A-DATA G Series DDR2 800 2 x 2GB Review
Reviewed by: Makaveli
Reviewed on: June 5, 2008
A component that is commonly overlooked during the process of building a computer is memory. Many users figure that if they throw in any kit of DDR2 800 memory that has the best rating on an online retailer's website, they'll be good to go. This is a completely wrong conclusion, because there are sets that are tailored specifically to what you're going to be doing. For example, there are kits that are made especially for overclocking enthusiasts and gamers, and kits that are made only for everyday use. I generally lean towards the RAM that has a lot of headroom for overclocking, doesn't need many volts to push it far, and doesn't have extremely loose timings. Let's take a look at the new 4GB (2 x 2GB) A-DATA G Series DDR2 800 RAM that has timings of 5-5-5-12.
The new G, short for "Gaming", series from A-DATA is one of their many ways of contributing to the gaming world by configuring this kit to be perfect for gamers. The word around town is that this set is quite overclockable as well. We'll definitely be putting that claim to the test. So how will this new DDR2 800 set from A-DATA perform when it's put through rigorous testing, overclocking and use? Will this be the set that every gamer and enthusiast alike has been looking for in the current sea of memory modules? Let's dig in and find out.
The box that the A-DATA G Series DDR2 800 RAM comes in is quite eye-catching with its flames on the front of the box that allow you to get a peak at the modules inside. On the back of this small box, you'll find some key features of this 4GB (2 x 2GB) set. The RAM is securely set in a piece of plastic to keep it from moving around during shipping.
This DDR2 set has the standard 240 pins and aluminum heatspreaders. What I found interesting was that both sides of the heatsinks are exactly the same. Usually, one side has the timings on it and the other side just has the company logo and series printed on it. Also, it seemed unusual that the heatsink didn't have clamps on it, rather, it was two pieces that are just glued together.
Now let's take a look at the specifications and features of this A-DATA G Series DDR2 800 4GB (2 x 2GB) set.
- Suitable for: Desktop PCs
- Module specification: 240-pin Unbuffered-DIMM Non ECC
- Versions available: 4GB Dual Channel Kit
- Pin layout: 128M x8
- Transmission bandwidth: 6400MB/Sec (PC2-6400)
- CL value: 5-5-5-12
- Working voltage: 1.8v +- 0.1v
- Limited Lifetime warranty
"Vitesta G series offers flawless gaming experience with quad-channel configuration, high capacity for gaming enthusiasts. With high capacity memory, G series has also unleashed the power of a 64-bit operating system, Windows Vista platform, which brought you into next level of digital life that you never experience before."
-All information sourced from A-DATA's website: http://oc.adata.com.tw/product-series.asp?sid=02
To properly test this kit, I'll be comparing it against the Mushkin XP2 8000 Redline 2 x 2GB kit. Both of the sets will be compared at stock timings, frequencies and voltages. The A-DATA set runs at 1.8 volts, which is quite low, so that'll be interesting to see how well it does on such low voltage. Again, everything was set to stock on each set of RAM, and compared on the exact same system.
- CPU:Intel Q9450 Core 2 Quad 333 x 8
- Motherboard: Asus Rampage Formula
- Memory: A-DATA G Series DDR2 800 2 x 2GB
- Video Card(s): Gigabyte 8800GT
- Power Supply: Mushkin 800watt Modular Power supply
- Hard Drive: 1 x Seagate 1TB 7200.11 SATA
- Opticals: Sony Dual Layer Burner
- O/S: Windows Vista Ultimate
- Comparison: Mushkin XP2 8000 Redline 2 x 2GB
CPU-Z: This is a great program to use in order to view the settings that we've set in the BIOS including, CPU speed, bus settings, motherboard manufacturer, BIOS revisions, memory timings, and SPD chip information.
Task Manager: We use this utility to show physical memory, kernel memory, page file usage, and processor usage (%).
- Memory: A-DATA G Series DDR2 800 @ 1002 with 5-5-5-12 and 1.90 volts
Please note that here at OverclockersClub, we do not condone running your hardware outside of the parameters set by the manufacturer and will not be responsible for any damage to your hardware while trying to duplicate the results of our testing. So proceed with caution and at your own risk.
The kind of overclocking that I'll be doing is overclocking within the stock timings. Basically, I'll see how much headroom this kit has while using the stock timings of 5-5-5-12. After a few hours of overclocking, I found the max overclock that I could get was 501MHz, which is 101MHz higher than the stock frequency of 400MHz. What's more impressive is that I achieved that overclock by only bumping the volts up to 1.9! Definitely not a bad overclock at all, and I am quite satisfied with it only being on 1.9 volts.
The following benchmarks that will be used in this review include:
- CPU-Z Version 1.45
- Windows Task Manager
- PCMark Vantage
- SiSoft Sandra XII
- Company of Heros
PCMark Vantage: With this benchmark, I will be running the system suite as well as the memory test suite. The measure for the system suite will be the total score. The measure for memory performance is the total memory score.
SiSoftware Sandra XII: In this program, I will be doing the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth and Memory Latency. Higher is better in all tests except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.
It surprised me that the overclocked A-DATA G Series did worse that the stock A-DATA in the PCMark Vantage benchmark. I was caught off guard when the A-DATA set beat out the Mushkin set in almost every benchmark. The Mushkin XP2 8000 performed markedly better in the Vantage memory testing.
Company of Heroes is a real time strategy game set during World War II. The object is to occupy and control the ground you capture, while forcing the opponents to capitulate. We will use the in-game performance test to measure the performance of the system.
The settings used in this test are listed below:
- All settings to maximum
Higher is Better
And what do you know? The A-DATA still takes the Mushkin in these tests!
The A-DATA G Series DDR2 800 2 x 2GB memory kit was extremely surprising. First of all, it outperformed a set of Mushkin RAM rated at DDR2 1000 but run at the same 800MHz speed as the A-Data G series DDR2 800 memory. You would guess that it just scraped by the Mushkin set, but it was surpassing it by quite a margin in some tests but just squeaking by in others. Not only did it perform exceptionally, it ran at a stock voltage of only 1.8! That is what we as enthusiasts love to see, RAM that performs great at low voltages. I was also caught off guard by how much overclocking headroom this kit had. I was able to push out 501MHz to reach DDR2 1000, and amazingly, I only had to bump the voltage up to 1.9! I did feel like the heatsinks were flimsy, because they are held on the module by the thermal paste on the memory chips, but the heatsinks weren't attached to one another on the top of the module, making it easy to move the heatsinks up and down. Overall, this set exceeded my expections by a long shot, and definitely proved to me that there is no better set for gaming and overclocking. If you are in the market for a 2x2 GB set of memory the price is right. Taking into consideration the performance these modules generated they warrant consideration the next time you are shopping for memory.
- Exceptional Performance
- Overclocking Headroom
- Low Voltages
- Flimsy Heatsinks