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Thread: OCZ 8500 Low-Voltage Blade

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    OCZ Low-Voltage Blade ( Ex 8500 Review Thread )

    OCZ PC2-8500 Low Voltage Blade Series



    Introduction

    Many of you may have seen Tony's thread in the AMD section where he introduced this memory to the public for the first time. The first shipment of this new item came to Germany and has been available from one retailer for about 2 weeks now. Since this is one of the first times that an item is available in Germany before you could get it somewhere else, I thought I should write a small review and share my findings with you. The kit is using some new ICs that should be able to show some impressive frequencies for 4GB kits, so stay tuned.
    I got this memory 2 days ago and I had a busy weekend, I will add more and more results when I get them. One thing to note is that I will be testing on a 32bit XP, I know that's not optimal for a 4GB kit but it's the only OS I have.

    This is my first review so please bare with me, but also say what you liked or didn't like. I'm also open to suggestions on what I should test.

    The Memory

    The memory comes in a small plastic package and we can already see the typical black PCB and black heatspreader. Inside the box we find a quick installation guide and, of course, the memory. As mentioned they feature a black aluminium heatsink, consisting of two parts screwed together. The memory sticks are very heavy and the quality of the heatspreader is admirable. To be honest, I expected nothing less from my first OCZ kit.
    After I installed them, I booted up and checked if they functioned correctly. Everything was working fine, but I noticed that the stick's SPD was programmed to PC2-8900 or 555MHz CL5-5-5-18.

    The box and the labels say it's 533MHz memory, so I hope Tony can shed some light on what happened during assembly.

    No pictures for now, I was so eager to test them I didn't take the time to take some pictures. I will show some pictures later on.

    Specifications

    Here are the specifications that can be found on OCZ's site.
    Code:
    1066MHz DDR2       
    CL 5-5-5-18       
    Available in 4GB (2x2048MB)Dual Channel Optimized Kits       
    Unbuffered       
    1.80 Volts       
    1.85V EVP*       
    240 Pin DIMM       
    Pure Aluminum Heatsink       
    OCZ Lifetime Warranty
    
    Part Numbers
    4GB (2x2048MB) D/C Kit PN - OCZ2B1066LV4GK
    Test setup

    Code:
    Intel Core 2 Duo E8600
    Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P w/ F9 retail BIOS
    2x2GB OCZ 8500 Low-Voltage Blade
    Geforce 8800 GT 512MB
    Western Digital 160GB HDD
    Thermaltake Toughpower 750W
    Windows XP Professional SP3 32bit
    
    Cooling: TRUE Black on CPU, board on stock cooling
    Testing procedure

    Now unto the tests!

    Testing procedure will be as follows: The sticks are tested with MemSet 86+ before entering Windows and then I will show screens after testing the frequency with 5 passes of Intel BurnTest. This will ensure that the results are comparable to 24/7 stability, as those sticks aren't targeted at hardcore-benchers but rather at people wanting a decent overclock for a long time without the use of excessive volts. I will test different timing sets going from CL4 to CL6, using a voltage ranging from 1.80V to 1.86V for now, later on I will test what I can get with "high" voltages up to ~1.93V, as that should be the limit according to Tony. I skip CL3 testing as I regard it as irrelevant, and when you see my CL4-3-3-12 results you will understand why.


    Tests

    For the tests please look at the next posts in this thread, there are results coming up next week.


    Price and Availability

    The memory is available from the German retailer Alternate in different countries across Europe.
    There are two versions you can get right now:
    On the one hand, the XTC Platinum LV for a price of ~73€, and on the other hand the kit I'm testing here, the Blade Series LV for a price of ~65€.
    Both sets are in stock and ready to be shipped.

    Conclusion

    From the testing I have done I can clearly say, that OCZ has a winner with this kit. For an everyday user's point of view, it has everything you could ever wish for. It's extremely flexible and can operate at up to 500MHz at CL4, which is great for a 2x2GB kit, on the other hand you can also clock up your dual core's FSB to more than 600MHz with this memory kit still running strong on the 1:1 divider at CL5, up to almost 620MHz.
    For those looking for HTPC memory that might do their rated specs at lower voltage, this is definitely a kit to check out. I was able to run their rated speed of 533MHz 5-5-5-15 at 1.60V (real) on my Gigabyte EP45-UD3P.
    From a bencher's perspective, these aren't that great however. Their disability to run tight subtimings and the fact that you can't clock your FSB to extremely high speeds while running this kit is a clear drawback. I'm afraid we'll still have to stick with our D9-based memory.

    Everything summed up I'll definitely recommend this kit to anyone looking for a fast and reliable solution for their everyday rig, especially if you like to overclock your rig once in a while.

