Corsair 4400C25: Taking Samsung TCCD to New Heightsby Wesley Fink on January 4, 2005 12:05 AM EST
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Corsair PC4400Corsair is the most universally-recognized brand of enthusiast memory. However, for quite a while, Corsair had no interest in being included in comparative memory roundups as they referred to themselves as "the BMW of memory providers". There was even a period of time where Corsair refused to provide review samples to websites that did reviews comparing Corsair memory to other brands. Fortunately, the thinking at Corsair has changed in the last few months, and Corsair is again actively sampling websites like AnandTech, which insist that comparisons are the best way to evaluate products. We are really glad that Corsair is active in AnandTech memory reviews again, and we were very excited to see what Corsair had done at the high end with their new DDR550 memory.
As you can see in the photo, the DIMMs are identified as CMX512-4400C25P with an ID of XMS 4404v1.1. Corsair supplies the new DDR550 memory as a matched pair of SS 256MB, called TwinX512-4400C25, and as a matched pair of double-sided 512MB DIMMs, identified as TwinX1024-4400C25. For testing, Corsair supplied a pair of double-sided 512MB DIMMs with aluminum platinum-colored heatspreaders. This 1GB pair is the same configuration tested in other AnandTech reviews of Samsung TCCD memory.
The DIMMs are mounted on a PCB that appears identical to a PCB used on a few other top TCCD DIMMs. The PCB ID is BP MLL E186014, which appears to be the top performing Brainpower PCB used by OCZ, Geil and G. Skill, just to name a few. This PCB has developed quite a reputation for top performance at high speeds with Samsung TCCD, so we expect great high-end results from this Corsair DDR550. Those of you wondering how to identify a Brainpower PCB will be pleased to know that it is distinguishable by just 8 components along the lower edge of the back side of the DIMM - just above the slot fingers. Most other PCBs that we have seen used with TCCD are strewn with components along this edge on both sides. This quick ID method will change with future designs, but if you see DIMM side with just a very few components above the slot, it is likely the brainpower PCB.
With the heatspreader removed, you can also clearly see that the memory chips are definitely Samsung TCCD. As you will see in our review, the behavior curve for this Corsair DDR550 is a bit different than what you have seen in other TCCD reviews. We wanted to make sure that we were indeed dealing with Samsung TCCD and not some new variant of Hynix chips or a special unlabeled bin developed by a chip manufacturer for Corsair.
|Corsair PC4400 Specifications|
|Number of DIMMs & Banks||2 DS|
|Rated Timings||2.5-4-4-5 at DDR550
Typically 2-2-2-5 at DDR400
|SPD (Auto) Timings||2.5-4-4-8|
With Intel's introduction this summer of the Intel 915/95 chipsets with support for DDR2 memory, the primary market for DDR memory has become the excellent AMD Athlon 64 platform. However, some 915 boards also support DDR, and the continuing Intel Socket 478 also supports DDR memory. For these reasons, Corsair DDR550 was tested on both the standard Intel 478 memory test bed and our newest Athlon 64 Socket 939 test bed.