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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [10.27.04]
Manufactured by: OCZ

Lowest Price Finder:
NewEgg: $48.00
Monarch: $46.00

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Understand Your Market

If there's one thing that can easily be said about OCZ it is that they understand their market. By locking in specifically on the extreme enthusiasts, the overclockers, OCZ has gained the respect of the overclocking community (along with numerous awards from enthusiast websites like us). 

Let's face it. Every hardware manufacturer, memory manufacturers in particular, understands that there are those of us who like to buy midrange hardware and overclock the crap out of them. Some companies act like we don't exists (motherboards with NO overclocking options), while others silently encourage us by offering high end memory running at speeds faster than any available processor, or a motherboard BIOS chock full of every tweaking option available. Then, there are companies like OCZ who not only openly encourage our efforts, but are now offering us products to allow us to even further VOID any chance we had at a manufacturer's warranty.

I present to you, the OCZ DDR Booster...or as I like to call it, Volt Mod in a box.

We first learned about this new device from OCZ when our sleuth Editor in Chief spotted it at Computex in Taiwan last June. Although it sounded very interesting, we weren't sure how much it would cost. Turns out that you can pick it up for around $46-48 from either NewEgg.com or Monarch Computers. Not bad at all!

As stated on OCZ's website, the DDR Booster has two main functions. The first is that using OCZ's PowerClean Technology™ it supplies a constant clean power feed to help ensure memory stability. The second, and most highly advertised features is the DDR Boosters ability to allow memory voltage increase up to 3.9V on "most" motherboards. As of recently however the marketing hype on the second claim has been seriously toned down and more emphasis is being placed on the PowerClean feature. The reason for this will become obvious later on in the review.

When Looks Aren't Important

Before getting into the nitty gritty of how the DDR Booster performs, lets do a brief overview of the unit itself and its packaging.

The unit itself is pretty basic consisting of a LED display, two Molex power connectors with color coded labels, some copper OCZ heatsink action and a voltage adjustment knob.

 

The LED display lights up green and is very clear and easy to read. As you can see we are testing revision R.2 of the DDR Booster.

The box itself actually contains very little. Inside you'll find the booster itself, an ATX pass-through power cable, and quick double sided installation guide page.

As you can see, the Molex connectors are color coordinated to match the sticker labels on the Booster unit. The pass-through cable plugs directly into your motherboards ATX power header and then your PSU unit plugs into the other end. Be sure NOT to plug regular PSU Molex ends into the Booster Unit unless you enjoy the smell of burning silicon.

Next Page: (Installation)