more clock speed. Yet these differences are almost negligible.

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