DDR2 Shoot-Out: Corsair vs. Kingston

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With the launch of their 900 series chipsets, and LGA775 based Pentium 4 processors, Intel introduced the use of DDR2 system memory on the desktop.  DDR1 system memory had been the standard for quite a few years, and DDR2 memory had been used on the occasional video card at that point, but DDR2 system memory had yet to be implemented in a consumer level desktop computer.  DDR1 and DDR2 memory are fundamentally very similar.  In essence, DDR2 memory is simply a refinement of the original, however, there are some differences that set them apart.  For example, DDR2 memory requires much less voltage to achieve similar clock speeds, which means lower power consumption.  DDR2 memory also has on chip termination which yields better EMI characteristics, and DDR2 memory can be clocked significantly higher than DDR1 memory given the right circumstances; three very sought after traits.  For a more comprehensive explanation on the differences between DDR1 and DDR2 memory, take a peek at this PDF, and for a look into Intel's implementation of DDR2 in their 900 series chipsets, check out Dave's coverage right here.

DDR2 system memory does have its disadvantages though, at least for now.  Access latencies are currently much higher with DDR2 memory.  It's not uncommon to find DDR1 memory with a CAS Latency of 2T, a RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD) of 2T, a Row Precharge (tRP) of 2T and an Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS) of 5T (2-2-2-5) at 200MHz (DDR400).  But most of the DDR2 memory available today is officially rated for 4-4-4-12 timings.  DDR2 memory is also more expensive than DDR1 memory with a similar density.  These disadvantages will eventually disappear, however, as lower latency DDR2 memory is on the horizon and prices will inevitably fall as the use of DDR2 system memory becomes more common.  Most of the major players in system memory already have DDR2 memory kits in their product lineup.  And today on HotHardware, we're going to take a look at two of them, Corsair's TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO and Kingston's KHX5400D2K2/1G...

Specification & Features: Corsair TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO
More Information: www.corsairmicro.com
The TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO is a 1024 MByte matched pair of DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs. This part delivers outstanding performance in the latest generation of DDR2-based motherboards. It has been tested extensively in multiple DDR2 motherboards to ensure compatibility and performance at its rated speed. This memory has been verified to operate at 675MHz at the low latencies of 4-4-4-12. This module is also available in a single module part.
Features:
·_1024 Megabytes of memory in a pair of 240-pin DDR2 DIMMs
·_Two matched CM2X512-5400C4PRO modules
·_Implemented using 32M x 8 DDR2 SDRAMs
·_100% tested at 675MHz in high performance DDR2 motherboards
·_Legendary Corsair reliability and service
·_Lifetime warranty
Test Specs:
·_Each module pair is tested together in an Intel-based motherboard at 675MHz
·_Tested and packaged in pairs
·_Packaged together immediately following system test
·_Tested at 4-4-4-12 latency settings at 1.9V
·_SPD programmed at 4-4-4-12 values

    

    

Like Corsair's other "Pro" memory kits, the memory modules included in the TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO kit feature 18 activity LEDs along the top, that blink rapidly to show the level of memory activity, much like the sound meters found on some older audio equipment.  Each of the two 512MB modules included, for a total of 1GB, are rated for clock speeds of up to 675MHz (337MHz DDR) with 4-4-4-12 latency settings at 1.9v.  Bundled with the modules are a simple installation manual and a Corsair case badge.  We'd also like to point out the relative size of the TWIN2X1024-5400C4PRO sticks.  The large heat spreaders and activity LEDs make these modules significantly taller than most others.

 

Specification & Features: Kingston KHX5400D2K2/1G
More Information: www.kingston.com
Kingston's KHX5400D2K2/1G is a kit of two 64M x 64-bit (512MB) DDR2-675 CL4 SDRAM (Synchronous DRAM) memory modules, based on eight 64M x 8-bit DDR2 FBGA components (per module). Total kit capacity is 1GB (1024MB). Each pair has been tested to run at DDR2 675MHz at low latency timing of 4-4-4-10 at 1.85V. The SPDs are programmed to JEDEC standard latency timing of 4-4-4-12 at 1.8V. Each 240-pin DIMM uses gold contact fingers and requires +1.8V. The electrical and mechanical specifications are as follows:
Features:
·_Power supply : Vdd: 1.8V ~ 0.1V, Vddq: 1.8V ~ 0.1V
·_Double-data-rate architecture; two data transfers per clock cycle
·_Bidirectional data strobe(DQS)
·_Differential clock inputs(CK and CK)
·_DLL aligns DQ and DQS transition with CK transition
·_Programmable Read latency 4 (clock)
·_Burst Length: 4, 8 (Interleave/nibble sequential)
·_Programmable Burst type (sequential & interleave)
·_Timing Reference: 4-4-4-10 at +1.85V
·_Edge aligned data output, center aligned data input
·_Auto & Self refresh, 7.8us refresh interval (8K/64ms refresh)
·_Serial presence detect with EEPROM
·_High Performance Heat Spreader
·_PCB : Height 1.180" (30.00mm), single sided component
Performance:
·_Clock Cycle Time (tCK) CL=4 - 3.75ns (min.) / 8ns (max.)
·_Row Cycle Time (tRC) - 60ns (min.)
·_Refresh to Active/Refresh Command Time (tRFC) - 105ns
·_Row Active Time (tRAS) - 45ns (min.) / 70,000ns (max.)
·_Single Power Supply of +1.8V (+/- .1V)
·_Power - 1.512 W (operating per module)
·_UL Rating - 94 V - 0
·_Operating Temperature - 0o C to 55o C
·_Storage Temperature - -55o C to +125o C

    

Kingston's KHX5400D2K2/1G memory kit looks more "traditional" than Corsair's, and has slightly better specifications.  Kingston's modules also feature standard sized heat spreaders, and thus look just like DDR1 modules, with the exception obviously being the number on gold contacts along their edges (DDR2 and DDR1 modules are not interchangeable.  DDR2 modules feature 240 pins, DDR1 modules feature 184).  These Kingston sticks are rated for 4-4-4-10 latency settings at 675MHz with 1.85v.  The kit includes two 512MB modules, for a total of 1GB, and ship with a simple installation guide.

Tags:  Kingston, DDR, DDR2, Corsair, shoot, KIN, air, rsa, SHO, GST, AI, King, K

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