Famed for its extra-value performance modules, A-DATA Technology Inc might have taken an early lead with a pair of its AD2800U DDR2-800 1 GB modules selling for as little as $190. Instead, the company sent a pair of its AD2800EU Extreme Edition DDR2-800+ 1 GB DIMMs. Lack of U.S. availability or pricing is a sure way to get knocked out of a value comparison, but our performance analysis should assist potential buyers in their own value assessments once these reach the street.
A further twist on availability is that some sites are selling the AD2800EU Extreme Edition DDR2-800+ in place of AD2800U standard DDR2-800, giving buyers "more than they bargained for." The AD2800U standard DDR2-800 is programmed for operation at 5-5-5-18 timings and 1.80 V, but the AD2800EU Extreme Edition DDR2-800+ is set at 4-4-4-12 and 2.0 V.
While both "extreme" and "standard" modules are perfectly happy to run at 1.80 V and CAS 5, some boards (mostly Intel branded) have reportedly failed to boot, presumably due to automatically using CAS 4 at default voltage. EPP data for "automatic over-voltage" enhances compatibility with recent nVidia chipset motherboards, and our P965-equipped Asus P5B Deluxe WiFi-AP Edition motherboard defaulted to JEDEC standard CAS 5 values.
The result is a set of modules that could be a great deal for anyone willing to do a little research on their board and vendor.
Buffalo Select PC2-6400
Buffalo Technology is among the first few companies to offer standard-grade PC2-6400 for the less geeky buyer, which also means lower price modules for your overclocking attempts !
Buffalo Select meets all industry standards to assure compatibility with the widest range of systems. This kit features three SPD entries : 5-5-5-18 timings at an 800 MHz data rate ; 4-4-4-12 at a 533 MHz data rate ; and 3-3-3-9 at a 400 MHz data rate. These three SPD values make Buffalo Select PC2-6400 compatible with a wide range of platform limitations, but a DDR2-667 SPD value would probably be more useful than the outdated DDR2-400 setting.
Part number D2U800C-K2G is so new that as of this writing, the company hadn’t even added it to its Select Series Web page, let alone sent quantities to retailers. These should be cheaper than Buffalo’s relatively inexpensive FireStix, but "bang for the buck" cannot be determined without a retail price comparison. Benchmark results should assist readers in their own value assessment once these hit the street.