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Buffalo PC2-4200 (2 x 512MB)

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Pence Per Megabyte: 7.6
Torture Test at 266MHz: - Passed
Torture Test Overclocked: - Passed

Based in Japan with a sister company in the USA, Buffalo has been in the memory business since its founding back in 1975. The modules I was supplied with were assembled in Ireland and have the distinct honour of using Micron 4HB11 D9CHM chips.

No heat spreaders were employed on these modules, and although I have to confess I find memory equipped with heat spreaders to be neater to look at, safer to handle and almost certainly better protected if dropped, they’re not as effective at lowering temperature as we’re often led to believe.

First Impressions:

With eight rectangular chips on each side of a green PCB, and no heat spreaders fitted, it all makes for a rather mundane looking product. This one certainly won’t appeal to those who prefer their memory with chasing LED lights or flashing messages on their edges. No attempt has been made to disguise or re-brand the Micron chips used

Testing – 266MHz:

Rank When Tested at 266MHz: 4th from 9

Buffalo did quite well in our DDR memory roundup, and with a creditable fourth place ranking at stock speeds and it looks like they’re set to do the same again here.

Testing – Overclocking:

Maximum Frequency - Overclocked using timings of 4-4-4-12: - 400MHz
Rank – based on maximum operating frequency: 1st from 10
Rank – based on overclocked benchmark performance: 1st from 10

Now here’s where things get interesting. Naturally when you take a pair of 266MHz DDR2 memory modules, which are selling for under £80 per GB you don’t expect heat spreaders and flashing lights, but what you expect even less is to see them hit 400MHz and beat out every other product on test, including those costing more than twice as much!

To rub salt into the wounds of the other modules, it also went on to take a first for performance while overclocked, proving that no jiggery-pokery had been employed furtively alter the timings behind my back.

Verdict:

Overall Rank: Joint 1st from 9

I think you can guess what I’m about to say. If these to sticks are typical of what you can all go out and buy for yourselves from Maple Computers right now, I strongly suggest you get your orders in quick before stocks dry up, or before Buffalo see a chance to cash in and raise its price.

Buffalo hasn’t even bothered ditching the “old” 4200 rating in favour of the faster sounding “4300” speed rating as so many other companies have. In fact let’s be honest, it could have easily opted to label them at PC2-5400 if the speeds are consistent and the chips plentiful.

It certainly seems from results so far that Micron’s DDR2 chips have great stock performance and a real talent for overclocking, but the fact that you can get them at this kind of price is great news for all of us, and after a podium finish in our DDR Mega-Test it looks like Buffalo will again get to spray the Champagne around!

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