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

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Test Setup

To find out just how well OCZ did their research we will be testing the new PC3500 EB modules against a set of OCZ PC3500 EL low latency dual channel modules.

For the purposes of testing an Abit IS7 was setup with P4 3.2E Prescott processor, an ATI Radeon 9600XT vid card, a Maxtor 30GB ATA133, 7200rpm, 2MB HDD, and a clean install of Windows XP SP1. The latest Intel Chipset and ATI Catalyst Drivers were used. All test were run in dual channel mode with the memory bus value synchronized with the CPU.

The ES 3.2E has multipliers available from 14x to 16x, so we were only able to keep the CPU value constant for the lower clock speeds. As we raised the FSB higher past a certain point so too did we raise the effective CPU speed.

We wanted to show you what exactly the different latency settings give you in terms of bandwidth performance and actual gaming performance. So we tested each kit at stock DDR400 (800 FSB) on a ES (Engineering Sample) Pentium 4 3.2C.

At DDR433, the CPU is running at 3.25 GHz (15 x 217)
At DDR466, the CPU is running at 3.26 GHz (14 x 233)
At DDR484, (max EL overclock) the CPU is running at 3.41 GHz (14 x 244)
At DDR504, (max EB overclock) the CPU is running at 3.52 Ghz (14 x 252)

In order to allow the PC3500 EL to reach DDR466 and above its latency values had to be loosened to 3-4-4-8. In order for the PC3500 EB to reach DDR480 and above its latency settings were loosened to 2.5-4-4-8. All tests were run with the IS7's max voltage setting of 2.8V.

On with the show!

The Results

PC3500 Testing - DDR433 @ 3.25 GHz (15 x 217)

Quite surprisingly we see that right from the get go the new EB RAM running at the higher CAS setting actually outperforms its older EL brother. It would seem that perhaps the conventional thinking of lower is always better in terms of latency settings no longer holds true. With the introduction of DDR it would seem that a finely tuned tRP and tRCD value are as much if not more important than simply a low CL value.

OCZ tells us that these EB chips really shine as memory bandwidth increases (tRP and tRCD values come more into play) so lets bump both sets up to PC3700 and see if the gap increases.

Testing at higher speeds begins on the next page!

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