OCZ Blade 3x2GB PC3-17000 CL8 Memory Review

by 3oh6     |     July 22, 2009

Package & Memory Overview

With the formal introductions out of the way let's take a closer look at the modules and the package OCZ ships them out in.

Like our last kit of OCZ Blade memory, the PC3-17000 Blades come in a package that consists of a thin cardboard outer shell encasing two molded plastic blister packs. The outer package doesn't have any identifying markers of the modules inside as it is a generic package used to keep costs down. Instead, the stickers on the modules are visible allowing us to identify the memory inside. The rear of the package has some basic marketing copy as well as ever so important customer support information.

Two molded plastic packages secure the modules inside the outer shell. These are the same packages we have grown accustom to seeing memory presented in. When combined with the cardboard outer package, this method of shipping product should provide a very safe environment. The molded plastic shell holds the memory in place and the cardboard package holds the plastic shells together.

OCZ includes a cardboard insert that outlines handling and installation procedures for memory. Most people know how to handle memory but still something that is nice to see in a package. The modules themselves are obviously no different to the PC3-16000 modules we looked at just over a month ago. The almost flat black exterior with it's granite like finish presents the OCZ Blade modules as a very rugged module. The front side as well as back of the modules have a number of groves and design elements that help increase surface area of the modules. The cooling "fins" long the top do not extend too far up and allow for installation in most setups with large CPU coolers. Another subtle item we noticed was the serial number has each module labeled -1, -2, and -3 in a matched kit. This actually can come in handy when keeping track of modules orientation in the motherboard DIMM slots. As all overclockers know, arrangement of the modules in the slots can lead to higher overclocks. And if you didn't know, now you know...swap the order of the modules when testing to find the optimal order.

As mentioned, the OCZ Blade heat sinks have a number of design elements to increase surface area to aid in cooling the heat sink. These elements include a hollow upper portion of the module. There is one rather disappointing element we found with this kit of OCZ Blade modules though. If you look close in the first photo you can see the back heat sink slightly pulling away from the module.

In the second photo, it is quite obvious due to the change in viewing angle. Thanks to the light we can actually see that the bottom 1/3 of the IC isn't even in contact with the heat sink. At some point, it looks like someone tried prying up on this heat sink. Perhaps OCZ had to remove them at some point but either way, it should have been flattened before installation. The bend in the heat sink is obvious even when off the module. In the end, we simply removed the back heat sink and used a bit of force to flatten it out. While we had the heat sink off we took a quick couple photos.

The thermal material OCZ uses is very sticky and should do a great job transferring heat. Even with the bent heat sink it was still a bit of a battle getting it off. Standard heat sink removal methods were invoked and it ended up coming off without any issue. "Standard heat sink removal methods" include liquid nitrogen and not something we recommend the end user doing. The second photo above shows the manufacturer markings of the PCB indicating an 8 layer PCB. We couldn't find an online source for this information, "but I know some people that know some people that robbed some people", and we were able to get the information from them.

During the course of the PC3-16000 OC Report, it was mentioned that some users were receiving OCZ Blade memory with black PCB's. Clearly ours here are green, as were our PC3-16000 OCZ Blade modules. We are not sure why some come with green and some with black PCB's, but we would definitely prefer to see black PCB's on all modules. Talk about a sexy memory module getting even sexier.


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