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Thread: the bh-5/bh-6 legend

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    Talking the bh-5/bh-6 legend

    What is BH5?


    bh5 is known as THE overclockers memory around the world. it ran at 200mhz+ speeds with 2-2-2 timings WITHOUT a voltage bump even though it was rated to 166-200mhz 2.5-3-3.

    chronically it all started with the winbond ah-6 wich already oced to 180mhz with 2-2-2 in the early DDR days with only pc2100 and pc2400 (100/133mhz) memory around.
    later winbond released the bh-6, an improved ah-6 made in a smaller manufacturing process. those bh-6 chips are identical to bh5, bh5 are made in a yet smaller production process though, wich made them cheaper to manufacture and reduced the vdimm needed to reach certain speeds.

    both, bh5 and bh6 oc to amazing speeds of 300mhz and more with very high vdimm voltage (4v+). the newest and last winbond ic is the ch-5, its a "crippled" bh5. the design was simplified to reduce the production costs yet again, unfortunatly it reduced the performence of those chips a bit, even though the newest ch5 chips seem to be able to run at 2-2-2 as well, their performence is still lower than bh5 or bh6 running at 2-2-2 timings.

    i actually ran a few benchmarks and couldnt see any improvement at all between 2-3-2 and 2-2-2 with my stick of ch5. anyways, not all of those chips oc to amazing speeds around 300mhz. most max out at 240mhz (with around 3.2v) and some even max out a lot earlier (i had a stick that wouldnt even run 190mhz! with 3.2v).

    winbond originally planned to introduce bh-4 memory, an improved ch-5 memory that could run 2-2-2 and reach much higher speeds as it was also built in the smaller 130nm process, unfortunately winbonds managers decided that the memory ic business was not lucrative enough with its massive fluctuations and samsung and hynix throwing their ic's on the market for next to nothing. furthermore none of the memory manufacturers realized the potential of the bh series and its marvelous capability to run with 2-2-2 timings at very high speeds. so only a very few bh-4 samples were ever made.


    here is a pic of one:



    there are some bh-5 chips that have a very odd stepping code that doesnt match the usual bh-5 stepping code and i suspect those to be the few bh-4 chips from the first production line. there was no interest for bh-4 at that time so winbond could have relabeled their small bh-4 series to bh-5 to be able to sell them. it was the first series of bh-4, so that explains why they dont overclock extraordinarily compared to the normal bh-5 memory.

    almost at the same time as overclockers and tweakers discovered bh-5 as beeing the best overclocking and tweaking memory by far, winbond had unfortunately already decided to leave the DRAM market. the request for bh-5, wich was used on cheap value ram by that time (!) was growing incredibly high. the bh-5 prices were rising by 20$ per stick for some days.

    all manufacturers tried to get some of the very limited stock of bh-5 that was still available. mushkin and ocz released a last "limited edition" of memory based on bh5. as the demand for bh-5 memory kept rising and rising they kept looking for bh-5 stocks and found some bh-6 supply instead wich they used for the final bh series memory, another very limited "special edition" from ocz and muskin was released.

    even today, almost 1 year after winbond dicontinued the bh-5 series, there is still no memory that matches its performence and overclockability. ocz has had a mayor success with its EB series wich runs at 2.5-2-2 or 3-2-2 yet still performs as well as bh-5 and bh-6 with 2-2-2 timings at the same speed, in some situations its even faster! this is possible due to some latency tweaking and improved pcb design from ocz.

    however, the EB series overclocked slightly worse than bh-5 and bh-6 and needed 3-2-2 timings to reach high overclocks of 280-300mhz (on some good sticks) wich made it a little slow than bh-5 and bh-6 wich also reached 280-300 (on some good sticks).

    in the meantime samsung has released a new memory ic, called tccd. this allround talent can run with 2-2-2 timings up to 230mhz, 2.5-3-3 timings up to 300mhz (on good sticks) and up to 340mhz with 3-4-4-8 timings (on good sticks). so it beats the bh-5/bh-6 series with brute force, a huge clockspeed, but still lacks the low latencies at high clockspeeds like the bh-5/bh-6 series that reaches 250-300mhz with 2-2-2 timings on average (!) on athlon64 boards with very high vdimm.

    thats the history of the winbond bh-5/bh-6 legend...

    winbond (and all ic manufacturers) are always looking to reduce the production costs and improve the yields to make more money, so they keep changing details in the manufacturing process and even the ic design. those changes mean that some steppings oc better than others (wich is the reason people ask for cpu steppings as well) wich was finally the reason why i came up with the idear to collect the steppings to give people an idear what chips probably oc better than others.

    i did some more research on the manufacturing process of the diferent chips, and found this:

    AH-6 180nm
    BH-6 166nm
    CH-6 166nm
    AH-5 (doesnt exist?)
    BH-5 150nm
    CH-5 130nm
    BH-4 130nm


    this explains why bh-5 and bh-6 perform almost the same, they are made in almost the same manufacturing process.

    i wrote this down before i and everybody else forgets all this infos about bh5 and bh6 and for those who are new to overclocking and dont know what all this bh5 and bh6 worshipping is all about furthermore bh5 and bh6 deserves to remembered for a long time
    Last edited by saaya; 10-16-2004 at 05:37 AM.

  2. #2
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    real nice article, very interesting reading
    Ísland best �:banana: heimi!

  3. #3
    Xtreme Member ent's Avatar
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    Really good one, well done saaya.

    One question:
    Was Corsair XMS 3000C2 rev. 1.1 (rated 2-3-3-6) BH-6?? (sorry but I have to know it before tomorrow :-))

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    well done.

