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Corsair TWINX1024-3200LLPRO

Looking for some high-quality, good-performing, and nice-looking DIMMs for your PC? Corsair’s XMS ProSeries line of memory modules may be what you’re looking for. Check out this review of the TWINX1024-3200LLPRO to see for yourself.

[review_ad]Introduction


In the business of computer memory, Corsair is one of the undeniable leaders. For years, Corsair has been producing high-quality memory modules. Today, the company offers various lines of desktop and server memory. The so-called Value Select line is meant to provide quality and performance at competitive prices, meaning this is the line that Corsair hopes frequently lures someone away from the generic DIMMs they were about to buy. For the more performance hungry PC users out there, Corsair offers its Xtreme Memory Speed or XMS line of DIMMs. This is Corsair’s flagship line of memory modules – the memory used by many enthusiasts throughout the world. Of course, various speeds, latencies and packages are available with these XMS modules. The XMS ProSeries is the cream of the crop, offering the largest heat spreaders and LED activity lights. Corsair also offers matched pairs of DIMMs that are tested in pairs in dual-channel configurations. The pairs that pass the suite of tests are sold as TwinX matched pairs. These matched pairs are available for nearly the complete line of XMS modules.

Although the TwinX modules are ideally suited for dual-channel motherboards, I recently had the chance to see what the TWINX1024-3200LLPRO could do with a couple Athlon 64 platforms, both of which are single-channel designs. The TWINX1024-3200LLPRO consists of two 512 megabyte DIMMS (CMX512-3200LLPRO) that feature low latency and the usual ProSeries features. Read on to see how the VIA K8T800 and the NVIDIA nForce3 chipsets do with this pair of DIMMS from Corsair.



Specifications & Features

I’ve listed the main specs and features for the TWINX1024-3200LLPRO below, but you may want to get more details about this memory and others in the XMS line over at Corsair’s XMS web page.

Features:

  • 1024 Megabytes of memory – Two CMX512-3200LLPRO DIMMS
  • High-efficiency aluminum XMS heatsink
    • 95% greater surface area than standard memory heatspreaders
    • Thermally bonded to the module
  • 18 activity LED’s show level of memory activity
  • Benchmarked over multiple chip sets, processors, and motherboards
  • Tested and packaged in pairs
    • Modules tested together in an Asus P4C800 or A7N8X test setup
  • Tested at DDR400 (200MHz) at ultra-low latency settings (2-3-2-6)
  • Lifetime warranty

Specifications:

  • Part Number: TWINX1024-3200LLPRO
  • Speed: 400 MHz (PC3200)
  • Size: 1024MB (2 x 512MB)
  • Package: 2 x 184 DIMM
  • Latency: 2-3-2-6
  • 32M x 8 DDR SDRAMs
  • Dimensions: Approximately 1.75″ tall x 5.41″ long x 0.30″ wide; 2.9 oz


The Two DIMMS

18 LEDs for a Light Show!

If you are wondering what these LEDs look like in action, you can check out this short AVI clip of them. This was borrowed from Shane’s review of the TWINX1024-4000PRO. The 3200LLPRO modules use the same big, LED-laden heatsinks, so the clip is representative of what you would see with any Corsair ProSeries DIMMs.

Performance


If you read my last two motherboard reviews (Leadtek K8N Pro and Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP), then you’ll probably recognize the test systems below, and you may remember that I used this exact memory in those two reviews. This way I can show the performance that you can expect with three different systems. I will also try overclocking the memory with the Gigabyte board a little bit to see how fast we can make this memory go! Keep in mind that the SPD memory timings for these modules are 2-3-2-6.

Since this review is focusing on the memory performance, I’m only including the memory benchmark numbers here. I used FutureMark’s PCMark04 (v 1.0.0) and SiSoftware’s Sandra 2004 (v 2004.10.9.89) to measure memory performance. If you’d like to know how these memory modules help out performance in 3DMark03 (v 3.2.0), AquaMark3, Unreal Tournament 2003 Demo, and Gun Metal, please refer to the Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP review I mentioned above, where you will find all these benchmarks.

