A pirate constructing DDR2 memory, two memory kits under siege.
2 GB DDR2 PC 6400: CM2X1024-6400PRO 2x1024MB 5-5-5-12-T1
1 GB DDR2 PC 5400: CM2X512A-5400UL 2x512MB 3-3-2-8
Information: Click here
Wowzers, before I start of this article first let me offer my apologies to Corsair. This article was delayed far too long for various reasons. But hey let me get started right away then huh?
Corsair ladies and gents, next to being a memory manufacturer do you all know what Corsair means?cor·sair (kôrsâr)
- A pirate, especially along the Barbary Coast.
- A swift pirate ship, often operating with official sanction.
Long ago, when sailing ships ruled the waves, a captain and his crew were in danger... ehm no. Let me not do this! Focus on hardware Hilbert, hardware.
As you all probably know, Corsair is well known manufacturer with its primary focus on all kinds of memory. Whether that memory is your low, mid or high-end Corsair does not matter. They have got the proper ingredients for your PC from top to bottom. So a while ago this lovely young lady by the name Vivian from Corsair contacted us asking if we were interested in reviewing some of their products. Since it has been a long time since we reviewed their products I decided to gladly accept that offer after which Corsair shipped out some really impressive gear to us.
Two weeks ago you already you saw their "Cool" watercooling kit, which came through our tests extremely well. Today we will be looking at two of their high-end memory kits. Yes, that memory that just won't kick into high volume sales, DDR2 memory. One kit with the lowest timings imaginable for DDR2 memory and the second kit with slightly higher timings yet totaling an exquisite 2 GB.
The first kit is 1GB (2x512 MB) of DDR2 memory released under the label XMS2-5400 (CM2X512A-5400UL). This is really exceptional stuff as its memory timings are just magnificent. If you do not understand what I just said don't worry. Over the next few pages we'll explain the importance of memory timings to you. The 5400 rating tells us that the memory is capable of a 667 MHz DDR2 frequency (yummie!) with some very firm 3:2:2:8 timings. Now that's fast for DDR2 memory; that is way beyond the standard specification. This memory is equipped with a flashy and rather cool looking black XMS2 heat spreader to dissipate heat from the memory. When you look under the heat spreaders you'll find Micron memory in 64 Meg x 8 configuration rated 3ns.
This 2x512MB matched memory comes pre-tested by Corsair at 667 MHz and is designed with one thing in mind, outstanding performance. This memory can take a 2.1 Voltage without loosing your warranty, a life-time warranty. That's plenty of positive stuff for me to play around with folks. We couldn't manage it on our test platform but loosen the timings enough and you could probably hit 800 MHz on the memory. Fantastic.
The second kit we test today has slightly shoddier timings yet can go much higher in DDR2 frequency and not only that, it's a 2 GB kit. It's XMS2-6400 Pro (CM2X1024-6400PRO). And do the math with me here: 6400/8 is yes a manufacturer supported 800 MHz frequency (the DDR2 Jedec suggested default is 533 folks). I can tell you already that this is pretty much the highest frequency rated memory I have ever had here in the lab. The memory is paired (2x1GB) and each module pair comes 100% pre-tested at 5:5:5:12 with a T1 command rate by Corsair, for you. Why on this earth would you get 2 GB you ask? Well it may seem like a lot I know, but in the near future the memory consumption will grow even higher.
Let me throw a little retrospective story at you. Windows 98, who didn't use that OS? What amount of memory did your PC have? Right, likely 128 MB. With Windows XP we moved to 512 MB as standard and with the latest games like Battlefield 2 we see that the game likes 1 GB already. All this happened over just seven years my friends. I think the upcoming Microsoft Vista for example could be a memory hog where 1 GB might be the minimum recommended specification.
What we should also mention is that the tested 2 GB kit comes with the flashy activity LEDs and platinum heatspreaders. We really didn't check what kind of memory was under the hood though as I'm certain I would damage the active LEDS somehow. We'll show you some photo's on these funny Christmas lights in our photo shoot.
As I always say "good memory deserves a good system and vice versa", therefore we'll test it on an ABIT mainboard AA8XE mainboard armed with a very overclockable and watercooled Pentium 4 3.6 GHz (560) processor. Oh hey besides all that 'latency' wickedness this memory is backed up by a life-time warranty, that's very satisfying. Let's fire up this article and let's torment the PC a little.