Print 29 comment(s) - last by DLeRium.. on Nov 21 at 1:35 PM

Move over Corsair DOMINATOR, OCZ Technology unveils its FlexXLC

OCZ Technology today announced its new PC2-9200 FlexXLC memory modules. The new PC2-9200 FlexXLC memory modules feature a new unique solution. The new FlexXLC cooling solution one up’s Corsair’s previously announced DOMINATOR memory modules by offering users the flexibility of passive or water cooling. This is accomplished by using a hybrid copper and aluminum design with an optimized fin array and copper liquid injection system.

While passive cooling is perfectly fine for achieving the rated PC2-9200 speeds of the modules, OCZ claims: Water-cooling is more efficient than air cooling, yet standard memory kits are usually not available in off-the-shelf water-cooled configurations," commented Dr. Michael Schuette, VP of Technology Development at OCZ Technology Group. "The new OCZ FlexXLC series—featuring an exciting, novel hybrid water and air cooler based on OCZ’s embedded copper liquid injection system—pushes thermal management of memory modules one step further to keep up with the ever-increasing frequency demands. Moreover, the FlexXLC modules seamlessly co-migrate with any system upgrade to liquid cooling.

Additional features of the OCZ PC2-9200 FlexXLC modules include an eight-layer PCB. The eight-layer PCB features thermally conductive power and ground planes to help heat transfer and reduce crosstalk. The signal integrity is also improved with the thermally conductive power and ground planes.

OCZ PC2-9200 FlexXLC modules are available in 2x1GB kits and feature a lifetime warranty. Availability is expected by the end of the week from online retailers. Pricing is unknown at the moment. However expect the OCZ PC2-9200 FlexXLC modules to be priced similarly to Corsair’s DOMINATOR memory modules.

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Actual usefullness?
By FightingChance on 11/20/2006 4:01:15 PM , Rating: 5
I was under the impression that RAM overclocking runs out of headroom from voltage/electron migration far, far before heat becomes an issue - and that heat spreaders were simply eye candy.

I've been out of the enthusiast game for a few years; does RAM heat really restrict overclockability, or is this just another bauble for the deep pocket set to accessorize their boxes with?

RE: Actual usefullness?
By azander on 11/20/2006 4:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
Good point FC. Heat is just one of the many factors that negatively affect overclocking, but it is one of the factors that can potentially do real harm to your modules. The harder you push your memory the more important it is to have a superior thermal solution. The Flex XLC is able to achieve such impressive numbers not becuase of the new thermal solution alone, but also because of a new 8 layer PCB design.

In our labs we are seeing real benefits with innovative cooling. We actually have parts that can reach much further when aggressively water cooled. We have even been tossing around the idea of a possible dual spec part.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By psychotix11 on 11/20/2006 4:49:45 PM , Rating: 4
While everything you say is absolutely correct I don't know many (if any) people that are having problems cooling memory for overclocks. Unless you are talking about people doing suicide runs with phase change or better cooling. If that's the market you're targeting then fine.

However even with very good water cooling keeping your memory cool is rarely a problem... and it's been even less of one since the move to ddr2.

This is going to boil down to price. This is going to be a hard sell to serious overclockers because it's not an area where people have been demanding improvement. If these modules are no more expensive then standard OCZ modules (and I'll note you can find the corsair dominator modules for the same price as their standard ones on many sites right now), then you might make a case for it and it certainly does have that "exclusive" factor to it.

I look forward to seeing some real benchmarks on this... but it's going to have to be impressive before I slap it into my dangerden cooling system.

My 2cents of course.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By azander on 11/20/2006 5:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
Hi psychotix11, I appreciate your comments. This is a part designed for serious overclockers and case modders.

We have had a lot of requests for water cooled memory, but we wanted to engineer a solution that didn't have to be water cooled. It will perform very well passive, but with the option to watercool it gives consumers extra flexability. You could also start with passive or air cooling, and move on to water cooling if you later wanted to move to a quieter setup.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By psychotix11 on 11/20/2006 6:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
I'm aware of the market. The only (recent) time I can recall having an issue with my ram running to hot was back on DFI nforce4 pushing mushkin redline ddr500 modules as fast as they could go. Even then that's a very specific example and you really had to work to push it... and then the problem was sovled with the aid of a dremel and the addition of a side case fine.