Athlon 64 Test Systems:
  • Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP (BIOS version F4) or Leadtek WinFast K8N Pro (BIOS dated 9/18/2003)
  • AMD Athlon 64 3200+
  • Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 80GB Serial ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive w/8MB Buffer
nForce2 Comparison Test System:
  • Leadtek nForce2 Ultra 400 Delux Limited (BIOS dated 8/15/2003)
  • AMD Athlon XP 2500+ @ 3200+ (400MHz FSB, 2.2 GHz)
  • Western Digital 80GB SE 8MB Buffer HDD

The following elements of the three test systems were the same:

  • GeForce FX 5950 Ultra
  • Corsair TWINX1024-3200LLPRO (2x512MB DDR-SDRAM)
  • Operation System: Windows XP with Service Pack 1
  • Chipset Driver: nForce systems – 3.13, VIA system – 4.48
  • Graphics Card Driver: Forceware 53.03
  • DirectX Version: 9.0b

Benchmark Results

PCMark04 (version 1.0.0)

Motherboard
Score
Memory Score
Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP 3584
Leadtek WinFast K8N Pro 3658
Leadtek nForce2 Ultra 400 2596

SiSoftware Sandra (version 2004.10.9.89)

Memory Bandwidth – Int Buffered (MB/s)
Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP 2958
Leadtek WinFast K8N Pro 3032
Leadtek nForce2 Ultra 400 2805
Memory Bandwidth – Float Buffered (MB/s)
Gigabyte GA-K8VNXP 2959
Leadtek WinFast K8N Pro 3035
Leadtek nForce2 Ultra 400 2635

It appears as if the nForce3 allows this Corsair memory to stretch its legs a little more than the other chipsets here. All platforms are performing respectably, though. It’s good to see that the next generation chipsets, even though they utilize a single-channel memory architecture, are performing better than the nForce2 chipset did in dual-channel mode.

Overclocking

Using the Gigabyte board, I was able to overclock the memory’s frequency from 400MHz (effective) to 420MHz, and I was happy with that. So, I re-ran the same benchmarks. I experienced no stability issues when running them with the overclocked frequency. I also increased the DRAM voltage from 2.5V to 2.6V. Here are the overclocking results:

PCMark04 – Memory Score 3635
Sandra – Memory Bandwidth – Int Buffered 3095 MB/s
Sandra – Memory Bandwidth – Float Buffered 3097 MB/s

For the five percent increase in memory clock, we get near a 5 percent increase in memory bandwidth as reported by Sandra. However, we get only about a 1.5 percent performance boost in PCMark04’s memory score.

Conclusion


The Corsair TWINX1024-3200LLPRO provides good performance and cool looks in one nice package. The activity lights add a little extra flare to your windowed case, and the large aluminum heatspreaders should help keep a system stable. These little extras that the ProSeries adds over the corresponding ‘regular’ XMS modules (e.g. TWINX1024-3200LL) do add a bit more to the price of this set. With the help of PriceGrabber, I was able to find the TWINX1024-3200LLPRO for a litte more than $280. The non-Pro version of this pair of DIMMs can be had for around $30 less.

I think that Corsair’s TWINX1024-3200LLPRO is a good choice of memory for people building a system that they expect to have the memory clocked at DDR400 speeds or slightly above. This memory pair could possibly be pushed even higher, but, as always, overclocking results will vary from one configuration to another.

Pros:

  • Nice, big heat spreader
  • Activity LEDs are cool for a case with a window
  • Respectable performance

    Cons:

  • Their size could cause problems with big CPU coolers

    Because I like the looks, performance, and undeniable coolness of the Corsair TWINX1024-3200LLPRO, I’m awarding it a 9 out of 10 and the Bjorn3D Seal of Approval!


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