When Corsair introduced their XMS PRO Series
approximately a year or so ago, that memory was unique among all others being the very first to offer real-time LED bank activity monitoring. Just as exciting, yet lost even on many PC-enthusiasts, were the thermal advances Corsair had made in designing aluminum heat spreaders with over 100%
of the surface area found on most heat spreaders. Additionally, most "performance" DDR affixed their heat spreaders with a double-sided "thermal" tape which in reality insulated or trapped more heat then it dissipated. Corsair XMS PRO eschewed thermal tape for a much more effective thermal epoxy placed between the memory ICs and heat spreader. Their XMS Series were then clamped and slow cured in special ovens. With this costly (for Corsair) but highly effective technology XMS PRO memory not only looked great but ran cooler, therefore performed better. Today Corsair has once again "re-invented" DDR memory as we know it in their new X-PERT
series. Incorporating the very best attributes found in their XMS Pro series, XPERT DDR is much "smarter." Just how smart? Read on.In the box
XPERT memory arrived in a fairly large box for a memory kit. The windowed box gently yet firmly cradled the modules and their corresponding LEDs using a "pink" foam insert. Installation instructions and a driver CD are also included making installation a breeze. The CD contains a Memory Dashboard
software as well as the benchmarking utility from Lavalys Everest Home Edition 1.51
. The supplied box should provide excellent protection, even from shipping employees whom may be related to "Oofi" the infamous Gorilla "Baggage Handler" from those old American Tourist commercials
Opening the box exposes the memory laid on a "pink" protective foam. In the photo below I've flipped over one of the LED indicators to give a basic idea of the electronics.
Inserts in the LEDs correspond to extending tabs on each DIMM's PCB. The photos below show the underside of the LED with it's matching module and then close-up of the LED underside where the PCB tab inserts.
Corsair also provides a manual with step by step installation and operation instructions. The memory can be operated with or without the enclosed LEDs. Carefully removing the memory from the package you simply insert the modules into their perspective DIMMs, being careful not to place pressure on the pins. The LED's should only be applied after the memory is safely locked in. XPERT memory will run at its specified CL-2-2-5 performance regardless of whether the LEDs are installed.
Installation is easy. In the photo below you can see how the size of the LED forces it to sit atop the module at an offset. As mentioned earlier the width of the LED "cover" requires they "hang" extending over each DIMM and the vacant dimm next to it, thereby forming an inverted "L
" when installed as seen below.
With the memory now seated in it's DIMM and the system powered up, XPERT continually displays the XPERT part name, Frequency, Voltage, and Temp, respectively. The information displayed can be fine-tuned to three user programmable 23 character marquees, and you can even adjust scroll speed. I've made a video of the display below. Click on the photo below to view XPERT's readout cycle.
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