KingMAX TinyBGA PC133 SDRAM DIMM - HotHardware

KingMAX TinyBGA PC133 SDRAM DIMM

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The Kingmax TinyBGA PC133 SDRAM DIMM
A New Form Factor In PC Memory Technology

June 14, 2000 By Dave "Davo" Altavilla

 
The Hot Hardware Test System
A memory proving ground

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Pentium III 800EB  (supplied by Outside Loop Computers),Soyo SY-6BA+IV Motherboard, 128MB of Kingmax TinyBGA PC133 SDRAM and EMS PC133 SDRAM, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, Elsa Gladiac AGP Card , Kenwood 72X CDROM, Win 98SE, DirectX 7.0a

 
Head-to-Head Performance Comparison
Kingmax PC133 Memory versus EMS PC133 Memory
 

In an effort to fairly evaluate the TinyBGA DIMM, we paired up both a 128MB EMS PC133 memory stick and the Kingmax DIMM, with a BX chipset based motherboard from Soyo.  The front side bus speed of the processor on this board, will dictate the memory clock speed as well.  Thus, when set to a 133MHz. Front Side Bus Speed, the memory clock will be set to 133MHz. as well. 

We then set out to run our P3-800 at front side bus frequencies of 100MHz. and beyond.  Here are the results.  Obviously, when clocked to anything less than 133MHz. we are "underclocking" the processor.  In addition, we also set the CAS latency timings to 2 or 3 to see how the modules would hold up.  We left CAS delay and pre-charge times set to 2 in both sets of tests.  As you may know, CAS (Column Address Strobe) Latency or the reduction thereof, significantly improves memory bandwidth.  In any event, here's how things shook out.

I was surprised to see that the Kingmax DIMM could only hang in there up to 145MHz.  The EMS module actually handled 150MHz. perfectly and even 155MHz.  Unfortunately, our poor processor got a little flaky at the 155MHz. speed.  Never the less, we should note that even though the BGA packaging of the TinyBGA has its advantages, the silicon inside needs to be able to yield the right speeds as well.

Moving on we have a few tests of SiSoft's Sandra at various speeds....

Kingmax @ 145MHz. CAS3

EMS @ 145MHz. CAS3

EMS @ 133MHz. CAS2


As you can see, when set up with the same clock speeds, the TinyBGA DIMM from Kingmax and the EMS DIMM, perform almost identically.  The variation you see in the scores is well within the margin for error window with any of these tests.  No clear advantage to either module is evident here.

On the other hand, the Kingmax module could only handle 133MHz. at the CAS3 setting.  As you can see from the EMS score, memory bandwidth at 133MHz. CAS2 is almost as high as a 144MHz. CAS3 setting.

 

Well, what do we know now about the Kingmax TinyBGA DIMM?  There are a number of things you should take away from this.  First, the modules are small, in fact the smallest in the market I would bet.  Over all performance with these modules is right up there with the best of class and the likes of the EMS PC133 module we tested.  On the other hand, stability at high bus speeds is not quite as good as certain high end products out on the market today.  Keep in mind however, that with the ease of manufacturing and better quality yields that BGA technology brings, these modules should also cost less to build. We'll have to see if this trickles down to the retail level.

We give the Kingmax TinyBGA PC133 SDRAM Module a HotHardware Heat Meter rating of...

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