    Small update after almost two years of use: This kit is still going strong in my 24/7 rig, most of the time I've been using it undervolted to 1.60V and running at 500MHz CL5. I've never encountered instability or other problems. This kit has been a great purchase back in 2009, and if you bought a set back then as well, I hope you're still as happy with your kit as I'm with mine. Thanks again for following my review and the many views and posts that this thread has seen.
    Last edited by Don_Dan; 03-25-2011 at 03:36 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by chew* View Post
    You can never have enough D9's.

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    Undervolting test

    As my first test I wanted to know how far I could lower VDIMM on stock speed while still ensuring stability. My UD3P allows undervolting of the RAM, but it has only limited options of 1.80V, 1.75V, 1.65V, 1.55V and 1.50V. I used Everest to monitor actual VDIMM in Windows, and when setting voltages above standard DDR2 voltage, the monitored volts are actually pretty close to what you set in BIOS. However when I went below, Everest reported 1.75V as 1.71V already.
    I've already PMed Hicookie if he knows how accurate Everest's readings are and also if Gigabyte's BIOS team can add some new steps in between the existing ones. That would help me testing this memory very much.

    Now, when I saw my final result ( for now ) for the first time, I was shocked:



    The Blades operating at 533MHz CL5 at only 1.60V/1.65V BIOS set, passing Linpack testing.
    Last edited by Don_Dan; 05-17-2009 at 02:25 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by chew* View Post
    You can never have enough D9's.

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    Overclocking Tests CL4

    4-3-3-12:

    1.80V
    -

    1.82V
    -

    1.84V
    -

    1.86V
    -

    1.88V
    -

    1.90V
    -

    I wasn't able to get the kit Memtest 86+ or Linpack stable at 400MHz, so I didn't bother testing tight timings any further. That's why I skipped CL3 testing, it's irrelevant today in my opinion and this kit won't perform well on tight timings too. I might have gotten stability with a tRCD of 4, but I don't know for sure.


    4-4-4-12:

    1.80V


    1.82V


    1.84V


    1.86V


    1.88V


    1.90V


    This is what I was able to do up to now, 460MHz CL4 on 1.80V is amazing.
    Scaling with higher voltages doesn't look that good, but I was able to break the magic DDR2-1000 nonetheless.


    4-5-5-15:

    1.80V
    ...

    1.82V
    ...

    1.84V
    ...

    1.86V
    ...

    1.88V
    ...

    1.90V
    ...

    I skipped this for now, to test CL5. Will be done later!
    Last edited by Don_Dan; 05-21-2009 at 10:34 AM.

    Quote Originally Posted by chew* View Post
    You can never have enough D9's.

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    Overclocking tests CL5

    CL5-4-4-15:

    1.80V
    ...

    1.82V
    ...

    1.84V
    ...

    1.86V
    ...

    1.88V
    ...

    1.90V
    ...


    CL5-5-5-18:

    1.80V


    1.82V
    ...

    1.84V
    ...

    1.86V
    ...

    1.88V
    ...

    1.90V


    We can see that this kit is only scaling a little on voltage, at 1.80V it's already running at 587MHz, while it needs 1.87V to break 600MHz ( only verified with MemTest, no screen, sorry ), and at 1.90V it tops out at 619MHz. This speed was verified with the usual MemTest run before booting, but I only used 32M to show stability in Windows since I got bored from watching IBT for days.



    CL5-6-6-18:

    1.80V
    ...

    1.82V
    ...

    1.84V
    ...

    1.86V
    ...

    1.88V
    ...

    1.90V
    ...

    They aren't scaling with raised tRCD and tRP at all, also switching tCL to 6 didn't do anything for the max clocks at 1.90V. Not even running 6-7-7-20 would make the kit break the 620MHz wall. I think ~620MHz is the maximum this kit can achieve under these circumstances.
    Last edited by Don_Dan; 03-25-2011 at 03:38 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by chew* View Post
    You can never have enough D9's.

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    Reserved 4

    Quote Originally Posted by chew* View Post
    You can never have enough D9's.

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    Looking forward to this, if they get the pricing right in the UK, these are going to storm the DDR2 market, not a lot would be able to compete.

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    wow the stats looks awesome and even the pics of that RAM looks hot..

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    oh i wish i could find these in the U.S now.
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    nice looking kit. what ICs do they use?

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    Nice kit u have there m8,could u show us what this kit can do with tight subtiimings?
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    Looking forward to results! Still looking for that stock Newegg has shipped to show up on the site
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliTE22 View Post
    nice looking kit. what ICs do they use?
    Does it matter?
    Got a problem with your OCZ product....?
    Have a look over here
    Tony AKA BigToe


    Tuning PC's for speed...Run whats fast, not what you think is fast

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    yes it does. If the sticks, by any chance, are micron based, then the sticks wil be a no-go for me. Other guys may have othere reasons for asking for the ICs. So what ICs do the sticks use?

