Test Bed Setup

Windows XP is still the preferred operating system for 90% of the synthetic and 3D programs when benchmarking. We also utilized Vista 64 Ultimate to confirm memory stability in some of the 3D benchmarks with the entire memory footprint mapped and available. This allows us to find bandwidth limits at heavier system loads than those imposed by Super Pi under XP Pro.

We ran each benchmark five times with the high and low scores tossed out and the remaining scores averaged. We utilized fresh operating system installations for each memory kit. We reboot the system between each benchmark program change, clear the prefetch folder, and then defragment the drive between reboots to ensure the results are consistent.

We’ve got a choice of 3 sub-zero temperature friendly CPU’s in the labs (all D0 stepping). Surprisingly enough the 975 D0 taps out earliest, and just about crawls to 5GHz providing the QPI link frequency multiplier is left at the lowest possible setting. We had expected this processor to give us the requisite flexibility of pushing these kits to the pinnacle of their ability, but the i7 920 and W3540 Xeon proved to be the better choice for raw bandwidth on both sides of the bus.

We matched memory sub timings on both modules, right down to Round Trip latency parameters in a bid to ensure that maximum frequency scaling is not hindered by incorrectly sensed values. EVGA’s Classified E760 motherboard provides BIOS level overrides for almost all memory parameters as well as auto presets for all available sub-timings based on SPD information.

Index CAS 7 or CAS 8, That is the Question
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  • justniz - Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - link

    DONT BUY CORSAIR PRODUCTS.

    Their warranty is a scam and their customer support is insultingly useless.

    I RMA'd $680 worth of memory that was advertised as fully covered with a lifetime waranty. Now they refuse to offer anything other than $90 worth of much lower performing memory. Basically I paid for a Ferrari under lifetime warranty and they will only offer a Daewoo as a replacement.

    All emails to Corsair are either ignored or take days for a response which is mostly just an automated or canned reply that contains no information and is of no actual help. Their customer phone support takes ages to get through, then you speak to someone who hardly speaks English, is technically clueless, and has no authority to make any actual decisions.

    Their phone and email system is designed to completely prevent you from getting to anyone that is actually empowered enough to help you.

    Worst experience ever. I will never buy any Corsair products again.
    My only recourse against them is to share my experience with you, the world, so that you won't make the same mistake I did.

    DONT BUY CORSAIR PRODUCTS.
    Reply
  • BlackDragon24 - Thursday, July 09, 2009 - link

    I'm really glad you took the time to write this article Raja. I went thru two of the top end OCZ blade elpida kits in three days. First kit fried in the first hyperpi32M run only running 1.60 vdimm and 1600 memory speed. Second kit failed after three days while running only 1800mhz with 1.63 vdimm. Third set seems to be running like a champ so far (about 3 months), but I am afraid it won't last long.

    Luckily OCZ was a champ about the whole thing and took care of me very quickly. I would expect as much with $450 memory.

    Hopefully if these fail they'll have a comparable replacement part.
    Reply
  • bobsmith1492 - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    I would recommend graphing the test results vs. CAS value and clock speed in a 3D graph where CAS is one axis, clock speed is the other axis, and the vertical axis is the test results. That could be a good visual aid to the first block of numbers of test results.

    Other combinations, like processor clock and RAM clock might help also - of course the non-graphed variables would have to remain constant.
    Reply
  • mataichi - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    I bought some Kingston HyperX T1, and they crapped out after a few weeks. I RMA'd them with Kingston and they said it would be about a month before they had any more in stock.
    Luckily they offered to refund the purchase price, so I took it.
    Reply
  • kitfit1 - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    Once all the others come into line and "pull" their Elpida as well, the question then is, will they replace ALL the Elpida ram in the wild.
    As no one knows if they have suspect ram (until it dies), the ram company's should do a re-call in the same way that car company's have to do. Then they can replace it with whatever comes after Elpida.
    Reply
  • navilor - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    According to Corsair:
    http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7...">http://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7...

    We have seen a number of reports across various forums about failures of modules (from Corsair as well as from other memory manufacturers) built with Elpida “Hyper” RAMs. Through lab testing, we have now been able to reproduce similar failures. We are continuing to test to determine the cause of these failures. Note that although a relatively small percentage of “Hyper” ICs appear to be affected, the rate of failure is not acceptable to Corsair or to our customers.

    Due to these failures, we will no longer sell Hyper-based modules until the issue can be resolved. We have also have asked our retailers to return any modules they currently have on their shelves. Products impacted include TW3X4G1600C6GTF, TR3X6G1866C7GTF, TR3X6G2000C8GTF, TR3X3G2000C7GTF, and TR3X6G2000C7GTF. We are working on enhancing our manufacturing and testing process to be able to offer these parts again as soon as possible.

    We continue to stand behind these modules 100% with our standard warranty, which can be found at http://www.corsair.com/warranty/default.aspx">http://www.corsair.com/warranty/default.aspx.
    Reply
  • Rajinder Gill - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    I think most automobile recalls are due to safety issues more than anything else. We can hope that if there is no such recall here, that the lifetime warranty that OCZ and Corsair offer on these modules will be honored should they happen to fail for users in the future.

    regards
    Raja
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    The price/performance of these modules is so ludicrous that I find myself not even caring...

    Give me half a year and I'll leave your OC'd $5K+ system in the dust for half the price.
    Reply
  • vol7ron - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    That's because you're not one of the enthusiasts the article was written for. In 6 months, you will not leave a $5K system in the dust for only $2.5K. That's guaranteed.

    Now, if you meant that you could beat a $5K 2009-07-08 system in 2010-01-08 with $2.5K, then that's not really saying anything. In fact, I'm not sure 6 months is enough time these days that it would go down 1/2 price, I would imagine it'd be about 3/4 price in that time and probably a year to turn around; mainly because the bubble for performance enhancement is about to burst.

    Even to say if your statement was true, you could do the same today with half the price of a system 6 mo. prior.

    I guess I'm writing so much about this because I have a problem with your statement in general; especially considering the facts made and context of the article, which you're arguably not the target audience for.
    Reply
  • Dreamwalker - Wednesday, July 08, 2009 - link

    Just read at guru3d.com

    http://www.guru3d.com/news/corsair-pulls-dominator...">http://www.guru3d.com/news/corsair-pulls-dominator...
    Reply

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