Patriot Extreme Performance DDR2 2GB (2 x 1GB) PC2-8500 RAM Review

Admin Tallman - 2007-03-03 22:03:22 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: Admin   Tallman   
Reviewed on: March 8, 2007
Patriot Memory
Patriot Memory
Price: 360.00 USD

Introduction:


Today I'll be reviewing a dual channel kit of memory modules geared for the gaming enthusiast made by Patriot Memory. They are part of their Extreme Performance (EP) Eased Latency line. It consists of 2 modules, each 1 GB in size, which are matched pairs. These modules are rated at PC2-8500 speed, which is 1066 MHz, with timings of 5-5-5-9. These memory modules are also EPP ready.

What is EPP? EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles) stands for an open standard developed by Nvidia and adopted by most mainstream memory makers used to write additional information to the spd chip of each memory module. This information contains the parameters to set the memory timings to on select motherboards that support this feature. While memory modules with Enhanced Performance Profiles will work on any motherboard, only motherboards equipped with properly-designed BIOS's, such as those designed for NVIDIA nForce® 590 and 680 SLI media and communications processors (MCPs), will detect the presence of these new capabilities and prompt the user to set PC boot parameters for guaranteed optimized settings. When paired with NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI or 590 SLI-based motherboards, SLI-Ready memory exposes advanced performance memory settings.

Patriot Memory is a division of PDP Systems Inc. Patriot offers a full range of premium memory module solutions for desktop, notebook, server, storage systems, as well as mobile applications. Patriot solutions include Extreme Performance for extreme gamers and PC enthusiasts, Signature Lines for reliability, quality and value upgrades, and a Flash memory line for PC and mobile applications. Patriot Memory is a member of JEDEC, the Apple Developer Connection, the Intel Developer Forum, the SD Association and the MMC Association. Patriot Memory is headquartered in Fremont, California, USA, and has sales offices located throughout the USA and Asia.

Closer Look:





The memory came in a standard plastic clamshell enclosure. At first look, I thought it was that impossible to open without cutting, but quickly found out it was not. It was easy to open without resorting to any sharp objects. The plastic was molded to hold each module in place securely so they do not incur any damage during shipment. Also, there was an attractive paper insert in the enclosure to showcase the memory modules, which had the phone number for tech support on it.





These modules come with a lifetime warranty. They have black aluminum heat spreaders on them to facilitate in dispersing the heat generated. This would be especially helpful for the overclocking enthusiast in all of us. Each side of each module has a raised and brushed aluminum logo, "DDR2" on one side and "Patriot" on the other. The heat spreaders are slightly finned to increase the surface area for more heat dissipation. The attached labels show off the Patriot red, white and blue colors and allow you to clearly see the model number and timings of the modules. They also have free technical support if you should ever need it. So, let us see if these modules perform as well as they look.

Installation:


Well, installing these is really very simple. All I had to do was remove the power cord, open my case, push down on the push tabs holding my current modules in place, pull up gently on those to remove them and then place the Patriot modules over the slots and push down gently until the push tabs lock the modules in place. You should consult your motherboard manual to find out the correct slots to use if you have any doubts. Since these are rated at 5-5-5-9 timings, I just entered my bios as the PC booted up and entered these values in the appropriate place and rebooted. The whole procedure took less than 5 minutes.



Now with them installed, we are ready to go.

Specifications:


Testing:


Testing Setup:



Benchmarks and Apps:



The first thing I have to say, I am doing these tests with the whole system in a case with the enclosure all buttoned up to get real world results. No huge fans blowing on things to inflate the results. Also, since the OCZ ram that I am going to compare this Patriot ram to has tighter timings, all the tests done with the OCZ ram will be set at 5-5-5-9 to get an apples-to-apples result. And, since the Patriot ram is rated at higher frequency than the OCZ ram, I am curious to see if the OCZ can keep up at higher clock speeds.

Due to some of the limitations of my motherboard, I cannot set the speed to 1066 MHz, so 1068 MHz is as close as I can get. You will also notice in the CPU-Z shots that the cpu speed to ram speed ratio changes from time to time. This is because I had to lower my fsb speed and slow the processor down because it would not overclock high enough to get the ram speed where I wanted it.

So, first up is CPU-Z which reads information from your system and displays it on our screen for you.

CPU-Z

 
Task Manager
Now we have Task Manager to show that it is indeed 2 GB of memory, Kernel memory, and Page file usage.
 
 


Cachemem Test at 1068MHz

Cachemem gives results of read and write speeds of the ram. The results are in the graphs below.

Higher is Better


PCMark05

With PCMark05 we test the PC's performance as a system. Again, these tests were run with each set of modules in the system.


Higher is Better


SiSoft Sandra

Now we are starting to get into the more serious stuff. SiSoftware Sandra is going to test for latency (random access time), bandwidth, and a combined index of cache and memory. This proved to be the most difficult test to pass as I went higher with the clock speeds, in particular, the combined index.

