Now that both AMD and Intel have selected DDR2 as the primary memory technology across their desktop range, everything has become much more standardized. That said, purchasing DDR2 memory is not so straightforward, as there are literally countless options available.
Currently the latest AMD and Intel platforms work best with DDR2-800 memory, which offers beneficial gains over DDR2-677 and is far superior performance-wise when compared to DDR2-533. So while DDR2-800 (a.k.a. PC2-6400) memory is the most obvious choice for today buyers, there are still a few things that you will need to consider.
First and foremost do you only plan to run the memory at 800MHz? If overclocking is on the menu, would you like to run at 1066MHz or beyond?
While memory bandwidth is not a crucial aspect for performance with the latest generation of AMD and Intel processors, it is still desirable. DDR2-1066, for example, offers very little performance benefits over DDR2-800. While run of the mill DDR2-800 memory will set you back around $210 per 2GB kit, DDR2-1066 costs significantly more at roughly $360 per 2GB kit. Given the slightly faster memory (DDR2-1066) costs almost 80% more than DDR2-800, and offers almost no real-world performance gains, most are steering clear of it.
With all that in mind we present you today’s review item, OCZ's ultra-expensive DDR2 memory kit featuring two highly overclocked 1GB modules. Priced at around $480, the price tag of the OCZ DDR2 PC2-9200 FlexXLC Edition memory is quite simply scary! This memory clocks to 1150MHz using 2.35v with CAS5-5-5-18 timings. In the past we have seen much cheaper DDR2-800 memory reach 1100MHz, so is the insanely priced FlexXLC worth it? Why would you pay so much for 2GBs worth of DDR2 memory? Seriously, what makes this memory so special, what would honestly tempt someone to spend so much money on DDR2 memory?
We are still not completely sure, but we do believe it may have something to do with water-cooling. That is because these new OCZ FlexXLC memory modules feature the unique ability to integrate themselves into your existing water-cooling system. In fact, these are the first ever water-cooled memory modules of any description and OCZ wanted to make sure they were the record breakers. OCZ was not only the first to deliver water-cooled memory, but they are also the first to ship memory that is guaranteed to work at 1150MHz right out of the box.
Even though these new FlexXLC memory modules are designed to be water-cooled, they are also able to work perfectly at 1150MHz without the added cooling efficiency of water. OCZ has come up with a heatsink design that works passively, using just air-flow within the case. However, those that want to try and push these memory modules a little harder have the added bonus of the water-cooled setup.