OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 1
Introduction & Specifications
 
Back in April last year, OCZ gave us the opportunity to sample the delights of their latest heatpipe cooled "Reaper" PC2-8500 memory modules. Sporting reasonable overclock abilities combined with an extremely good price, the Reaper kit was yet another top memory product in the OCZ range and managed to walk away with both our "Recommended" and "Value for Money awards".
 
However, not a company to rest on their laurels, OCZ have been hard at work designing a successor to the original Reaper series and today we're going to get a chance to taste the fruits of their labour...
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400
 
For most of us OCZ needs no introduction. Being one of the innovators in the PC enthusiast market, and with firm beliefs in after-sales service and customer satisfaction, OCZ are pretty much a household name. However, for those of us who have had our heads firmly stuck under a rock for over 7 years since OCZ's entry into the memory market, here is brief snippet of history taken from their homepage:
 
Entering the memory market in August 2000, OCZ Technology was built around the determination to manufacture the best high speed DDR and RDRAM. OCZ was founded by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, and our commitment to the end-user has not digressed. OCZ Technology has been an innovator in many areas. We were the first manufacturer to make Dual Channel optimized memory available to the public, which originally took advantage of nVidia's Twinbank or Dual DDR architecture, found in their nForce chipset. We have now taken that technology and tailored it for the Canterwood, and Granite Bay chipset's. OCZ developed and was the first to implement ULN technology, which has been a critical element in our manufacturing process for some time. We at OCZ diligently work to improve communication with CPU and motherboard chipset manufacturers prior to the release of their products. Only in this manner can we fine-tune our memory's SPD settings, ensuring a synergistic relationship between the memory module, memory controller, and microprocessor. In today’s rapidly evolving semiconductor industry, such communication is not simply research, but a necessary component of our manufacturing process.
 
Anyway, let's cut the small talk and check out the specs of these modules (taken from the OCZ website):
 
OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 / 800 MHz / ReaperX HPC / Enhanced Bandwidth / 4GB Dual Channel

These high-performance modules will support the latest games and top of the line multimedia programs with a 4GB capacity, combined with the high frequencies and aggressive bandwidth for maximum system stability. Rated at DDR2-800 with 4-4-3 timings, the PC2-6400 ReaperX provides exceptional latencies for the extreme enthusiast and gamer. The sheer speeds combined with the 4GB capacity of this kit will provide you with unsurpassed reliability, system responsiveness, and stable performance.

Featuring an EPP (Enhanced Performance Profiles) programmed SPD, PC2-6400 Reaper X modules will immediately boot at the rated specs on the latest generation of NVIDIA® SLI™ chipsets. Although the OCZ Reaper X series caters to enthusiasts, EPP eliminates the need for manual configuration and makes the benefits of overclocking available to the complete range of consumers looking to get the most out of their systems.

As one of OCZ’s legendary Enhanced Bandwidth (EB) editions, the ReaperX 4GB kit increases effective memory bandwidth through the optimization of memory latencies between the system memory, the chipset, and memory controller, resulting in the ideal balance of speed and enhanced timings.
 
 ReaperX HPC
 
Specifications
800MHz DDR2
EPP 4-4-3-15*
(CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS)
Available in 4GB (2x2048MB) Dual Channel Kits
Unbuffered
OCZ Lifetime Warranty
2.1 Volts
240 Pin DIMM

Special Features
ReaperX HPC Heatsink**
2.2V EVP***
Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP)

* NVIDIA nForce 680i chipset ONLY

**ReaperX HPC (Heat Pipe Conduit) modules offload heat with extreme efficiency due to a new dual copper heat pipe design. Each memory chip is in direct contact with a thermo-conductive pipe that guides the performance robbing heat away from key memory components and quickly dissipates it through the aluminum fin array. The addition of the extended fin array nearly doubles the total surface area available for heat dissipation while the heat pipes warrant near isothermicity throughout the entire design. The result is a doubling in effective heat dissipation at equal delta t or, in real systems, a significantly lower operating temperature of the memory modules.

