We had a few questions that we wanted to ask OCZ during our analysis of their memory modules and Alex Mei was able to sit down and give us feedback directly from the top. Alex Mei is the Vice President of Marketing over at OCZ and he has been working with Legit Reviews for a number of years now, so we were happy that he was the one that addressed our questions.
Alex Mei: First, thanks very much for the opportunity to respond regarding our PC2-8800 Gold modules! I?ll do my best to address all your questions.
Legit Reviews: Yesterday was international talk like a pirate day. Did you get a chance do anything fun at the office that you?d be willing to share?
Alex Mei: Hahaha, now that?s a question I didn?t expect. Hmmm, did we do anything fun? We pretty much celebrated our ?pirattude? with the release of a new compact USB drive, the tiny OCZ ?Roadster? which features a capless ?Top-Down? design. Well that release, and a few drinks after work with the team. =)
Legit Reviews: Okay, I’ll try to be serious now! The OCZ PC2-8800 Gold 2GB Memory Kit features strange timings of 5-6-6-15 timings. Can you explain to the readers of Legit Reviews why these modules were rated at such timings?
Alex Mei: OCZ focuses on the premium segment of the market, and believes it is beneficial to consumers to create products that represent solutions to address the unique needs of the entire range of customers. The PC2-8800 is in our Gold lineup which is designed primarily for Gamers. This part effectively bridges the gap between our gaming and enthusiast Platinum and Titanium Alpha lines, which are designed for Enthusiasts and Overclockers. You can expect to see more solutions very shortly which will offer both higher speeds and tighter timings.
Legit Reviews: What brand and revision memory IC?s are OCZ using on the PC2-8800 Gold memory series?
Alex Mei: While I can?t divulge the exact revision I can tell you that these parts use aggressively binned Micron IC?s that are screened at the IC level and then 100% tested once they are built into modules.
Legit Reviews: Our modules operate error free at 4-4-4-12 timings thanks to the voltage up to 2.55V. Is this something readers can expect to see when they buy the kit or did we just get a lucky sample that can do tight timings?
Alex Mei: We have seen exceptional results on our other Micron based modules and it isn?t a surprise that you are seeing these fantastic results. It is important to pair other quality components together in your setup, which you have done perfectly. However, if you are an Enthusiast and are looking for the absolute tightest timings we still recommend our Platinum and TiA product lines.
Legit Reviews: Our independent performance testing showed the PC2-8800 modules perform on par with the Corsair Dominator PC2-8888C4 kit when tweaked to operate at the same frequencies. Is this a shocker?
Alex Mei: This is somewhat surprising considering this is our gaming part and priced accordingly. We are just weeks away from new enthusiast grade products that will really push the envelope when it comes to maximum speed, stability, tight timings, and superior thermals. We already have products like our Titanium Alpha VX2 solutions which are positioned higher up on the enthusiast performance scale.
Legit Reviews: According to OCZ these modules have EVP (Extended Voltage Protection), which is a feature that allows performance enthusiasts to use a VDIMM of 2.4V 5% without invalidating their OCZ Lifetime Warranty. Since we had to over volt these modules to 2.55V from 2.40V to become stable at 4-4-4-12 I am under the impression that we voided the warranty on our modules as 5% is only .12V and we used .15V. If I understand EVP correctly that means our overclock just killed the warranty right?
Alex Mei: EVP allows customers to experiment with slightly higher voltages to maximize performance. In the 8800?s case the Extended Voltage Protection would top out at 2.52V so you are right over the threshold of what the warranty covers. With that said, we do encourage our customers to get the very best performance out of their modules, and our dedicated tech support team is always happy to work with customers to determine the optimal settings for their unique setup without having to invalidate their warranty.
Legit Reviews: With 2.4 Volts running through the modules is active cooling needed on the PC2-8800 Gold memory kit?
Alex Mei: No active cooling is not required but it is recommended that some active cooling be used when attempting to achieve a higher level of performance. As you know the OCZ XTC (eXtreme Thermal Convection) heatspreaders are designed to perform well under passive conditions, and even better under active cooling. Since you asked, here is the very first look at the matching XTC Cooler which is just right around the corner.
Legit Reviews: Wow, thanks for sharing the new active cooling solution that you have designed for your XTC heat spreaders! Lastly, many of our readers have poked fun of your website where you say: ?At DDR2-1120, the Ti Alpha VX2 supports ultra-low timings of 5-5-5 at 2.4 volts.? (site reference) Is this a typo, because if 5-5-5 is ultra-low what would you call our 4-4-4 timings at the same speeds?
Alex Mei: Fair enough, and it is good to know that our website is being read =), this is good feedback. We do consider 5-5-5 aggressive timings at those speeds, but I promise the best is yet to come. We would consider a part with CL4 timings at 1100+ to offer absolutely ?Blistering? timings. Our goal with the TiA parts is to offer a perfect balance of stability, speed, and tight timings for those consumers willing to push their system to the maximum in an effort to achieve the ultimate overclock.
Legit Reviews: We’d like to thank OCZ and Alex Mei for making this interview possible and answering our questions on the fly!
Alex Mei: Thank you again for pushing our Gold modules and seeing what they can really do. The results you achieved on this gaming oriented part is exceptional, and I am looking forward to what you can do with one of our new TiA kits. Also thanks to all your readers for voicing their sincere opinions, we take all of this to heart as it helps us not only make a better product, but design the right solutions to address the unique needs of high-end consumers, whether they are serious gamers, or hard-core overclockers.