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    thx everybody

    thougt id write down those infos before i and everybody forgets about it
    bh-5 and bh-6 deserve to be remembered for a long time

    sorry ent, cant help you with that. there was a thread called "where to find BH5 and BH6 on the internet" i think, its full with infos about what steppings and sticks have bh5 and bh6

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    Quote Originally Posted by saaya
    thx everybody

    thougt id write down those infos before i and everybody forgets about it
    bh-5 and bh-6 deserve to be remembered for a long time

    sorry ent, cant help you with that. there was a thread called "where to find BH5 and BH6 on the internet" i think, its full with infos about what steppings and sticks have bh5 and bh6
    You mean this thread: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ad.php?t=27888

    I read it, but i haven't found info about 3000 C2 v 1.1. In this list there is no 3000 C2 v 1.1 also 3200C2 and 3500C2 were BH, so maybe also 3000...

  7. #7
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    XMS3200C2v1.1 = BH-6
    XMS3500C2v1.1 = BH-5
    ---

  8. #8
    Xtreme Member ent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eva2000
    XMS3200C2v1.1 = BH-6
    XMS3500C2v1.1 = BH-5
    That's nice but how about 3000C2

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    Saaya,

    I find it interesting that you say the CH6 is based on the same manufacturing process as BH6. I was always under the impression that CH6 was "down binned" CH5. I would have thought that considering CH5 and 6 are both C revision, they would have been fabricated by the same process. I also thought the same was true of BH5 and 6.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ent
    That's nice but how about 3000C2
    XMS-PC3000C2 Rev1.1 (2-3-3-6-1T) Samsung TCB3/Micron (6ns rev B) and few Winbond BH-6

    found here: http://mar.h0sted.org/ramliste250804.htm

    btw: i got 2 mushkin pc3200 512mb sticks today. one is a bh-5 and the other a bh-6
    Last edited by centaur; 10-19-2004 at 06:28 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by centaur
    XMS-PC3000C2 Rev1.1 (2-3-3-6-1T) Samsung TCB3/Micron (6ns rev B) and few Winbond BH-6

    found here: http://mar.h0sted.org/ramliste250804.htm

    btw: i got 2 mushkin pc3200 512mb sticks today. one is a bh-5 and the other a bh-6
    THX Centaur I didn't buy them cause I haven't known if they are BH-6 for sure

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GazC
    Saaya,

    I find it interesting that you say the CH6 is based on the same manufacturing process as BH6. I was always under the impression that CH6 was "down binned" CH5. I would have thought that considering CH5 and 6 are both C revision, they would have been fabricated by the same process. I also thought the same was true of BH5 and 6.
    ...
    £58.73 - This is the amount of money a loyal customer is worth to Overclockers.co.uk

    Beware of buying from overclockers.co.uk, they will swindle you by abusing the consumer law if they need to refund you for faulty hardware. Thieving gits

  13. #13
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    Excellent article, saaya! For the record I have a DH-6 chip on the bottom of my Seagate 15k.3 hard drive... Going by the size, it looks like it must be a 180nm chip, at least.
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    Very nice article.
    Lot's of facts I havn't known.

    Btw. the Corsair Rev. 1.1, can it be only BH5 or BH6 too ?

    Coz friend of mine has a Rev. 1.1 Corsair, but he won't remove the HS.

    I think it's BH5 but u know better I think !
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    nice read saaya :thumbsup:

    Noktar, go here => http://www.houseofhelp.com/v2/showthread.php?t=20550
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    Quote Originally Posted by ent
    THX Centaur I didn't buy them cause I haven't known if they are BH-6 for sure
    if this helps you at all, XMS pc2700LL is all BH6 im pretty sure

    can you see the light? is it shining too bright? can you see the light at the end of the tunnel, i know i do, i know its true.

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    BH-4 Never made it past prototype stage I think..?
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    There are odd BH-6 chips floating about on the bottom of Maxtor 7200rpm 40gb hdd's too.............
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    what is the default voltage for bh-5? is it 2.5v at 2,2,2,5?
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by STEvil
    There are odd BH-6 chips floating about on the bottom of Maxtor 7200rpm 40gb hdd's too.............

    interesting thats the same drive i have.

    nope just checked, i have crappy hynix!

    Last edited by WeStSiDePLaYa; 10-28-2004 at 09:15 PM.
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  22. #22
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    yeah, I think the chips change from drive to drive... tictac has a seagate drive or somethign with a bh-6 chip on it too.
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  23. #23
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    does winbond know how much the demand for their chips has raised since they left the market?

    if they would ahve fired up the machines again over the summer they would have been sitting on a gold mine...


    another cool thing is how chepa BH-5 was, lets not forget, i got my first stick of 512mb Bh-6 for $95, and later when BH-5 was all but gone i picked up neweggs last 1Gb pack of KHX3000 (relabled 2700 that took forever to sell, but had either bh5/bh-6 sticks on it) for just $220, and thats when demand for these modules were high!

    yay i just picked up another 512 of mushy lvII black (2x256) looks like mushkin saved even more stock hehe

    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...400#post610400
    Last edited by Revv23; 11-25-2004 at 07:50 PM.

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    Thumbs up

    Great article this, definitely a 'must-read'

    Oddly enough I noticed that the Maxtor 80Gb SATA drive I bought yesterday has a DH-6 chip on it which was a littel surprising!
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  25. #25
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    ok so i got my mushkin and i was hoping for single sided diims as im Overclocking my NFII board, and it comes and theres 4 IC's on each side


    was this common with mushkin?

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