iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail

Platform

Video

Multimedia

Mobile

Other

Memory Module Analysis. Part 18: Super Talent DDR2-800 Modules

April 25, 2006




We proceed with the low-level analysis of the most important characteristics of high-performance DDR2 memory modules using our RightMark Memory Analyzer. Our previous reviews in this segment were devoted to Corsair DDR2-667UL, DDR2-1000 and ADATA DDR2-800 modules. And in this article we are going to review another high-performance offer from Super Talent — a 2 GB pair of DDR2-800 modules.

Manufacturer Information

Module manufacturer: Super Talent Technology Corporation
Manufacturer of module chips: unknown
Web site of the module manufacturer:
http://www.supertalent.com/SuperTalentMemory/products/product_guide.php?catlog=Desktop
http://www.supertalent.com/Home/ru.php (Russian mirror)

Module Exterior

Photo of the memory module




Module Part Number




There is no DDR2 part number expansion as well as any technical documentation on this series of modules on the official web site. Product Detail page specifies that the product with Part Number T800UX2GC4 is a dual channel kit of overclocked DDR2-800 modules with the total capacity of 2 GB (2 x 1GB), 128M x 64. The modules operate in this mode with 4-3-4-8 timings. There is no information on voltages, so let's assume that the modules can operate in this mode at standard 1.8 V.

SPD chip data

Description of the general SPD standard:

Description of the specific SPD standard for DDR2:

Parameter Byte Value Expansion
Fundamental Memory Type 2 08h DDR2 SDRAM
Number of Row Addresses on this assembly 3 0Eh 14 (RA0-RA13)
Number of Column Addresses on this assembly 4 0Ah 10 (CA0-CA9)
Number of DIMM Banks 5 61h 2 physical banks
Data Width of this assembly 6 40h 64 bit
Voltage Interface Level of this assembly 8 05h SSTL 1.8V
SDRAM Cycle time (tCK) at maximum supported CAS# latency (CL X) 9 3Dh 3.75 ns (266.7 MHz)
DIMM configuration type 11 00h Non-ECC
Refresh Rate/Type 12 82h 7.8125 ms — 0.5x reduced self-refresh
Primary SDRAM Width (organization type) of the memory module chips 13 08h x8
Error Checking SDRAM Width (organization type) of the memory chips in the ECC module 14 00h Not defined
Burst Lengths Supported (BL) 16 0Ch BL = 4, 8
Number of Banks on SDRAM Device 17 04h 4
CAS Latency (CL) 18 38h CL = 5, 4, 3
Minimum clock cycle (tCK) at reduced CAS# latency (CL X-1) 23 3Dh 3.75 ns (266.7 MHz)
Minimum clock cycle (tCK) at reduced CAS# latency (CL X-2) 25 50h 5.00 ns (200.0 MHz)
Minimum Row Precharge Time (tRP) 27 3Ch 15.0 ns
4, CL = 5
4, CL = 4
3, CL = 3
Minimum Row Active to Row Active delay (tRRD) 28 1Eh 7.5 ns
2.0, CL = 5
2.0, CL = 4
1.5, CL = 3
Minimum RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 29 3Ch 15.0 ns
4, CL = 5
4, CL = 4
3, CL = 3
Minimum Active to Precharge Time (tRAS) 30 28h 45.0 ns
10.67, CL = 5
10.67, CL = 4
8, CL = 3
Module Bank Density 31 80h 512 MB
Write recovery time (tWR) 36 3Ch 15.0 ns
4, CL = 5
4, CL = 4
3, CL = 3
Internal write to read command delay (tWTR) 37 1Eh 7.5 ns
2.0, CL = 5
2.0, CL = 4
1.5, CL = 3
Internal read to precharge command delay (tRTP) 38 1Eh 7.5 ns
2.0, CL = 5
2.0, CL = 4
1.5, CL = 3
SDRAM Device Minimum Active to Active/Auto Refresh Time (tRC) 41, 40 37h, 00h 55.0 ns
14.67, CL = 5
14.67, CL = 4
11, CL = 3
SDRAM Device Minimum Auto-Refresh to Active/Auto-Refresh Command Period (tRFC) 42, 40 69h, 00h 105.0 ns
28, CL = 5
28, CL = 4
21, CL = 3
Maximum device cycle time (tCKmax) 43 80h 8.0 ns
SPD Revision 62 12h Revision 1.2
Checksum for Bytes 0-62 63 B3h 179 (true)
Manufacturer’s JEDEC ID Code 64-71 00h, 43h,
41h, 54h,
44h, 00h,
00h, 00h
Wrong («CATD»)
Module Part Number 73-90 00h...00h Not defined
Module Manufacturing Date 93-94 06h, 01h Year 2006, Week 1
Module Serial Number 95-98 00h, 00h,
00h, 00h
Not defined

