Corsair XMS PC4400 1GB TwinX DDR

Jun 2nd, 2005 | By

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Corsair XMS PC4400 1GB TwinX DDR

: 06/2/05 – 09:43:57 PM


: Memory

Page 1 : Introduction


$221 (Newegg)

There's little doubt that DDR memory has got some life left in it. Though not quite capable of reaching the heights of the fastest DDR2 available, DDR is still quite popular and widely used especially on the AMD platforms. Today we look at a matched set of DDR modules rated for 550 MHz operation at 2.5-4-4-8 timings in the form of
Corsair's XMS TWINX1024-4400C25PT

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Modules like these do not come cheap, and so this memory targets two groups: those wanting very low latencies at frequencies synchronous with the front side bus and those wanting memory capable enough to not become a bottleneck when overclocking their processor frequency.

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With AMD still without DDR2 support, it goes without saying that there is very much a market for this memory. Particularly so when you consider that the AMD platform is more capable of testing the limits of high frequency modules. This is the platform we'll gather our results from; it'll enables us to offer you a more complete view of this kit.

Page 2 : Package

We recieved these DDR modules direct from Corsair without any fuss. They arrived quickly and defect free.

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The retail package is small, easy to open and reusable.
Inside the packaging, clearly visisble from the outside, are the two DDR modules. Each DIMM is of standard size, covered by heat spreaders. The headspreaders come in either black or platinum, but the color doesn't denote any performance difference.

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Included with the packaging was a foldout guide for installation. A helpful pictorial guide for those new to the procedure. I'm not sure I would recommend enthusaist memory to a person who needs this guide though, but I guess everyone starts somewhere – even head first.

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Page 3 : Specifications

Here is a short list of specs Corsair provides on their website:

1024 MB Capacity (2×512 MB)
184-pin DDR Dimm
34M x 4 banks x 16 bits
PC 4400 (550 MHz)
SPD Programmed At 2.5-4-4-8
15.6 µs Average Refresh Rate
Lifetime Warranty

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The Brainpower PCB – BP MLL E186014.
These modules use Samsung's popular TCCD memory chips, capable of achieving low latencies at high speed. Further, they also use Brainpower PCBs. Brainpower PCBs, at this time, deliver better performance over the standard JEDEC reference PCB, thus they are quite common among many memory manufacturer's high-end offerings.

Page 4 : Testing

The tests were conducted using the following system specs:

Test Setup:
Athlon 64 3200+
AMD Retail HSF
Western Digital 60GB 7200RPM IDE Hard Drive
DFI LANPARTY UT nF4 Ultra-D Motherboard
Albatron GeForce 6600 128 MB PCI-E Video Card
Thermaltake PurePower 420 Watt Power Supply
Windows XP Pro SP2 + Latest Drivers, Updates


Corsair XMS TWINX1024-4400C25PT

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The test setup.
All testing was done in a dual channel configuration. Overclocking went well for these DIMMs as I was able to run the memory at it's stock frequency with tighter timings of 2.5-3-3-8 without any stability issues. Further, at 200 MHz frequency and up to 208 MHz (with the help of higher voltage) I was able to run the memory at 2-2-2-8 timings. The max frequency I could obtain with stability (no Super Pi rounding errors and no issues in continuous use) was 300 MHz at 2.9 V with 2.5-3-3-8 timing. Loosening the timings didn't result in any increased headroom in this case.

These modules really have something for everyone. If you're in search of RAM that will allow you to overclock your processor without worrying about a memory bottleneck, this pair seems up to the task while also giving users the flexibility to run them at low latencies.

To test these overclocked and stock settings I've done a standard round of Quake 3 Arena and SiSoft Sandra 2005 Memory Benchmark. Quake 3 Arena serves as a real world test that exaggerates the difference played by adjusting memory frequency and latency. To compare the theoretical memory bandwidth, we included SiSoft Sandra 2005 Memory Benchmark numbers.

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The results aren't anything surprising. Lower latencies perform better and raising the frequency seperate from the CPU clock shows marginal improvement. The benefit will be for those wanting to stretch their CPU's legs and still be able to feed it enough memory bandwidth through keeping the latency low and memory frequency in sync.

Page 5 : Conclusion

These are easily the best DDR modules I've yet to test. The frequency and tight timings these modules were able to operate at left me with a good impression. Add to that the quality and support we come to expect from an industry leader such as Corsair, and making a buying decision becomes much easier. While obtaining the type of performance this memory offers isn't cheap, for those who can afford these modules they will be rewarded with great performance and flexibility; two qualities that I love to have in my own machines.

That said, I was quite pleased with the total package provided here and would highly recommend these if you've got the hardware to take advantage of them.

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Heat spreaders
High frequency
Low latencies



I'd like to thank the people at Corsair for supplying the parts for testing.

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