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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [08.27.06]
Manufactured by: OCZ Technology


It's Been a Long Time

It's been quite some time since I have written a memory review here at HCW. That job usually goes to our Main Memory Man, Trevor. But this time I wanted to see what I could do with the AMD AM2 and Intel Conroe platforms. Those require DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) to start with.

In the old days, I would simply take a Pentium 4, lower the mutliplier, and see how far I could push the ram. Of course, that doesn't fly today. Depending on your platform, latency timings could be the most important thing. With the AMD AM2 processors having unlocked multipliers (and currently Core 2 Duo do as well, when paired with a P965 chipset), it's really all about attaining the highest clock speed , while maintaining a low latency rate on the memory.

In the first of what I hope to be an extensive series of DDR2 reviews, we'll be looking at the latest product from OCZ, and it's a special one indeed.

Get ready for a long name: OCZ Technology PC2 6400 Special Ops Edition Urban Elite. This is the latest in OCZ's "Limited Edition" series of ram. The last Limited Edition DDR2 they had was another set of PC2 6400, but with timings of 5-5-5-15. This kit features a very low timing combination of 4-4-3-15.

There is no question that the Urban Elite motif is hot. In my opinion, it's even cooler than the standard camo look the prior kit had. I was already a fan of OCZ's XTC heatsinks; regardless of how they perform, they just look fn cool. And really, isn't that what heatsinks on memory are all about? ;)

The PC2 6400 SOE Urban Elite supports voltage up to 2.1v officially, but you can go as high as 2.2v while maintaining OCZ's excellent lifetime warranty. There will be a 1GB and a 2GB kit, but at this time I'm not sure exactly what the street price will be. One Canadian online retailer I spotted has a 2GB kit listed as a pre-purchase, for $315 CAD, which is $284 USD. Other 2GB PC2-6400 kits with similar timings, such as OCZ's Platinum Edition with 4-5-4 timings, go for between $208-216. So I'd expect it to be in the $280 range, which is on the high side for OCZ, excellent timings and limited edition not withstanding. It's still a lot lower than buying Crucial Ballistix ram directly from their site, but we'll talk about that another day.

In the next couple of pages, we're going to find out how high we can get this memory while maintaining its low latency timings, and then we'll loosen the timings a bit and go from there.

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