Overclocking 9 Value-Priced DDR2-800 Kits

Test Results

Firing up several game scenarios while encoding video in the background approaches real-world maximum stress levels, complete with platform variations greater than those of simple memory stress tests" Quake 4, F.E.A.R., and Call Of Duty 2 pulled the added load while TMPGenc gobbled up every available bit of spare memory. Each final stability test lasted several hours, requiring eight to twelve hours of combined testing per module simply to find the highest stable speeds at three voltage levels.

JEDEC specified standard voltage for all DDR2 modules is 1.80 V. The next setting, 2.10 V, represents previously-published "safe and sane" recommendations for most DDR2 overclocking. A final setting of 2.40 V is meant to appease those few extreme members of the TG Forumz who consistently recommend it. Here are the results !

Maximum Speed

Looking at the top overclockers, Crucial Ballistix leads with high-end parts priced beyond the budget aspirations of this review. The surprise comes from the $200/$250 (former price after rebate) PDP Patriot Extreme Performance, with a maximum data rate of 1216 MHz ! The Buffalo FireStix also did very well - good enough that one could choose between the leaders based on price alone.

Most notable of the "failures" are modules that wouldn’t run at 2.40 V but performed exceptionally at our recommended 2.10 V setting. Of these, Wintec’s AMPO actually exceeded 1000 MHz data rate at only 2.10 volts, and OCZ’s Gold Revision 2 appeared to overheat during long 2.40 volt test periods, even though its heat spreaders remained cool.

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