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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 9th February, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Post Memory heat spreaders don't do it

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OCZ is an aggressive memory company that is really pitching against the much larger Corsair. You all remember that Nvidia and ATI had a penchant for releasing certain PDF documents about each other's claims, and believe it or not it is starting to happen in the memory industry as well.
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Old 9th February, 2006, 07:37 PM
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Do the heatsinks have such a small effect due to the design of memory - I would think it's because they are encased in quite a chunky ceramic, unlike CPUs and GFX card, that have a much thinner "skin" ?
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Old 9th February, 2006, 10:06 PM
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Old 9th February, 2006, 10:25 PM
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Yeah, I've been shaking my head over this whole 'heat spreader' thing for memory for quite a while. The only way to really gain anything in the way of heat dissipation would be to figure out some way to wick the heat off the PCB, as the leads off the chips are going to be carrying heat to the board. Since the boards are packed really tight, I doubt that would be very practical.
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Old 9th February, 2006, 10:41 PM
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I've know this for a while I though it was common knolage, while they do dicipate heat it dopesn't help with OC'ing at all, mabey in a rare occasion a Mhz or so.
However less heat comming off to the board from the RAM means slightly lower temps, I'm sure thats what OCZ will argue.
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Old 9th February, 2006, 11:43 PM
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Actuly now that I rember I think I read on tiger direct that it doesn't help overclockers.
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Old 10th February, 2006, 12:12 AM
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ok. lets clear some confusion.

It's a heatspreader, not a heatsink, so lets clear the air of heatspreaders on ram actually there for cooling purposes, because they are not.

The use of heatspreader's is two-fold.

1. to hide the IC's on the PCB so as to not have confusion when a product ships under the same sku while containing different parts. Stardard practice when many IC's can maintain multiple timings @ differing frequencies, and DDR DRAM supply is tight when most fab's have moved over to DDRII production.

2. to spreader the heat evenly over the stick of ram, to maintain timings under stress.

as ram is assembled in multiple banks, these banks must maintain the same temps in order to be able to run the same speed consistently. this is even more important when one side of the ram sticks is always more exposed to airflow than the other.



This being said, yes, heatspreaders can hinder performance. take for example my own redline ram, which can to me with one of the adhesive backings on the heatspreader not removed. suffice it to say that it greatly affected my stability, and took me ages to find. However, this is something that only benefited my overclocking/benching, and not my 24/7 clocks.

for pure overclocking mastery, ripping heatspreader's off and directing a high-airflow fan over the DIMMs is the best thing you can do, however, that being said, in the average usage environment, heatspreaders do have purpose.
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Old 10th February, 2006, 12:19 AM
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Actualy you can water cool DDR ram, I just find my heat spreaders look nice, see I've found with my PC I have to make it look really good since I have to show it too everybody, which is why I never bother with burn in as I take the OC off when people come.
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Old 10th February, 2006, 03:14 PM
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heatspreaders do the job they were designed for, reduce ram temperatures by increasing the heat dissipation to air surface area. Most of them i've seen are very thin so they will be poor at conducting heat along the length of the stick but also have little resistance away from the pcb (thermal conductivity is proportional to cross sectional area and thermal resistance is proportional to thickness in ideal materials, resistance is the inverse of conductivity)

If what the guy has stated that decreasing temperatures doesnt increase peformance then they are indeed useless. I'd of said all ram chips going are designed to work without spreaders so the temperatures will never go in 'danger zones' under normal operation
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Old 12th February, 2006, 01:32 PM
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Looking at the design of most heat spreaders I would have thought the gain in surface area to assist in heat dissipation was very small - balanced out by restriction of airflow to the sides of the packages and circuit board. I'd be interested to know if anyone has built heat spreaders with really large cooling fins or got substantial benefits from direct cooling.

My experience with GPU boards has always been that the GPU overclocks sometimes run into trouble when the board gets hot but memory overclocks seem to be quite stable (NVidia 4200/5600/6600) - anyone else noticed the same ? - so this may be the same for system memory.
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Old 14th February, 2006, 11:26 PM
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my 6800gt wont overclock more at lower gpu temps and the board runs hot as tits, so I actually get better OC's with a heatsink and fan than water...
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