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Swissbit DDR2-PC4300 (2 x 512MB)

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Pence Per Megabyte: 19.1
Torture Test at 266MHz – Passed
Torture Test Overclocked – Failed initially, then Passed

As the name suggests, Swissbit is a Swiss company and was created out of a joint venture with Siemens Switzerland Ltd, which since 1999 has become the largest independent European memory manufacturer.

The Swiss certainly have a reputation for precision engineering, particularly their timepieces, but there’s quite a difference between a Tag Heuer chronograph and a DDR2 memory module.

Swissbit has opted for Infineon HYB18T512400AC37 chips, which are rated at just 266MHz at CAS4. The difference between these chips and the ones currently being pushed which end with “AF37” is that the latter is lead free.

Swissbit offer a two-year warranty on its modules, 1 year for OEM parts.

First Impressions:

Swissbit’s 512MB modules are single-sided with eight square chips located on a green PCB. Like Buffalo’s modules, the look is rather plain by current standards. A simple, white sticker plastered across three of the eight chips quotes the part number and the specs and proudly proclaims that it is a “Partner of Siemens”.

Testing – 266MHz:

Rank When Tested at 266MHz: Joint 5th from 9

Fifth from nine actually translates as fifth from seven if I ignore the two single-channel results. That does mean however that at least one of our candidates finished below it, and that was Corsair’s rather disappointing XMS2-5400. The Corsair did go on to redeem itself with an excellent overclock though; Swissbit unfortunately had no such saving grace.

Testing – Overclocking:
Maximum Frequency - Overclocked using timings of 4-4-4-12: - 346MHz
Rank – based on maximum operating frequency: - joint 9th from 10
Rank – based on overclocked benchmark performance: - 7th from 10

The slowest of all the memory on test, the Swissbit managed only to better the two modules I ran in single-channel mode, suggesting it hadn’t sacrificed stock performance in return for a little high-frequency headroom.


Verdict

Overall Rank: 6th from 9

With only the single-channel modules beneath it, Swissbit’s Infineon-driven PC2-4300 is very much the donkey of the group. Adding to the bad impression it gave, its online ordering system emptied my shopping cart every time I specified UK delivery (I wanted to check the shipping costs), while selecting the country of Togo worked perfectly, and a mistake on its DDR2 spec sheet claimed the modules have 184-pins and operate at 2.5V! Not the most inspiring of showings.

A two-year warranty is probably perfectly adequate considering the life expectancy of most current technology but Swissbit are one of the very few manufacturers not now offering lifetime cover.

Precise they may be, but also slow and over-priced they certainly are on this occasion.

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