DDR is dead - Long live DDR2 !
I'd like to start by saying this review is a bit of a coincidence. For the past few weeks we at Madshrimps have been hard at work to bring together a selection of top performing memory modules, with the purpose of providing our readers with a nice roundup of their performance on the Conroe platform. Some unexpected delays and hick-ups have delayed the test, but rest assured, the roundup is on its way... No better time then to present you with something extra, which unexpectedly arrived at the test lab last week...
Today we are proud to present the latest and greatest Corsair
memory kit, arguably some of the most desired DDR2 modules in the world: the Dominator PC8888C4
. These modules are designed to run at a rated speed of 1111Mhz
and do this at very respectable timings as well. We will put these modules to the test thoroughly in our roundup and this against some other fabulous contestants, but today we will focus especially on something else: innovation.
Since the introduction this summer of the AMD AM2 platform, closely followed by the Intel Core architecture, the consumer market for memory products has entered a very transitional period. For the last couple of years there has been a lot of talk about DDR2, but the implementation has been rather weak to say the least. DDR2 officially took off with the launch of the Intel 775 socket in June 2004, together with another newcomer at the time: PCI-Express graphics. This launch was no immediate success: DDR2 did not deliver any noticeably performance improvement over DDR, and savvy consumers who wanted to upgrade their PC didn't want to buy new processors, new motherboards, new graphic cards AND new memory. To make things even worse, AMD began taking over the consumer and especially the enthusiast market with faster and cooler processors than Intel had to offer. The AMD processors relied on the old DDR, and didn't seem to need the higher bandwidth that DDR2 had to offer...
Fast forward to 2005, when chip maker Micron
finally managed to develop high performance DDR2 chips, and to the summer of this year, where Intel took over the performance crown, and where AMD finally made the move to the DDR2 platform. So this year, all manufacturers are finally putting their full resources behind DDR2 research & development. And we can say the market is moving fast: memory timings are dropping, speeds are increasing. To put it boldly : DDR2 is no longer trailing (Intel) chipset development, right now memory is waiting on chipset improvements from Intel, ATI(AMD) and nVidia to show it's true potential. Today we can finally say: DDR is dead, long live DDR2 !
To give today's review product a proper introduction we'd have to start by saying something about its manufacturer: Corsair. Regarded as one of the most prominent memory manufacturers, Corsair has been making memory products since 1994. For the first 5-7 years of their existence, Corsair focused on the business market of servers and workstations. Only in the last couple of years, especially since the introduction of PC-133 SD-Ram, the consumer market really became interesting for RAM development. At that time people became aware that faster ram was a worthy investment, and the overclocking market was born. In the last 5 years, Corsair has put more and more of its eggs into the basket of gamers and overclockers and has become the company all others measure their success by. Today, Corsair still makes server and workstation ram, and the so called "value-select" memory for the budget oriented consumer, but they are especially famous for the XMS memory line, which stands for "Extreme Memory Speed". This lineup has been around for a couple of years now, and has constantly been refreshed by new products... But I guess now was the time for them to show us something new: enter the Dominator SeriesOpening the presskit reveals the modules : don't they look nice in pink ;-)