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PQI PC2-5400 Dual-Channel

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Pence Per Megabyte: 11.5
Torture Test at 266MHz – Passed
Torture Test Overclocked - Passed

PQI, or Power Quotient International if you want it longhand, is a Taiwanese company that has been involved in memory production since 1999. It now sells worldwide via its subsidiaries in USA, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and mainland China.

Perhaps not one of the better-known names in the memory sector, it’s building a reputation for solid, reliable performance and keen prices. PQI memory comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

First Impressions:

PQI follow the other manufacturers in sticking with the design it’s used across its DDR range of TURBO memory products. The modules are equipped with a mirror-finish platinum effect heat spreaders, which are made from copper then coated with what looks like a chrome-plated zinc surface finish.

A single, folded retaining clip secures the heat spreaders and this features a raised and groove-machined PQI logo. The overall look is rather nice.

Testing – 266MHz:

Rank When Tested at 266MHz: 2nd from 9

At the start of testing I found that these modules needed to be removed and re-seated on three occasions before they would perform up to par. I took various PCB length and thickness measurements and couldn’t find any obvious problems, but I did notice that the gold contacts were slightly darker than those on the other modules. A wipe with a white cloth left a slight but noticeable dark residue on it, and while the pins were still darker than the others after being wiped, it seemed to help them make a proper contact.

With 240 contact points now per module, every care needs to be taken to make sure they are firmly and correctly seated. Even a badly seated memory module may actually work; in fact it was only minor instability and poor overclocking which prompted me to check and re-seat these particular modules. After cleaning and re-fitting them the difference was considerable. Don’t automatically assume your system won’t boot at all if the memory isn’t making full contact.

Once up and running, the PQI modules proved to be no slouches with a commendable second place finish, beaten only by the Corsair’s UL memory. On balance the results were some of the most consistent of all the memory I looked at for this review.

Testing – Overclocking:

Maximum Frequency - overclocked using timings of 4-4-4-12: 346MHz
Rank – based on maximum operating frequency: Joint 9th from 9
Rank – based on overclocked benchmark performance: Joint 6th from 10


After such a solid showing at 266MHz I had a suspicion I wouldn’t see a huge overclock. 346MHz isn’t a great showing and that puts it in the trailing pack with the Swissbit and Corsair 5400UL running at a much more aggressive 3-2-2-8. The overclocked results take the shine off a otherwise excellent set of scores.


Verdict:

Overall Rank: 4th from 9

A mid-table finish is a touch misleading if you don’t plan on overclocking your memory, and let’s be honest, the vast majority of users don’t. Not the cheapest memory on test but still very keenly priced, PQIs PC2-5400 is a strong product that deserves consideration, especially if you don’t intended to overclock too heavily.

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