Hardcore DDR2 RAM by Corsair, G.Skill, OCZ and Patriot

G.Skill F2-8500CL5D-2 GBHK (2x 1 GB)

This memory makes most sense at its default speed of DDR2-1066 (PC2-8500), but at increased voltage and tightened CL4-4-4-12 timings. It's important to note that the product is rated for CL5-5-5-15 timings; we were able to achieve the quicker timings at an increased voltage of 2.4 V.

The maximum clock speed we were able to reach reliably was 600 MHz. The DDR2-1219 setting required as much as 2.5 V to be stable, and it had the disadvantage of needing further relaxed CL5-8-8-23 timings. As our benchmark results show, this no longer makes sense, so you should stick to DDR2-1200 at CL5-7-7-22 or DDR2-1066 at CL4-4-4-12. We recommend the latter.

Unfortunately, this G.Skill RAM did not work on MSI's P35 Platinum at all.

Speeds And Timings

The G-Skill PC2-8500 RAM, which is specified for CL5-5-5-15 operation, ran reliably at quicker CL4-4-4-12 timings at DDR2-1066 speed when we increased the voltage to 2.45 V. At 2.4 V, Prime95 still reported errors.

Overclocking to DDR2-1173 speed was easily possible at 2.45 V, but the timings had to be relaxed to CL5-7-7-22.

The same was necessary as we went to DDR2-1200 speed: it was only reliable at CL5-7-7-22 timings.

Finally, DDR2-1219 was the fastest clock speed we could achieve. However, this required another relaxation of the memory timings to CL5-8-8-22. Clearly, squeezing out a few megahertz at the expense of memory timings doesn't make sense.