***OCZ EVP (Extended Voltage Protection) is a feature that allows performance enthusiasts to use a VDIMM of 2.2V without invalidating their OCZ Lifetime Warranty.
 
As you'd expect of a memory kit from OCZ, the ReaperX PC2-6400 modules have had every ounce of performance squeezed out of them at their stock speed of 800mhz by running very tight timings of 4-4-3-15. OCZ have added a footnote that these timings are only achievable on the Nvidia 680i platform (which provides support for EPP). However, I'm sure with a bit of tweaking, Intel chipset users will be able to run at these timings too.
 
OCZ have also given overclockers a bit of extra headroom when overclocking the ReaperX kit by allowing them to over-volt the modules from their stock voltage of 2.1v to 2.2v. While a bump of 0.1v may not seem a massive amount, it's often more than enough to push the average DDR2 kit to it's limits, and it's certainly great to be able do this without voiding OCZ's lifetime warranty.
 
The images above certainly don't do the ReaperX kit any justice, so let's move on to the next page where we take a look at the kit in the flesh...


OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 2
Packaging
 
An area I often moan about on memory kits is the over-use of the plastic blister style packaging. Sure it allows the modules contained within to be seen in their full glory when placed on retailers shelves, but it offers very little in the way of protection during shipping and takes away some of the excitement when unpacking your latest purchase.
 
As we can see from the images below, OCZ have chosen this packaging method for their ReaperX kit. However, with the kit coming in at an extremely competitive price point, I think we can let OCZ off the hook this time round ;)
 
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Packaging Front OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Packaging Back
 
The front of the packaging is fairly standard, with OCZ using a cardboard insert printed with an orange and grey background to help highlight the modules. While no information on the modules is printed on the insert, OCZ have taken the liberty of placing a specification sticker towards the bottom of the packaging that will help users identify what modules are contained within.
 
Due to the shape of the heatspreaders on the ReaperX kit, OCZ have had to modify the back of the packaging slightly to accommodate the heatpipe fins. While this may have been a necessity to get the kit fitting snugly inside the packaging, OCZ have used it to their full potential by printing a technical diagram and brief description on how the heatpipe system works at the back of the insert card.
 
 
Appearance
 
Back when we reviewed the original OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 kit, it's unique looks were met with mixed responses. While the kit certainly performed admirably and the heatspreaders managed to keep the memory cool even at high voltages, the copper full-loop heatpipe system certainly wasn't as pretty as OCZ's FlexXLC kits. With this in mind, let's take a look at what the ReaperX kit has to offer...
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Front OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Back
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Front OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Back
 
The appearance of the ReaperX kit can only be described as: WOW! While the heatspreaders do certainly borrow some elements from Thermalright's HR07, the ReaperX kit looks far more sleek and the inter-woven fins attached to each of the heatpipes keeps the modules far more compact. OCZ have also improved the appearance of the copper heatpipes by nickel plating them to match with the rest of the black/silver colour scheme.
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Side OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Fins
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Top OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Inter-Woven
 
Unlike OCZ's original Reaper kit, the ReaperX cooling system consists of two totally independent heatpipes that pass along the entire length of the heatspreader. Each filled with a small quantity of liquid that evaporates when heated, taking the heat away from the surface of the memory. The liquid vapour then passes to the top of the heatpipe where it is cooled by the large array of aluminium fins. Once the vapor has cooled, it returns to a liquid, falls back down to the heat source and can begin the whole process again.
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 Heatspreader OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 PCB
 
OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 IC's OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 IC's
 
Due to the above average weight of the heatspreaders, OCZ have decided to hold them in place with three screws at the top of the modules in addition to the usual sticky thermal pads. This certainly made identifying the IC's used on the PCB extremely difficult, with the sticky pads only separating from the modules once they'd been heated.
 
Unfortunately, even with the heatspreaders removed, the ReaperX kit gave away no clues as to what IC's had been used. As we can see from above, the IC's have been printed with the OCZ logo and the following series of numbers: X42P3288I-25C / 0748R. Maybe OCZ can shed some light on what's behind the ReaperX series!


OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 3
Test Setup
 
To ensure that all reviews on Overclock3D are fair, consistent and unbiased, a standard set of hardware and software is used whenever possible during the comparative testing of two or more products. The configuration used in this review can be seen below:
 
 
OCZ ReaperX (PC2-6400) 4GB
Mushkin HP2-6400 (PC2-6400) 4GB
ProcessorIntel Core 2 Quad Q6600 "G0" 2.4GHz 2x4MB
MotherboardDFI Lanparty P35-T2R
Graphics Card  Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro 256mb PCI-E
Hard Disk Hitachi Deskstar 80GB 7K80 SATA2 7200RPM 8mb
CPU Cooling Stock Intel Aluminium Cooler
Operating System Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (Latest Updates)
Graphics Drivers ATI Catalyst 7.4.44981
Motherboard Drivers Intel INF 8.300.1013
 
To guarantee a broad range of results, the following benchmark utilities will be used:

Synthetic Memory Subsystem
• Sisoft Sandra XII 2008c
• Lavalys Everest 4.0

File Compression & Encoding
• 7-Zip File Compression
• River Past ViMark

3D / Rendering Benchmarks
• Cinebench 10
• 3DMark05
• 3DMark06

3D Games
• Quake 4
• Bioshock
• F.E.A.R
 
 
Settings & Overclocking
 
As with all memory reviews on Overclock3D the ReaperX PC2-6400 modules were subjected to a series of benchmark tests under several different configurations. The configurations used tested the memory's ability to run at high frequencies with stock timings, high frequencies with loosened timings and also ensured that that the modules could run with 100% stability at their advertised speed, latency and voltage settings.
 
 
Stock Frequency & Timings
DDR2-800 / 4-4-3-15 / 2.1v
CPU-Z - Stock CPU-Z - Stock
 
We've already mentioned that OCZ only guarantee the ReaperX PC2-6400 kit to run at its advertised 4-4-3-15 timings on an Nvidia 680i based motherboard with EPP. This certainly seemed to be the case when we first placed the modules in our Intel P35 based DFI Lanparty board, attempted to boot into Windows and was welcomed by repeated BSOD's. No matter what settings we tried, we just couldn't get the modules stable.
 
However, a quick browse of the OCZ website revealed a link to their forums where there was extensive information and a guide on how to get the ReaperX kit running stable on a range of Intel P35 based boards. After changing the settings on our DFI P35-T3R to the ones suggested on the forum, the test PC booted into Windows flawlessly and passed several hours of Prime95 stability testing.
 
 
Highest Frequency @ Relaxed Timings
DDR2-1098 / 5-5-4-18 / 2.1v
CPU-Z - OC CPU-Z - OC
 
Overclocking the ReaperX on it's stock timings of 4-4-3-15 was't really much of a success on our Intel P35 based testing platform. This certainly didn't come as a surprise, as the modules are only really designed to run at CAS4 on Nvidia based chipsets. However, on loosening the timings to 5-5-4-18 the ReaperX kit showed us exactly what it was capable of by coming just shy of DDR2-1100. This is extremely good for a 4GB kit, and as we can see from the graph below; the Mushkin kit also used in this review couldn't even come close.
 
Overclock Results
 
Now that we've got the overclocking out of the way, let's see how the ReaperX sized up against the Mushkin kit in our benchmarks over on the next page...


OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 4
Sisoft Sandra

Sisoft Sandra is a synthetic benchmark utility capable of reporting and benchmarking a wide range of system components. For the OCZ and Mushkin memory kits we run both the Memory Bandwidth and Memory Latency benchmarks 3 times to ensure accuracy of results.
 
 Sisoft Sandra Bandwidth
 
Sisoft Sandra Bandwidth
 
Sisoft Sandra Latency
 
  
Everest

Everest is in many ways similar to Sisoft Sandra. Focusing mainly on Software and Hardware information reporting, Everest also comes with a benchmark utility suitable for testing the read, write and latency performance of the memory subsystem.
 
