BlueSmoke - Review : PMI 3200-512DG Turbo Memory Dual-channel Kit
|Date||: Jun 7th, 2004|
|Manufacturer||: Power Memory International|
|Author||: Jin-Wei Tioh|
With the growing market for performance memory modules, this is PMI's attempt to put more established retail brand names out to pasture. As illustrated in the following table, PMI is making an honest-to-goodness effort at doing just that, from memory rated at DDR333 all the way to a staggering DDR566! These are offered in both single and dual-channel kits.
The PMI3200-512DG is a 512MB dual-channel DDR400 gold kit rated at 2-3-3-6 (CAS-tRCD-tRP-tRAS) and 2.6V. PMI knows that bling bling is definitely a factor in purchasing decisions, adorning the two 256MB modules with an attractive and catchy gold heatspreader design with a raised PMI logo in the middle. The package insert provides adequate protection and the kit comes with PMI's lifetime warranty. Finally, the speed rating, part number and appropriate memory timings are affixed to both the package insert and the individual modules.
|Organization||Two 32M x 64bit|
Being a dual-channel kit, PMI is clearly targeting the Intel user as the performance gains on the AthlonXP platform aren't nearly as great. The PMI DDR400 was tested at DDR400, DDR433 and the highest stable overclock speeds.
Basic stability was first tested using Memtest86 v3.1. If any memory errors are detected, the memory timings, speed, voltage or some combination therein are adjusted. Once eight Memtest86 passes are successfully completed, the stability results are confirmed by performing 3 passes of makeworld -j4s under FreeBSD 4.9. Finally, performance results are obtained via SiSoft Sandra 2004's unbuffered memory test.
|CPU||Intel P4C 2.6GHz|
|HS/F||Zalman CNPS7000 Cu|
|Memory||2 x 256MB PMI3200-512DG (DDR400)|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Caviar SE 80GB|
|Video Card||ATI 9800 Pro|
|PCI/AGP Speed||Locked at 33/66MHz|
|Operating System||Windows XP Professional SP1|
|Video Drivers||ATI Catalyst 4.5|
SiSoft Sandra 2004 Professional
Delivering on the promise is a trial by fire for any new name in performance memory. The PMI3200-512DG is honestly rated and performs with the utmost stability at its rated speed and timings. It even has quite a bit headroom, being able to run reliably at either lower latencies (DDR400 2-3-2-5 @ 2.8V) or higher speeds (DDR433 2-3-2-5 @ 2.8V). The maximum speed we were able to achieve was DDR440 (3-4-3-8) at 2.8V and a 1T command rate. While falling short of what the legendary Winbond BH5 chips could achieve, this is still a pretty solid overclock.
Thus far, the PMI3200-512DG has shown itself to be no slouch when it comes to performance. At its rated speed and timings, the PMI3200 turned in great numbers with rock solid stability. While not offering quite the same amount of headroom as some other modules, it still manages to run very well at DDR433 with 2-3-3-6 timings, albeit at 2.8V. Seeing that the SPD data puts the DDR400 timing at 2.5-3-3-8, we can only conclude that PMI has chosen to rate their memory a little more aggressively than the competition.
Bearing that in mind, PMI really did their homework before entering the fray. The PMI3200-512DG is a very competitive product in the market by virtue of its aggressive pricing, selling for around $15 less than comparable products from the likes of Mushkin, OCZ and Corsair. Coupled with its lifetime warranty and polished finish, we would have a hard time not recommending that you give PMI some serious consideration. Recommended!
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