As all power users know, quality memory is a must. What is quality memory? Well, for overclockers, having quality memory spec'd to run at overclocked settings is essential in finding that right balance of speed and stability. Once you've established the upper limit, the memory timings are the next steps in tweaking your performance. Quality memory is also about having ram that simply won't crash or riddle your tax program with accounting errors.
There is no shortage of overclocked ram. Despite the committee not sanctioning anything past PC2700, those specifications are so mid-2002. Enthusiasts think this, and it's obvious various manufacturers do as well, as they are pumping out PC3000, PC3200, PC3500, and even PC3700 modules like no tomorrow.
It can be argued that these speeds are unnecessary, given that the fastest FSB supported by any CPU (AMD 2700+ and 2800+) right now is 166FSB. At 2.7GB/sec of bandwidth provided by the processor, it isn't enough to saturate the memory at those speeds, and can create problems with latency when the FSB is run asyncronous with the memory clock. Of course, that can be eased by overclocking the CPU, which is the whole point of overclocking fast ram to begin with. You see, you are better off running the ram syncronous with the processor FSB. The reason why faster ram is needed is that vanilla PC2700 will probably run syncronous, anywhere from 166FSB to 190FSB. Even if it can do higher, it likely won't do it at the most agressive memory timings, let alone at PC2700. Our Crucial PC2700, for example, won't do CAS2 at 166FSB, which hurts performance of the system overall.
This brings us back to the original question, what is quality memory? Something that is fast, stable, and reliable. is one such company that has made quality memory in the past, and today we'll be testing their newest product, the TWINX512-3200LL memory kit.
Part Number: TWINX512-3200LL
Package: 2x184 DIMM
CAS Latency: 2-2-2-6-T1
Memory Type: Twin Modules
RAM Type: 32Mx8
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The TWINX is part of , which is their flagship line of products. The sample we've received is the PC3200 (DDR400) 512MB kit, which is 512MB split over two 256MB modules. It's a matched pair, which we will go into more detail about later. There are available...
- TWINX512-2700LL: 512 Mbytes, 333 MHz, low latency pair, kit consists of 2 x CMX256A-2700LL DIMMs
- TWINX1024-2700LL: 1 Gbyte, 333 MHz, low latency pair, kit consists of 2 x CMX512-2700LL DIMMs
- TWINX512-3200LL: 512 Mbytes, 400 MHz, low latency pair, kit consists of 2 x CMX256A-3200LL DIMMs
- TWINX1024-3200LL: 1 Gbyte, 400 MHz, low latency pair, kit consists of 2 x CMX512-3200LL DIMMs
Currently, only the nForce2 and KT400 support DDR400, but the ram will work on slower memory buses, such as DDR333. If you're worried about the whole JEDEC specification mentioned earlier, I should point out that Corsair is a member of the committee. You can rest assured that they do follow best business practices, as they've been at this for over 9 years now.