I used to just pick up generic memory sticks thinking that all memory was made equally. Ok that was a long time ago and I learned my lesson after reboots and lockups persisted because of low quality DIMMS. Nowadays I only go for high quality name brand memory to ensure that that part of my system is not hindering my performance or corrupting my data. Crucial is one name that’s synonymous with high quality memory and today we look at one of their PC2700 512MB sticks.
Crucial is a division of Micron and they are the only ones that are selling directory from the manufacturer. With over 95% of their business transactions occurring through the web, they help keep costs down and maintain a good efficient consumer friendly process. I’ve ordered a few sticks through their website and it was easy with my order arriving in a very timely manner. Crucial was very generous enough to send Gaming Nexus a stick of the PC2700 512MB stick and today we’ll see how well it holds up along with any speed improvements over the PC2100 sticks I have that are also Crucial branded.
When you order from Crucial, you are sent the ram in a nice padded box with instructions and the memory in an anti-static bag. Crucial does a good job in protecting the ram in shipping so as to decrease the chance of receiving a damaged product. They also offer second day shipping currently in the United States so that you get it fast. I’ve always had good experiences dealing with them and I’ve heard they have great customer service if you do have a problem.
The PC2700 stick is rated to work at 333MHz DDR. It’s singled sided meaning the RAM chips are only on one side of the stick. The clock rate on the module is 167MHz and uses 6 layers of PCB to ensure higher quality and stability. A limited lifetime warranty helps protect you from getting and using bad memory.
My test system consisted of:
AMD Athlon 2200+ XP
Maxtor 120 GIG 7200 RPM hard drive
ABIT GF4 Ti4200 8X-OTES
Windows XP Service Pack 1
For comparisons I had two PC2100 256 MB sticks from Crucial also. Let’s see how well they work.
Using SiSoft Sandra 2002
to test out theoretical memory performance, here are the scores from the two memory configurations.
The bandwidth is, of course, more with the PC2700. In both the FPU and ALU tests, you can see the PC2700 memory edging out the PC2100 brand.
As for games, most of them had a slight increase of a few frames per second over the PC2100 ram. While its nothing to write home about, it might be more significant when I have a CPU that takes advantage of a 333 front side bus. As it stands now, the Athlon I am using to test is running at a 266MHz. AMD recently released CPUs with a front side bus of 333MHz so once we get one of those in, we’ll see how well the memory affects the new chip.
I haven’t run into any problems using the ram in my system. After a few weeks of playing games and programming, I haven’t had any computer errors. As for overclocking, Crucial states that overclocking will void the warranty on the ram. While I didn’t try to overclock my system, there have been many reports of the ram pushing to faster speeds without a hitch. Crucial just released PC3200 ram for you speed enthusiasts out there and the price is very reasonable if you don’t want to overclock the PC2700 and void the warranty.
With ram prices always being volatile, Crucial has always been priced very reasonably compared to the rest of the market. They have a great quality product and you really can’t go wrong with purchasing from them. I’ve been using Crucial ram for a few years now and I haven’t had any problems with their past products. The PC2700 512MB
from Crucial is a quality ram stick from a quality company. And at a price of $83.99 at the time of this writing, it’s a great time to stock up. Thanks again to Crucial for the opportunity to review the product and you can be sure that this stick will be part of the review system from now on.