Is DDR2 Ready To Replace DDR1???

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Introduction:

To get a better understanding of DDR2 memory we need to go back to when it all began! It was back in October of 2002 that things started looking good for DDR2 memory and that it would actually become the successor to the DDR1 memory line. This is back during the time period where enthusiasts were running single channel DDR1 PC-2700 memory! So on paper DDR2 PC-4200 was a huge performance leap in raw bandwidth power, but was also meant to improve memory latencies and lower the overall power consumption. It was the goal to bring DDR2 out at PC-3200 and PC-4200, while lowering the voltages down to1.8V! As you can tell DDR2 533MHz would be a huge performance leap over DDR1 333MHz! The designers were happy and went off to build DDR2!

It’s amazing how fast things change in the computer industry! Between 2002 and 2004 we saw memory go from single channel PC-2700 memory to dual channel PC-4400! The actual bandwidth of DDR1 memory almost doubled, while chipsets and memory controllers kept getting better from generation to generation. So on June 19th, 2004 when Intel finally released the first DDR2 platforms there was concern that DDR2 may not be able to compete with the tried and true DDR1 memory that is on the market today!

Today we bring you DDR2 at speeds from 533MHz all the way up to 733MHz and compare it to some of the best DDR1 memory that is on the market today!

Our Test Modules & Design:

While we have various DDR1 & DDR2 modules here for testing we wanted to go with two pairs that were able to stand out from the crowd. For this we went with Crucial’s PC2-4200 and Corsair’s XMS PC-3200 XL memory modules.

Memory Performance:

DDR2 Test Rig:

  • Intel Pentium 4 560
  • ABIT AA8-DuraMax
  • ATI x600 (RV380)
  • Corsair HydroCool 200ex (Water Cooled CPU)
  • Seagate 120Gb Serial ATA 150
  • OCZ PowerStream 520W PSU
  • 17″ Sony Trinitron monitor
  • ABIT BIOS version 13

 

DDR1 Test Rig:

  • Intel Pentium 4 3.4E
  • ASUS P4C800E-Deluxe
  • ATI 9600XT
  • Corsair HydroCool 200ex (Water Cooled CPU)
  • Seagate 120Gb Serial ATA 150
  • Antec True Power 430W PSU
  • 17″ Sony Trinitron monitor
  • ASUS BIOS version 1016

 

Testing Procedure:

All testing was done on a fresh install of Windows XP Professional build 2600 with Service Pack 1A and DirectX 9.0b. All benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running. No overclocking was done on the video card unless noted. Our testing was done at:

  • DDR2 533: 200×17 = 3.4GHz with H/T enabled (1.95vDimm)
  • DDR2 667: 250×15 = 3.75GHz with H/T enabled (1.95vDimm)
  • DDR2 722: 270×14 = 3.78GHz with H/T enabled (2.05vDimm)
  • DDR2 733: 275×14 = 3.85GHz with H/T enabled (2.05vDimm)
  • —————————————————-
  • DDR1 400: 200×17 = 3.4GHz with H/T enabled (2.8vDimm)
  • DDR1 500: 250×15 = 3.75GHz with H/T enabled (2.8vDimm)

The audio, USB, Firewire, and lan features were disabled in the BIOS menu for all the testing competed during this review. All memory was set at the timings noted in the graphs. Performance mode was enabled for all modules via the ASUS BIOS.

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