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GeIL Ultra Platinum PC4400 1GB Dual Channel Kit (DDR550)
By Vijay Anand
Category : Memory
Published by Jimmy Tang on Wednesday, 19th May, 2004
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Value For Money Award)


Up Close with GeIL's Ultra Platinum PC4400 Dual Channel Kit

Below, we show you a close-up of the RAM modules in the dual channel kit. Note that each RAM module in the Ultra Platinum series has a heat sensitive sticker on its left corner and they act as temperature indicators when the heat spreader attains a temperature of 45 degrees Celsius.

Noticed the temperature markings to the left of the module?


This is a heat sensitive sticker that glows in accordance to the temperature of the heat spreader; sort of like those 'mood rings'.

We were hoping to catch a glimpse of the temperature indicator in action during our tests, but in our air-conditioned lab, the RAM modules got nowhere near even the 45 degrees Celsius mark (the lowest of the four predefined temperatures for indication). However, rest assured that they do work, just like your mood rings or one of those temperature tabs you slap onto your forehead. Using a hair dryer, we ascertained the different temperature indicators, but since only one of the predefined temperatures would glow at any one point of time, it would be better if we showed you the stock picture from GeIL's website with all four of them glowing, as seen below.

Although temperatures of RAM modules are hardly something to worry usually, it is nevertheless a nifty little temperature-indicating device.

Most ultra high-speed DDR modules have pretty similar operational specifications and the GeIL Ultra Platinum PC4400 Dual Channel Kit is no different in this aspect. These are recommended operating specs as listed on the module itself for easy reference:-

The GeIL's operating specs are clearly listed in this sticker. The voltage tolerance for this RAM pair is between 2.6V and 3.1V – more than adequate even for overclockers.

Prying open the heat spreaders, we found the RAM parts used on these modules:-

GeIL's 3.5ns RAM parts? Take a closer look…

Although the RAM parts had GeIL's markings on them and even rated them at 3.5ns (285.7MHz clock speed), we found them to be otherwise. Firstly, GeIL doesn't actually produce RAM parts. Secondly, if you paid close attention to the photo, you can notice that the original markings have been painted out for GeIL's own markings. From a particular angle of light, we can clearly make out that the original RAM chips are actually Hynix HY5DU56822xxx-D43 RAM chips and these are actually DDR400 parts rated at 3-3-3 operation. Coincidentally, Corsair's TWINX1024-4400 also uses these same parts.

Well, that says quite a bit of the RAM chip's yield quality these days, but that doesn't mean a DDR400 module with these chips can attain the DDR550 speed. Many RAM vendors sell high-speed DDR466 memory all the way up to DDR550, so they would always sort out the best RAM chips. Another factor is that of the PCB quality, which for example a true DDR550 module such as the GeIL Ultra Platinum PC4400 would have a higher caliber PCB to maintain stable high-speed operation.

Back to GeIL's claim of using 3.5ns RAM chips – the GeIL Ultra Platinum PC4400 dual channel kit failed to overclock even by a few MHz (just like Corsair's TWINX1024-4400), despite the fact we even disabled PAT when trying for a higher ceiling. We can safely say (for now) that DDR550 is about the limit for these 'DDR400' class memory chips utilized on these modules.

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