OCZ Memory + Compatible Motherboard = Firmware level overclocking!
OCZ's new SPD-Z Technology will allow owners of OCZ memory the ability to custom flash their memory with a choice of timings to match the motherboard they are using. This should not only improve performance, but compatibility as well. But, surely you can just set what you want in the BIOS? True, but this way the settings are hard coded and will stay even if you reset the CMOS or throw the memory into other systems.
The crux is that OCZ makes a lot of memory and has to go through all this testing with all manner of different motherboards and memory combinations to make the alternative SPD settings. Currently, since this is still a young initiative, there is very little online other than the standard SPD options for the modules, but this will develop over time offering some interesting alternatives that you know will work. But, isn't that half the fun? Spending hours finding out what works, what's stable and what juuuuuust about lasts long enough to run 3Dmark (if that's your thing).
The biggest advantage looks to be compatibility, but unless there's an alternative "standard" SPD specifically for your motherboard you'll likely have to flash with something slower
to make sure it works. That's not the ideal direction.
However, it does allow those who want something a bit more permanent or those who are less adept at the ins and outs of BIOS tweaking to just log on and "overclock" their modules with very little effort while remaining completely within warranty. It should also allow OEMs to offer tweaked systems without having to worry about the end user resetting the CMOS or trying it themselves and running into problems.
You can check it out right now here
if you already own OCZ memory. Known limitations are that it's "in Windows only", with no DOS or 64bit Vista support and there's no word on *nux either however that should cover 90+% of users already.
We had a shot at the new software just to take you through what you should expect:
First you have to select what module you want flash, just in case you're running two different pairs or sticks.
Next, the software is intelligent enough to pick up you're running two sticks the same, like many people will be doing with dual channel memory.
Thirdly you get the choice to use a local file, if you've downloaded it elsewhere, or check online with OCZ for what they have. Unfortunately that's as far as we got because it threw up a 404 error at us. This error means there's currently no directory within the Repository so your module isn't supported yet
. If there's just a single SPD on there, that'll be the same one that's already on your modules so you don't need to flash either, it's only if there's a couple that you get the choice to have some fun!
Check for updates about the tool here
. And while you're at it, tell us your thoughts on it in our forums