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Buffalo FireStix PC2-6400

Overclocking 9 Value-Priced DDR2-800 Kits
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Buffalo’s FireStix brand should be familiar to enthusiasts, but a web price of around $240 makes its part number FSX800D2C-K2G 2 GB PC-6400 dual-channel kit competitive with less expensive "standard" parts.

As with Buffalo’s more value-oriented (but not-yet-available) Select PC2-6400, these FireStix modules provide three SPD configurations to assure the broadest compatibility. The first, 5-5-5-18 latencies at an 800 MHz data rate, assures DDR2-800 compatible systems are able to run in stable fashion at full memory speed and the standard 1.80 volts. The second, 4-5-5-18 timings at 800 MHz, is for systems that support 2.10 V configuration. A third value, 3-4-4-12 at a 533 MHz data rate, allows backwards compatibility with older systems.

Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400

Crucial faced a unique situation in responding to our request for "fast, cheap RAM". The company’s recently-released "standard" PC2-6400 modules are priced around 10% less than its lower-latency Ballistix line at its web store, but not yet available through lower-cost discount venders. Ballistix modules are actually cheaper than their lower-performance siblings by way of better availability.

Starting at around $270, part number BL2KIT12864AA804 contains two individually-packaged Ballistix PC2-6400 modules (available separately under part number BL12864AA804). These cream-of-the-crop modules offer CAS 5 latencies (5-5-5-15) at a 1000 MHz data rate and CAS 4 (4-4-4-14) at an 800 MHz data rate using higher-than-standard 2.20 V. Our system detected these at 800 MHz CAS 5 for stability at the 1.80 V standard, and EPP allows recent nVidia-chipset platforms to automatically configure the lower-latency/higher voltage settings.

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