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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [07.26.04]
Manufactured by: OCZ

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Winbond says bye bye

When Winbond dropped out of the memory chip market back in the early spring a number of high manufacturers collectively screamed. All of a sudden there were no more of those great BHx and CHx chips which basically single handedly have allowed for the huge RAM speed and timing push over the past year or so. The real kicker is that demand for high performance PC3200/PC3500/PC3700 memory modules is at an all time high. What's a memory manufacturer to do?

Conventional wisdom has always told us that the lower the memory latency setting the better. But now without a plentiful supply of chips able to run at these super tight latencies, OCZ embarked on a journey to discover if there was an optimum (as well a looser) set of latency values that could be used, in order to allow the available supplies of chips to reach comparable (if not even match) performance values.

Now before we even go any further I want to put to rest the rumour that's been circulating about the EB line of modules being out of production. They in fact ARE NOT. OCZ has in fact just completed an EB factory run and are currently in the process of running through yet another run in order to supply the demand for these new chips.

From The EL To The EB

The result of OCZ's research is the new EB series of memory.

Basically by keeping a moderately low CAS Latency value of 2.5 and by keeping both the RAS-to-CAS delay (trCD) and the precharge-to-activate delay (tRP) values as low as possible OCZ has found they are able to optimize memory paging times. A complete whitepaper on this research can be found here. OCZ also claims that the new modules have more headroom in terms of overclocking which is always a good thing (especially considering how well the EL chips overclocked).

The pair of memory modules we'll be testing today are from OCZ's 1GB PC3500 EB Dual channel Platinum Edition kit. The looks exactly like every other OCZ kit except for the new platinum heat spreaders which replace the "Gold" one from the old PC3500 EL series.

I know it's tough to tell the true color from the picture, but these things are just so darn shiny that it's hard to get a good picture (plus I'm a horrible photographer..but that can't be it, could it?). The heat spreaders have a chrome-like finish, pretty close to the clips used to hold them in place. Let's face it though, you don't typically buy memory for the bundle or it's looks, so let's get to the important stuff and see how these puppies perform and, perhaps more importantly, overclock.

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