SPD contents look rather strange. According to these data, the modules support three CAS# latencies — 5, 4, and 3. But the first (CL X) and the second (CL X-1) values correspond to the same cycle time - 3.75 ns (266.7 MHz, DDR2-533). That is the modules under review are sort of DDR2-533(!) modules — not even DDR2-667, to say nothing of DDR2-800. According to our multiple reviews of DDR2 memory modules, this irresponsible approach to programming SPD content is quite rare. Nevertheless, let's return to the examination of SPD content in Super Talent modules. The third CAS# latency (CL X-2) expectedly corresponds to higher cycle time - 5.0 ns (that is DDR2-400 mode). The main timings schemes for the first two cases (DDR2-533 mode) can be written as 5-4-4-11 (rounded) and 4-4-4-11 (rounded) correspondingly, 3-3-3-8 — for the last case (DDR2-400). You may have already noticed that such timings differ much from the official "4-3-4-8" for DDR2-800 mode.

We can also note a slightly increased minimum refresh to active/refresh command period (tRFC = 105 ns), which is more typical of "regular" rather than high-speed DDR2 modules. SPD contains the correct SPD Revision Number (1.2) and even the manufacturing date (Week 1, 2006). At the same time, Manufacturer’s JEDEC ID Code is wrong (its lettering part — 43h, 41h, 54h, 44h — can be decoded as CATD; I don't understand what it has to do with the real manufacturer) and there is no information on Part Number and Serial Number of the modules.

Testbed configurations

Testbed 1

  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73 GHz (Prescott N0, 2 MB L2) operating at 2.8 GHz (200.0 MHz x14)
  • Chipset: Intel 975X, 200.0 MHz FSB
  • Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2-E Premium, BIOS 0206 dated 12/21/2005
  • Memory: 2x1024 MB Super Talent DDR2-800

Testbed 2

  • CPU: Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73 GHz (Prescott N0, 2 MB L2) operating at 3.73 GHz (266.7 MHz x14)
  • Chipset: Intel 975X, 266.7 MHz FSB
  • Motherboard: ASUS P5WD2-E Premium, BIOS 0206 dated 12/21/2005
  • Memory: 2x1024 MB Super Talent DDR2-800

Test Results

Performance tests

In the first series of tests we used the timing scheme, set in BIOS Setup by default (Memory Timings: "by SPD"). As SPD does not contain proper data for DDR2-667 and DDR2-800 modes (that's how we tested our modules), the ASUS P5WD2-E motherboard used in the testbed set timings by guess-work — 4-5-5-14 in DDR2-667 mode and 4-6-6-16 in DDR2-800 mode.

Parameter DDR2-667 DDR2-800
Testbed 1 Testbed 2* Testbed 1 Testbed 2*
Timings
4-5-5-14
4-5-5-14
4-6-6-16
4-6-6-16
Average memory read bandwidth, MB/sec
5484
6574
5629
6913
Average memory write bandwidth, MB/sec
2177
2414
2258
2602
Max. memory read bandwidth, MB/sec
6797
8666
6838
8955
Max. memory write bandwidth, MB/sec
4282
5672
4282
5679
Minimum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
54.6
47.7
49.5
44.7
Maximum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
64.1
55.4
59.1
52.1
Minimum Random Access Latency**, ns
111.5
98.6
102.7
93.3
Maximum Random Access Latency**, ns
135.7
117.7
125.8
112.1
Minimum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
84.2
73.8
75.4
68.8
Maximum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
110.2
93.3
102.4
88.6
Minimum Random Access Latency**, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
112.0
99.8
102.9
94.2
Maximum Random Access Latency**, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
137.9
119.6
130.3
114.0

*FSB frequency — 266.7 MHz

**16MB block size

Nevertheless, according to the above results, the modules under review offer quite high performance (maximum real memory bandwidth in real tests on processors with 2MB L2 Cache is close to typical 6.8 GB/s in case of 200 MHz FSB and 9.0 GB/s in case of 266 MHz FSB). Memory access latencies are also quite low — you can see them go down when you set a higher memory frequency or a higher FSB clock (the effect is more pronounced in the latter case). In this connection the least latencies are obtained in DDR2-800 mode with 266 MHz FSB.

Stability tests

Timing values, except for tCL, were adjusted "on the fly" due to the built-in RMMA feature that allows to change dynamically memory settings supported by the chipset. Memory operating stability was evaluated with an auxiliary utility RightMark Memory Stability Test, included into RMMA.

