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PC Buyers Guide - October 2002 - Memory

You've all been waiting for it and now its here! Come join Nick Swan as he gives us the newest edition of the TweakTown Buyer's Guide. With some very interesting additions to the PC world this past month, it is time to see what was worthy to be added to the ranks of the best. Come see for yourself!

| Guides | Posted: Oct 12, 2002 4:00 am

RDRAM

 

- Samsung RIMM 4200

 

Times on list: 1

 

 

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, it is 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 motherboard. 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 it is way too hard to find and doesn't overclock as well as the DDR RAM below.

 

- Find the best price on RDRAM

 

DDR Memory

 

- Corsair XMS3500 DDR RAM (PC3500)

 

Times on list: New

 

Corsair's website for this product

 

 

Corsair only just managed to scrape into this section of the memory guide as I was originally going to recommend TwinMos PC3200 DDR RAM, which uses the brand new 5ns Winbond chips. The reason I was going to recommend RAM that would probably look like generic rubbish to a lot of people was the fact that it used the new Winbond 5ns chips. The previous performance king, Corsair's XMS3200, only used 6ns chips which are actually rated to just 166MHz. This means that the Corsair XMS3200 modules are actually overclocked PC2700 RAM - the TwinMos stick and its 5ns chips are not overclocked RAM. Thus, the TwinMos sticks were ideal. Add to that reports that the sticks could go upwards of 225MHz in CAS 2, and the TwinMos sticks were perfect for overclocking.

 

Only a few days ago, Corsair released their PC3500 DDR RAM based on the Winbond 5ns chips. With Corsairs excellent quality, and excellent overclocking, I have decided to recommend these, even though I haven't seen any results about their overclocking. It is a gamble, but I think it will pay off. 5 minutes before writing this sentence I looked at the Corsair website and they now list the RAM as being able to run at 217MHz using the timings: 2-4-4-8-1T. To most people that won't mean anything, and if your one of them, think of it this way: To get this stick of RAM to only be able to run at relaxed timings (i.e. slower performance), you will need to do some SERIOUS overclocking, and thus wouldn't be reading this. For most people, the RAM will run at their everyday speed at the most aggressive timings possible (i.e. best possible performance), without raising a sweat.

 

In terms of pure number crunching performance, these Corsair sticks, along with most of their other XMS range of RAM, are among the best performing sticks. The only real downside with this product is the price - all the XMS sticks from Corsair are quite a bit more expensive than sticks of the same speed rating from other manufacturers. However, remember that Corsair sticks perform brilliantly and are by far the best overclockers, and to cap it off, they all come with a lifetime warranty which would certainly account for some of the price difference.

 

If you're after the best DDR RAM on the market, get this and nothing else, but try and ignore the price tag.

 

- Find the best price on Corsair DDR memory!

 

- Kingmax PC2700 DDR RAM

 

Times on list: New

 

Kingmax 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, as well as 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 AU$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 you're after some RAM that won't break the bank, but isn't cheap and nasty, this is going to be it. If you're 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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