DDR2-675 - A High Speed Update from Corsair and Kingston

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Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X1024A-5400UL

Corsair Memory, a member of JEDEC (a group that helps standardize semiconductor products), has been at the forefront of memory design and manufacturing since 1994.  Often seen as a forerunner in the field, Corsair has earned honors for typically being one of the first to market with high-speed/low-timing memory modules.  They supply products that vary from the budgetary ValueSelect to ultra-high performance XMS2 DDR2.  A quick glance at their offerings brings to mind such innovations as the status lights on their PRO modules to the recently released XPert kits that display temperature and voltages.  Based on their noted performance and reliability, Corsair has rightfully earned the slogan, "The Industry's Most Awarded Memory".

Corsair XMS2 TWIN2X1024A-5400UL Specifications
The TWIN2X1024A-5400UL 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 3-2-2-8. This module is also available in a single module part.
·_1024 Megabytes of memory by matching a pair of 240-pin DDR2 DIMMs
·_Two matched CM2X512A-5400UL modules
·_Implemented using 64M x 8 DDR2 SDRAMs
·_100% tested at 675MHz at 3-2-2-8 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 3-2-2-8 latency settings at 2.1V
·_SPD programmed at 4-4-4-12 values



Corsair's XMS2 memory came in a large clamshell type package that displays not only the two sticks of RAM but also various statements and logos from review sites in support of their past performance.  Corsair is well aware of its standing within the industry, and apparently has no plans on losing their position.  The package opens easily enough and out comes the two "twinned" memory sticks which have been paired together during testing to ensure compatibility.  As is usual with DDR2, which can run a bit hotter than earlier sticks, the sticks are enshrouded in a black heat-spreader which is actually bonded to the memory ICs.

Each module is labeled as a separate product, with the item code CM2X512A-5400UL.  The sticker notes that these modules are rated for operating at 3-2-2-8 at clock speeds of 337MHz, or 675MHz effective.  Noticeably absent was the expected voltage, which can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.  In this case, Corsair suggests setting the voltage to 2.1V.  Although tested at 3-2-2-8, the modules are SPD programmed to run at 4-4-4-12, which will improve compatibility with older boards.  Timings can then be lowered manually to get the desired performance if the board can support it.


Using CPU-Z version 1.29, we can get a closer look at the specifications of the Corsair modules.  The SPD timings are shown to be a little looser than what was officially stated.  In this case, the sticks are listed at 4-4-4-15 at 333MHz, just slightly over the 4-4-4-12 that was expected.  Maximum bandwidth has the RAM listed as PC5300 which equates to 333MHz, or DDR2-667.  Even though the SPD timings on the RAM itself are close if not totally perfect, the BIOS of the Asus P5WD2 reports that the actual usage is at 5-5-5-15 at 337.1 MHz, using the FSB:DRAM ratio of 3:5.  However, from what we've been seeing, this might be a reporting problem with CPU-Z and Glenwood chipsets.  At the time of writing, CPU-Z is still at version 1.29, which may not fully support the i955X (as listed on their website). 


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