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DDR SDRAM shoot out: Crucial PC2100 vs. OCZ Performance PC2400

The new naming system for SDRAM is no longer based on the number of clock cycles, indeed if this was the case I would be reviewing PC133/PC150 memory. Contrary to apparently popular belief, DDR RAM is no different in design to SDR SDRAM. The differences being data is transferred on both the rising and falling sides of the clock cycle, a different sized DIMM slot is used, and the chipset needs to support DDR. This does not mean you can put 184 pin DDR modules into 168 pin SDR DIMM slots or vice versa though.

The new naming system is based on an apparently more accurate statistic: the bandwidth. The bandwidth is found by multiplying the effective frequency (which in the case of DDR is twice the number of clock cycles) by the width of the memory (in the case of SDRAM this is 64 bit) and dividing the result by the number of bits per byte, which is always 8. You can use this technique to work out the speed of other memory, but beware RDRAM has eight bit registers rather than the 64 bit width on SDRAM.

Well, isn’t the highest number going to lead to the highest performance? Not necessarily. PC2400 is essentially just PC2100 that is guaranteed to reach 150Mhz. Running a system with a front side bus of 117Mhz is not always attainable, and so the OCZ RAM is only going to reach 150Mhz if the rest of the system is up to it. With a reputable manufacturer like Crucial, hopefully speeds of over 150Mhz could be achieved with the 133Mhz rated memory, thus competing with the OCZ module. Lets find out…

Features

OCZ Performance PC2400:

  • Hand picked chips

  • CL2.5 at 150Mhz DDR

  • 184 pin unbuffered, non-ECC, 16 chip

  • Lifetime warranty

Crucial CT3264Z265:

  • CL2.5 at 133Mhz DDR

  • 184 pin unbuffered non-ECC, 16 chip

  • Lifetime Warranty

Impressions

The well-packaged Crucial memory also came with a multilingual booklet explaining installation, although it must be said this was not specific to the PC2100 and covered everything from EDO to RD RAM. In true OEM style, the OCZ module came in just an antistatic bag.

Now many of you will have heard of Crucial, as a division of the memory giant Micron. But what you don’t know is that the modules OCZ sell are actually made by Kingston, Micron and Infineon. Which means that both modules could plausibly be from Micron.

 



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