Corsair, along with Micron, is one other manufacturer in the US who actually produces their own PCB, memory chips, and assembles the two into a module. Corsair is known for producing high quality modules that are stable, and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Today we take look at Corsair’s latest DDR2 brand model of XMS2: the XM2 DHX 4GB 2 X2 GB DDR2 modules. The only question that we now have is: are these modules worth the bang for every buck?
- Each module set is tested together at 800MHz
- Tested and packaged together
- Packaged together immediately following system test
- Tested at JEDEC standard latency settings
- (5-5-5-18) at 1.8V
- SPD programmed at:
- JEDEC standard 5-5-5-18 values at 800MHz
- 4096 Megabytes of DDR2 memory
- Two matched CM2X2048-6400C5DHX modules
- Designed for 64-bit operating systems
- DHX technology for “maximum cooling”
- 100% tested at 800MHz in high performance
- DDR2 motherboards
- Lifetime warranty
The various medley of enthusiast performance memory comes with packages of 2GB or 4GB PC2 6400 kits with varying timings. For the consumer looking at all of their options, the XMS2 series offers a wide variety of RAM situated to any type of PC.
Both RAM modules come finely packaged in a plastic seal container in order of top to top. The design is meant to be more for technical benefits rather than for a fashion façade, but most people will definitely notice both the finely crafted structure and sleek finish.
The optimized “Airflow” design is created through extruded Aluminum Convective Heat Sinks. Each module is surrounded by a total of four heat sinks to take advantage of the airflow from CPU and case fans.
In addition to the optimized Airflow design, Corsair has been searching for years to the answer to provide relief to those who can’t afford to constantly upgrade their RAM and are searching for long time reliability. The answer? DHX. Dual-Path Heat Xchange (DHX) is Corsair’s new method of heat transfer, which it claims enhances performance of memory and reliability. From XM2 DHX and onward, such a heat efficiency transfer setup will be standard for Corsair’s future performance-memory modules. The new technology is claimed to offer dual action dissipation through conduction and convection. Thereby, offering performance, stability, and reliability to push a PC into its limits.
Our hardware was shnazzy. An Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield 2.4GHz LGA 775 Quad-Core Processor Model.
I 2x 2048 MB DDR2-800 (5-5-5-18)
GPU: 3 x EVGA 8800GTX SLI (650Mhz)
HDD: 2 x 500GB Seagate
DirectX Version: 10.0
OS Windows Vista x64, RC1 Refresh
For our terrific benchmarks, we chose the EVGA 780i A1 775 motherboard due to its touted overclocking capabilities. Pushing these memory sticks from 1.80V to 2.4V we had no problems at the stock MHz FSB setting. Using the BIOS we set the RAM to 2.4 V and tightening timings of the DIMM’s to CL4-4-4-12 and set the FSB speed to 500Mhz with a 9x multiplier, after which the system starts up and has no stability issues with the setup.
Advanced: Very High (All)
DivX 6.25 Version: 6.25 (4 Logical CPUs)
Certification Profile: High Definition Profile
Multipass, 3000 kbit/s
Encoding mode: Insane Quality
Version: 1.2.0 SMP Beta
Encoding type: Twopass – Single pass
Profile @ Level: DXN HT PAL
Target size (kbytes): 570000
We can see that the enthusiast and generic DDR2-800 modules have identical results and that the overclocked and much higher frequency DDR2-800 has only a marginal effect on Crysis performance. Why? It’s simple: most games, especially a game like Crysis, depends more on a fast graphics resolution and processor than on highest performing memory.
Sisoft Sandra XIII SP2
Generic DDR2 Integer Mb/s and Floating Point MB/s: 8319, 8142
DDR2 XMS2 Stock timings: 11982, 11967
Tighter timings: 11984, 11965
The performance gains of high end enthusiast memory can be seen in application performance such as video encoding, which rely heavily on the memory. In these results we can see that the tighter timings of the Corsair DDR2-800 module results in a 4.2% performance gain and the tighter timings and higher voltage of the Corsair DDR2-800 module gives it and a 4.46% gain over the generic DDR2-800 module.
Corsair released a series product that makes a difference in the huge difference in the enthusiast market space. If you have a powerful platform such as the test one, the XMS2 module will carry you on its wings to the world of unbelievable system performance. Even though memory performance doesn’t ideally create the largest factor in performance boost, it’s impressive to say that the XMS2 DHX product definitely marks its place in the performance suite. As long as you have a reasonable amount of XMS2 memory (ideally 2 GB), and even Auto timings—you will not be sorry.