Jan 29th, 2009 | By

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: 01/29/09 – 02:12:17 AM


: Memory

Page 1 : Index


The memory market is extremely competitive and all it takes is a look at your favorite e-tailer to see the large variety of companies manufacturing RAM. I get to welcome CompustocX to Overclockers Online today. Better known by their short name CSX, they were formed in 1996 as a chip broker for Apple memory products and are a large Apple memory producer in Europe. Around four years ago they moved into the PC memory market and launched the Diablo series hoping to establish themselves in the overclocking market.

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While CSX has their high end Diablo line, they also have launched their more budget oriented CEC brand, which stands for Cost Effective Components. Today I will be taking a look at their 4GB DDR2800 kit, the CSXO-CEC-800-4GB-KIT. Read on to see what you get from this budget overclocker line of memory.

Page 2 : Package and Contents

Packaging is simply stated and not over the top. You won't see any in your face graphics or over the top claims. You can clearly see the memory modules inside the clear plastic packaging.

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The modules themselves feature a blue heatspreader, which is pretty standard for most memory kits now days.

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The label on the memory sticks lists the model, speed and size of the DIMM. One thing missing that you typically see is the stock timings for this kit. Here is also a closer look at the heatspreaders.

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The heatspreaders were one of the easier units I have removed. The clips are easily removed and the heatspreaders come apart easily. The thermal tape was not adhered to the memory modules so some burn in might be needed to ensure good contact is made.

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Included with the memory kit is a fold out that has an installation guide, technical data and a small ad for their other products.

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Page 3 : Features and Specifications

For specifications and features I grabbed them straight from CSX's site here. There is a slight difference in the websites specs and the technical data sheet included inside the package. The technical specs included inside the package list the timings as 5-5-5-18 while the website lists 5-5-5-16. We'll see later that the specs included with the RAM are accurate.

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Taking a closer look at the memory chips used, there are several strings of information listed. Unfortunately my attempts at googling them returned no hints as to the types of chips used. I've listed below the codes just for reference.


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Page 4 : Installation and Overclocking

Since the heatspreaders are pretty standard there wouldn't be any issues with clearance. After starting the machine up, I used CPU-Z to check out the stock timings and SPD settings.

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Since we saw that the thermal material on the heatspreaders was not yet bonded, I let the memory run at stock settings for a week to ensure good contact is made. After this 'burn' in period of sorts, it was time to delve into overclocking. To test stability what has been pretty reliable for me has been as follows:

Orthos (Blend)
Multiple runs of 3DMark06 (3 looped runs)
Dual runs of SuperPi 32M (using HyperPi 0.99b)

First I decided to see how far I could push the CEC kit with the stock timings. I had to bump up the voltage from the stock 1.8v to 2.1v but I was able to reach 470 MHz. Pretty impressive in my book.

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While I was able to hit 470 MHz on the stock timings with 2.1v, it took raising the voltage again to 2.2v and loosening the timings (5-6-6-18) a slight bit to reach 480 MHz. It's interesting to note that I was actually able to boot into Windows at 500 Mhz but it would fail the stress test and I couldn't get it stable until dropping down to 480.

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Page 5 : Test Setup

Below are the system specifications that will be used for testing.

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
MB: Gigabyte P35-DS3R
GPU: XFX 8800GT 512MB
PSU: Ultra X3 1000W
HD: Western Digital 250GB SATA
DVD-Rom: LiteOn 18x DVD Burner SATA
Case: CoolerMaster HAF 932

For testing today all benchmarks were run 3 times with the average of those three runs used as the final score. I'll include this handy graph to illustrate the speeds and settings used. I tried to take the factor of the CPU speed out of the equation as much as possible by lowering the multiplier the higher we got.

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Page 6 : Memory Benchmarks

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We'll start off with some memory bandwidth and latency benchmarks. First up is Lavalys' Everest Ultimate memory benchmark.

Memory Bandwidth – Lavalys Everest Ultimate

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Here we have our first surprise of the day. Where we can see positive gains in the Read and Write results, for some reason as the speeds went up the Copy results went down. I actually ran this benchmark more than the usual three times to be sure and received the same results every time. Next we'll fire up Sisoft Sandra's memory bandwidth benchmark.

Memory Bandwidth – Sisoft Sandra XII.SP2c

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Sandra shows more of what I would expect with nice gains with overclocked settings. Finally we'll turn to Performance Test v6.1 for our final look at bandwidth numbers.

Memory Bandwidth – Performance Test v6.1

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There is a similar story with Performance Test where mostly across the board there are increases with the overclocked settings, but the Large RAM scores are for the most part even with a slight decrease in scores for the higher clocked settings. Write settings show the same reverse trend that we saw in the Everest copy scores. I'll end up this section with some latency benchmarks.

Memory Latency

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Pretty much the results we can expect here.

Page 7 : System Benchmarks

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Now we will move onto some more system wide benchmarks, starting off with PCMark05.

Futuremark PCMark05

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PCMark05 is a good way to get an overall feel for how your system is running. This benchmark seems to react well to increased front side bus and scores play that out.


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Memory testing wouldn't be complete without SuperPi. Once again there are good improvements moving to 470MHz FSB, but I was surprised to see that improvement almost completely negated by the slight loosening in the timings.

Page 8 : 3D and Gaming Benchmarks

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To finish things up I'm going to run through some gaming oriented benchmarks, since the majority of us buy new hardware to play our favorite games.

Futuremark's 3DMark03, 3DMark05 and 3DMark06

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We'll start out with the benchmark standard 3DMark series. As you can see there is a similar trend in the 3DMark scores as with the previous benchmarks. While I didn't expect any real improvement in scores from 470 to 480, I didn't expect to see a slight decrease either.

World in Conflict, Half Life 2: Lost Coast and Company of Heroes

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Finally we'll end with some games, using the built in benchmarks. There are minimal gains across the board with the biggest gains seen in Half Life 2: Lost Coast.

Page 9 : Conclusion

When I started this review I'll admit I wasn't familiar with CSX's memory, but I will say I have come away with a very positive outlook. While typically PC6400 kits don't get a whole lot of fan fare, CSX's CEC line delivers on their goal of overclocking with a budget kit. If what CSX has to offer in their budget line is any indication, I can understand why their Diablo line has made some noise in the enthusiast market in other countries.

When the worst thing I can say about a kit is the heatspreaders are somewhat dull, I would say that's a pretty good thing in my book. If your looking for a solid 4 Gig memory kit that won't break your budget or your heart with overclocking, you deserve to give CSX a look with the CEC line. Since CSX is just trying to break into the North American market, availability might be scarce.

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  • Good overclocking

  • Decent timings


  • Classic heatspreader offers no 'wow' factor

  • Availability

Overclockers Online would like to thank Compustocx for supplying the CSXO-CEC-800-4GB-KIT for review.

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