Memory modules are quite often complicated, like the memory slots and integrated circuits they are placed into. Incontestably, most people underestimate the memory field and boil it down to simple tCAS-tRCD-tRP-tRAS timings, and plain speed and capability in terms of capacity. Kingston Technology introduces the HyperX memory DIMM’s, a series of modules that benefit from not only timings and capacity, but also lower power consumption and efficient heat regulation due to an aluminum spreader. While PC’s are making a steady advance to the DDR3 specification, Kingston Technology is directly giving consumers a reason to switch as soon as possible to enjoy terrific speeds with the Kingston HyperX DDR3-1866 6 GB Triple-Channel Kit, and moreover quality that is worth the full price.
Crucial is known for their line of Ballistix enthusiast memory in which hard work is put for lower latencies, maximum performance, and great reliability. The Crucial 4GB DDR3 PC3-8500 (CT2KIT25672BA1067) is not an exception. This kit, even without the signature of golden shaded aluminum heat spreaders, performs equally admirably, and should be in the direct eye fire of hardware, performance, and gaming enthusiasts alike.
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.
Intel, along with Kingston and Asus held a webcast to better explain a new concept called XMP, which simply stands for Extreme Memory Profiles. The technology is designed to give the new and amateur overclocker the confidence that is needed to properly overclock his computer with compatible hardware that will guarantee a certain level of overclocking with DDR3 modules that are XMP compatible. It also allows the enthusiast the opportunity to fine tune things even more and set their DDR3 modules to automatically start up a system in an overclocked state using one of two profiles that are available in the SPD of the modules.
Each DIMM manufacturer will be responsible to self-certify its parts with motherboard manufacturers and will be responsible to provide the results to Intel, who will then post an XMP compatibility chart on its website, so that the end user can have confidence that the parts that he is choosing will be a perfect fit, and give him the best chance at a maximum overclock of his system. Intel says that it will periodically perform audits on the parts to make sure that quality and compatibility are maintained.
With the announcement of this technology, Kingston and ASUS both revealed parts that either are or soon will be XMP certified.
XMP basically does three things:
- It ensures compatibility between DDR3 modules and the motherboards they will be working in.
- It allows the novice or new overclocker to have some security in their new venture into overclocking by providing a certain level of guaranteed success.
- It allows the enthusiast to be able to set their DDR3 modules to a confirmed setting that the can easily and quickly switch to for maximum performance at any given time.
XMP stands to be a great help in the area of stability in overclocking DDR3 modules, and could open the door to other exciting things as it becomes mainstream on today’s motherboards. For now, there are no plans to implement this on DDR2 modules, so if you will want to take advantage of XMP, you will have to invest in a pricey new system!
It is been two months since Crucial launched their first Crucial Ballistix DDR3 memory modules and while they were months behind other DDR3 manufacturers their 1600MHz kit has been a success. Since Micron and Crucial are one and the same it shouldn’t be a surprise that Crucial memory kits are able to perform above average. The kit is part of the Ballistix line, which is a higher performance series that is specifically built for enthusiasts who want to push the performance envelope of their system.
The new Ballistix DDR3 modules sport a new look thanks to the redesigned heat spreader with a clip-less design, giving the modules a cleaner look. The new Ballistix heat spreader design also features a Micron company logo on the heat spreader, which means that the modules use Micron memory IC’s. Crucial also uses black Printed Circuit Boards (PCB’s) on their Ballistix series, which give the modules a a tougher look over traditional green PCB’s. When it comes to warranties, Crucial warrants the original end customer of its products that their memory kits are free from defects in material and workmanship affecting form, fit, and functions for life. So, all Ballistix modules carry a lifetime warranty.
Benchmarking Overview & Conclusion
Sandra XII showed higher memory bandwidth in the OCZ kit, but the 276MB/Sec difference is only a 3.4% performance improvement. Again, the relaxed CL8 memory timings on the Ballistix kit are causing the differences.
When it comes to picking DDR3 memory kits companies are selling kits at a variety of frequencies, which can be a bit overwhelming for those that are new to DDR3 and the chipsets that use it. Right now there are six speed grades that DDR3 memory is available in: 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1375MHz, 1600MHz, 1800MHz and 1866MHz. Which is the right kit to invest in? Keep in mind that the Intel only officially supports 1333MHz on the Intel P35 and X38 Express chipsets. When it comes to density all Intel P35 Express chipsets support up to 8 GB of memory addressability, so density is certainly not a limitation these days when it comes to selecting a kit. So, why buy a 1600MHz memory kit when the chipsets are only rated to run at 1333MHz? Because Crucial does it right.
Kingston Technology just recently increased the capacity of its DataTraveler Mini Fun and DataTraveler Mini – Migo Edition USB flash drives. Previously, these flash drives were only available in 1GB and 2GB, the drives will now come in capacities up to 4GB. This little device now also features Sudoku as well as the previously included Atlantis from Big Fish Games. The drives measure 38mm x 19mm x 8mm and support USB 2.0 interface.
- Convenient: mini-size for easy portability
- Simple: plug and play into a USB port
- Functional: comes preloaded with Sudoku and Atlantis
- Capacities1: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB
- Dimensions: 1.5? x 0.75? x 0.31? (38mm x 19mm x 8mm)
- Operating temperature: 32° F to 140° F (0° C to 60° C)
- Compliant: designed to Hi-Speed USB 2.0 specifications
- Operating Systems: Windows Vista, Win 2000, Win XP, Mac OS 10.x and above, Linux Kernel 2.4 and above
- Bundled games support Windows Vista, XP, 2000 and DirectX 8.0
- Guaranteed: five-year warranty
The Kingston Mini Fun comes packed, in a plastic enclose. The body of the drive is almost as small as the USB plug. The size is great for anyone who loves smaller and smaller objects. The drive measures 1.5″ x 0.75″ x 0.31″ (38mm x 19mm x 8mm) is th exact size.
When most consumers look into getting a thumb drive they look at the price compared to how much stuff they can cram on it. Kingston has offered up a line of mini drives in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB ranging from an MSRP of $15 for the 1GB (yellow) drive, to an MSRP of $61 for the 4GB (red) drive. The Kingston DataTraveler Mini Fun series of Flash drives cost a little more than standard ‘plain’ Flash drives, but the Mini Fun is small and fun.