Patriot PC2-8500 Extreme Performance Memory

Author: William Henning
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Monday, May 28th, 2007
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/patriot_pc2-8500/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.

Today we look at Patriot's Extreme Performance PC2-8500 2GB (2 x 1GB) memory modules.

These high performance modules use the "EPP" specification, so "EPP ready" motherboards can automatically configure themselves for improved memory performance. The modules have an understated but elegant black headspreader, with a sticker giving the specifications and a raised metallic DDR2 logo on one side, as well as a raised metalic "Patriot" logo on the other.



Here's what the Patriot web site says about the modules:

The 5-5-5-9 timing should have a somewhat better performance than the more mainstream 5-5-5-15 timing. Let's waste no more time and get on with this review!

Test Setup

For this review, we used our best-performing Intel 975X motherboard, the excellent Asus P5W DH, and paired it with an Intel Quad Core QX6700.

We will be comparing the Patriot PC2-8500's with some of the best modules out there - like the OCZ FLEX XLC memory modules we reviewed a few weeks ago, and Corsair Dominator PC2-8888 which we reviewed last month. Needless to say, this should prove extremely interesting!

Benchmarks

Software used during testing consisted of the following:

In order to keep the testing as fair as possible, we will use the following test platform:

As normal, we'll discuss our overclocking adventures at the end of the article. However, in the results you'll see in the following pages we include overclocked benchmarks to show you what gains you might get if you also achieved similar overclocks - our test systems were all stable at the settings shown with air cooling. The chart labels incorporate a lot of information about the test configuration. The first line shows the socket type and the model of the processor. Since all the processors shown are dual core devices, we did not specify that on the charts.

The second line shows the "FSB/HT clock rate" x "CPU multiplier" and the effective DDR memory speed. Please note that all DDR2 tests were run at 4-4-4-12 timings where possible.

Methodology

As usual, after I verify that the memory works at the specified speed and timings, I will be concentrating on seeing how far I can push the Patriot PC2-8500 memory compared to these other DIMM's - how fast can they go with the stock timings, and our favorite 4-4-4-12 timing?

Ok, enough talking... let's get on with the testing!

Sandra 2007

The Patriot PC2-8500 did quite well at Sandra; at the stock speed of the QX6700 it placed where we would expect, and once overclocked, it was only beaten by memories running at higher data rates with tighter timings - as we would expect.

RightMark Read

No surprises here - performance was where we would expect it to be. Note how we can actually see a small, but definitely visible improvement between the 5-5-5-15 most PC8500 memories use and the 5-5-5-9 timing the Patriot PC2-8500 uses.



RightMark Write

For writes, the 5-5-5-9 vs. 5-5-5-15 timing is completely irrelevant and well within experimental error.

RightMark Latency

Lowest latency combined with highest processor and memory speed won - the overclocked Patriot PC2-8500 came in second place, losing to a slightly higher clocked Corsair PC2-8500.



RightMark Bandwidth

Oh my! The Patriot did VERY well in the RightMark bandwidth test, taking top spot when slightly underclocked to achieve even tighter timings!

WinRAR

WinRAR is very sensitive to latencies, so it is not surprising that the really tight timing achieved by the Patriot PC2-8500 when slightly underclocked combined with a highly overclocked processor took first spot.



Doom 3

Doom 3 is also quite sensitive to memory lantency and bandwidth, and the Patriot did reasonably well here.

Overclocking

In short, the Patriot PC2-8500 2 x1GB modules do not overclock that well as far as MHz go - but I was able to get them to run significantly faster then stock.

As you saw from the charts, I managed to run them at 1044-4-4-4-12 timings - which is 23 MHz lower than the 1067-5-5-5-9 figures, but they nevertheless turned out better performance. Granted, much of the increased performance was due to higher CPU performance, but 1044-4-4-4-12 WAS a part of it.

How did I reach these results?

Conclusion

The Patriot PC2-8500 modules may not overclock to sky-high levels, but they do meet their specifications -- which at 5-5-5-9 are lower-latency than most other PC2-8500 modules on the market (which usually run at 5-5-5-15). Even without overclocking, the Patriot modules offer solid performance at their rated speed.

Even more, they significantly exceed their specified timings at a slightly lowered clock rate, offering overall much better performance at 1044-4-4-4-12 than the official 1067-5-5-5-9 timing. I don't know about you, but I'll take actual, measurable performance advantages over a superficial 23 MHz gain.

Looking at the current pricing landscape for high performance memory across all brands, you'll find prices from $95 to $610(?!), so at $136 after rebate, these PC2-8500 modules from Patriot are a real steal!

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