    Why 1.93V is the limit? Will they degrade while using higher voltage or just no OC gain? What's the story with the wrong SPD?

    DON_DAN - is standard retail kit purchased by you or perhaps you got it from an OCZ representative for testing?
    Last edited by mach82; 05-18-2009 at 04:30 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mach82 View Post
    yes it does. If the sticks, by any chance, are micron based, then the sticks wil be a no-go for me. Other guys may have othere reasons for asking for the ICs. So what ICs do the sticks use? Why 1.93V is the limit? Will they degrade while using higher voltage or just no OC gain?
    In another thread Tony suggested that nothing is gained past ~1.9v other than heat.

    @Tony: Yes, to many of us it DOES matter what ICs they use. Partially out of curiosity but also for those of us (especially DDR2 diehards) that like to chase "that great deal" or find the hidden gems...it helps to know

    I can understand your reluctance to divulge that info, in case there be other brands releasing sticks based on the same ICs
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    Quote Originally Posted by radaja View Post
    oh i wish i could find these in the U.S now.
    same for europe. better in italy
    goodbye my dear ut p35, i'll love you forever

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    Quote Originally Posted by mach82 View Post
    yes it does. If the sticks, by any chance, are micron based, then the sticks wil be a no-go for me. Other guys may have othere reasons for asking for the ICs. So what ICs do the sticks use?

    Why 1.93V is the limit? Will they degrade while using higher voltage or just no OC gain? What's the story with the wrong SPD?

    DON_DAN - is standard retail kit purchased by you or perhaps you got it from an OCZ representative for testing?
    i think that if they have no gain in freq or timings with more than 1.93v, chip is not micron. micron ones like volts
    goodbye my dear ut p35, i'll love you forever

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    So what ICs are used thehe?
    An unfortunate person is one tries to fart but sh1ts instead...

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    Quote Originally Posted by radaja View Post
    oh i wish i could find these in the U.S now.
    http://www.amazon.com/OCZ2B1066LV4GK.../ref=de_a_smtd

    Mine are ordered.

    -
    http://valid.canardpc.com/show_oc.php?id=643273
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    are those the platinum's?picture shows blades but it says platinum.im kind of confused.i want the blades.
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    The part number is for the blades so I guessing there the blades. I am wanting a set of the 9600s if the price is right.

    http://www.ocztechnology.com/aboutocz/press/2009/339
    Q9650

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hu13caP View Post
    So what ICs are used thehe?
    my gut tells me its ddr3

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  22. #22
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    me telling you what manufacturer part for these modules just gives any OCZ competitor an easy time...so i will not be telling you.

    We have started marking blank IC's OCZ because of this...you guys are your own worst enemy.

    Its not Micron and i won't comment any further on what they are...someone decides to rip off a spreader thats upto them, if it rips off the IC's also.. tough ..don't come for an RMA.
    Got a problem with your OCZ product....?
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    I guess its simply better manufacturing process similar to DDR3. Which logicaly allows so low voltage (in fact identical to DDR3, right?). They scale in same ratio as DDR3 1.6 - 1.95V. My guess is Elpida or Samsung, probably Samsung.. but its only guess. I don't know if Micron is even making new DDR2 chips.. I think I've read somewhere that they produce only DDR3 now.

    Take all of these just as my opinion and guess. I can be wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    me telling you what manufacturer part for these modules just gives any OCZ competitor an easy time...so i will not be telling you.

    We have started marking blank IC's OCZ because of this...you guys are your own worst enemy.

    Its not Micron and i won't comment any further on what they are...someone decides to rip off a spreader thats upto them, if it rips off the IC's also.. tough ..don't come for an RMA.
    Ha! I guessed right, so its 99% Samsung.

    We are not own "worst" enemy, we simply want to know what we buy.

    I wonder, if TeamGroup doesn't have problem with telling us what chips they use, why you have?

    All manufacturers of high-end rams use same chips, only difference is usually PCB (which sometimes use definetly more than one manufacturer ). And SPD ofc. Which is one part where OCZ usually shines.

    We want to know ICs from few reasons, here they are:

    1) compatibility (try Micron on 790i )
    2) overclockability/voltage scaling
    3) price/perf ratio which can be expected

    I buy my rams only when I know what am I buying. Well, if I don't have bad day as I had last time (bought G.Skill NQ 1600 CL9 .. worst memory I bought ever).

    Btw. not telling us ICs/chips will cause only one thing.. 1) disappointed customers will send memory back (I did that last time I bought Crucials) 2) enthusiasts will buy other brand, where they can discover what chips it uses.

    So think about what you are doing, cause competeting manufacturers aren't your worst enemies.. customers are.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    We have started marking blank IC's OCZ because of this...you guys are your own worst enemy.
    Because others get to know what IC's you use, so they can compete, and we get lower prices on better mems? Don't see how that makes us our own enemies.
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