Mushkin XP2 PC2-5300 DDR2: Test Setup

AnandTech utilized the stable ASUS P5WD2-Premium motherboard, in conjunction with an Intel Pentium 955 Extreme Edition CPU - a 1066MHz FSB dual core solution containing 2MB of L2 cache onboard. You can read the full Asus P5WD2-E Premium review here.

Asus advertises this particular motherboard in their February 2006 product information spreadsheet, claiming it as their flagship 955 dual core motherboard with native DDR2 800 support. The chart below shows the variety of memory options at different front side bus speeds available with this particular mainboard. The asterisks indicate settings provided for overclocking purposes only.

Here is a basic formula for working out your 1:1, 3:4, 2:3, 3:5 and 1:2 memory ratios, such as those offered on the Asus P5WD2-E Premium motherboard.
Ratio=FSB/Ratio numerator (x) Ratio denominator (x) 2= DRAM Frequency
This works best when the last digit in the FSB (CPU Frequency) is an even number.

Example of 1:1 Ratio 250 FSB (CPU Frequency):
1:1=250/1 = 250x1 = 250x2 = 500 Mem Frequency

Example of 2:3 Ratio 250 FSB (CPU Frequency):
2:3=250/2 = 125x3 = 375x2 = 750 Mem Frequency

Example of 3:4 Ratio at 250 FSB (CPU Frequency):
3:4=250/3 = 83x4 = 332x2 = 664 Mem Frequency

There is a 1:2 Ratio available from 200 to 220 FSB. Above 221 FSB, the fifth option in the BIOS becomes a 2:3 ratio.

 FSB  Memory Configuration Options/ASUS P5WD2-E Premium Motherboard
   Auto  DDR2-400  DDR2-533  DDR2-667  DDR2-711*  DDR2-800*  DDR2-889*  DDR2-1067*
FSB 1066 X X X X X X X X
FSB 800 X X X X X
FSB 533 X X X

Our test bench features the following components:

Processor: Intel 955 Extreme Edition at 13X Ratio
(3.46 GHZ dual core 65nm CPU)
RAM: Mushkin XP2 DDR2 PC2-5300 (2 x 1024 MB)
Crucial Ballistix PC2-6400
Crucial Ballistix PC2-5300
OCZ Platinum EB PC2-4200
Hard Drives: Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 160 GB ATA/133 - 8 MB Cache
Seagate 7200.9 ST3500641AS SATA NCQ - 16 MB Cache
Video Card: EVGA 7800 GTX KO 256MB
Video Drivers: NVIDIA ForceWare Release 80/Version: 84.21
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 850-SSI
Operating System(s): Windows XP Professional SP2
Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2-Premium
BIOS: AMI version 0304 February 22, 2006

It is important to point out that all three of the memories compared to the Mushkin PC2-5300 are based on the now discontinued Micron fat-body D chips. The OCZ is based on early Micron DDR2 chips, while both Crucial Ballistix memories are based on later fat-body D versions.

Micron has also recently released a new DDR2 memory chip. It appeared the new Micron chips were used in our recently reviewed Crucial Ballistix memory. However, we have since learned that the Ballistix modules were also based on older fat-body D chips, which are discontinued or EOL at all memory vendors. We will be testing a new OCZ memory in the next week, which is the first production memory to feature the new Micron memory chips.

A Closer Look Mushkin XP2 PC2-5300 DDR2: Stock Memory Performance
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  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, March 28, 2006 - link

    "I know that the built in spreaders are fantastic for heat dissapation"

    There is a lot of debate over whether heatspreaders made any difference at all even with the hotter running DDR modules at 2.5V+. Many people believe the heatspreaders are more to do with making them look good rather than perform better. I really don't know either way as all the heatspreaders on my DDR modules seem to do is give a larger flat surface area for the heat to be dissipated from after the heat has been conducted from the individual chips (the heatspreaders even with overvolted modules don't feel particularly warm), and I'm unconvinced if
    (a) there is any significant surface area in contact between the chips and heatspreader, let alone whether any thermal compound was used
    (b) that might mean you would get better heat dissipation *without* a heatspreader as the cool air would be blowing directly over the memory chips themselves instead of having a heatspreader in the way

    Given that DDR modules at normal voltages (up to 3V anyway, I'm not talking about the OCZ modules that could take 3.5V or so -- more than old SDRAM even) without getting very warm, why would cooler running DDR2 need heatspreaders unless pushed up from 1.8V to at least 2.3V. Memory chips don't give off much heat even when over-volted so heat-spreaders seem unnecessary, especially on DDR2 modules. Once you combine that with the fact that at least half the surface area of a memory module without a heatspreader is taken up by the memory chips anyway, there doesn't really seem much point in adding something to "spread" the heat over what is only a slightly larger area.

    I will concede that heatspreaders look good though, and the minimal cost of them is returned many times in every premium module they sell with them.

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