By: Jonathan Kwan
April 19, 2008
How much would you pay for roughly 2% performance increase on your latest gaming rig? $100? $200? How about $600? Even the most hardcore computer enthusiasts for the past year have been struggling with this question -- and if you've been following the technology trend, yes, I am talking about DDR3 memory. According to our tests last year, DDR3 memory provided little advantage with original, first generation Core 2 CPUs in combination with Intel's first consumer chipset that supports DDR3, the P35. As DDR2 became mainstream last generation, it is inevitable to all extents that DDR3 will be in the position of DDR2. The question is only whether it'd be sooner or later. Currently, DDR3-1333 RAM is available in the market at press time that it retails for as low as $120. Combined with newer processors and chipsets that takes better advantage of faster memory (Meaning that, it's much more than 2% performance over DDR2 now), more users are becoming more willing to jump the boat. On the other hand, there's also the overclocking crowd that's more interested in DDR3 RAM because the price of most DDR3 sets is now within affordable margins. While the OCZ ReaperX is not $120 right now, what it offers is Micron's latest D9GTS ICs that has gained excellent reputation from enthusiast crowds for excellent overclocking. How does this set of RAM step up against the rest? Let's put it through our tests and we'll see how it goes.
Our review unit of the OCZ ReaperX HPC PC3-10666 Enhanced Bandwidth (Quite a long name eh? We'll shorten that to 'OCZ ReaperX RAM' or something to that extent for the purpose of this review) 2x1GB DDR3 RAM set arrived in a small UPS corrugated cardboard box using UPS Standard from OCZ's offices at Sunnyvale, California. The box was filled with packing peanuts with the RAM package neatly wrapped in bubble wrap to ensure everything arrives in mint, fully working condition.
As usual and expected, our review unit of the OCZ ReaperX HPC PC3-10666 Enhanced Bandwidth 2x1GB came in retail packaging. The typical clamshell package is simple and held closed together at the top by two friction buttons; no blister pack techniques were used in this case -- which is truly excellent in my opinion. The background insert sheet demonstrates a brown and orange gradient color scheme with white text. This design implements an extent of duality to allude to both an October 'reaper' feel -- especially with the brushed wood design on the side. For the second part, it sells a sense of performance due to nature of the hot orange color used. The RAM modules are placed horizontally in relative to each other and are displayed in front in all its glory with OCZ's ReaperX HPC heatspreader behind the custom molded clamshell packaging.
Out of the retail package, you'll get nothing else other than the dual DDR3 RAM modules and a piece of insert you see in the photo above.
Before we move on, let's take a look at the specifications of the OCZ ReaperX DDR3 RAM, as obtained from their website:
- 1333MHz DDR3
- 6-5-5-18 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
- Available in 2GB and 4GB Dual Channel Kits
- OCZ Lifetime Warranty
- 1.85 Volts
- 240 Pin DIMM
- ReaperX HPC Heatsink*
- 1.9V EVP**
* ReaperX HPC (Heat Pipe Conduit) modules offload heat with extreme efficiency due to a new dual copper heat pipe design. Each memory chip is in direct contact with a thermo-conductive pipe that guides the performance robbing heat away from key memory components and quickly dissipates it through the aluminum fin array. The addition of the extended fin array nearly doubles the total surface area available for heat dissipation while the heat pipes warrant near isothermicity throughout the entire design. The result is a doubling in effective heat dissipation at equal delta t or, in real systems, a significantly lower operating temperature of the memory modules.
**OCZ EVP (Extended Voltage Protection) is a feature that allows performance enthusiasts to use a VDIMM of 1.9V without invalidating their OCZ Lifetime Warranty.
A screenshot of the memory tab in CPU-Z with the OCZ ReaperX HPC PC3-10666 RAM kit. The SPD timings table only read JEDEC based 1.5V specs programmed into the memory, which didn't really take into account the 6-5-5-18 latencies DDR3-1333 @ 1.85V. The Asus X38 and Gigabyte X48 motherboards we've used for testing had no problems automatically recognizing the preset latencies and speed in the BIOS, however.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look, Installation, Test System
3. Benchmark: 3DMark06
4. Benchmark: PCMark05
5. Benchmark: EVEREST CPU
6. Benchmark: EVEREST FPU
7. Benchmark: EVEREST Memory
8. Benchmark: SuperPI, Cinebench R10
9. Overclocking Results and Conclusion