BlueSmoke - Review : PMI 3200-512DG Turbo Memory Dual-channel Kit

 Date  : Jun 7th, 2004
 Category  : Memory
 Manufacturer   : Power Memory International
 Author  : Jin-Wei Tioh
The name Power Memory International is probably unbeknownst to most computer enthusiasts, including us folks at BlueSmoke. However, PMI is actually a pretty established OEM, producing DRAM modules and IC components since the early 90s. Their product line includes desktop, notebook and CMTL-certified server memory as well as their newly announced line of "Turbo Memory."

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.


DDR566 PC-4500 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4500-512DG 512MB 3-4-4-8 Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4500-512DP 512MB 3-4-4-8 Platinum

DDR550 PC-4400 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4400-1024DG
PMI4400-512DG
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Gold
Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4400-1024DP
PMI4400-512DP
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Platinum
Platinum

DDR533 PC-4200 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4200-1024DG
PMI4200-512DG
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Gold
Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4200-1024DP
PMI4200-512DP
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Platinum
Platinum

DDR500 PC-4000 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4000-1024DG
PMI4000-512DG
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Gold
Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI4000-1024DP
PMI4000-512DP
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Platinum
Platinum

DDR466 PC-3700 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI3700-1024DG
PMI3700-512DG
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Gold
Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI3700-1024DP
PMI3700-512DP
1024MB
512MB
3-4-4-8
3-4-4-8
Platinum
Platinum

DDR433 PC-3500 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI3500-1024DG
PMI3500-512DG
PMI3500-1024DGH
PMI3500-512DGH
1024MB
512MB
1024MB
512MB
2-3-3-7
2-3-3-7
2.5-3-3-7
2.5-3-3-7
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI3500-1024DP
PMI3500-512DP
PMI3500-1024DPH
PMI3500-512DPH
1024MB
512MB
1024MB
512MB
2-3-3-7
2-3-3-7
2.5-3-3-7
2.5-3-3-7
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum

DDR400 PC-3200 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI3200-2048DGR
PMI3200-2048DG
PMI3200-1024DGL
PMI3200-1024DG
PMI3200-1024DGH
PMI3200-512DGL
PMI3200-512DG
PMI3200-512DGH
2048MB
2048MB
1024MB
1024MB
1024MB
512MB
512MB
512MB
3-3-3-8
3-4-4-8
2-3-2-6
2-3-3-6
2.5-3-3-7
2-3-2-6
2-3-3-6
2.5-3-3-7
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI3200-2048DPR
PMI3200-2048DP
PMI3200-1024DPL
PMI3200-1024DP
PMI3200-1024DPH
PMI3200-512DPL
PMI3200-512DP
PMI3200-512DPH
2048MB
2048MB
1024MB
1024MB
1024MB
512MB
512MB
512MB
3-3-3-8
3-4-4-8
2-3-2-6
2-3-3-6
2.5-3-3-7
2-3-2-6
2-3-3-6
2.5-3-3-7
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum
Platinum

DDR333 PC-2700 Dual-Channel Series

Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI2700-1024DGL
PMI2700-512DGL
1024MB
512MB
2-2-2-5
2-2-2-5
Gold
Gold
   
Part Number Size Latency Heat Spreader
PMI2700-1024DPL
PMI2700-512DPL
1024MB
512MB
2-2-2-5
2-2-2-5
Platinum
Platinum


Today, we take a look at the PMI3200-512DG - PMI's 512MB dual-channel gold kit.

 

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.

PMI3200-512DG Specifications
DIMMs 2 (Dual-channel)
DIMM Size 256MB
Organization Two 32M x 64bit
Timing
         Rated
SPD
(CAS-tRCD-tRP-tRAS)
2-3-3-6
2.5-3-3-8
Voltage 2.60 V
Warranty Lifetime

 

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.

Platform Information
CPU Intel P4C 2.6GHz
Motherboard ABIT IS7-E2
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
DirectX Version 9.0b
Video Drivers ATI Catalyst 4.5
Benchmarks Memtest86 v3.1
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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