The other thing is that "extreme overclocking" is rarely quiet. Granted my PC's that run dangerden water cooling can be whisper quiet and hold a decent OC. But if I am really going to push them (ie to the point where air cooling is no longer effective and I have to water cool the NB as well) then the fans needed to keep the radiators cool and provide proper airflow so I don't burn out other areas of the motherboard raises to such a level that it's no longer quiet and you thrown noise concerns out the window.

I'm not trying to slam your product (I've long been a fan of your memory modules) and honestly this interests me a tad more then the corsair dominator modules.

I'm just a bit miffed if this is actually for the people who want the side of their case window cut out so they can show off how bling-bling/rice rocket/quiet their PC's are... or if it's for the actual "noise be damned let's see how far this sucker can go" market.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By azander on 11/20/2006 7:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
Hi psychotix, I can totally understand where you are coming from. When we tested this new thermal solution on existing parts we saw improvement, but then we went back and decided to engineer a new PCB to pair up with the Flex for even greater gains.

At 1150 there is still room for overclocking with these modules. A lot of engineering went into these modules and spreaders, and we actually doubled the size of our engineering team to accommadate new thermal engineers who actually prototped it multiple times and switched out materials to the final aluminum copper hybrid design to maximize performance. Rest assured this product is for the enthusiasts.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By jebo on 11/20/2006 5:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
Actually active RAM cooling is extremely important these days. However you are correct that I have seen few cases where active cooling actually assisted in an overclock.
Active RAM cooling is much more concerned with avoiding burning out modules that have high voltage pumping through them. I can't tell you how many sets of Crucial Ballistix, for example, that I saw go down prematurely in flames due to excessive heat.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By cochy on 11/20/2006 5:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's very nice to see an OCZ employee contributing to this thread! Thanks a lot. Would be nice to see more cases of this in other threads (ie. AMD, Intel, Nvidia etc.).

RE: Actual usefullness?
By azander on 11/20/2006 5:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks Cochy, I really appreciate being able to interact with all of you guys directly. All your feedback goes straight to the engineers and it helps us continually refine our product offering.

Getting feedback straight from you and everyone else here is the best part of my job.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By Lazarus Dark on 11/20/2006 4:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
two words: Silent Overclocking

welcome to the future: the only fan is the radiator.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By Xenoterranos on 11/20/2006 5:44:36 PM , Rating: 2
And if it's cold enough outside, you don't even need that (provided you have a window nearby :) )

...damn you Texas! Friggin thanksgiving, and it's almost 90 outside.

RE: Actual usefullness?
By azander on 11/20/2006 5:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Right on LD! Once again let me stress we call this product the "Flex" because it gives consumers the choice to run with or without water. For me one of the biggest advantages of water cooling is it offloads heat quietly.

Great idea.....but
By natewildes on 11/20/2006 3:46:06 PM , Rating: 2
I'm glad a major memory company is integrating water cooling into their products, but with what appears to be 3/8" barbs, the majority of extreme users (whom this product is targeted at) use a 1/2"-based loop. Unless cooling (and therefore overclocking) is drastically improved, I don't think people will sacrifice their flow to cool an obviously very restrictive memory module.

RE: Great idea.....but
By WhiteBoyFunk on 11/20/2006 3:48:41 PM , Rating: 2
Is it really worth mentioning the sizes are not 'convenient'? How hard is it to place an adaptor on the unit to make it 1/2"?

In any case I think it's a very cool idea for the water cooling/overclocker/silent pc enthusiast!

RE: Great idea.....but
By allnighter on 11/20/2006 4:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
Using an adapter is not removing the restriction. Changing barbs would, to an extent, since the block indeed is restrictive. However, unless Corsair came up with something really revolutionary and different, gains seen from this will be marginal at best. WC'ing memory has been tried before and abandoned, simply for the added cost and flow restriction and little to no oc'ing benefit.

RE: Great idea.....but
By WhiteBoyFunk on 11/20/2006 4:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
This is true since the barbs are still not wide enough. So some restriction would still be there. It's cool nonetheless, but not being a seasoned watercooler I'm not going to know quite as much as the rest.

RE: Great idea.....but
By azander on 11/20/2006 4:03:18 PM , Rating: 4
Thanks WBF, since it is my first post on this page let me identify myself as an employee of OCZ Technology.

With this premium product the goal was to engineer a solution that was "flexible" in design. It delivers exceptional cooling passive and active with air, and for serious overclocking can be integrated into conventional or custom water cooling kits. We tested with a variety of fittings and adapters, and as long as you have a quality system the copper internal piping is very effecient at helping offload even more heat.

