Corsair TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO DDR2 Memory Review

Memory by KeithSuppe @ 2004-11-24

While there have been many reviews on DDR2, I fear early reviews for the new standard were unconsciously prejudicial. While PCIe/DDR2 technology continues to experience growing pains, Corsair has done an excellent job with what is arguably the fastest memory on the market.

  • prev
  • Go to mainpage

Thoughts and Conclusion

Thoughts and Conclusion:

The question as to whether DDR2 provide any real-world performance increase at this time must be viewed in respect to the PCIe system as a whole. DDR obviously has more life in it; otherwise nForce4 motherboards would be implementing the DDR2 standard.

Given the fact they'll offer Dual graphics capabilities, perhaps DDR's relatively low cost was a consideration as many will be purchasing two graphics cards, however; my contention in nVidia has made a pragmatic decision pure and simple. DDR's low latency, abundant availability, and superior performance where latency intense applications are concerned such as graphics, prevailed.

While it's true that speed and bandwidth is in DDR2's favor, and will continue to favor the new standard, tight latencies do make for some excellent graphic performance. My recommendation then, if you’re looking for pure speed with tons of bandwidth, the Intel i915X/i925XX supporting PCIe, DDR2, and 1066FSB make an excellent alternative.

Ever since I abandoned my AMD system in the latter T-Bred B days, for an Intel P4, my reasons were primarily frequency based. Yet Intel's Hyper threading technology, which despite any competition from AMD in the form of HyperTransport, has been a resounding success, and a technology I've come to appreciate. I came back to AMD when the nForce3 250Gb chipset was released, purchasing what was then AMD's fastest processor, the A64 3400, for S754. Although the system did excel in its graphics performance, it was wanting in its multitasking ability and overall system speed.

At that time the A64's on-die MCH (Memory Controller Hub) was single channel, and consumed much of the processor's energy, which created a substantial amount of heat. This severely limited the A64's ability to overclock from higher multiplier, requiring PC Enthusiasts to drop the FSB, and exploit performance from much lower speeds. Since Intel released their .09-micron Prescott for Socket 478, they've most certainly had the overclocking advantage, easily surpassing 4.0GHz with simple air cooling.

So in conclusion: DDR2 is obviously hamstrung by the platform for which it was designed. Not nearly as much as PCIe, but the standard is no where as effective as it could be. While this is a memory review, given the circumstances one cannot separate memory from the system on which it depends, especially when in its infancy.

So while I feel Corsair has produced an outstanding product which performs on par with most of their line, I'd be remiss in advising End-users to go out and buy an entirely new system just to try DDR2. There are, however; options where one can reap the bandwidth and high-frequencies of DDR2 without having to invest in an entirely new system, including “BTX” PSU.

For example ECS offers what may be one of the most versatile motherboards ever, their 915G-A. A $100 Socket 775 board which offers PCIe, AGP-express, DDR, DDR-2, Serial-ATA, Gigabit LAN, USB 2.0, and on-board 8-channel audio, all based on the Intel i915X chipset. This would allow you to try DDR2, until PCIe graphics card GPU's are truly PCIe native, while taking advantage of the more stable, cooler running Socket 775 Prescott (editor’s note: AGP Express is not suited for gaming, it’s basically an AGP 1x slot).

While PCIe/DDR2 technology continues to experience growing pains, Corsair has done an excellent job with what is arguably the fastest memory on the market. At the time of writing, Corsair Twin2X1024 5400C4PRO can be purchased for $365 at Monarch Computers.

I'd like to thank Anna and Joe at Corsair for setting us with the memory modules.

Questions/Comments: Forum thread
  • prev
  • Go to mainpage