Corsair 2GB TwinX2048-4000PT Memory Kit Review

Memory by KeithSuppe @ 2005-12-19

Having 1024MB of system RAM is still sweet, but 2048MB tastes even sweeter to the forward looking PC-Enthusiast. Enter Corsair?s new Twinx2048-4000PT Memory kit for DDR1 platforms which we test extensively today.

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Intro / Test System

The PC-Enthusiast market isn't the largest, nor is it any longer the niche community it once was. The rapid growth of the Enthusiast sector is largely due to the Gaming industry. Gamers probably spend more money on "PCs'" or PC-amalgams (X-Box GPU) then any other segment. Business is Business but the business of playing games is huge. While video cards are catching up to some systems in their memory compliment (512MB) RAM is still a necessary and fundamental aspect of your system. AMD has been the favorite CPU for gamers, ironically it’s on-board memory controller and metamorphosis to Server architecture will soon require larger physical RAM. 1024MB is still sweet, but 2048MB attests even sweeter to the forward looking PC-Enthusiast. Enter Corsair TWINX2048-4000PT.

Madshrimps (c)

It's rumored a Holiday office party at the Dresden AMD facility ended abruptly when an engineer intoxicated on Rum Balls decided to scale the company Christmas tree. He reached the top and tree toppled over launching him into the Opteron bins. Monday morning the CPUs were cleaned up; however, it was discovered the majority had a single pin broken off. Several weeks later re-packaged Socket-939 Opterons flooded store-shelves, eventually finding their way into the motherboards of giddy Overclockers.

Corsair, ever vigilant to set or keep pace in market "trends" (clumsy engineers), realized this was the ideal moment to fulfill the growing need to increase system RAM size. AMD has done well to keep DDR an integral part of its Socket-939 platform as the memory still bests DDR2 in numerous applications. AMD's decision to integrate Server CPU architecture into the Desktop CPU has been the marketing save of the last few years. Intel has finally awakened from their marchitecture binge, amputating the appendage known as Pentium with Net Burst. Integrating Pentium-M technology is indicative of the giant's "nativistic" engineering movement which threatens to convert even AMD devotees. With Server architecture coming at us from every camp the need for 2048MB DDR kits has grown feverish.

Madshrimps (c)

The AMD office party anecdote above albeit fictitious does speak to trends in the manufacture of desktop CPUs. Today as we test Corsair TwinX2048-400PT not only should we take into account the aforementioned, we also need to re-consider the benchmarking software relied upon to test performance in desktop systems. There have been several reviews comparing 1024MB (the agreed sweet spot) to 2048MB kit sizes and found the additional cost of the RAM to have minimal ROI (Return On Investment) appeal. Upon further investigation it seems we may be attempting to squeeze apple juice from oranges as this ExtremeTech article; Why Intel Sucks at PC Games reveals. Its prima facie software and hardware are complimentary and as Van Smith of Vans Hardware Journal fame revealed in his article: Benchmarketing 101; Intel SysMark the term complimentary can have literal connotations. Purported malfeasance on behalf of software (or hardware) developer's aside, benchmarking bias is often an unintentional anomaly. In the simplest terms, if were testing a CPU designed in the Server genre, with software designed to test gaming or desktop applications we may be at a loss. It's more likely as the Server style architecture continues to transform the Desktop PC the need for larger amounts of RAM will benefit the end-user regardless of application. This is especially true as Dual Core processors dominate the industry.

Madshrimps (c)

Test Setup Methodology

AMD Test System
CPU Althlon-64 3500 Retail Socket-939
Mainboard DFI Lanparty UT nF4 Ultra-D
Memory Corsair TwinX2048-4000PT (2x1024MB DC CL3-4-4-8)
Mushkin XtremePerformance DDR500 1024MB kit form (2x512MB) 3-4-3-8 (ran at 3-4-4-8)
Graphics AOpen Aeolus 7800GTX-DVD256
Power Supply PCPower&Cooling TurboCool 850 SSI
Cooling Alphacool CPU-waterblock NexXxos XP nickel plated.
Alphacool pump AP1510 Centrifugal w/Voltage regulator.
Alphacool CAPE Cora 642 passive radiator/s.
8/10mm Internal/external tubing
Operating System Windows XP

TwinX2048-4000PT purportedly uses Samsung UCCC ICs and Brainpower PCBs. While the PCB is favored for its overclockability the C's themselves have little headroom at DDR500 speed. Since JDEC approves only DDR400 the term "overclocking" as it applies to the use of these PCB's is somewhat of a misnomer. Samsung UCCCs do not respond well to higher voltages, in fact I found a limited voltage range between 2.8V and 3.0V with 3.1V > having a marginal effect and in some cases an adverse outcome. We're testing Corsair 4000PT by comparing it at same speed/timings with a 1024MB kit of Mushkin XP DDR500 (2x512MB).
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