OCZ ReaperX HPC DDR3 10666 2 x 1 GB Review

ccokeman - 2007-12-23 18:17:15 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: ccokeman   
Reviewed on: January 1, 2008
Price: $299.99

Introduction:

DDR3 modules are starting to come out fast and furious. With the frontside bus of the newest processors creeping up, system memory needs to move on up the frontside bus ladder to scale with the next generation of processors. Scaling upwards usually comes with penalties. Usually the timings and voltages are less than ideal so there have to be compromises. Either the timings are loosened up and performance suffers or voltage is increased causing a decreased life span due to heat and electromigration. It seems OCZ has found a way to deal with both issues with the release of its ReaperX HPC DDR3 1333MHz series of modules. The ReaperX HPC modules latencies are set to 6-5-5-20 at DDR3 1333MHz using 1.85 volts. By using a Heat Pipe Conduit that is in contact with the memory chips, the heat load generated by the modules is transferred to an extended fin array (put it simply, a heatsink). At this point the heat is dissipated into the surrounding airflow, effectively cooling the modules. This series of modules are available in both two and four gigabyte sets. Will low latency, voltage and an incredible looking cooling solution be the key to performance? Let's find out.

 

Closer Look:

The OCZ Reaper X modules are a retail box set. The modules are in a standard plastic clamshell enclosure. The packaging prominently displays the Reaper X modules. The most prominent feature on the modules are the distinctive heatpipes and finned aluminum heatsinks. Considering that the required voltage to achieve the rated speed and timings is 1.85 volts, these modules may just need all the cooling help they can get. The voltage specification for DDR3 memory is 1.5 volts. The rear face of the packaging illustrates the benefits of the dual heatpipe cooling design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reaper X HPC modules are designed to perform with tight latencies of 6-5-5-20 at DDR3 1333FSB speeds with 1.85volts. OCZ has designed an innovative way to keep the memory modules cool using heatpipe technology coupled with built in heatsinks to provide unsurpassed cooling to help maintain stability.

 

 

The pure copper heatpipes are installed so that each memory chip is in direct contact with it. Thermal tape is used to help manage the heat transfer process. With a direct exchange of heat from the module to the heatpipe to the heatsink, memory cooling should not be an issue. Each heatpipe loops up and over the Reaper modules and ends at what OCZ calls the "extended fin array."

 

 

Specifications:

 

Specifications:
1333MHz DDR3
6-5-5-18 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)  

Available in 2GB and 4GB Dual Channel Kits    

Unbuffered       
OCZ Lifetime Warranty
1.85 Volts  
240 Pin DIMM

Special Features

ReaperX HPC Heatsink*    
1.9V EVP**
Part Numbers

2GB (2x1024MB) D/C Kit PN - OCZ3RPX1333EB2GK

4GB (2x2048) D/C Kit PN - OCZ3RPX1333EB4GK

 

Testing:

The way to verify that one set of memory modules is better than another is to run a series of benchmarks to put down some basic comparison data. When all things are equal and the only variable is the module being tested, the results are a great way to compare performance, good or bad. In order to eliminate the variables, the only settings that will be manipulated will be the memory timings and voltages when overclocking. The comparison modules will be run at the manufacturer specified timings and voltages at 1333MHz. In order to reach 1333MHz, the processor used in the test setup will have a slight overclock from 266MHZ to 333MHz. All of the comparison modules were run with this scenario.

Testing Setup:

 

 

CPU-Z: This application shows us the settings that we have chosen in the BIOS. Items shown in this application include CPU speed and 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 (%).

