A few weeks ago in another memory review I stated something about the importance of DDR400 and despite every suggestion that it might become more and more popular as it would slowly set the new standard. After much discussion JEDEC approved the PC3200 standard back in December 2002. At that time a lot of manufacturers began to speed up their DDR400 memory compliant product line. That encouraged manufacturers like Intel to support it in mainstream computers which we are seeing today.
Today we are only weeks away from that review, we hear sounds of AMD doing a 400 MHz front Side Bus and Intel has just gone 800 MHz on it's quad pumped bus with the new Pentium 4 versus Canterwood chipset supporting DDR400 and dual-channel DDR400 MHz system memory. Next to that we have tweakers everywhere that love this memory as it allows high FSB's without the risk of getting into problems like crashed systems due to memory. Now with chipsets like VIAs P4X400 and KT400, SiS 648 and NVIDIAs nForce2 all supporting DDR400 memory the tide is shifting towards these modules and well, today's PC's can use that extra memory bandwidth. This type of memory is getting very popular and will slowly become the new standard for the upcoming year.
What does that all mean ? DDR 400 is the new standard ladies and gentlemen, and if you are planning to build a modern and new system then I suggest you buy some DDR400 if that platform supports it. Memory bandwidth is so essential for the computational power of your PC.The product we are gong to review today comes from Crucial. In March it has begun to add PC3200 DDR SDRAM (DDR400) to its DDR product line in 256MB and 512MB PC3200 modules flavors. The Crucial PC3200 DIMM's run at default with 3-4-4-8 memory timings at 2.5V and each stick of memory uses 16x 128Mbit Micron DRAM which have a 5ns rating. That by itself was not good enough as our test platform does not even expect such 'safe' settings. The mainboard forces it towards 2.5-3-3-7 memory timings. As long as the module can handle that then all is just fine. And if that's the case .. hey you'll learn about it in the next pages of this review.
Module Size: 256MB
Package: 184-pin DIMM
Feature: DDR PC3200
Configuration: 32Meg x 64
Error Checking: Non-parity
To be able to test this product to it's fullest potential we will need to overclock the PC, and of course we'll do just that. We'll check this product with aggressive BIOS ram timings and enable CAS 2 (Column Address Strobe) latency to see where it halts (this module is CAS3). In this test we will make use of a test system that allows overclocking and memory tweaking from within the BIOS. The mainboard can handle a DDR:CPU ratio of 2x, 2.5x and 3x. We'll test the sample at both normal and aggressive ram timings.
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