A-DATA Plus-Series DDR2 800 2 x 2GB Reviewsdy284 - June 22, 2008
With Windows Vista and other memory hungry programs and games on the market today, the minimum amount of system memory needed has risen to 4GB. However, the more capacity you buy, the more it is going to put a dent in your wallet. The only way to overcome this is to buy the best kit for the most performance per dollar. What about name brand vs the little guy? What about value RAM, because all memory is the same right? Wrong, and that is a common misconception that system builders make every day. You spend all that hard earned memory on your Quad Core CPU and the multi-GPU gaming system or that powerful workstation you need and grab the bargain bin memory for a few bucks thinking it will do the same! There are three big areas for system memory you need to look at other than the price point. First is the voltage needed to run them if you are looking to make your PC a green PC. Second is the speed of the memory. JEDEC standards stop at 800MHz for DDR2 modules even though you can go beyond that limitation, with memory it is considered being overclocked. Lastly are the timings of the memory. Timings show how many clock cycles it takes to perform a task. The timings are broken down into tCAS-tRCD-tRP-tRAS. You ask what is all that? All are important but the main one is tCAS, or CAS for short, stands for Column Address Strobe latency, which is the amount of cycles needed to access a column of data stored on the memory.
A-DATA makes memory modules for all sorts of needs. Today we are going to be taking a look at the Plus-Series DDR2 800 memory modules which are part of the Vitesta Extreme Edition family. They have a speed rating of 800MHz stock with timings of 4-4-4-12 versus JEDEC's specifications of 5-5-5-18 for this speed. A-DATA even does this all with a voltage specification of 1.9v. The Plus-Series modules are geared toward mainstream use including gaming and workstations while other version of their memory are geared toward more specific uses. The Plus-Series offers quality and reliability at affordable prices. So how will this memory stand up? Let's take a look and find out.
The Plus-Series modules come packaged in the standard sealed blister pack that A-DATA uses for its memory modules. This is a great idea because it prevents the modules from accidentally coming out of the packaging in transit and from damaging them. The packaging is clear so you can plainly see the memory modules through the front of the package. This allows you to inspect the memory for damage prior to purchase and get an idea of what they look like. The back has some of the features of the modules and the instructions on how to open the packaging to remove the memory. When you remove the paper from the packaging and open it up there is the installation instructions and warranty information.
Once we get these bad boys out of the packaging, you can get a better look at them. The Plus-Series uses a red aluminum heatspreader to keep the modules cool under use. There is a sticker on each one that shows the model number, specs, latencies and voltages for the modules. These modules are rated at the JDEC standard of 800MHz, however A-DATA has, through research and development, worked the latencies down to tighter timings to improve performance. According to A-DATA, the Vitesta modules use top brand 64 x8 FBGA (Fine-Pitch Ball Grid Array) chips to improve performance and capacity.
Now that we have them out of the package, how about we move on over to see how they perform.