Articles: Memory

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The launch and wide spreading of the new Windows Vista operating system inspired a lot of users to think about installing 4GB of RAM into their systems. True, it would be not quite right to claim that 2GB of RAM is enough for majority of tasks these days. Even dedicated gaming fans will definitely be able to name a few contemporary gaming titles that won’t work fast enough in systems equipped only with 2GB of memory causing the operating system to address the swap-file and resulting into noticeable delays when loading the next level.

As for the professionals who work with image, sound and video content processing applications, they always lack memory power and are very excited about any possibility to increase the amount of RAM in their systems. In other words, the transition to 4GB of RAM is currently as acute as never before.

This also follows from the statistics collected by the popular CPU-Z diagnostic utility. As you can see from the graph below, systems with 4GB of RAM gained popularity very rapidly starting from last fall. Today the share of systems with 4GB of memory is already more than 18%, which indicates a definite interest shift.

Of course, this tendency touches upon the forefront of computer community in the first place. In other words, an overclocker system equipped with 4GB of RAM is more of a common thing these days than an exception. Nevertheless, we haven’t yet reviewed any system memory kits with 4GB total capacity on our site. There were several reasons for that. First of all, these kits were not very widely spread yet because of their relatively modest frequency and pretty high price point. Therefore, computer enthusiasts preferred to use four 1GB modules instead of two 2GB modules in their systems.

Nevertheless, the situation changed a little now that DDR3 SDRAM is in the market. Typical DDR3 chips are 1Gbit ones, so it is fairly simple to put together double-sided 2GB overclocker memory modules from them. That is why there are quite a few companies who are currently offering overclocker DDR3 SDRAM with the total 4GB capacity.

It is potentially more beneficial to install 2 memory modules 2GB each into the system instead of four 1GB modules. The main advantage in this case is the fact that two DIMM slots remain available allowing future system upgrade up to 8GB of total RAM size. Moreover, we all know that the use of fewer components increases the system reliability.

However, despite this fact, overclockers do not hurry to purchase 4GB memory kits just yet. The thing is that most 2GB DDR3 SDRAM modules available today work at lower nominal frequency than 1GB modules. While the currently available 2GB kits have already hit 1800MHz default speed (and some manufacturers are getting ready to offer 2GHz solutions), the maximum frequency of the available 4GB DDR3 kits is only 1600MHz.

However, Corsair, who have been at the head of the entire overclocker memory maker group for a while now, decided to resolve this situation with 4GB kit frequencies. In the nearest future Corsair will be launching a DDR3 SDRAM kit including two 2GB modules that is designed to work at the default 1800MHz frequency. It will be one of the first DDR3-1800 SDRAM kits to start selling. To be fair I have to point out that the formal pioneer in introducing 4GB kits of DDR3-1800 SDRAM into the market is actually Super Talent. However, we didn’t get a chance to obtain any review samples from them, while Corsair was very eager to let us check out their new 4GB solution even before the official launch, so we are very please to share our test results and findings with you today.

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