I’m telling my age somewhat here, but I remember when the memory we bought for our personal computers (PC) was basically OEM stock. Sure there were some brand named memory manufacturers, but most conformed to rated specifications of the OEM maker. That is, the specified chips were rated to run at JEDEC
supported frequency and timings and the modules were programmed accordingly. Most manufacturers built in some degree of “buffer” or “cushion” to improve yields, which meant that certain modules had the potential for overclocking above their rated speed. In addition to the possibility of higher speeds, many modules afforded the user the opportunity to hold tighter latencies. These qualities were not guaranteed, and in purchasing modules for overclocking purposes there was inherent risk of obtaining samples that did not overclock well, if at all.
Companies such as Corsair
, OCZ, Geil, and other “performance” memory manufacturers didn’t exist at this time; at least not in the capacity they do now. Times have certainly changed though, and like the rapid progressions made in various aspects of computer hardware over these past 8-10 years, computer memory had begun to come to the forefront of innovations in regards to high performance PC components. High performance memory manufacturers filled a void that once existed, and thus allowed PC enthusiasts and burgeoning overclockers the opportunity to purchase verified/tested memory that ran above anything otherwise commercially available, at somewhat of a price premium versus standard OEM memory.
Today, most individuals who choose to overclock, and even some who do not, rely on these companies to supply high quality and almost more importantly high speed
memory for our PC. Corsair is one such company, and if I may say so, one of the first in my opinion to distinguish themselves in this category of high-performance ram manufacturers.
Corsair’s second foray into Samsung TCCD modules brings about higher levels of performance onto the DDR scene. Validating the ram for both Intel and AMD Athlon 64 platforms at timings of CL2.5 4:4:8 at 2.75v there is certainly the promise of memory Valhalla. A change of PCB (printed circuit board) netted the major improvement over the already excellent XMS3200XL memory. However, competition being what it is has pushed Corsair to explore avenues for higher performance.
Corsair states in their press release:
“The TWINX1024-4400C25 is a pair of 512 MByte DDR SDRAM DIMMs designed for extreme speed. TWINX matched memory pairs are specifically designed for motherboards using chipsets with dual memory channels. This part delivers outstanding performance at high clock speeds. It has been tested extensively in a variety of motherboards commonly used in gaming rigs. This memory has been verified to operate at 275 MHz at aggressive latencies of 2.5-4-4-8. This module is also available as a single module.”
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So how do they really perform under the gun? Well let's take them for a spin, drive-em' like we stole-em' (excuse the drag racing cliché), and discern if they live up to the mystique Corsair has earned. New products are always welcome here amongst our crustacean computing lairs, and Corsair was kind enough to supply a sample kit. So today we will find out how well the Corsair PC4400C25 behaves with our MSI K8N Neo2 Platinum and a brand spanking new Athlon FX55. Grab a shrimp fork, your favorite cocktail sauce, and fasten your seat belt kiddies; this will be quite a ride.