Memory has come a long way in the past few years. What was once a nondescript PC component, consisting of nothing more than a few black chips on a green PCB, has since evolved into a brightly colored, and lighted, crucial system component with a multitude of different heat spreader types and speed grades. Just take a look at this pair of Corsair and Mushkin memory sticks of what was, at the time, high-end RAM in 2001, and compare them to the Corsair XMS Xpert modules we'll be looking at today, and you'll immediately agree with us. The deep rooted desire to have a high-performing, tricked-out rig that's ingrained into the minds of many enthusiasts has spawned entire industries, and now virtually every manufacturer of PC parts has some sort of "pre-modded" or custom products in their line-ups.
Corsair was the first company to release "trick" RAM that had more than just a pair of heat-spreaders installed. Their popular "Pro" modules have 18 LEDs incorporated onto the PCB, that blink rapidly to show the level of memory activity, similar to the sound meters found on some audio equipment. But Corsair now has taken things a bit further, and beefed-up their relatively new "Xpert" modules with large LCD displays, that can scroll custom messages and other system information.
|Large 10-digit alphanumeric display
·_Display module has 0.4" (10mm) tall display
Displays real-time memory parameters on LED display
·_Voltage: Shows measured-on-module voltage
·_Temperature: Displays temperature under heatsink. Selectable as Centigrade or Fahrenheit
·_Frequency: Integrated crystal measures actual memory frequency
Up to three user-programmable scrolling marquee
·_Up to 23 characters per marquee
·_Scroll speed is adjustable
Two bars of color activity LEDs show level of memory activity
Lighted Corsair sails at each end of display
|CD with Corsair "Memory Dashboard" software included
·_Windows application allows easy set-up of controlling parameters
·_Tracks minimum, maximum and average values of measured parameters
·_Software updates are downloadable from Corsair website
High-efficiency cast aluminum Corsair heatsink
·_95% greater surface area than standard memory heatspreaders
·_Thermally bonded to module
·_Configurable display module fits nearly all motherboards
Approximately 2.15" tall x 5.41" long x 0.80" wide; 5.0 oz.
Corsair's flashy XMS Xpert TWINXP1024-3200XL memory kit shipped in a relatively large plastic package, that highlights the finer details of these rather unusual modules. The modules themselves are on display on the front of the package, and the back is filled with specifications and images that spotlight the Xpert's main features. Inside the package were two 512MB sticks of low-latency PC3200 RAM capable of 2-2-2-5 timings at 400MHz DDR, along with two removable LED displays, housed in thick, anti-static protective foam, a simple installation guide and a CD that contained a copy of Corsair's proprietary Memory Dashboard software.