Articles: Memory

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We tested the memory for stability in two steps. At first we resorted to the Memtest86+ utility version 1.60 to make sure there were no errors during operation. Then we reconfirmed this result by running S&M 1.7.2 and Prime95 24.13 utilities in Windows XP. This two-step approach ensures that we get trustworthy results.

We tested Kingston HyperX KHX7200D2K2/1G memory kit at 2.0V nominal voltage. I have to say that most motherboards out there, even those not positioned as overclocker’s solutions do support this DIMM slots voltage. Therefore, we will be able to use these overclocking-friendly memory modules in a much wider range of systems, which is their indisputable advantage.

So, here come the results. The diagram shows the maximum frequencies we managed to achieve with different timing settings.

In fact, I don’t think we can call these results impressive. The records set by the overclocker’s DDR2 memory modules built with Micron D9DQT chips outpace significantly the performance of Kingston HyperX KHX7200D2K2/1G. Unfortunately, Infineon chips didn’t turn into a remarkable alternative to the Micron D9DQT that has stood the test of time already. Although, there is no reason for drama.

Of course, the major drawback of Kingston HyperX KHX7200D2K2/1G memory modules is the fact that they didn’t work with the most aggressive timing settings of 3-2-2-8. Besides, their working frequency with the timings set to 3-3-3-10 leaves much to be desired. Looks like these memory modules will suit better for reaching higher working frequencies rather than supporting aggressive timing settings. By setting the timings to 5-5-5-15 we managed to reach 908MHz, which is pretty good.

We cannot deny that DDR2 overclocker’s memory modules from other manufacturers can reach 1GHz frequency at these timings already, but Kingston HyperX KHX7200D2K2/1G supports lower voltage, which is a definite advantage. Lower voltage ensures better compatibility, lower power consumption and heat dissipation, and guarantees less aggressive working conditions for the memory chips and the chipset memory controller.

Moreover, according to the results you can see on the diagram above, we cannot state that we have already exhausted the entire performance potential of our today’s hero. No one can actually prevent us from increasing the memory slots voltage and reach higher working frequencies. And this is exactly what we did. We increased the voltage on the memory modules to 2.3V (this is the maximum Vdimm value you can set on ASUS P5WD2 Premium motherboard without performing any modifications) and decided to see if Kingston HyperX KHX7200D2K2/1G memory kit will be able to reach the 1GHz bar (with 5-5-5-15 timing settings), just like the overclocker’s modules from Corsair, Crucial, Mushkin and OCZ.

However, Kingston HyperX KHX7200D2K2/1G reacted in a very strange way to the voltage increase to 2.3V. While with 2.0V these memory modules worked perfectly fine at 900MHz with 5-5-5-15 timings, the increase in memory voltage resulted into dramatic instability even at this frequency. To tell the truth, this is a pretty curious phenomenon, I should say: we haven’t seen any DDR2 SDRAM modules behave like that yet. By reducing the frequency little by little at the same 2.3V voltage we managed to find out the maximum frequency Kingston HyperX can work stably at: 848MHz. In other words, Kingston HyperX KHX7200D2K2/1G modules based on Infineon HYB18T512800AF3S chips act completely different from their fellows based on Micron chips. In this case, increasing the voltage will not help improve the overclocking potential of the memory modules.

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