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    Directron 512MB DDR 266 RAM

    *Note* Thanks to Directron for providing this product for review; you can buy it here.

    When buying RAM, it's hard to decide whether to buy the cheapest out there, or paying more (sometimes alot more) for a name brand. What to do? Well I decided to order some "generic" memory from Directron and see how it performed (I've been ordering a lot of stuff from them lately it seems). First up, pictures!

    No name-brand on the chips, hrm. Installation was, well, uneventful. Every once in a while I find some RAM that I have to get out the hammer to get it installed, but usually it pops in snuggly; as was the case here. System booted up fine with the fsb at 133MHz and at 140MHz (since DDR is double-speed, this equated to 266MHz and 280MHz for the RAM). I did try the RAM at 333MHz and while the system would post, it would not load windows.

    Ok so the RAM may not be for a serious overclocker, but it will run at higher speeds than it's rated for, which is good for "generic" RAM. Also surprising...the RAM is rated at CAS2.5 but ran perfectly at CAS2, even with the fsb at 140MHz. Ok so this may not mean much to you serious overclockers out there, but for "generic" RAM I was impressed.

    Here's the system it was tested in:
    AMD Athlon XP 2000+
    Epox 8K3A Motherboard
    512MB DDR 266
    Windows 98 with all updates
    98lite Chubby install (slims down Win98)

    Sisoft Sandra was used for benchmarking. Tests were run multiple times to insure accurate results. Ok, now on to the results!

    Directron 512MB DDR266, CAS2.5 at normal 133MHz fsb:

    Directron 512MB DDR266, CAS2 at normal 133MHz fsb:

    Directron 512MB DDR266, CAS2.5 at 140MHz fsb:

    This RAM scored very well against the reference DDR scores Sandra has (Reference Chipset/Memory 3 and 4). Ok, so what does this all mean?

    Well, it means that sometimes you can get "generic" memory that isn't all that bad. In this case, it performed very well. In addition to the Sandra benchmarks, several stress-test programs were run, with no errors at all. The only time there were memory errors was when I tried to boot with the RAM set at DDR333, which was way over spec.

    So should you buy generic? Maybe. If you buy from a reputable store, do not plan on overclocking much, and are willing to take a gamble, then by all means go for it. Just don't be upset if you happen to get a dud (if you buy from a reputable store with a good return policy, you shouldn't be out too much, maybe 15% for restocking and shipping if the memory's not defective). Also note that even if you order the same generic memory from the same store, you may actually get different RAM, thus different results (in this Directron's case they state that it may differ...for an extra price they will guarantee Samsung chips, which are good chips).

    Questions? Ask in the forum or email me.

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