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

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NewEgg: $48.00
Monarch: $46.00

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The Results

Well I hope you're ready to be majorly disappointed. After reading OCZ's product page where it states "Each OCZ DDR Booster allows VDIMM adjustments up to 3.9V* and is compatible with most DDR1 motherboards.**" (notice all those asterisks) I was very excited. The Abit IS7 that I was originally going to use for this review has always been a great overclocking board, but is held back by its DDR voltage limit of 2.8V. With a factory unlocked engineering sample I couldn't wait to see how high I could bump the FSB on some quality OCZ RAM sticks.  Unfortunately it was not to be.

It would seem that "most" DDR1 motherboards actually means only a select few. The actual compatibility list can be found here.

Missing from the list are some of the best known overclocking boards, such as the DFI nForce Lanparty B. Ones which are listed such as the Abit NF7 cannot reach even close to the advertised 3.9V and are crippled by loss of dual channel support. In fact no motherboards are listed as being capable of reaching the advertised 3.9V limit. The highest is a Soltek Qbic board which can reach 3.8V, but with the Booster installed you can no longer install the Qbic's drive cage...

As for my actual testing, well there isn't really much to tell. I had to obtain an Abit AI7 motherboard as the unit was not compatible with any of the motherboards I had on hand, which include:

DFI Lanparty nForce2 Rev. B (AMD)
Soltek SL-75FRN2-L (AMD)
Abit IS7-G (P4)
Soltek SL-85LIR-C (P4)
Gigabyte GA-7NNXP (AMD)

With the unit installed on the Abit AI7 motherboard I was able to raise the voltage up from the 3.3V available in the BIOS to 3.4V. Unfortunately the .1V increase did nothing to net me a higher overclock on the AI7 board. If only I was able to do the same with the IS7 motherboard the DDR Booster would have been truly useful for me.

In the end I guess it just goes to show that a great product idea does not always equal a great product when implemented. Had the DDR Booster been able to meet it's marketed claim of "Each OCZ DDR Booster allows VDIMM adjustments up to 3.9V* and is compatible with most DDR1 motherboards.**" even just some of the time, then it could have been one of the best products of the year. As it is though, the DDR Booster ranks right up there in the "nothing but hype" department.

Don't get me wrong though, I can't completely fault OCZ on this. Just the fact that OCZ not only developed such a unit, but marketed it for mass distribution says a lot about what type of company they really are. OCZ cannot control how each manufacturer implements different chipsets on their motherboards, and as such could in no way guarantee that the DDR Booster would be universally compatible. At the very least the PowerClean feature can be used by tweakers who have already attained a stellar overclock but are worried about longtime stability, and for just around $46 from stores like NewEgg and Monarch Computers, that's not such a bad investment.

OCZ I salute you for the effort and your attempt at further helping out us tweakers who are continually striving for push the Mhz barrier. However if it was me, I'd recommend that you take the $50 you'd spend on this unit and simply put it towards some higher grade memory.

  • Volt Mod in a Box!?!
  • For Even Trying, OCZ We Salute You!

  • Massive Compatibility Issues
  • Kills Dual Channel on 3 Slot nForce2 Boards
  • Tough to See Display LED Once Installed in a Case

Final Score: 65%