Without doubt, OCZ is one of the most popular performance memory suppliers. Having also recently acquired PC Power and Cooling who is renowned for its top quality PSUs, OCZ is slowly becoming an all round brand for enthusiasts. Its memory range can appear at the more flamboyant end of the market, more so than Corsair's DHX technology
but perhaps not quite Team Group Xtreem
Its range includes the FlexXLC, which comes complete with a huge heatsink and included watercooling option, along with the latest Reaper modules that include a heatpipe to lift the heat from the heatspreaders up into the case cavity where there's greater airflow.
OCZ not only includes additional features like EPP in some of its range to make it compatible with the latest nForce 500- and 600-series chipsets that can use it but it also offers EVP: Extended Voltage Protection. This allows the user to overvolt the modules when overclocking, and the memory remains in warranty. Each module set is different, but the OCZ website is very clear and well presented about what its memory should be able to do.
So it all looks good on paper, but how do they turn out in practice?
OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 SLI-Ready EditionManufacturer: OCZ
UK Price (as reviewed): £83.95 (inc. VAT)
US Price (as reviewed): $135 (ex. Tax)
2 x 240-pin DDR2 Double Sided DIMM
2GB Dual Channel Kit (2 x 1GB)
2.1 and up to 2.3V with Extended Voltage Protection
These modules use the basic XTC vented heatspreaders on the memory, rather than more extravagant alternatives. The SLI sticker is an obvious indication that these modules are tailored to Nvidia SLI motherboards which can read the contained EPP data. The black vented heatspreaders may increase the surface area for air contact but reduce the contact with the memory chips, but don't expect to easily change them because they're fixed solid with clear epoxy. They still look pretty good and definitely coordinates nicely with a black nForce 680i SLI motherboard. During testing, even at 2.3V overclocked we found they got quite hot but nowhere near as bad as the Kingston which becomes almost untouchable.
It's likely that they use the ProMOS memory chips rather than the more popular Micron D9s, simply because they are "only" CAS-4 800MHz modules. However saying that we did manage a superb 3-3-3-8-15-4twr-1T at 2.3V and 800MHz memory bus, as well a very decent overclock of 1156MHz, PC2-9248 at timings faster than the 1151MHz, PC2-9200 FlexXLC!
DDR2 OCZ SLI Ready Memory versus DDR3 OCZ Platinum: the heatspreaders are still very similar
OCZ also offers an ATI CrossFire edition for memory specifically tested with ATI chipsets which are similar styled but come in red and lack EPP. This doesn't mean you can't use any DDR2 memory in any board though: this SLI Edition memory will also fit in ATI boards and will work with AMD CPUs and visa versa.
The compact size means they fit into all but very low profile systems, unlike the FlexXLC and Reaper modules which are much taller. The package is a small reusable blister pack, so less to keep in a draw somewhere. Not much information is shown on the pack itself, probably because OCZ expects most people to visit its website for information pre-purchase.