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Reviewed by: Trevor Flynn [08.12.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson

Manufactured by: Corsair

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Test Bed Specifications

For testing purposes the Corsair XMS memory modules were setup with an AIUGA Athlon XP 2100+ running on an Epoxy 8rda+ rev 1.1 motherboard containing an MSI GeForce4 TI4200 video card and a WD WJ40GB ATA100, 7200rpm, 8MB HDD. A clean install of Windows XP Professional with SP1 as well as installation of the latest nForce and detonator drivers proceeded the testing. The same setup was used for our reference memory: 2x256MB Samsung PC2700 DDR333 memory.

In order to obtain comprehensive results, we've run the memory chips at a number of settings. First we tested both chips at their stock settings. Next we overclocked the processor to be synced with the stock memory setting. Finally we tested for performance at the highest possible overclock we were able to achieve with each memory set. We also made sure to test at each setting in both single and dual channel mode. Sound interesting? Let's see how things worked out.

The Performance

Now one thing to note before things get underway here. As we are using a nForce2 based motherboard which, although allows for asynchronous FSB settings, does so as a percentage of the CPU FSB.  Because of this, when referring to the "stock" setting for the XMS PC3500 we effectively mean only 200mhz and not the spec'd rate of 217mhz.

Secondly, it would seem that the Samsung memory was at the low end of the quality bin. Although we were able to run it successfully at 133/166 speeds, once synched with the CPU at 166/166 we were unable to get a stable boot. We attribute the bulk of these problems to the fact that they two sticks are the cheap OEM versions and by no means matched pairs.  Finally, the Corsair chips were run at the stock 2-2-2-3 timings while at 400mhz and the highest stable timings of 2-3-3-4 while at 460mhz. The Samsung chips were run at it's stock timing of 2.5-4-4-6.

We've used three separate memory benchmarks, along with two real world ones during our testing.  First off is the ever popular Sisoft Sandra 2003. 

Next we did a quick run of PCmark2003

Finally we finished the synthetic benches off with Aida32.

To measure real world performance we've used two test from the Winstone suite of benchmarks.  These test run a sequence of tasks using the most popular application on the market today. Let's start thing off with the Content Creation test.

Finally we finish things off with a run of the Business Winstone test.

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