With a good overclocking Pentium 4 2.4C, you can crank your bus up to 250 (1000 FSB) and enjoy 3.0GHz performance with the entry level Northwood. The manufacturers of enthusiast memory noticed what was going on and quickly filled the void with DDR500 memory. Until recently, DDR533 was the fastest memory you could buy, but now Corsair and OCZ have introduced PC4400, which can run at a heady DDR550.

You would be right to ask at what price you get DDR550 performance, because Corsair and OCZ both specify a very limited group of motherboards that can support this speed. Both list the Asus P4C800-E and Deluxe as compatible, and OCZ adds the DFI LAN Party 875B. That's it - only two recommended compatible motherboards for the fastest memory speed that you can buy. In addition, both specify timings as 3-4-4-8, which means speed is achieved with slower memory timings.

So, the question is, do the two new PC4400 memories meet their specifications and actually perform at DDR550? Are the trade-offs worth it? Is DDR550 a product that actually brings additional performance to the table, or are they just check list products to persuade the consumer the company markets the fastest memory that you can buy?

Why Would Anyone Want DDR550?


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  • retrospooty - Thursday, February 19, 2004 - link

    Nice results at 5:4 vs 1:1 ... See, I told you so, after reading one of your older Ram articles from a few months back... 5:4 2-2-2 beats 1:1 2.5-4-4-8 anyday =)

    I'm glad you tested it !
  • kamper - Thursday, February 19, 2004 - link

    holy tiny target market, batman!

    how many people require memory to run at 275fsb default?
  • Pumpkinierre - Thursday, February 19, 2004 - link

    Very good memory article once again Wesley. I dont know where this 'low latency memory doesnt make any difference' argument started but from my observations, it is false. OCZ usually test on an ABIT IC7 so I wonder why it did't make the grade on the DDR550?

    Any hints as to when DDR500@ 2-2-2-5 is going to become reality. It seems like the old BH5s are still the lowest latency mem. chips and they've been around for a year now. 1:1 at low latencies and PAT aggressive is the way to go. That's why I run my 2.6c at 2.8 even though it goes stable to 3.3 but then I got to run the mem. at 5:4 (no PAT) and performance improvement is barely noticeable.

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