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    OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum and PC3700 Gold DDR Review
    By Vince Freeman :  February 8, 2005

    Benchmark Analysis

    The PCMark 2004 and SANDRA 2005 memory benchmark results showed quite conclusively that higher memory clock speeds translates into higher memory bandwidth scores. This is quite logical given the test scenario, and indicative of the majority of real world benchmarks. It is here that the OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev 3 DDR really takes charge and posts some exceptional scores at 480 MHz speeds. The PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 is no slouch either, and its CL2 timings at 436 MHz are tops at that speed. This discrepancy is due to the lower timings afforded by the PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 memory, as compared to the consistent CL2.5 of the PC3700 Gold Rev 3.

    The game tests follow along with the above trends, but with a noted exception. The OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev 3 DDR at 480 MHz posted the highest score in Quake 3, FarCry, and Unreal Tournament 2004 benchmarking, but failed to take the lead in Half-Life 2. In fact, all of the overclocked DDR were noticeably back of the top-end PC3200 at 400 MHz. The reason was the higher memory timings and how they played out in Half-Life 2 testing. Apparently this CPU-dependant game makes use of the lower memory latencies and posts higher scores as a result, while a higher memory bus has little effect. This also proves that there is no sure fire method of attaining the best performance across the board, as while higher memory clock speeds pay off in most areas, there are going to be games and applications that run faster with a lower memory clock and timings.

    Value

    High-end DDR is certainly not an inexpensive proposition, especially with upper-echelon models like these. The price of the OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 kit is just above the $250 mark, while PC3700 Gold Rev 3 checks in at just under that same $250 mark for the dual channel package. The PC3700 Gold compares quite well against other brand name memory, with competitive Kingston HyperX, Crucial Ballistix, Geil Ultra or Crucial XMS PC3700-PC4000 in approximately the same price range.

    The OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2, on the other hand, is more of a relative deal, especially when it rock solid operation and ultra-low memory timings are taken into account. For example, a comparable Corsair PC3200LL "Low Latency" dual-channel DDR kit will run you over $275, and similar lower latency DDR like Geil UltraX is usually in the $270 and up range.

    * Please note that these prices were taken at the time of review and are not meant to reflect long-term trends.

    Conclusion

    These two OCZ dual channel DDR kits are very impressive, and cover off both ends of the enthusiast spectrum. The OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 kit offers insanely low memory timings at 400 MHz, and even maintains these through nominal overclocking. This dual channel kit is tailored for buyers who need the highest memory performance at stock speeds, and may want to try a slight overclock while keeping the memory timings low.

    The OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev 3 dual channel DDR is a bit different, in that the CL2.5 timings are not that big of a deal at 400 MHz, but the ability to stick to them at 400-500 MHz or higher overclock speeds is an extremely nice feature. This kit is a great option for the enthusiast overclocker who not only requires high memory clock speeds, but low relative latency as well. Both OCZ kits come highly recommended, and are among the top performance and overclocking options in their class.

    OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 Kit Ratings

    Pros:

    • Exceptional Performance at 400 MHz
    • Ultra-low 2-2-2-5 Timings
    • Nice Overclocking for PC3200

    Cons:

    • CL2.5 and CL3 when Overclocked
    • Expensive

    Ratings:





    OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev 3 Kit Ratings

    Pros:

    • Excellent High Speed Performance
    • Constant CL2.5 Timings from 400-500+ MHz
    • Exceptional Overclocking Results

    Cons:

    • CL2.5 at 400 MHz
    • Expensive

    Ratings:




    Page 1 OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 Dual Channel Kit
    Page 2 OCZ PC3700 Gold Rev 3 Dual Channel Kit
    Page 3 Performance and Test System
    Page 4 Memory Performance Testing
    Page 5 Game Performance Testing
  • Page 6 Benchmark Analysis, Value and Conclusion

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