Super Talent DDR2-800 5-5-4

Many readers have been asking about low-priced DDR2-800 in recent weeks. As prices escalated in the past several months the search for value DDR2 became an economic necessity, but now that prices have moderated the bigger question is whether value DDR2 can deliver the performance many buyers are looking for, and save $100, $200 or even more to be used for a better video card or a faster CPU? To better answer that question Super Talent, a manufacturer of enthusiast memory, supplied a typical value part rated at DDR2-800.

Super Talent has several DDR2-800 rated parts, and they decided to provide their lowest priced DDR2-800 rated at 5-5-4 timings. With a price of just over $200, this Super Talent DDR2-800 certainly qualifies as a value 2GB kit. 2GB should be a good match for the soon-to-be-released Vista operating system, but if price is a huge concern in the system build, this Super Talent memory is also available as a 1GB kit with a pair of 512MB DIMMs.

This range of prices and configurations should certainly qualify the Super Talent DDR2-800 5-5-4 kits as a value product in any current memory comparison. With a rating of DDR2-800 the kits compete with lower rated 2GB kits at about the same price. However, the question still remains whether a step down to DDR2-800 will save a few bucks while delivering performance about as good as the top DDR2 memory.

Super Talent DDR2-800 Specifications

Super Talent was all but invisible in the desktop memory market until Joe James moved from marketing at Corsair to Super Talent. Since that time Super Talent has been pushing for visibility in the enthusiast desktop memory market, and the brand is appearing at a number of online etailers. A quick look at their website will show the heavy emphasis on flash products, which is why you may not have heard of Super Talent until recently. Still, the company has been making memory products for about 20 years, and the Super Talent design center is located in San Jose, California.

In our last review of Super Talent memory we complained about the amateurish packaging of Super Talent. It is clear that Super Talent is paying attention since the new packaging is greatly improved.

The crude packaging is gone and has been replaced by new designs with strong corporate identity. You can also see the attractive new heat spreaders that coordinate with the package theme. These are all clear indications that Super Talent is serious about competing in the desktop memory market.

The T800UX2GC5 is a DDR2-800 2GB kit supplied with attractive blue heatspreaders. This is a value product rated at DDR2-800 and 5-5-4 timings. The matched pair of 1GB DIMMs sell in the low $200 range, but they are still identified on the ST website as a member of the overclocking series. Super Talent also offers another 2GB DDR2-800 kit rated at 4-4-3-8 timings at a price just below $300 (even less with the current rebate). The DDR2-800 5-5-4 and DDR2-800 4-4-3 DIMMs are both supplied as either 512MB or 1GB DIMMs, and as single DIMMs or two DIMM kits (2x512MB or 2x1GB).

We do not know which memory chips are used in building the Super Talent tested in this review. Performance suggests it is not Micron D9 chips or even Elpida memory chips. The memory is specified at the fairly slow 5-5-4 timings you expect to see in value DDR2-800.

Super Talent T800UX2GC5 Memory Specifications
Number of DIMMs & Banks 2 DS
Total Memory 2 GB
Rated Timings 5-5-4-12 at DDR2-800
Rated Voltage 1.8V

As you will see later in the review, Super Talent managed to handily outperform the rated memory specifications with just a modest increase in memory voltage.

Memory Test Configuration
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  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Pretty is not good by itself, but pretty IS an indication that a company has the resources to compete in the market and that they are proud enough of their product to make it want to stand out.

    Our past experience has been that memory that is amateurishly packaged either improves in "pretty" and stays in the market, or dwindles away in the ugly packaging in which it was introduced.
  • peldor - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    If pretty is an indication of something about a company then I'm worried about AnandTech. Those line graphs in this article are hideous, and the front page ain't too hot. At least that expanding Crossfire ad isn't running anymore.
  • brshoemak - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    this is a little OT but I sincerely hope their enthusiast memory is of a higher quality than their standard DDR memory.

    We bought around 30 sticks of Super Talent DDR memory and some Corsair ValueRam from a couple different distributors to build PC's with less than a year ago. So far, 16 (over half) of the Super Talent sticks have gone bad and every time I hear of a new PC problem it's almost always Super Talent memory inside.

