Corsair TwinX 1024-3200XL Pro Memory Review

Admin - 2007-03-21 15:01:37 in Memory
Category: Memory
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: June 22, 2004
Corsair
Price: $375 USD
Introduction
Today we will be looking at Corsairs newest addition to the XMS family, the TwinX1024-3200XLPRO. If you haven�t yet seen the bombardment of reviews for the TwinX1024-3200XLPRO around the net, then you are in for a treat. With the absence of BH-5 IC�s on the market today I really didn�t think I would see low latency IC�s using anything less than BH-6, but it appears Corsair is going to change that. Corsairs TwinX1024-3200XL memory is sporting some of the lowest latencies currently available in the PC3200 market. Does Corsairs newest PC3200 have what it takes to take the performance crown in the ultra low latency market? Lets find out!


Features
  • 1024 Megabytes of memory Two CMX512-3200XLPRO memory DIMMs
  • High-efficiency aluminum XMS heatsink 95% greater surface area than standard memory heatspreaders
  • Thermally bonded to the module
  • 18 activity LED's show level of memory activity Benchmarked over multiple PC3200 based chipsets, processors, and motherboards
  • Approximately 1.75" tall x 5.41" long x 0.30" wide; 2.9 oz
  • Lifetime warranty


    Corsairs Test Specifications
  • Tested as a matched pair in multiple
  • Intel and AMD PC3200 based test setups
  • Packaged together immediately following system test
  • Tested at DDR400
  • Tested at X-treme Low latency settings (2-2-2-5)
  • Test voltage: 2.75V
  • Plug-n-FragTM Auto-Configuration Boots automatically using the X-treme Low latency values


    In-Depth Look



  • The TwinX1024-3200XLPRO comes packaged in a clear plastic clam shell showing off the massive size of the Pro series heatspreaders. Corsair is proudly showing off the XMS3200XLPRO�s extreme low latencies of CAS2 2-2-5 and with good reason. It�s been awhile since we have seen memory from Corsair running at such low latencies. With the PRO you also get 18LED lights showing the level of memory activity. If you would like to see the LED lights in action, you can check out our Corsair XMS3200PRO review which has a video of the LED's working.



    The pictures pretty much speak for themselves - this is some fantastic looking ram. The massive aluminum heatspreaders offer 95% greater surface area over standard heatspreaders that we are all used to seeing from other manufactures. Corsair even takes it a step further by attaching the heatspreaders to the memory by using thermal epoxy then it's cured in an oven. This offers better heat transfer from the IC�s to the heatspreader.


    If you look in the top corner we see this is Corsairs 8th incarnation of their PC3200XMS series (XMS3208). Underneath the heatspreaders Corsair is using Samsungs newest IC�s which are rated for PC4000 (DDR500) speeds. This struck me as odd as we usually associate memory rated at these speeds with very loose latencies even at PC3200 speeds, but somehow Corsair has managed to pull some pretty impressive latencies at PC3200 speeds. This should also offer plenty of headroom for overclocking past PC3200 speeds. Testing
    The only other PC3200 ram I had to test against the Corsair was PMI�s 1024DP Dual Channel Kit with CAS latencies of 2-3-3-6. This gives the Corsair a slight advantage, as the 3200XLPRO is running lower latencies. I used SiSoft Sandra, and PCMark04 to test memory bandwidth along with 3DMark01, and UT2k4 for gaming performance. All Tests were run five times and the average score is what is represented below. Testing at 200fsb was used with a VDIMM voltage of 2.6. This is a little lower voltage than what Corsair used for their testing.

    Test System:
  • Intel Pentium4 3.0C
  • Abit IC-7 MAX3
  • ATI 9800PRO
  • Maxtor 80GIG 7200RPM SATA drive


  • Again we see the Corsair taking the lead by a healthy margin, and enabling GAT really shows some impressive numbers. Will the increased bandwidth result in better gaming performance?


    Hell yeah it does! With GAT enabled the Corsair out scores the PMI by 3.3%.


    Again the Corsair is out scoring the PMI as to be expected by the higher latencies of the PMI memory. Enabling GAT gave me 3.5% increase in speed over the PMI memory.

    Nothing new here, the Corsair pulls away and cleans up in all the benchmarks and memory bandwidth test, never giving the PMI a chance. Overclocking
    Now for the fun part! As I mentioned earlier Corsair is using Samsung�s newest IC�s rated at PC4000 (DDR500) speeds. Now this doesn�t necessarily mean we will hit PC4000 speeds, but it does give us a lot better chance than any other PC3200 memory on the market. We will be looking at two different sets of test here, one is the highest stable speed I was able to attain using the stock settings of CAS2 2-2-5, and the fastest overclocked speed at the lowest latencies possible.

    SiSoft Sandra 213FSB
    Int: 5231
    Float: 5202

    At stock latencies and 2.8 volts I was able to get 13 more MHZ over the stock speeds pretty impressive considering the ultra low latencies.

    SiSoft Sandra 250FSB
    Int: 6094
    Float: 5994

    I could not believe memory rated at PC3200 was capable of pulling speeds of PC4000 with out insane voltages. What was more impressive was the latencies I was able to achieve at these speeds. Check the thumbnail below for more information.



    That�s right CAS 2.5 3-3-6 at 250fsb 2.8 volts, never before have I seen such low latencies at these speeds. I would have liked to have gone higher, but after moving my Intel rig over to a smaller case and reseating the heatsink, my temps shot up by almost 8C. I have ran this 3.0C faster than 3.75 GHz before, but my temps simply didn�t allow me to go any higher. I feel there is plenty more headroom in these modules than what I attainted here today. I'll be sure to update the review when my water cooling block arrives for the P4.


    Conclusion
    I only had one problem with the memory and that is with the Plug-n-Frag. On my IC-7 MAX3 all the latencies were correct with the exception of the CAS latency which was 2.5, but on both my NF2, and NF3 250GB board the Plug-n-Frag worked just fine. The overclocking of this memory is just amazing, sure BH-5 can reach some really low latencies at high speeds but you need 3.2+ volts to attain those speeds. The Corsair is a lot more attractive to the average overclocker, as only the hardcore push there memory that hard..

    After my testing I don�t think BH-5 is going to be as popular as it has been in the past. I�ve really got to hand it to Corsair, I haven�t been this impressed with a stick of memory in a very long time. Once again Corsair shows why they are the leader in the memory market. If you have been looking for some really good PC3200 or hell even PC4000 look no further Corsair has you covered.

    Pros

     

    Cons