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Corsair TWINX1024-4000 Memory: We take a look at Corsair's latest TWINX kit, which matches a pair of XMS4000 modules. 500MHz anyone?
Date: July 25, 2003
Catagory: Memory & Storage
Written By:

With the release of the nForce 2, Intel i865PE, and Intel i875P, Dual Channel memory motherboards have finally reached the mainstream. There have been Dual Channel mobos have existed previously, but they haven't been is refined and readily available as they are now. We've covered the technology behind it before, but basically you will get a nice performance boost with a Dual Channel setup over a Single Channel motherboard, CPU speeds being equal.

Currently, the fastest DDR supported by these motherboards is 400MHz, or PC3200. With the release of the , one will have to ask why do we need 500MHz ram? The answer is simple… overclocking. It's no secret that the Pentium 4 2.4C can hit 250FSB without breaking a sweat. Up until now, we've had to run at a 5:4 ratio to maintain stability with our PC3200 modules. We do run our ram a little faster as we pass 250FSB, but stability is questionable as we ramp up the clock speed. Furthermore, since the CPU's FSB and memory speeds are not running in sync, performance is not maximized.

With the Corsair TWINX1024-4000 we'll be reviewing today, we now have an opportunity to run synchronous at 250MHz. Can we go beyond that? We're definitely going to try.


 Part Number Speed Size Organization Package CAS
Memory Type RAM
TWINX1024-4000 500 MHz 1GB 2x64Mx64 2x184 DIMM 3-4-4-8-T1 Twin Modules 32Mx8

As the title of the review says, the memory is sold as a kit. We received 2x512MB modules, tested as a pair to insure maximum performance. Here's a bit from Corsair's site:

"Moreover, the company developed a stringent battery of tests which every XMS module built must pass at its rated speed before being shipped. XMS4000 modules are tested at 500MHz with 3-4-4-8 latency settings at 2.75V. All XMS4000 modules are tested in an Asus P4C800 dual channel DDR motherboard based on the Intel 875P "Canterwood" chipset. TwinX kits are tested as a matched pair and physically packaged together immediately after passing test, guaranteeing that the customer receives a product that has been verified in the dual channel environment."

The Corsair TWINX1024-4000 Memory Kit

Corsair's packaging has improved since we've last looked at their TWINX512-3200 kit. Rather than two individually packaged ram modules, we now got both of them in the same package. This of course doesn't really mean much, but it does make it clearer that this kit is a matched pair.

Like past Corsair XMS modules, their ram is encased in black heatspreaders. I'm preaching to the choir here, but heatspreaders have yet to convince me that they effectively cool ram to the point where it will make a difference in overclocking. They do look swank though, and I guess any cooling included won't hurt.

It's hard to demonstrate with a picture, but the heatspreaders are attached to the ram via some frag tape. Not the ideal choice if cooling really matters, but it is less costly than individually applying thermal epoxy at the factory.

A closer look at the modules, and we can see the silver sticker letting you know the specs of that stick of ram. We can see that it's a 512MB stick, rated at 500MHz, with ram timings of 3-4-4-8. As many enthusiasts know, tighter timings (say 2-2-2-6) result in better performance, but as memory speeds increase, it is extremely difficult to maintain stability with such low timings. To be honest, 3-4-4-8 isn't bad at all for 500MHz. Sure, it can be better, and we'll see how we can do with some tweaking.

Buy the Corsair TWINX here.

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