OCZ has long been associated with high performance computing products. From their Power Supply offerings to their SSD’s, OCZ offers a wide range of products for just about any budget. Today we will be looking at one of OCZ’s many memory offerings, their mid priced DDR3 4gb Dual Channel Kit (OCZ3P2000C8LV4Gk). Before we get started a little information on OCZ would be in order.
“Founded in 2002, San Jose, California-based OCZ Technology Group, Inc. has built on its expertise in high-speed memory to become a dominant player in the manufacturing and distribution of solid state drives (SSDs), a disruptive, game-changing technology that is replacing traditional rotating magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs). SSDs are faster, more reliable, run cooler, and use significantly less power than the HDDs used in the majority of computers today. In addition to SSD technology, OCZ also offers high performance components for computing devices and systems, including enterprise class power management products as well leading edge computer gaming solutions.”
The packaging for this kit is similar to the way most memory is packaged now days, in the usual plastic clam shell. A blue and orange theme is used on this particular memory kit which makes it eye catching. The front of the package proclaims “High Performance DDR3 Memory” and “Low Voltage”. The rear of the package has a long list of what the customer should expect when this kit is purchased.
- Low Voltage - OCZ’s dual channel low voltage memory was specifically developed for the IntelÂ® Core i7, i5, and i3 processors to provide unparalleled compatibility and performance when installed in one of these cutting edge platforms.
- OCZ Performance - OCZ Technology is committed to bringing the most innovative and highest performing memory to market. Each and every memory module is designed to deliver unprecedented performance even for the most demanding PC environments.
- OCZ Quality - OCZ memory products are 100% hand tested to ensure compliance with stringent quality standards. OCZ binning guarantees exceptional performance and compatibility with most motherboards.
- Customer Support - To provide our customers with the finest support in the industry, all OCZ memory is backed by a Lifetime Warranty* and includes free technical support for direct, expert advice. Contact OCZ Technical Support at (800) 459-1816 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (*Lifetime Warranty is not available for Europe customers. For the latest warranty information please visit ocztechnology.com)
The heat spreaders applied to this Platinum kit are what OCZ calls their XTC (Xtreme Thermal Convection) cooling solution. The heat spreaders upon initial inspection appear to be adequate for the task at hand. Depending on the system you might be assembling, these heat spreaders could be just the ticket. There are no tall fins to get in the way of a massive CPU air cooling solution, albeit in some cases the fin style heat spreaders will work better.
As you can see on the label affixed to the modules, these sticks are rated at DDR3-2000 (PC3-16000) at 8-9-8 timings and 1.65v.
Since OCZ’s claim to fame for this memory seems to be for the P55 chipsets, we’ll test using an eVGA P55 FTW motherboard and an IntelÂ® i5-661 processor. Read on as we dig deeper in to exactly how these modules perform.
For the purpose of comparison we will test two different sets of G.Skill memory along with the OCZ OCZ3P2000C8LV4GK. The G.Skill kits are a set of Trident and Ripjaws, part#’s F3-16000CL9D-4GBTD and F3-16000CL9D-4GBRH respectively. All three of these memory kits are marketed at or near the same price point, anywhere from $120.00 USD to $135.00 USD.
eVGA P55 FTW
2X VisionTech HD3870 in Crossfire
Intel i5 661 CPU
Thermaltake Toughpower XT 775 PSU
WIndows 7 HP X64
In order for all three of these kits to run at DDR3-2000 the CPU multiplier was set to 20x (from stock 25x) and the BCLK adjusted to 200, this in combination with a 2:10 memory divider put us right at the 2000 Mhz each of these kits are rated at. Each kit’s timings and voltages were set as per manufacturers specs and a quick ten pass run of Linx was used to test for stability. Below are the results of the stability tests on all three kits.
Nice!!, the OCZ Platinum 3P2000C8LLV4GK kit had no problem reaching it’s advertised timings and speed. It should be noted that the Ripjaws would only pass stability tests at a command rate of 2T, which is what their specifications state. Just something to keep in mind as you look at the test results. The OCZ kit and the Trident kit both passed stability testing at a 1T command rate. Now that we have a comfortable level of stability on all three kits, lets get started on the benchmarking!
We have a full battery of tests to throw at these kits, the first of which will be the Winrar benchmark. Every test result given in this review is based on running each test three times. The best score of the three runs is the score used.