Parameter DDR2-667 DDR2-800
Testbed 1 Testbed 2* Testbed 1 Testbed 2*
Timings
4-4-3
4-4-3
4-4-3
4-4-3
Average memory read bandwidth, MB/sec
5503
6615
5693
7017
Average memory write bandwidth, MB/sec
2294
2589
2446
2827
Max. memory read bandwidth, MB/sec
6821
8726
6848
9057
Max. memory write bandwidth, MB/sec
4282
5674
4282
5684
Minimum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
54.5
47.5
49.0
44.2
Maximum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
64.0
55.1
58.5
51.5
Minimum Random Access Latency**, ns
108.5
95.3
97.2
87.6
Maximum Random Access Latency**, ns
133.0
114.4
121.2
106.3
Minimum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
84.0
72.7
75.1
68.6
Maximum Pseudo-Random Access Latency, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
109.8
93.0
102.4
87.8
Minimum Random Access Latency**, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
109.6
96.4
98.6
88.4
Maximum Random Access Latency**, ns
(without hardware prefetch)
135.8
116.2
125.1
108.1

*FSB frequency — 266.7 MHz

**16MB block size

Amazingly, minimum timings in DDR2-667 mode are rather average — just 4-4-3 (as usual, the last timing, tRAS, is ignored — you may reduce it down to 4 without any consequences). Note that we used the standard voltage of 1.8 V, as the manufacturer doesn't specify the necessity to use a higher voltage. This timing scheme is the best in terms of stability — these modules actually allow even "tougher" timings in DDR2-667 mode — up to 3-3-3, but it was accompanied by errors in the stability test.

It's still more amazing that in the faster DDR2-800 mode these modules were stable... with the same 4-4-3 timings (its equivalent in DDR2-667 mode is 3.3-3.3-2.5, which is a tad more conservative than the unstable 3-3-3 configuration).

As usual, faster timings allow to increase memory bandwidth and reduce latencies. But I cannot say that this effect is noticeable — for example, maximum latency reduction is demonstrated in random walks - approximately 6 ns, that is less than 5%. The increase in memory bandwidth is even less noticeable, as it does not exceed 1-2%.

Bottom line

Super Talent DDR2-800 memory modules, a new offer on the Russian market, are sterling representatives of the high-end class. These modules demonstrate good speed characteristics and "timing overclocking potential" — they can operate in DDR2-800 mode at nominal 1.8 V and up to 4-4-3 timings. The only drawback of the modules under review is improper quality of the SPD content that belong to some DDR2-533 modules from an unknown manufacturer, which may lead to certain problems in automatic detection of their parameters by a motherboard BIOS (theoretically it may lead to complete incompatibility). On the other hand, the fact that these modules are intended for enthusiasts who must know everything about manual configuration of various system parameters, including memory settings, probably extenuates this drawback.


Super Talent DDR2-800 Modules are kindly provided
by the master distributor of Super Talent memory modules
MA LABS

Dmitri Besedin (dmitri_b@ixbt.com)
April 14, 2006



Write a comment below. No registration needed!


Article navigation:



blog comments powered by Disqus

  Most Popular Reviews More    RSS  

AMD Phenom II X4 955, Phenom II X4 960T, Phenom II X6 1075T, and Intel Pentium G2120, Core i3-3220, Core i5-3330 Processors

Comparing old, cheap solutions from AMD with new, budget offerings from Intel.
February 1, 2013 · Processor Roundups

Inno3D GeForce GTX 670 iChill, Inno3D GeForce GTX 660 Ti Graphics Cards

A couple of mid-range adapters with original cooling systems.
January 30, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1

An external X-Fi solution in tests.
September 9, 2008 · Sound Cards

AMD FX-8350 Processor

The first worthwhile Piledriver CPU.
September 11, 2012 · Processors: AMD

Consumed Power, Energy Consumption: Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge

Trying out the new method.
September 18, 2012 · Processors: Intel
  Latest Reviews More    RSS  

i3DSpeed, September 2013

Retested all graphics cards with the new drivers.
Oct 18, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, August 2013

Added new benchmarks: BioShock Infinite and Metro: Last Light.
Sep 06, 2013 · 3Digests

i3DSpeed, July 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 and AMD Radeon HD 7730.
Aug 05, 2013 · 3Digests

Gainward GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST 2GB Golden Sample Graphics Card

An excellent hybrid of GeForce GTX 650 Ti and GeForce GTX 660.
Jun 24, 2013 · Video cards: NVIDIA GPUs

i3DSpeed, May 2013

Added the test results of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770/780.
Jun 03, 2013 · 3Digests
  Latest News More    RSS  

Platform  ·  Video  ·  Multimedia  ·  Mobile  ·  Other  ||  About us & Privacy policy  ·  Twitter  ·  Facebook


31

Copyright © Byrds Research & Publishing, Ltd., 1997–2011. All rights reserved.