 

Overclocking:

Overclocked settings:

Overclocking the Reaper X was not as challenging as I had been expecting. With all of the sets in this review, I would run into hard walls that no amount of tinkering with voltages or sub-timings would let me past. The same was true here with the Reaper X HPC DDR3 1333. But the speed and latency that it happened at was much higher than I had experienced with the other test modules. Ultimately, I was able to get into Windows at 8-7-6-20 at 950MHz or DDR 1900. Not too shabby for a set of 1333MHz (667MHz) system memory. Unfortunately, that speed was unstable with the voltage used in this review and resulted in BSODs. Loosening the timings to 8-7-7-20 results in a successful boot into Windows at 470 x 7 with the memory at 940MHz. This represents an increase from the stock speeds of 274MHz. That's huge when it comes to overclocking potential. I have yet to have a set of memory have that much overhead without extreme voltages. The maximum voltage pushed through the Reaper X was 1.96 volts. Sure, this is above the warranty level by .06 volts, but that is a far cry from the 2.1 and 2.2 volts that some kits require to get just a 150MHz increase, not to mention the tight timings.

At 470 x 7 my processor was at the ragged edge of its frontside bus envelope. The memory, on the other hand, was looking for more voltage and was sure to have a bit more head room. After a little tweaking to the board voltages, 470 x 7 was the final max frontside bus that was usable for our benchmark suite.

 

The benchmarks used in this review include the following programs.

Benchmarks:

 

Testing:

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. A comparison will be made of the performance at DDR3 1333 and the highest achievable overclocked speed for the OCZ Reaper X.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SiSoftware Sandra XII: In this program, I will be doing the following benchmarks: Cache and Memory, Memory Bandwidth, and Memory Latency. All benchmarks will be at default timings with the execption of the OCZ Reaper X overclocked results. Higher is better in all tests except for Memory Latency, where lower is better.

 

 

 

 

 

In the PCMark Vantage testing, the OCZ did not have the highest overall score but did score highest on the memory benchmark. In the Sandra testing I was expecting the OCZ ReaperX to stand out a bit further from the comparison modules. With the tightest latencies of the modules tested, the OCZ offering was either number one or two in all of the tests run.

Testing:

Far Cry: For this game test, we will use the following settings and run the Hardware OC 1.8 benchmark utility. The measure for this benchmark will be in FPS.

 

 

 

 

 

Higher is Better

 

Additional memory bandwidth at this point did not show any gain in FPS until the maximum overclock results. In addition to more bandwidth, additional processing power may have contributed to the increase in FPS.

Conclusion:

The realities of computer hardware upgrades just about always focus on performance. How fast you wanna go? How much money you got? The saying is commonly used in the motorsports world but holds true when it comes to the latest high performance DDR3 modules. Sure, you could save some money and end up with joe average modules, but that would not feed that need. OCZ has produced a set of DDR3 modules that just flat out perform. At 1333MHz, the test results showed that the tight timings of 6-5-5-20 did help performance by allowing the modules to finish either first or second in all of the tests run. Where the OCZ Reaper X HPC modules really shine is when the clock speeds are ramped up. I was able to push these modules to DDR3 1900 with only 1.96 volts. While this may seem high when you compare to the DDR3 standard of 1.5 volts, the modules are guaranteed up to 1.90 volts. Anything over that you take your chances. Running with a stock voltage of 1.85 volts cooling needs to be addressed in a big way. OCZ has done that in a big way with the ReaperX HPC series of modules. Each bank of modules is in direct contact with the Heat Pipe Conduit that leads to the extended fin array to off load all of the heat generated by the modules. During testing, I found that the modules themselves were cool to the touch while the heatpipe was warmer than ambient. With a little bit of airflow over the modules the whole assembly was quite cool to the touch. It seems the theory and sound engineering have paid off when the chips are down.There is nothing like having that all night frag session shut down because of faulty hardware.

Having the ability to overclock in excess of 274MHz over the DDR3 667 FSB spec on these modules is an incredible feat in my eyes. That is the most head room I have ever seen on a set of memory. So much so that it out ran the 475 FSB limit of my Intel Q6600. The only downside to this set of memory is that putting them side by side in the memory slots is not going to happen. 4 x 1 GB will not be the way to go with these modules. That's OK though because OCZ has a set of these modules that are 2 x 2GB to meet that need. If you want to shoot for some records, I feel that the OCZ ReaperX HPC DDR3 1333 set of modules can get you there. As long as the rest of your hardware is up to the task.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: