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PC Buyers Guide - September 2002 - Memory

We're at it again. With all the new toys hitting the marketplace, it was time to update the TweakTown Buyers Guide. There are some mighty hot tickets that have been added to the list so come join Nick Swan as he tells you what is hot... and what is not!

| Guides | Posted: Sep 2, 2002 4:00 am

RDRAM

 

- Samsung RIMM 4200

 

Times on list: New

 

 

The new RIMM 4200 (and 3200) sticks are like dual channel RIMM's that are based on a 1066MHz RDRAM and 800MHz RDRAM designs. As they are dual channel, they are basically two sticks of PC1066 or PC800 RDRAM stuck on one PCB. This means you do not have to install RDRAM in pairs, as the 32-bit wide bus is present on just the one stick. Other than that, its the same as conventional PC1066 RDRAM.

 

At the moment, the only board this will fit into is the ASUS P4T533, and getting that board is still a little difficult. However, getting these RIMM 4200 sticks in Australia is even more difficult and I have only seen them for sale in a bundle with the mobo. If you can find this combination, and aren't into overclocking too much, this will suit you nicely, but other than that, I'd leave it alone, as its way to hard to find, and doesn't overclock as well as the DDR RAM below.

 

- Find the best price on RDRAM

 

DDR Memory

 

- Corsair CAS 2 XMS3200 (PC3200) DDR SDRAM 256/512MB

 

Times on list: New

 

Corsair's website for this product

 

 

While Kingmax, Samsung and Winbond may have PC3200 DDR RAM on the market, the Corsair RAM was chosen because of its proven reliability at very high FSB speeds. This model of RAM is certified to run at 200MHz FSB (400MHz DDR) with settings of 2-3-3 and a 1T command rate. At 166MHz FSB (333 DDR) they are certified to run at 2-2-2 and a 1T command rate. These modules use eight 8*32M chips and comes with a pre-installed heat sink to help keep the temperature down when running extreme FSB's. They also come with a lifetime warranty.

 

Another module to look out for is the Winbond PC3200 DDR RAM sticks. They are rated for CAS 2.5 at 400MHz, and the RAM chips on these sticks are also used by Corsair on their PC3200 sticks (both CAS 2 and 2.5 varieties). If you are going to buy one of these, make sure its the 5ns variety, or you're actually buying PC2700 RAM.

 

Samsung also has a PC3200 DDR RAM stick on the market, but they are having problems working on many boards, because a lot of boards have trouble with the RAM's CAS 3 timing. Thus, I would steer clear from that stick until its problems are sorted.

 

If you want to buy a P4/533MHz FSB and an i845E/G motherboard, this is the best DDR RAM to buy. It will overclock the best allowing you to regain some of the extra memory bandwidth you can't obtain without PC1066 RDRAM, but if your after no frills RAM, but still decent performance, without the cost of RDRAM, look below.

 

- Find the best price on Corsair DDR memory!

 

- Kingmax PC2700 DDR RAM

 

Times on list: New

 

Kingmax's website for this product

 

 

This time I'm going to take a different slant on the value RAM, and recommend some that's not really an overclockers friend, but certainly does get the job done at default, and a little above default speeds.

 

If you're after overclocking DDR RAM, the only real option left to you is Corsair, now that the generic Samsung PC2700 sticks have changed revisions (from CTL to DTL) and now won't overclock anywhere near as well. To add to the argument, Corsair has the new CAS 2 PC3200 sticks on the market, which has taken overclocking RAM to new heights, so the stick to get is certainly that one. As a result, I've gone for a RAM stick that will work brilliantly in a PC that's running at or near default speeds, and one that is a lot cheaper than the Corsair RAM.

 

This Kingmax PC2700 stick is rated for PC2700 speeds at CAS 2.5, is built from the newer TinyBGA RAM chips, comes in 128/256/512MB varieties, and costs about AUD$160, which is very reasonable for a 256MB stick. Lately there have been rumors of a 166MHz FSB Athlon XP (333MHz DDR FSB), and soon Intel will be releasing i845 Chipsets that support DDR 333 RAM, so buying PC2700 RAM will be a good, cost effective choice in the future.

 

If your after some RAM that won't break the bank, but isn't cheap and nasty, this is going to be it. If your after some to overclock with, look above, but otherwise, head to your local PC shop and get some of this.

 

- Find the best price on Kingmax PC2700 DDR RAM

 

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