Latency Test


Lower is Better


Bandwidth Test


Higher is Better


Cache and Memory Test


Higher is Better



Lower is Better


Far Cry

I used the Hardware OC (Ubisoft Volcano) test to look for changes in frames per second of the playing demo when we start pushing the ram modules to see how well they overclock. In this test I am running the ram at 1068MHz. The benchmark will be run at resolutions of 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, and 1280 x 1024. For all of the Far Cry tests, Higher scores are Better.

 

 

Settings:

  • Maximum quality option, Direct3D renderer
  • Level: Volcano, demo: Volcano.tmd
  • Pixel shader: model 2.0b
  • Antialising: 4x
  • Antisotrophic filtering: 8x
  • HDR: disabled
  • Geometry Instancing: disabled
  • Normal-maps compression: disabled

 

Memory at 1068Mhz

 
 
 







Overclocking:


Now comes the fun part. I will be trying to see how far I can overclock these ram modules and still pass all of the above tests. There are a couple of issues I had to deal with here. I am somewhat limited by my motherboard as I said before, particularly due to the fact that I can only choose 2.4v for the ram and the fact that the only way to set the ram to a higher frequency is by raising the fsb speed which in turn raised the speed of my Intel processor. Also, the OCZ is only rated for up to 2.25 volts. I am pushing beyond that, but by doing so, I invalidate my warranty and may damage my memory. Just so you know, if you try this at home, be warned it may damage your goods and void your warranty. Just stay in manufacturers specs if you want to keep the warranty on your goods. Yes, it is true that raising my processor speed will affect the scores; it is of no consequence here because I am doing the same exact thing for each set of ram. The only thing different in the tests is the ram itself.

First, I reran all the tests with a clock speed on the ram of 1080 MHz at timings again of 5-5-5-9 and 2.3 volts. Both sets of modules passed all of the tests at these settings.

CPU-Z



Cachemem Test at 1080MHz


Higher is Better


PCMark05


Higher is Better


SiSoft Sandra Latency Test


Lower is Better

Overclocking-Part 2





Sandra Bandwidth Test


Higher is Better


Higher is Better


Sandra Cache and Memory Test


Higher is Better


Lower is Better


Far Cry






Overclocking-Part 3




Now since my board can only give me 2.4 volts for the ram, the highest I could get this Patriot ram to finish all the benchmarks is at 1093 MHz. I am sure that with more volts, I can do much higher since on their website it says this ram can take up to 2.6 volts. I intend to amend this review as soon as I get another motherboard that will allow me to push the volts necessary to make this ram shine!

CPU-Z



Cachemem Tests at 1093MHz


Higher is Better


PCMark05


Higher is Better


SiSoft Sandra Latency Test


Lower is Better


Sandra Bandwidth Test


Higher is Better


Higher is Better


Sandra Cache and Memory Test


Higher is Better


Lower is Better

Overclocking-Part 4





Far Cry at 1093MHz









Just to reiterate myself, I am running more voltage to my OCZ memory than it's specs allow. It's only guaranteed to 2.25 volts and I ran 2.35 volts into it for this test. It may pass the tests at 2.4 volts and a higher frequency, but I chickened out and didn’t want to kill my ram. Be warned, running more voltage than recommended by the manufacturer may damage your equipment. Do so at your own risk! I will not be held responsible if you do. And remember, good cooling is a must. Both sets of ram passed all but one test at 1102 MHz! I was able to boot into windows with the Patriot ram at 2.4 volts and a frequency of 1150 MHz but it was not stable enough and crashed soon after. The highest I could get into windows stable enough for screenshots with the Patriot ram at 2.4 volts was 1126 MHz and for the OCZ ram was 1115 MHz at 2.35 volts.



As far as going the other way, to test for tightening the timings up, I was able to get both sets of ram to go to 4-4-4-8 at 1068 MHz.



I was surprised by these results. I figured since one set of ram was rated at a higher frequency, it would run away with the show. But at the same timings and frequency, they seem pretty evenly matched with one having a slight lead over the other in certain areas, then the advantage gets reversed in other areas.

Conclusion:


It was a pleasure working with this memory. It ran at the advertised speeds flawlessly and it even ran better than advertised. I think that with another motherboard, I may be able to get this ram into windows much higher than 1150 MHz. I would love to try it as soon as I get the chance. It seemed to perform well in real world applications and it scaled well as I increased the frequency. The extra frequency that this ram is capable of gives a very nice boost to the frames per second in games for a better, smoother and faster game playing experience. I can only guess at this time the difference it would make to use this ram with a motherboard that made use of its EPP capabilities. This would be very interesting to test out.

I did notice one thing that really seemed to stand out to me. If you followed along in the graphs, maybe you also noticed that the OCZ ram tended to do better in the synthetic benchmarks, while the Patriot ram tended to dominate in the Far Cry tests. Not by a large margin mind you, but generally, the Patriot ram was the top performer in the real-world application we all know and love as Far Cry. So, if you are a gamer, it appears that this ram would make an excellent choice for your system.

Pros:


Cons: