The Return of 2-2-2: Corsair 3200XL & Samsung PC4000by Wesley Fink on June 15, 2004 9:00 PM EST
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Several weeks ago, we began hearing about a brand new Corsair memory based on new Samsung chips that promised 2-2-2 memory timings at DDR400. Since common knowledge has been that 2-2-2 died with Winbond BH5, we were very interested in seeing what all of the commotion was about.
Corsair announced the availability of their new 3200XL modules on May 26th. This was followed the next day with announcements of similar products by OCZ and Mushkin, also based on the new Samsung chips. Samsung themselves also contacted AnandTech in this same time frame to ask if we would like to review their newest DDR500 memory. We asked all four manufacturers if they could supply us review samples of the new memory. Upon our return from Computex, both Corsair and Samsung had samples waiting for us.
Since the demise of Winbond BH5 memory chips, 2-2-2 memory has essentially been dead at DDR400. Corsair and others have produced DDR400 2-2-3 and 2-3-3 parts based on Winbond CH5 and other memory chips; however, 2-2-2 all but vanished as supplies of Winbond BH5 and BH6 disappeared. Other manufacturers like OCZ took a different route with innovative products like Extended Bandwidth memory that is extremely fast, but does not depend on the lowest CAS timings for best performance.
The new modules based on the new Samsung chips don't just promise DDR400 2-2-2 performance like BH5. They actually promise a great deal more with headroom to DDR500, something we never achieved with even the best modules based on Winbond BH5. Do these new products live up to their claims?