RAM Test: $8 Centon SDRAM

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For $8, you can’t go wrong with this stuff (sale ends 12/8/01). Joe

SUMMARY: Certainly worth $8, but don’t push it too far.

Chip

The chip is rated at 7.5 ns.

I was with a friend who had to buy a monitor and we were in Circuit City looking around. As he was checking out what was available, I wandered around and saw a bunch of RAM on display. What caught my eye was a SALE item: 128MB SDRAM for $7.99! (sale ends 12/8/01 – rebates). These are made by Centon.

Now, as a chronic computer show attendee, you see a lot of discounting, but this is absolutely the LOWEST SDRAM price I have ever seen (at least from a reputable source). I HAD to buy it to see what this stuff is and can do. So I bought a stick and proceeded to test it out on an Iwill KK266+. I tested it with UXD’s RAM Tester – this is a PCI card that tests RAM without running an operating system, so it’s a very good test of just the RAM – no OS interference.

I first ran it through ctSPD to see what was “inside”:

CTSPD

CTSPD 1

This tells us that the Centon PC133 is manufactured as CAS3. If you compare it to Mushkin’s REV 3 just on timing data, it’s pretty similar, with the exception that the Centon is not rated for CAS2.

So how did the Centon do on the RAM Tester?

CENTON 128 MB SDRAM


Iwill KK266+, Fastest (522), CAS 2, 4 Bank Enabled

Best Stable FSB: 140 MHz

Better quality SDRAM I have tested hits the low 150s, so the CENTON clearly is not as “pushable”. But for what you pay, running this stuff at 133 MHz, CAS2, is possible (at least, the stick I have).

So, if you want to upgrade you mom’s PC and it’s running at 133 MHz, this stuff is about as cheap as you can go. Interestingly, CENTON’s PC100 SDRAM (uses exactly the same chip) was more expensive, so get the PC133 instead.

When I think about what I paid for 16 MB of EDRAM about three years ago…

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