But this product is more than just a new thermal solution. The Flex XLC memory modules make use of our most advanced new 8 layer PCB.

RE: Great idea.....but
By qdemn7 on 11/20/2006 6:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
azander I've bee a long time user of OCZ, and am planning on buying more. BUT, I sure hope OCZ can do something about the availability of this and your other "high-end" products. You've had the PC2-9000 DFI on your site for quite a while, but it's available absolutely NOWHERE. Hope the same thing does not happen here.

RE: Great idea.....but
By azander on 11/20/2006 7:06:16 PM , Rating: 2
I really appreciate your feedback qdemn7, and thank you for your support. Being the VP of Marketing, this is a major concern of mine.... Making sure that the distribution of products is done successfully, and that parts (modules, PSU's, and Flash) are readily accessible to our devoted consumers.

This product is starting to ship now and there will be parts available on numerous e-tail sites by next Monday. I just went to the back and the test department is outputting product. Thanks again.

RE: Great idea.....but
By qdemn7 on 11/20/2006 7:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
Excellent! Very good news.

RE: Great idea.....but
By Lonearchon on 11/20/2006 3:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think that the smaller barb is downside as you can run them parallel since in most system you will be running at least 2 dimms reducing the over all restriction in the cooling loop. this is a step i the right direction as i have only seen 1/4" after market memory cooling blocks

RE: Great idea.....but
By Lazarus Dark on 11/20/2006 4:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
well, I would not suggest having a single loop if you want to watercool everything. one loop for vga and cpu and a seperate loop for everything else: ram, north/southbridge, anything else.

you just wouldn't want five or more things on one loop, the last thing in the loop would get hot water.

btw, hybrid wc and air cooling: Genius! kudos ocz. I will officially never buy from any other ram company.

RE: Great idea.....but
By Xenoterranos on 11/20/2006 5:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
After I got my first Platinum EL ram sticks from OCZ back in the old-skool athlon days, I've never looked to anyone else for my ram. They still run perfectly after almost 4 years of being always-on and overclocked. I used them occasionally as test sticks for other systems that are having memory problems. Even my laptop has OCZ ram :)
Note: I am not a fanboi of OCZ, but I am really impressed with their products. I would give this a chance in a heartbeat if I had a watercooled system.

RE: Great idea.....but
By BladeVenom on 11/21/2006 5:56:13 AM , Rating: 2
It can also be used as a comb for pets.

RE: Great idea.....but
By hubajube on 11/21/2006 11:47:39 AM , Rating: 2
It can also be used as a comb for pets.
It's not just for pets! :)

May be useful in one situation ...
By emboss on 11/20/2006 11:34:03 PM , Rating: 2
The only situation I can think of where this could be useful is in a completely watercooled and fanless, heavily overclocked computer. Otherwise, the airflow through the case and ramsinks or heatspreaders are more than enough even with significant overvolting.

Not to say that there are none of these computers around, but most people going to these lengths would probably just slap a simple waterblock on their own favourite RAM anyhow.

RE: May be useful in one situation ...
By jackalsmith on 11/21/2006 10:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
hmm. 3.8v bh5

pull off heatspreaders, 92mm panaflo over the dimms.
seemed to work fine for me. 3/8 in barbs. most of us use 1/2 id. then you are toalking about adding a 2nd loop. This is ridiculous. PS> what happend to OCZs Single stage phase? That was actually worth buying imo.

By DLeRium on 11/21/2006 1:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
hmm. 3.8v bh5

Ok I ran 3.7v or on my OCZ VX sticks before. They get kinda hot but nothing intense.

You know what really ran hot? The damn TCCD sticks when you pushed them up. Anything past 2.8V and they would be too toasty. I had a 120mm panaflo on my VX sticks and they were ok, but when I swapped my VX for 2x1gb and ran them at 2.8V or so in a stress test the heatspreaders would be DAMN TOASTY. I think this would help.

By flexy on 11/20/2006 5:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
those look really l33t :) But also very expensive...also i dont think watercooling would ever be an option for me. But nice they released those...

OCZ, your heatspreaders, at least the OLD ones, (say: Rev2 plats, 2 years ago) are ONE big gripe of mine...i have nothing against heatspreaders...but i HATE it that they can come lose...the glue just didnt stick the plates together, the spreader "opened up" after a few months....with a "nice" gap (resulting in MORE heat, instability whatever).

Needless to say i removed them.

I'd actually appreciate if you would offer your products WITHOUT spreaders. Just my $0.2

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