It feels like a lifetime ago that I did my last OC Report and in this industry, it pretty much has been. Well unfortunately for you, my almost 100% completely healed white ass is back, and I have brought some toys. OCZ has always been a name most of us here recognize but one that seems to have fallen off the radar at the upper end of the benching circles as of late. Maybe it is just me but I don’t hear OCZ anymore in the uber benching threads. With high performance i7 triple channel kits in full swing, OCZ has also joined the party at the top. Today I am in the OCZ spot of the 3x2GB PC3-16000 7-8-7 world, also known as Elpida Hyper country.
OCZ has reserved the absolute best of the best to their new Blade series of memory. The Flex EX series doesn’t have this kit, the Reaper series doesn’t have this kit, only the Blade series offers the 3x2GB PC3-16000 7-8-7 modules that are guaranteed to be Elpida J1108BASE, more recognizable by the single word…Hyper.
For those new to my OC Report’s, the first rule of an OC Report is to not call an OC Report a review. The second rule of an OC Report is that it isn’t a bloody review. Review’s have proper 24/7 stability testing – or at least they should – and stuffy benchmarks that no one here cares about. An OC Report is just that, a report on the overclockability of the product in question. In this case, it will be memory and my overclock of choice will be slightly different from memory OC Reports of past. I will simply be running a single instance of 32M SPi. Reason being, 8x32M SPi is so bloody close to 24/7 in some cases I might as well use Prime Blend or HCI Memtest. So in keeping with the heritage of the OC Report, single 32M SPi stability is all I am asking for from each timing set and voltage.
I want to mention this now, these modules were sent to me directly from OCZ in beautiful Californ-I-A for review. I know nothing other than that. If you want to complain about these being a cherry picked kit, search for an OCZ rep and fill their inbox, not mine. OCZ has never given me a reason to believe I receive anything but random retail samples in the past, and no reason to start now. I believe in full disclosure so there you have it…and you didn’t even have to twist my arm. The mainstream review without my foul language, offensive demeanor, or blatant insults can be found at HardwareCanucks.com in due time.
Memory is no big mystery. It is spec’d to run at a certain frequency, at certain timings, on certain chipsets, with a specified amount of voltage. There isn’t a whole lot to it as far as manufacturer specifications. What IC’s are powering a set of modules, however, is a different story entirely. Here is a list of the specifications you will find at the OCZ web site.
As mentioned in the opening, this is a top rated kit from the Blade series; or any OCZ series for that matter. Specified to run at DDR3-2000 (1000MHz) at timings of 7-8-7-20 on the i7 X58 platform with 1.65v, the OCZ Blade OCZ3B2000LV6GK are right up there with everyone else sporting top binned Elpida Hyper J1108BASE -MNH-E. OCZ recently announced a PC3-17000 8-9-8 kit so this one isn’t the top dog anymore, but I think they will put up quite the argument here today.
In August of 08, Elpida announced this fantastically spec’d DDR3 IC that had us all drooling at the possibilities. We were also so very skeptical with the announcement of these too good to be true 1250MHz modules. The 20-20-19 timings jokes were cracked and to be honest, there wasn’t much fan fare at the time Elpida announced. Well, the jokes are not being cracked anymore. These IC’s are capable of ultra low voltage operation at 1.2v as well as JEDEC standard 1.5v. The biggest difference between these IC’s and others to date is the fact that they use copper interconnects as opposed to aluminum. It was an obvious progression of DRAM, but not one that anyone had done before.
Needless to say, factory spec’d parts at 1000MHz with timings of 7-8-7-20 and only 1.65v is not something any other IC can claim right now, so OCZ can’t even change the IC’s on these and not tell anyone. Elpida is the performance king at the moment, unfortunately they are also the king of cost. Here are some prices I could find for this kit at the time of posting…
Obviously we aren’t dealing with a mainstream product here. These prices are as high as the top DDR2 back in its time when it was king of the sand hill and Elpida Hyper shows no sign of falling. Equally spec’d kits from Corsair and others are priced similar…except the Kingston kits, but we won’t open that can of worms, perhaps I just did? Either way, these are a premium product at a premium price. Hopefully prices will come down at some point but I don’t have my hopes up for that to happen any time soon.
