Ultra High Performance Memory Roundup A64 Socket 939

Memory by JNav89GT @ 2005-01-17

Socket 939 has established itself as THE gaming platform. To extract the utmost in performance from a 939 platform, some very good memory is needed. Today we are looking at 8 sets of memory modules which are based on Samsung?s TCCD chips. As many know, the TCCD chips are fast becoming legendary for their ability to clock to crazy levels with modest or even low voltages. Let's take a peak at how our provided samples behave in our test bed shall we!

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Centon, Corsair, Geil, G.Skill

Centon C2x512PC3200LL
Supplied by: Centon

Many computer users may not have heard of Centon, or if they have, they might not associate Centon with high performance memory. I have long known of Centon as an OEM memory manufacturer, and have used their Retail kits in several customer system builds with great success. Recently though, Centon has seen the growth of the Enthusiast memory market and have begun to produce memory for this area. I have heard several success stories both with DDR and DDR2 memory, and with the latter Centon seems to offer some of the highest running lower latency DDR2 currently out. Packaging was somewhat plain, but very functional and protects the modules well, which is the primary purpose of such packaging. Rated timings are CL 2 2:2:5 and come with a lifetime warranty. The modules appear to use a custom in-house PCB.

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Corsair TWINX1024-4400C25PT
Supplied by: Corsair

Corsair hardly needs any introduction to anyone not living under a rock in regards to high performance PC memory. Corsair has an excellent reputation and it is well deserved as they have demonstrated the ability to put out high end products and support their products with true excellence. The TWINX1024-4400C25PT improved upon their TWINX1024-3200XL memory with a redesigned PCB and proper speed binning to allow these modules to run 275MHz at rated timings of CL 2.5 4:4:8. Corsair has long been known to be a wee bit conservative in their ratings, so it was a pleasant surprise during my initial review of this memory that it could hold tighter timings of CL 2.5 3:3:8 during testing. As many know, tighter timings improve performance, especially on the A64 platform.

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Supplied by: Geil

Geil has been in the performance memory sector for several years now. I remember back when PC3200 first began trickling into market, which at the time was overclocked PC2100/2700 basically, that could run at 200MHz, Geil was right there with some of the first sets. I was impressed then, and continue to be impressed with their lineup which has grown to include several speed grades and price ranges.

Upon receiving these modules I couldn't believe the packaging. A hard plastic case protects these beauties along with foam rubber. Geil included some golden colored thermal interface for CPUs as well. I have not yet tested the thermal paste as of yet, but could be a nice perk for some as it includes both silver and copper to increase heat conduction. Geil rates these Ultra-X modules at CL 2 2:2:5 timings at PC3200 Speeds. Due to placement of the spreaders, I was unable to see any numbering on the PCB to determine which design Geil uses. I will say though the traces and resister network look different than the typical Brainpower layout of either the B6U815 or B6U808 designs.

A unique feature of the Ultra-X we have here is the thermometer that is applied to each heat spreader, allowing one to gauge the temperature of their memory modules. Unfortunately, my MSI K8N Neo2s memory orientation made it very difficult for me to read the temperatures as seen on that thermometer. I do however commend Geil on this idea, as newer memories can run very hot and a temperature gauge allows some reference to the temps your rams are exposed to.

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G.Skill F1-3200DSU2-1GBLD & F1-3200DSU2-1GBLE
Supplied by: G.Skill

G.Skill is a relative newcomer to the performance memory market. Bursting onto the scene a few months back, this company impressed me right off with their aggressive product lineup. Make no mistakes, G.Skill is not content to take a back seat to anybody, and where some new companies ease into the enthusiast sector, G.Skill opened up the door screaming. The two kits reviewed are basically the same sticks of memory except the LE has been tested to run slightly tighter timings. G.Skill rates their memory at two levels, PC3200 and PC4400.

  • The LD is rated at CL2 3:3:6 at 200MHz and CL 2.5 4:4:8 at 275MHz
  • The LE is rated at CL 2 2:2:5 at 200MHz and CL 2.5 3:3:8 at 275MHz.

    Both DIMMS use the Brainpower B6U808 PCB and promise high performance and great clocking.

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