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DDR2 SDRAM for Enthusiasts

Having found that good and new DDR2 memory can yield a nice performance bonus for LGA775 platforms, we decided to examine the products currently offered by the leading manufacturers of advanced PC memory. Four manufacturers responded to our request by offering us their DDR2 SDRAM modules: Corsair, OCZ, PQI and GeIL. Below you will find a brief description of each product.

Corsair CM2X512-5300C4PRO (5300C4PRO)

Corsair is the most popular manufacturer of advanced memory modules as the last-year poll conducted on our website said. They offered us their top-end model – a couple of 512MB Corsair CM2X512-5300C4PRO modules (this is what is written on the modules themselves; the same modules are referred to as CM2X512-5400C4PRO on Corsair’s website, so keep this discrepancy in mind when shopping).

The pair of DDR2 SDRAM modules from Corsair is rated to work at 675MHz, 4-4-4-12 timings and 1.9v voltage (by the way these are the conditions under which Corsair’s DDR2 modules undergo tests on the ABIT AA8 DuraMAX mainboard; Corsair’s DDR2 memory also comes with a lifetime warranty).

The modules are equipped with massive aluminum heatsinks whose height is rather bigger than average. This may poise a problem on some mainboards if you use a splaying-out CPU cooler, like Zalman’s CNPS7700. Heatsinks are glued to the modules with a special heat-conductive substance applied on the memory chips.

The exclusive feature of the CM2X512-5300C4PRO modules, which is denoted by “PRO” in the model name, are the nine LEDs of green, yellow and red colors that indicate the load on the module. That’s why these modules are especially beloved by the modding community; this additional illumination on the DIMM modules looks very effective.

The modules’ SPD only tells of one operational mode: 667MHz with 4-5-5-15 timings. Still, this doesn’t prevent you from using them in more aggressive modes, and they did perform well in our practical tests.

 
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