Before we get to the clocking, here are just a couple photos of the package and the modules in question.
As we can see, the package for memory has evolved a bit with the triple channel packs. Manufacturers can no longer just stuff three of these sticks in a molded plastic shell with a cardboard insert and call it a day. OCZ has gone with two modules in one shell and a single module in another shell, then both jammed into a box. The box is of decent quality and does add another small layer of protection during transport.
The heat sinks that identify the modules as part of the Blade series are quite nice, and normally I don’t find much of anything that simply serves an aesthetic purpose nice. Obviously the heat sinks do help dissipate heat but let’s be honest…do they really need to be there? Have heat sinks ever really needed to be there? And no, I am not asking those questions, so don’t answer and turn this blog post into an “internet engineers” thermal dynamics discussion that holds as much water as a plastic jug that Brian uses to pour LN2 with. If you don’t get the joke, it is because you are not cool enough to…deal with it.
These are mostly just glamour shots showing off the fact that I have a macro lens, but they do a good job showing the heat sink construction and thermal pads OCZ uses. And before you ask, no, I am not potentially killing these bloody sticks to take the heat sinks off to show you they are Elpida Hyper. You want to see the IC’s? Look at the press release photo from Elpida in the specifications section. To be honest, the heat sinks look like they would come off quite easily but still, I don’t want to give you the satisfaction.
Here is the work horse. My ace. My right-hand man. My…you get the idea. The EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified is not only the best motherboard for high BCLK, or the best at running i7 at high clocks under LN2, or an absolute rock solid platform for air testing; the Classified also happens to clock memory pretty damn well. Here are some photos of the setup with my tired and aging Chilly 1 single stage. Yeah, I’m doing this with the processor cold…what, you thought this was going to be on air? Crack head.
There is the jewel of my collection, the little 920 that could. It has been buried in that kneaded rubber eraser for dozens of sessions now without leaving. I am starting to wonder how much corrosion is going on inside that socket, oh well. The Blade modules are nice sized but definitely not too fat for 6 DIMM use and certainly not too tall to interfere with many – if any – heat sinks.
These two photos depict the setup as it will run for the entire testing of this memory. Now you may be wondering why the PCI-E and PCI card are mounted in the motherboard…and why the PCI-E card has a pot strapped to its face. You see, I prepped the board for a quick shake down of the GPU under LN2 because I wasn’t expecting the memory to show up for another day. When the sticks knocked on the door, I wasn’t about to tear down the GPU setup for LN2…and these modules were not going to sit idle overnight. Needless to say, I disabled the PCI-E port, popped in the PCI card at it was go time.
|Memory:||OCZ Blade 3x2GB PC3-16000 7-8-7-20 (OCZ3B2000LV6GK)|
|Motherboard:||EVGA X58 3X SLI Classified|
|Processor:||Intel Core i7 920 D0 (8345B026)|
|Processor Cooling:||Chilly1 Single Stage|
|Thermal Paste:||Arctic Silver Ceramique|
|North Bridge Cooling:||Stock|
|South Bridge Cooling:||Stock|
|Power Supply:||Corsair HX1000W|
|Video Card:||ATI PCI Mach64|
|Additional Fans:||Scythe Ultra Kaze 120MM 3000RPM 133.6CFM (DFS123812H-3000)|
|Hard Drive:||Seagate 7200.9 80GB SATAII 8MB cache|
|OS:||Windows Xp SP2 (custom n’light job)|
|Ambient Temperature:||23C ~ 25C|
There we go, you have now seen the modules, you know the setup, I have insulted a few people…yup, sounds like we are ready to roll
Blah blah blah…this blurb is just here to keep those people’s mouth shut who insist on trying to force their stability testing of memory on everyone else. I won’t name names, you know who you are cstkl1.