Winrar File Compression
The G.SKill Tridents come out on top here but the OCZ kit has a very respectable result as well and beat out the G.SKill Ripjaws.
Next we’ll run both 3DMark06 and Vantage from Futuremark. The graphs below break down the 3DMark06 score and for Vantage the total score along with the GPU and CPU scores have been broken down.
As you can see, the scores for all three kits are very similar. The G.Skill kits had a very minor advantage in all but the Vantage GPU score. Still a nice showing by the OCZ modules.
Cinebench R10 and R11.5 are real good benchmarks for testing real world performance. We tested both CPU and GPU performance using both versions of Cinebench.
As you can tell by the scores in the above graphs, the OCZ memory performed quite well and actually beat out the G.Skills in the R10 version’s GPU testing. In the R11.5 test the OCZ GPU and CPU test results were at the top as well.
Everyone’s favorite benchmarks, SuperPI and wPrime were run next. With SuperPI we ran the 1M and 32M test, followed up by wPrime’s 32M and 1024M tests
Excellent showing on these two benchmarks for the OCZ kit. The OCZ kit was right at the top of both wPrime tests and beat out the G.Skill Trident in the SuperPI 1M test.
Continuing on with the synthetic benchmarks, we ran Everest’s read, write, copy, and latency tests. We also ran the Everest Cache and Memory benchmark for a side by side comparison. For some reason the Everest Cache and Memory benchmark always lists the memory timings incorrectly, so disregard that bit of information.
Very minor differences between the three kits here. The OCZ held its own with some impressive numbers.
The final benchmark we decided to run is MaxxMem. MaxxMem, much like Everest, will test the read, write, copy, and latency functions.
The MaxxMem benchmark absolutely loved this OCZ kit. The OCZ kit had the best score in all four tests, WOW! It’s was pretty obvious throughout the testing regiment that this OCZ3P2000C8LV4GK kit is pretty stout and can throw up some good numbers against the competition.
Overclocking memory is a two fold operation, we like to find the max speed (Mhz) and the tightest timings. The first thing we did was test for the fastest Mhz we could achieve. We gave the motherboard a boost in CPU VTT up to 1.35v, and raised the memory voltage to 1.7v. The best we could come up with is 2050 Mhz. Not bad considering these modules run at the rated 2000 Mhz extremely well, and even at that speed allow the user a lot of headroom when overclocking their CPU. The bad news is that we had to raise the timings to 9-10-9 to get it stable which in the end gave us a worse SuperPI score than when tested at the rated speed and timings of 2000 Mhz and 8-9-8.
Next we lowered the memory ratio setting by one, from 2:10 to 2:8, this gave us a memory speed of 1600 Mhz while the CPU clock stayed at 4.0 Ghz. After quite a bit of testing and experiments with different timings, we were able to achieve a stable timing setting of 6-7-6 at default memory voltage of 1.65v. We benched these settings using SuperPI 1M and MaxxMem.
Did you notice what we noticed? That’s right, at 1600 Mhz and tighter timings, the SuperPI 1M score and the MaxxMem scores (except latency) were all better than at the rated 2000 Mhz and default 8-9-8 timings! So, what have we learned boys and girls? Raw Mhz is only half the story when performance is concerned. We loved the fact that you can run this memory at a slower Mhz and still get the performance by tightening it up a little. This OCZ3P2000C8LV4GK kit really shined when tighter timings were used.
While this OCZ3P2000C8LV4GK kit was not an overclocking monster when raw Mhz were attempted, it more than made up for it when tighter timings were applied.Ã‚Â When compared to other kits priced very similar, this kit performed pretty much on par with the others.Ã‚Â The kit is aesthetically pleasing and is not overburdened with huge heatsinks.Ã‚Â Those with huge air coolers will appreciate the low profile heatsinks for obvious reasons.
At the low $120 USD price range, this kit should be very appealing to the masses.Ã‚Â At that price it will be difficult to find anything else that can drastically outperform this offering by OCZ.Ã‚Â If your in the market for a 2X2gb PC3-2000 kit that outperforms it’s price, looks great and overclocks reasonably well, then the Platinum OCZ3P2000C8LV4GK kit needs to be on your short list.Ã‚Â Performance and price have earned this kit OverclockersTech Gold award!
Thanks to OCZ for the review sample.
Dino DeCesari (Lvcoyote)