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GEIL 512MB PC3500 DDR433 RAM

Company: GEIL USA
512MB PC3500 DDR 433 RAM
Street Price: ~ $195.00 USD
Date Reviewed: August 30, 2002
Reviewed By: Joey C. aka Chong345

First Impressions:

Overclockers are always looking for the best components for their machines. RAM is one of the most important and most people are very picky about what they choose. On Intel rigs you can only change the FSB in the bios since the multipliers are locked. This means that to max your CPU using a 3:4 ram divider, you have to have a really good stick of RAM that can handle the high speeds. On AMDs you can unlock the multiplier and run your memory at its max or to the limits of the board and the other components.

GEIL recently released their PC3500 modules in the US. They are designed to run at 433mhz and use 5ns chips. None of the other major manufacturers have produced memory modules rated at this speed, so GEIL is the first to release PC3500. This made me skeptical but at the same time I was kind of optimistic.

When the module arrived at my front door, I was very excited because I personally am always looking for the fastest products available. I was hoping that the GEIL was exactly what I was looking for, for my new Intel Rig and quite possibly my AMD machine. The packaging at first sight looked very good and professional. Inside a plastic bag was a plastic green neon case. The case contained the stick of ram which was sealed in an air tight electrostatic bag.

I opened the electrostatic bag to get a view of the RAM. It looked very nice. There was a pure copper heat-spreader over the memory. On the copper heat-spreader there was also a GEIL logo and on the back there was a sticker showing the ram timings and the model number. The RAM was a PC3500 512MB stick. The timings on the label showed 2.5-3-3. After taking some pictures I was anxious to start overclocking and test it on both of my machines.

Testing On The Intel Platform:

Test System #1

Motherboard: ABIT IT7
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 1.6A
Memory: GEIL PC3500 512MB
CPU Cooling: Swiftech MCW462-UT
Video Card: Visiontek GeForce 4 TI4600
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling 475W
Tests: SiSoftware Sandra Standard 2002 SP1
Mad Onion 3DMarks 2001 SE

I put the stick of RAM in and went straight to 433mhz. For this I had to set the Front Side Bus to 162 and use the 3:4 RAM divider. I also locked my AGP/PCI clock at 66/33 MHz respectively. To make sure I had no CPU bottlenecks I used the Swiftech MCW462-UT unit to cool the CPU. I made sure that the CPU could handle all the speeds I would need for this review by testing only the CPU first using the 1:1 memory divider. The module has been tested to run at up to 3V by the manufacturer so I went ahead and set my dram voltage to 3V. I really wanted to test to see if the memory could handle it. Plus I didn't want the ram to not have enough voltage. I set the timing to SPD values.

433 MHz DDR (PC3500 Rating):

The machine booted right up at 433mhz and I had no issues. I was able to run SiSandra memory benchmarks. The scores looked good and I was pleased to see how effortless this memory was running at these speeds. Notice though that Sandra reads the timing for the modules as CAS 2. This was rather strange. So I went into the bios and tried to run its rated CAS 2.5. It wouldn't run through Sandra. I found this to be very strange but oh well most of us like CAS 2 right?

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