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BUFFALO PC3200 (DDR400 – 200MHz) CL3.0



Pence per Megabyte - 12.41
Torture Test at 200MHz – Passed
Torture Test Overclocked - Passed

Like the PC4300 BUFFALO supplied, these modules were also manufactured in Ireland using the exact same Hynix HY5DU56822BT -D43 memory chips used in the PC4300 CL2.5 modules.

BUFFALO specified no timings other than the CAS Latency, though Hynix suggests 3-4-4. No voltage was specified so we’ve assumed a JEDEC compliant 2.6v. The modules carry a lifetime warranty.

It’s perfectly feasible to assume that there are certain settings and maybe PCB design tweaks employed to offer the varying speeds but it seems odd to me that BUFFALO would run the CL3.0 rated modules at only 400MHz, then attempt to reduce the latency to CL2.5 while at the same time bumping the frequency up to 266MHz for the PC4300 part, when the other way around would seemingly make more sense.

No heat spreaders were employed on these modules.

First Impressions

Buffalo’s modules come packed in a semi-rigid two-part blister pack, which offers adequate protection as well as allowing visual inspection.

Construction of these modules is identical to that of Buffalo’s PC4300 with a traditional green PCB onto which are soldered 16 wire bonded TSOP chips. A small sticker is attached which gives information on the part number and CL rating as well as a batch number. Removing this sticker voids your warranty.


Testing – 200MHz

Rank When Tested on a Prescott CPU at 200MHz: 11th from 18
Rank When Tested on a Northwood CPU at 200MHz: 7th from 18

Despite being based on a marginally slower version of the same Hynix chips, performance from Buffalo’s CL3.0 modules was below expectations even allowing for the increased CAS latency. It did however remain among the middle order of modules, which is no disgrace when we consider how close overall performance levels were for the most part.

It seems fair to assume that Buffalo is getting a much better return from these memory chips when configured for CL2.5 operation.

Testing – Overclocking

Maximum Frequency - Overclocked using SPD settings: 220MHz
Maximum Frequency - Overclocked using manual settings (CL-4-4-8) low ambient of 18c: 265MHz
Maximum Frequency - Overclocked using manual settings (CL-4-4-8) high ambient of 28c: 260MHz

Rank - overclocked performance (high ambient): 7th from 18

Making it all the way to 260MHz is some achievement for any memory, let alone for budget priced PC3200. Better yet is the fact that it achieved a genuinely impressive 265MHz when ambient temperatures were kept low. The fact that it gave near-identical SiSoft Sandra scores to the overclocked Kingston HYPERX PC4000 or OCZ PC3700 speaks volumes.

Verdict

Overall Rank, all performance parameters included: 8th from 18

A generally strong showing makes these modules a very attractive proposition. Although finishing mid-table overall, we should also point out that at 12.41p per Megabyte this is some of the cheapest memory in our roundup, making it all the more enticing to those wanting decent performance on a budget. A coloured PCB or a pair of swanky heat spreaders would take this memory into enthusiast territory but if looks don’t matter, then feast your eyes on the price tag.

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