Separating The Wheat from the Chaff: The Latest DDR2 Modules Tested

GeIL PC2-5300

The modules from the maker GeIL reached us in a nice-looking retail package. Labeled as PC2-5300, at that speed they can deal with class-standard CL4-4-4-12 timings. As is typical with DDR2 modules, no manner of heat spreader does much good, but the chips' low supply voltage of 1.8V to 2.0V means they only get lukewarm anyway. Nevertheless, GeIL made some effort to make the modules look classy, and indeed they make a good impression.

Unfortunately, the DIMMs did not start right up at the indicated timings at DDR2-667. Since the SPD (Serial Presence Detect ROM) is programmed to CL5-4-4-15, we had to manually switch to CL4-4-4-12. We used the SPD settings and CL5-4-5-12 to conduct both our functional test and our attempt to overclock to DDR2-710. The overclocking failed at first, though. We achieved the desired successful result only once we raised the chip voltage to 2.1V.