Everest Memory Read
 
Lavalys Memory Write
 
Lavalys Memory Latency


OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 5
ViMark

ViMark is the latest addition to the OC3D testing process and a relatively new benchmarking application in general. Designed to take the inaccuracies and guesswork out of measuring the time taken to encode video files, ViMark produces easily comparable and consistent results for encoding Windows Media, Quicktime, AVI and Gif files.
 
 ViMark - Windows Media
 
Vimark - Quicktime
 
ViMark - AVI
 
Vimark - GIF
 
 
7-Zip

7-Zip is an open source winzip-style file compression utility that has the ability to compress and decompress many file formats including it's own .7z compression scheme. 7-Zip also comes complete with its own benchmarking utility for gauging the compression and decompression speed of the system that it is installed on.
 
7-Zip Compression
 
7-Zip Decompression


OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 6
Cinebench

Cinebench 10 is a benchmarking tool based on the powerful 3D software Cinema 4D. Consequently, the results of tests conducted using Cinebench carry significant weight when analysing a computer’s performance in everyday use.
 
 Cinebench Rendering
 
Cinebench Rendering
 
Cinebench OpenGL
 
 
3DMark053DMark06

3DMark is a popular synthetic gaming benchmark used by many gamers and overclockers to gauge the performance of their PC's. All 3DMark runs were performed 3 times with averages being calculated from each of the results.
 
3DMark05
 
3DMark06


OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 7
Quake4

Quake 4 is a game built on the Doom 3 engine. Benchmarking was performed using Quake4Bench and a custom timedemo recording along with 0xAA, 0xAF settings at a resolution of 1024x768.
 
Quake4
 
 
F.E.A.R

F.E.A.R. is a game based on the Lithtech Jupiter EX engine. It has volumetric lighting, soft shadows, parallax mapping and particle effects. Included in the game is a benchmark facility that taxes the entire PC system. This benchmark was run 3 times to ensure uniformity of results.
 
F.E.A.R  
 
 
Bioshock

Bioshock is a recent FPS shooter by 2K games. Based on the UT3 engine it has a large amount of advanced DirectX techniques including excellent water rendering and superb lighting and smoke techniques. All results were recorded using F.R.A.P.S with several identical runs through the same area of the game.
 
BIOSHOCK


OCZ ReaperX PC2-6400 4Gb DDR2 Kit Page: 8
Conclusion
 
When the OCZ R&D team set about designing the ReaperX kit, they must have had one clear objective in mind: to put a nail in the coffin of all the other competition. Not only does the ReaperX kit look the absolute business with it's large heatpipes and array of aluminium fins, but the overclocking performance even puts a lot of DDR2 2GB kits to shame. Managing to hit just under DDR2-1100 on our DFI P35-T2R motherboard, the ReaperX is by far one of the most capable 4GB kits we've seen to date (both on and off OC3D), and left our Mushkin HP2-6400 4GB kit for dead.
 
Sure it may have been a bit of a pain to get up and running at the advertised 4-4-3-12 timings on an Intel chipset based board, but this minor setback has only given OCZ the chance to show to the community that it is committed to after-sales support by producing a range of "how-to" guides for various motherboard over on their forums.
 
With prices starting at around £80 on various websites, the ReaperX PC2-6400 kit is an absolute steal. If you're looking for a 4GB DDR2 kit to compliment your memory hungry rig, look no further - the ReaperX is anything but grim!
 
 
The Good
• Greatly improved cooling over the original Reaper series.
• Sexy looking heatspreaders.
• Overclocks to almost DDR2-1100 on only 2.1v
• Usual OCZ warranty and great after-sales service.
• Price!!!
 
The Mediocre
• Was initially a bit of a pain to get running at 4-4-3-12 timings (see link above)
 
The Bad
• Nothing, zip, nadda.
 
 
OC3D Best In Class Award
 
 
Thanks to OCZ for making this review possible. Discuss this review in our forums.