Final thoughtsIn the past we have tested overclocking memory a little differently, keeping the processors front side bus the same throughout the testing phase. Given there is only a slight difference in the maximum frequency that can be obtained with these modules, the testing methodology was slightly modified. This time we forced the memory to use a 3x multiplier and then simply continued to increase the FSB until the memory reached its limits. As you saw, the OCZ FlexXLC memory was limited to 1170MHz which was just 30MHz greater than that of the Crucial 10th Anniversary DDR2-667 memory.
Because the OCZ FlexXLC memory clocked at 1170MHz allowed the Core 2 Duo processor to operate on a 390MHz FSB using an 8x clock multiplier, this configuration delivered the best performance. However, the biggest impact on performance was produced by the rise in processor clock frequency rather than memory. Even with that added benefit, the FlexXLC memory offered no real gains over the other slightly lower clocked memory at 1600x1200.
Gamers really have nothing to gain from purchasing this ultra-expensive FlexXLC memory. While it can help overclocking performance, we could have just as easily hit a 390MHz FSB using a lower memory ratio. Memory such as the PC2-9200 FlexXLC is not entirely necessary when overclocking Core 2 Duo or Athlon processors to the max. Taking all this into account, we have found it almost impossible to recommend this memory strictly from a performance and value standpoint of view.
Then again, we cannot look past the fact that this is the coolest memory available at the moment; meaning if we had to choose for the best out there, this would be it with no exceptions. And that is what FlexXLC is really all about, it is about having the best regardless of the cost.
Finally, pushing the value aspect of these modules aside, let's talk water-cooling, which is after all the key feature of these new OCZ memory modules. Using nothing more than the air-circulating within the case, the modules operated at 46 degrees when at 1170MHz with 2.3v. Although this is quite a hot operating temperature, it is nothing out of the ordinary for highly overclocked DDR2 memory. After connecting the water cooling system, the temperature dropped to 32 degrees which is much safer for the memory modules. Unfortunately, the cooler temperatures did not help us achieve complete stability, though the memory would post at 1200MHz.
Sadly we did not see any tangible evidence that water-cooling improves the performance of these memory modules, though it is very beneficial in the sense that it will prolong the life of the modules. The FlexXLC is the first really innovative memory product we have reviewed in quite some time, and although they may not be the most practical, in time I am sure we will see more affordable water-cooled memory modules.