Today, Corsair officially introduces the PRO series of XMS memory. All of the new PRO series modules feature a new cast aluminum heatsink and flashing LED “activity lights”. According to Corsair, the following modules will be immediately available:
  • TwinX1024-4000PRO — matched pair of 512MB, DDR500 modules
  • TwinX1024-3200C2PRO — matched pair of 512MB, DDR400 modules
  • CMX512-4000PRO — 512MB, DDR500 module
  • CMX512-3200C2PRO — 512MB, DDR400 module
We will be taking a closer look at the improved DDR500 memory in a 1GB kit. In our DDR500 roundup in Searching for the Memory Holy Grail — Part 2, Corsair was competitive, but was not the best-performing memory in the roundup. With the new 4000 PRO, we will be comparing Corsair’s second generation DDR500 to the earlier Corsair TwinX1024-4000 and the best DDR500 modules from our recent tests.

As you can see, the Pro modules are taller, at 1.75" than regular XMS memory. This is most likely to allow room for the LED array that shows memory activity. The cast aluminum heatsink has fins that Corsair claims increases surface area by 95% compared to standard aluminum ramsinks, which should increase the cooling ability. There are also 18 LED’s in 3 different colors — green, yellow, red — which show the level of memory activity.

Certainly, the new flashing LED’s will give another option to case modding. Those who prefer side windows and an attention-grabbing appearance will welcome the activity LED’s. The flashing 3-color display puts on quite a show compared to the more conventional memory designs.

Corsair tests the DDR500 modules in an Asus P4C800 motherboard and the modules are programmed to JEDEC 3200 (DDR400) values There is no official standard yet for DDR500, but all of the manufacturers seem to be using the 875/865 chipset motherboards to verify their high-speed performance. There is frankly no real need for DDR500 on the current fastest Athlon chipsets, since neither the chipsets nor the Athlon CPUs have shown any capability of reaching DDR500 performance levels. While this may change with the introduction of Athlon64, the DDR500 and high-speed memory phenomenon is, for now, an Intel chipset playground — primarily related to the Intel 875/865 chipsets.

With the TwinX1024-3200C2PRO, Corsair tests performance in both an Asus A7N8X nForce2 Ultra 400 board and the P4C800 Intel 875 motherboard. This looks very sensible since Athlon fans will more likely need DDR400 to DDR433 memory for best performance.

Performance Test Configuration
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  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    Witness the only two paragraphs that have the word univeral: I got excited thinking they may work in the place of DDR2.

    However, if you want it all — great timings at DDR400, top performance at DDR500, and a reasonable compromise on the top overclock you can achieve above DDR500 — then Corsair TwinX1024-4000PRO should be your choice. The Corsair CMX512-4000PRO modules and the matched modules in the TwinX kit are the only DDR500 that we have tested that come close to Universal High-Speed memory for the 865/875 platform. They even make sense for Athlon fans who want decent DDR400 performance now and a hedge for that future Socket 939 that will handle regular unbuffered memory.

    We have heard that Corsair 4000 PRO is the first of many “Universal” modules that will soon appear from other manufacturers and that is certainly great news. But for now, Corsair 4000 PRO is the only Universal high-speed memory.
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    if you guis can get an ocz pc4000 gold i believe it will support CAS2 i ddr400 and will outperform corsair xms4000pro in ddr400. at the same, time it will most probably overclock better than the corsair. And btw, i will be very glad to see Geil pc-4200 ddr533 in this coparison.
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    Corsair has just emailed AnandTech with additional information:

    "All our 4000 modules use the same Hynix die, which are the fastest die available currently. Our 3200C2 ProSeries modules use 5ns rev.C Winbond chips."

    We have been told by other sources that Hynix has a new high-speed chip, and it appears Corsair is the first to use it in production memory.

  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    In my humble opinion these memory types are getting a little bit too much attention. Nobody really needs them at about three times the regular price level. Granted, many will still be excited about these thing regardless of their actual needs. No offense intended. :)
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    When do you think you will be able to get a sample of OCZ PC4000 Gold for review?
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    Why it is "Universal" High-Speed memory is explained in the review. The Corsair 4000PRO is the first memory rated DDR500 that can also run CAS 2 at DDR400, and compete with the fastest DDR400 memory available.

    We supply several price-check links on the Anand-Tech page. We also do periodic updates of BEST prices and memory is now included in those updates. Since launch prices are often higher and prices fluctuate over time, we rarely mention a specific price in a review.
  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 - link

    Ummm, wesley, what makes the memory "universal" ?

    Currently, Spartan technologies lists these on pricewatch as $217 for a 512mb stick and $427 for a twinx of 2*512mb. I am always suspicious of reviews where the price is never mentioned .

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