DDR2 Shoot-Out: Corsair vs. Kingston
Compatibility & Our Test System
Compatibility Testing: When testing memory modules, we generally like to try them in as many different motherboards as possible, to get a general idea if any incompatibilies exist. Unfortunatly, because of the relatively small number of motherboards based on Intel's 900 series of chipsets, we were only able to test these modules on three different boards. We tested both the Corsair TWIN2X1024-5400C4 PRO and Kingston KHX5400D2k2/1G memory modules in the Foxconn 925A01-8EKRS, the Intel D925XCV, and DFI's LANPARTY 925X-T2, and both kits worked perfectly in all three motherboards.
We also fired up the latest version of CPU-Z to see how the SPDs (Serial Presence Detect) were programmed. As you can see the Corsair modules are programmed for 4-5-5-12 operation at 333MHz (DDR667). Kingston's modules, however, are programmed to run at different timings depending on clock speed. At 200MHz, Kingston's sticks are programmed for 3-3-3-9 timings at 200MHz (DDR400), 4-4-4-12 at 266MHz (DDR533), or 5-4-4-12 at 266MHz (DDR533).
Socket T - Pentium 4 560 (3.6GHz)
ADFI LANPARTY 925X-T2 Motherboard
VIA K8T800 Pro Chipset
Corsair TWINX 1024-3200XLPRO
Kingson HyperX PC3500
Radeon X700 XT
On-Board 10/100/1000 Ethernet
WD "Raptor" 36GB Hard Drive
10,000 RPM SATA
Windows XP Pro SP2
ATi Catalyst 4.10
How we configured our test systems: When configuring our test systems for this review, the first thing we did was enter the system BIOS and set each board to their "Optimized" or "High-Performance Defaults". The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows XP Professional (SP2) was installed. When the installation was complete, we hit the Windows Update site and downloaded all of the available updates, with the exception of the ones related to Windows Messenger. Then we installed all of the necessary drivers, and removed Windows Messenger from the system altogether. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, and we setup a 768MB permanent page file on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance", installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives and ran all of the tests. Throughout all of our standard benchmarking, we had the memory voltage set to 1.9v. When overclocking, or experimenting with lower latencies, we set the memory voltage to 2.0v.