Articles: Memory

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The introduction of new standards in the memory market slowed down a little bit. The last PC3200 SDRAM standard was approved by JEDEC quite a long time ago already and the memory of this time has already become pretty widely spread. We will have to live with PC3200 SDRAM for a considerable while, at least until the middle of next year, when DDR-II SDRAM will start appearing in the market. It is exactly during these slow-down periods that the manufacturers of overclocking friendly memory become more active and start offering faster memory modules than the standard ones.

The today’s fastest “official” memory is DDR400 SDRAM, however, the overclocking memory makers have already learned to produce DDR500 SDRAM and even DDR533 SDRAM. There are not too many companies offering memory solutions like that, however it doesn’t prevent them from being involved into a really cut0throat competition.

The four major makers of overclocker’s memory, namely Corsair, OCZ, Kingston and GeIL, are constantly competing with one another for the right to be the first with the new faster memory modules announcement. However, this competition is also coming to an end. DDR-I standard and the production technologies used by these memory manufacturers seem to have almost exhausted their potential, so that the production of new chips working at even higher frequencies is more frequently connected with tangible expenses and technological difficulties. That is why I can state that the competition between the overclocker’s memory makers has come to a new stage: having reached almost the same frequency they start loading the products with their brand new technologies.

You can clearly see the same situation happening in the mainboard market right now. While most mainboards available in the today’s market boast nearly identical formal specifications, the manufacturers load them with the whole bunch of various “tidbits” and base their ongoing product marketing and promotion on these unique brand name features. Now the makers of overclocking friendly memory are also resorting to the same tricks. The first step here belongs to Corsair Company, which has recently announced its XMS ProSeries memory modules, which attracted everybody’s attention mostly due to the extra-ordinary looks rather than to exclusive technical characteristics.

XMS ProSeries modules acquired a larger heat-spreader of new exclusive design. Besides that they are also provided with Memory Active LEDs (light emitting diodes showing the memory utilization). In fact, it is solely because of these exciting LEDs, that we decided to devote the whole review to the new Corsair XMS ProSeries memory modules.

Well, the new product line includes the following products:

  • TwinX1024-4000PRO — a pair of 512MB modules, DDR500 SDRAM;
  • TwinX1024-3200C2PRO — a pair of 512MB modules, DDR400 SDRAM;
  • CMX512-4000PRO — one 512MB module, DDR500 SDRAM;
  • CMX512-3200C2PRO — one 512MB module, DDR400 SDRAM.

In other words, Corsair XMS ProSeries offers only DDR400 and DDR500 memory modules with a shipment of two or only one per set. I am very thankful to Corsair Company for the opportunity to test a set of two DDR500 TwinX1024-4000PRO modules. So, today we are going to take a closer look at this product and see what the new Corsair XMS ProSeries family actually looks like.

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