    If the enthusiast memory is better quality that's great, but due to my own personal experience I would be wary of their value-segment offerings. JMO
  • Xajel - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    Users are AMD and Intel, how an Article like this be helpfull if it cover only less than half of the market ?? I hope to see three variants, Intel Core 2, Intel P4 & D and AMD's AM2 platform...
  • Frumious1 - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    In related news, reading comprehension is on the decline so things need to be pointed out with bold flashing text:

    Page 2:
    DDR2 memory performance, in timings and required voltage, are equivalent on the AM2 and Core 2 Duo platforms. This was clearly illustrated in Conroe vs. AM2: Memory & Performance. However, the first generation of AM2 on-processor memory controller does not support any memory timings below 3, or memory speeds above DDR2-800, while both these features are supported on the Intel platform. Timings of 2 are available for RAS-to-CAS and RAS Precharge, and DDR2-1067 is a memory speed option on most Intel motherboards. The lack of extended memory timings and memory speeds makes it more difficult to test the newest high-speed DDR2 memories on an AM2 platform.

    In other words, the memory timings and voltages you can get are the same on both platforms. Performance with AM2 while keeping CPU speed constant is going to improve slightly with more bandwidth just like on Core 2. Most people after high-end memory are going to overclock anyway, at which point it's just a matter of determining how high you can go with the various RAM.

    Core 2 could use a 1:1 ratio and run with this RAM at up to 2000 FSB. Athlon AM2 could do "1:1" at up to DDR2-1000 as well, but there's no way the HyperTransport bus is going to run at 500 MHz base speed. So you can go with the DDR2-800 divider and get up to around 250 MHz HT speed (a 25% overclock), or you could drop to a lower divider like DDR2-667 and probably hit the limits of your motherboard. If not with the 667 setting then certainly with the DDR2-533 setting. Actual memory speeds on AM2 are a bit different then what you select anyway, depending on CPU, as the final RAM speed is derived from the CPU speed an not from the bus speed.

    This is all beside the point, as the main thing to note is that this value RAM will work extremely well for all but the most demanding enthusiasts.
  • AndyKH - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    As far as I understand, 533MHz DDR2 will theoretically max out the bandwidth on a 1067MHz FSB, as the memory interface is 128 bits, while FSB is 64 bits. Thus, the only reason that the faster memories perform better is that the timings are relative to the clock speed and will therefore get faster with increased memory clock speed. Is this correct?
  • Wesley Fink - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    This is partly true. Memory is Double Data Rate so DDR2-533 is the 1:1 match to a quad-pumped FSB base of 266 (1067). Memory ratios run the memory faster, and it performs better, while the base FSB clock remains the same. However, there is also overclcoking. At 1:1 or any given ratio, you can overclock the bus, which overclocks the memory in lock step at the settings you have chosen.

    With the nVidia 680i, for example, we reached a FSB of 2100 (525 quad-pumped), which is almost a 100% FSB overclock. In that case we had to drop memory ratios so the final memory speed would work with a 2100 bus.

    Memory can be clocked higher by ratios or FSB overclocks, or a combination of both. This gives many options in squeezing the most performance from your memory and system.
  • Xajel - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    the point is not about working and overclockablity or not, it's about compatibility as main concern, some mobos like MSI has hard compatibility with some DDR's like OCZ, some reports they can't even hit DDR2-800 speeds so how about overclocking ??

    some mobos, like those from ASUS ( mainly K8N's ) need BIOS update to make it possible to work with OCZ memories in DDR2-800 in Dual channel mode, a lot of users start there rigs with two stick on only one channel then do BIOS flash update and then rearrange the stick to enable DualChannel.

    some guys need to upgrade but they don't know about compatibility issues they may have with such brand new memory !!
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    The major concern with compatibility almost always comes from default required voltages. Since this Super Talent requires 1.8V by default, it should work on any DDR2 platform that recognizes the DDR2-800 speed. I'm sure Wes has played with the RAM on more than one motherboard, so if he hasn't made comments about incompatibilities (and he actually mentions the benefits of the 1.8V requirement) then it's about as "safe" as you can get.
  • Cali3350 - Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - link

    When might this be available, and perhaps more inportantly if it already is does anyone know where? I cannot find it anywhere.

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