Recently, several big name memory companies have offered new "low-latency" DDR memory modules capable of running with brisk 2-2-2-5 timings at 400MHz. Based on Samsung's latest low-latency ICs, these chips have demonstrated remarkable stability, compatibility and speed as well as the potential to overclock in excess of 500MHz DDR when relaxed latencies are used.
One of the lesser known players in this field is PQI Designs. Not long ago, PQI acquired PMI Memory, incorporating their Turbo Series brand into the PQI product line. This has given PQI a much broader product line that includes performance memory as well as industrial strength flash storage solutions and other commercial products.
Today we'll be taking a look at the first of the PQI Turbo Series modules to grace our labs, the PQI3200-1024DBU Dual Channel Ultra Low Latency Memory. This 1GB pack (512MBx2) sports nickel-plated copper heat spreaders, aggressive timings and the promise of high performance. Let's take a look at what PQI brings to the game, in the first Turbo Series memory to be released under the PQI name.
1024MB kit (2x512MB) dual channel pack
DDR 400 MHz (PC3200)
184-pin DDR SDRAM
Two 64M x 64-bit
6 Layers PCB
Comprehensive rigorously tested in pair at dual channel environment
Mirrored Black Copper
The PQI3200-1024DBU is a dual channel pack consisting of two 512MB low latency modules. They are constructed on a six layer PCB in a 64Mx64-Bit configuration. Underneath the heat spreaders are Samsung K4H560838F-TCCD modules rated for 500MHz DDR at CAS 3-4-4. At 400MHz DDR, each DIMM is rated to run at CAS 2, RAS to CAS Delay (tRCD) of 2T, a Row Precharge (tRP) of 2T and an Active to Precharge Delay (tRAS) of 5T, or 2-2-2-5. These are the very same Samsung ICs that have received attention lately with Corsair's XMS line, Crucial's Ballistix and Mushkin's LII series and have shown an excellent trend of performance and overclocking. What is also worth noting are the PQI DIMMs are rated for 2.6v, which is within normal limits of today's motherboards. Previously, higher-end DIMMs with aggressive timings had higher voltage requirements, sometimes beyond the scope of various motherboards.
With companies such as Corsair and Crucial recently releasing low-latency modules set to run at the same aggressive timings, there seemed little to help PQI set themselves apart. The PQI DIMMs do come with high quality copper based heat spreaders with a mirrored black finish and a lifetime warranty, but aside from that, it's standard fare. The true difference will be in testing, where we'll see how well the memory performs at its rated speed as well as finding the maximum overclocking speeds.