This is a single 32M SPi OC Report. That is it, that is all. Nothing more, nothing less. Single 32M SPi is fast, it is a level of stability that most know, and it shows what these sticks can do with the best benchmark money doesn’t have to buy. If you don’t like it…get lost. If you want more stability testing, or are going to say “but his CPU is cooled by phase change”, or something else that is going to make me want to smack you in the back of the head Rafer Alston style…leave. Do us both a favor and just go whine to the nearest bum on the street because he is going to care as much as I do.
And one last time…these modules were sent to me directly from OCZ as a review sample. Please refer to section one, paragraph four, line three, word thirteen for further details on what you can do should you feel this kit is cherry picked. Disclaimers aside…here are the results:
Off to a great start with 6-7-6. I was hoping for 1000MHz once I saw how scaling was going but it just didn’t work out. At least all signs point toward 6-7-6 1000MHz being do-able for 32M at 1.90v. Might need a sprinkle more voltage. As it stands, I managed to keep tRAS at 18 the entire test range but did have to open RTL up to get the last 987MHz stable. I don’t think it quite needed to be 57-59-61, but that is where I started and just didn’t feel like working down from there.
Like 6-7-6, 7-7-6 started off great with perfect scaling through 1.65v to 1.70v, not to mention the very nice jump up from 6-7-6 at the starting voltage. Unfortunately I hit a snag at 1.75v. The memory just stopped scaling at that point and I managed only 10MHz from the 1.70v clock. I played with tRAS, vTT, sub timings, all to no avail. Thinking back, the one thing I did not change – as silly as it sounds – was tRP. I should have opened that up to 7-7-7 to see if it made a difference. This was my last timing set I actually ran and it was the next morning already so forgive my brain fart as I was up all night clocking this memory…literally all night.
The clocking for the OC Report was done within 24 hours of getting the memory…and within 18 hours of actually starting. That is right, 18 hours of straight 32M SPi, I am a loser, deal with it. Eat your heart out Gautam…my sticks aren’t even close to dead. This was after getting right drunk at dinner just before I started clocking, that definitely helped. So I aplogize for not trying tRP of 7…sue me. My address can be found on some bathroom stall somewhere, go find it and serve the papers.
As much as the 7-7-6 was a bit of a letdown – riiiiight – 7-8-7 definitely wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination. This kit just kept taking voltage and jumping 20MHz+ at a time with every 0.05v I fed it. I am completely shocked that this 920 – even on phase – was able to take this memory this high. And just for those about to ask, no, this likely isn’t possible or even close to possible with the CPU on air. Don’t complain when your kit doesn’t do these numbers with your 920 and its ass IMC at 80C. But please prove me wrong if you can…seriously, cough up the screen shots, I really want to know if a CPU on air can clock memory this high. Don’t be shy, no one will bite. Well…maybe someone here will but I won’t disclose how I know.
Seriously though, another great kit of top binned Elpida Hyper, and from someone other than Corsair. It goes without saying, but I am saying it to keep those without common sense to miss it, these are results from a SINGLE KIT. This may, or may not be a good representation of what every kit will do.
This will be my “results” page if you will, for benchmarks with this memory. Only the good stuff, nothing weak is going to the rim here. Check back often, something tells me this kit is going to be busy.
There are no deep thoughts, I am not Jack Handy. But after having this memory for the last month, I am thoroughly impressed. This is my first kit of top binned Elpida Hyper and you know what they say…you never forget your first. I have been working with a PC3-15000 kit of Corsair Dominator-GTs which are also Elpida Hyper, but not their top bin…it shows. The difference between these two are not going to be seen by everyday use, but in SPi 32M, it is a night and day difference.
The most amazing thing is the ability of this dog meat 920 IMC to clock this memory this high. On air, this 920 cannot run 8x32M SPi with memory at 1000MHz 7-8-7…it just can’t do it. Drop in my 965 and it plows through blind folded. Single 32M SPi is obviously quite a bit less load, and the CPU was under a single stage, but I was sure the 920 would gas out early anyway. If the i7 920 did run out of steam, then this kit is even further beyond all my expectations of it. You see everyone else running around with 1100MHz 7-8-7 sticks, but you never believe it will be you until it happens.