Articles: Memory

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OCZ DDR Booster in Practice

There’s nothing difficult to using the DDR Booster. Installing this device into a free memory slot and attaching it with the enclosed cable to the power-supply unit, the user can adjust the voltage of the DIMM slots by rotating the potentiometer’s handle. The extreme left position of the potentiometer’s handle sends to the memory slots the voltage, which is set up in the BIOS Setup program; in the extreme right position, the memory receives a voltage of 3.9v.

I should note that the power circuit of the DDR Booster is rather hot at work. Keep in mind the fact that the temperature of memory modules is proportional to their voltage squared. So if you’re using this device to reach high voltages, take care of proper cooling of the memory slots. For example, I used an additional fan to blow at the DIMM modules and the Booster.

Then, don’t forget about the maximum acceptable voltage of different memory modules. With such a powerful tool as the DDR Booster, it is easy to burn the memory out completely by setting too high a voltage. For example, OCZ Technology itself only warrants its modules to work correctly at a voltage of 3.0v and less. Practice shows, however, that a majority of available memory modules can work correctly at 3.4 volts. But of course no one will give you any warranties for such voltages!

I should also stress the fact that not all memory modules can improve their characteristics at a higher voltage. Much depends on the chips the particular module is based on. My general recommendation is that you are more likely to improve the overclockability of a memory module by increasing its voltage if the module is originally designed for high frequencies rather than for aggressive timings. So, before shopping for the DDR Booster, consider the overclockability growth of your memory modules by increasing their voltage in the normal way, i.e. in the BIOS Setup.

I carried out my tests of the OCZ DDR Booster on the following testbed:

  • Intel Pentium 4 2.4C GHz CPU (Socket 478, Northwood core, 800MHz FSB);
  • ASUS P4P800-E Deluxe mainboard (Socket 478, i865PE chipset);
  • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 XT graphics card (390/700MHz standard frequencies);
  • Western Digital Raptor WD740GD hard disk drive.

So, I wanted to watch the dependence of the maximum memory frequency on its voltage, which will be controlled by the OCZ DDR Booster device. I clocked the memory in sync with the FSB and I was overclocking the system through increasing the FSB clock rate until the memory became unstable.

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