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DDR-400 Dual Channel Memory Roundup - Part 1 - Terminology

Dual Channel, Dual Channel, Dual Channel - it is one of the key buzzwords taking the IT industry by storm at the moment courtesy of chipsets from nVidia and Intel. Which Dual Channel branded memory kit do you choose? Do you even need actual branded Dual Channel memory? Which overclocks the fastest? Shawn "Toxic" Baker answers all these questions in this 20-page monster roundup comparing memory from Crucial, Mushkin, Kingmax, TwinMOS, Buffalo and Corsair!

By: | Editorials in RAM | Posted: Jun 22, 2003 4:00 am



Throughout the review a few different terms will pop up and instead of having to explain them as we go along we will give you a quick run down on some of the terms you will see with in the article.


- CAS or CAS Latency is terms that you see in many memory reviews. As explained in a previous review on TweakTown:


"CAS latency is the time delay from when the module will process the task, 3 was more common in SDRAM a few years ago, for a while now the most common CAS latency is 2.5. High speed memory uses a CAS latency of 2 which of course helps carry out the task quicker; overall this gives you quicker memory and the opportunity to get the most out of your system. Some motherboards have the option to go to a CAS Latency of 1.5, but the difference between this and 2 are very minimal and do put a lot of extra stress on your system due to the extreme speeds."


- PC3200 or PC3500 are names for the memory we are testing today, these numbers translate into the maximum bandwidth in this case - 3.2GB/s or 3.5GB/s respectively. These numbers then equate to a DDR speed which is 400MHz for PC3200 and 433MHz for PC3500. What you are after when purchasing memory is the highest MHz speed and the lowest CAS latency memory timings, in the end this will give you the fastest memory possible in theory. What we will see is if these big numbers mean anything when it comes to real world performance.


- TinyBGA is a technology that is really only seen on video cards, Kingmax as an exception have been able to implement it into their own line of memory for normal PC use for around 6 years. TinyBGA helps by reducing modules size, lowering prices, increase signal integrity and help reduce temperatures since it does not require as much power to operate.


While these aren't all the terms you will read in this article, they are the most common that you will see. With the jargon out of the way we will get straight into having a look at what modules we have and what they can do.


Further Reading: Read and find more RAM content at our RAM reviews, guides and articles index page.

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