Ultra Products 2*256MB PC3200 XLJul 22nd, 2005 | By Archive
Ultra Products 2*256MB PC3200 XL
: 07/22/05 – 02:33:03 AM
Page 1 : Index
: Ultra Products
: 94.99 (2*256MB) @ Tiger Direct
Overclockers Online continues its look on DDR memory with this kit from Ultra Products. In the push to gain more of the memory market, Ultra Products has recently released its Xtreme Low Latency kit; these modules are capable of running at PC3200 speeds with a tight 2-2-2 timing.
While not everyone can afford the luxury of purchasing a fat 2*512MB kit, many manufacturers offer smaller 2*256MB DC packages at a much lower price. Apart from the capacity, we expect the performance to be the same. In today's review, we're going to focus on how fast we can push these modules at the tightest possible timing.
Page 2 : Package
Each manufacturer has a unique way of packaging its memory modules and Ultra Products is well known for its fancy mahogany box. This kit doesn't come with a nice wooden box though. Ultra Products is doing its part in saving the forest by reverting back to the classic plastic enclosures.
Ultra Products makes it clear who made these modules; their name is printed on the cardboard sheet three times, and not in small font either! Clearly listed are the product details: 512MB PC3200 400Mhz 2*256MB.
Flipping the package over, we get our first glimpse at the modules sporting the gold heatspreaders.
These modules look
like the modules I reviewed last year. Had the product and warranty sticker been removed from the heatspreaders you'd never know these were any different, but they are because we can compare the specifications.
Page 3 : Specifications
Clearly noted in many places is how these modules operate at 2-2-2 timings. We can head over to the Ultra Products website where they list some information about this kit.
Delivers Extreme Low Latency No Matter What!!
An overclockers dream come true! Extreme Performance memory from Ultra that performs with incomparable, uncompromising reliability no matter how much you tweak your system. Featuring PC3200 extreme bandwidth, extreme low latency at 400MHz and an innovative high-performance aluminum heat spreader to reduce thermal buildup. Ultras XL memory offer the most consistent low latency in the industry – latency that will not rise regardless of how much extreme power your system generates. Overclock in complete confidence with Ultras incredible XL memory. Now available at an amazingly low introductory price!
Speed Memory Timings Voltage
PC3200 (400MHz) 2-2-2-5-1T 2.6-2.7v
PC3500 (436MHz) 2-3-3-6-1T 2.6-2.7v
PC3700 (466MHz) 2-3-3-6-1T 2.7-2.8v
PC4000 (500MHz) 2.5-3-3-7-1T 2.75-2.85v
PC4200 (533MHZ) 3-4-4-8-1T 2.85-2.95v
Note: Maximum Overclocking Speed PC4200 (533Mhz)
Memory Size: 512MB (2x256MB)
Memory Speed: 400MHz PC3200
Memory Type: Dual Channel XL
PC4200 (that's 266 MHz or 533 MHz effective)! Is this a myth or a fact? You know it wouldn't be
Online if we didn't push these modules to the edge!
Page 4 : Package Contents
The simple packaging that Ultra Product uses shows
you get. No installation manual is included, but for an enthusiast kit, those probably won't be necessary.
Sliding out the single cardboard sheet, Ultra Products goes into a lot of detail about the Limited Lifetime Warranty.
In about one minute, we're going to void the memory of these modules. :)
We can unclip the two modules from the plastic enclosure.
The headspreaders are universal, meaning they support both single sided and double sided sticks. So you may be wondering how Ultra Products keeps the heatspreaders attached to the modules. The answer is simple. The side with the ICs is attached to the heat spreader through thermal tape.
The bare side has a little cushion with the perfect thickness to fill in the gap.
A simple solution to a simple problem. On that note, I suggest you don't remove the heat spreaders. It's a very tedious problem and I've seen ICs get ripped right off the PCB!
However, with the heat spreaders off, we're finally able to check out the IC.
Looking up the model, we see these specifications:
Bidirectional data strobe L(U)DQS
Bidirectional data strobe(DQS)
Four banks operation
Differential clock inputs(CK and /CK)
DLL aligns DQ and DQS transition with CK transition
MRS cycle with address key programs
– Burst length (2, 4, 8)
– Burst type (sequential & interleave)
All inputs except data & DM are sampled at the positive going edge of the system clock(CK)
Data I/O transactions on both edges of data strobe
Edge aligned data output, center aligned data input
LDM, UDM for write masking only (x16)
Auto & Self refresh
7.8µs refresh interval(8K/64ms refresh)
Maximum burst refresh cycle : 8
66pin TSOP II Pb or Pb-Free package(RoHS compliant)
Page 5 : Installation and Overclocking
While Ultra Products doesn't include an installation manual, it must be one of the easiest procedures to complete. The first step is to open up the case and locate your current modules. You'll need to take those out if you plan on using just the Ultra Products modules, otherwise feel free to leave them in. Referring to your motherboard manual, you'll want to figure out where to place these DIMMs to enable dual channel operation. Once you know where they go, pop them in and boot. It's that simple.
However, overclocking isn't as easy. Constant changes are required in the BIOS to maximize performance. Using the K8SLI and a 3000+ capable of well over 300*9, our max 100% stable overclock was 280 MHz. While able to post at 295 MHz (590 MHz effective) and there were no issues running
of our benchmarks, the system showed signs of instability with errors in Prime95 and in-game freezes with GTA: San Andreas.
Page 6 : Performance
It's usually fairly safe to say that memory modules will always work at the stock setting. The question is how well these modules perform when they're overclocked.
Here's our test bed:
AMD Venice 3000+ 9X Multiplier, 4X HT
HIS X700 iCooler
Ultra Products Ultra Fire CPU Cooler
Antec TrueBlue 2.0 480 Watt
Maxtor 40GB 7200 RPM Hdd
Windows XP SP 2 + Latest Updates
Ultra Products 2*256MB PC3200 XL
Sisoft Sandra Memory INT
Sisoft Sandra Memory FLOAT
Super Pi 2M
Quake 3 Arena
The performance of these modules scale as the frequency increases. We also note that loosening the latency has a small impact on performance. The payback is that the looser the timing, the higher the frequency you can achieve (typically). As I mentioned on the previous page, 280 MHz was our more stable overclock. Operating at 3-4-4-8 allowed us to push the modules even further, to 295 MHz, but it was not stable. Some lucky users out there may be able to hit this frequency with some good system cooling.
Page 7 : Conclusion
Ultra Products has proven itself as a quality provider for a number of products. While they are still relatively new, their reputation has grown exponentially with the success of their X-Connect power supplies. These memory modules have certainly put Ultra Products on the map for high speed, low latency DDR kits.
The quality of the product does comes at a reasonable price. This 2*256MB kit retails for 95 dollars at Tiger Direct. At this price, you won't find very many other 2*256MB kits at this clock speed. In addition, Ultra Products guarantees performance of PC4200, which is something not all competitors will do.
High Bandwidth Performance
Overclockers Online would like to thank Ultra Products for providing this kit for review.