FAST 2GB DDR Kits - Part 2

by Wesley Fink on January 23, 2006 12:05 AM EST
The New 2GB DDR Kits

The six new kits fall into 2 groups: three kits are rated at DDR400 and three are rated at DDR500.

 Manufacturer  Description
(Memory Chips)
 Memory Speed  Rated Timings  Voltage
Corsair TWINX2048-4000PT
(Samsung UCCC)
500DDR 3-4-4-8 2.6V
Crucial CLIII5N.32 PN56278
500DDR 3-3-3-8 2.6V
G. Skill F1-3200PHU2-2GBZX
(Infineon B Die)
400DDR 2-3-2-5 2.6V
Kingston KHX3200AK2/2G
(Probably Infineon B Die)
400DDR 2.5-3-3-7 2.6V
Mushkin 2GB Redline XP4000
(Infineon C die)
500DDR 3-3-2-8 2.6V
Team XTreem TXDR 1024M400HC2
(Infineon B die)
400DDR 2-3-3-5 2.6V

Two of the DDR400 parts, from G. Skill and Kingston, appear to be based on Infineon B die memory chips, BE5 or BE6. The third DDR400 from Team reached a higher DDR533, but is still likely based on the Infinity B die. The Infineon B die normally performs very well to the DDR480 to DDR 500 range. The DDR500 kit from Mushkin is likely based on Infineon C die memory chips, CE5 or CE6. The C die chips are nearly as fast at slower memory speeds as B die, but they overclock further to the DDR550 to DDR580 range.

Crucial is the marketing arm of Micron, so Crucial is the only 2GB kit featuring Micron memory chips. The Micron-based 2GB chip performs exceptionally well, but availability has been an issue since the Crucial 2GB kit was first introduced. Apparently, yields have been and remain an issue with this 2GB kit.

Corsair submitted a "Value" DDR500 2GB kit for Part 2 that is based on Samsung UCCC memory chips. The Samsung parts are about 60% the price of Infineon 2GB kits. Corsair tells us that the chips are a bit slower in memory timings, but the overclocking capabilities are very good - matching or exceeding the OC capabilities of the Infineon 2GB kits.

This is a very wide range of 2GB kits, and with the retest of our three earlier kits, we will have results from nine 2GB kits to help you choose the 2GB DDR kit that is right for your needs and budget.

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  • PrinceGaz - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    "... 2GB also makes sense for the OS future. With Vista coming and 2GB, the new memory recommendation for the new OS, you will be set for Vista."

    I was under the impression that the minimum is expected to be 512MB, and that 1GB will be recommended for good responsiveness under normal use. Having said that, I would personally choose 2GB for any new system as pairs of 1GB DDR (and of course DDR2) modules are now readily available and competitively priced. Unfortunately most big-name OEM systems are still shipping with either 512MB, or if you're lucky 1GB.
  • bigtoe36 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Being honest we have had some supply issues, and some issues regarding supply that are out of our control. We do have stock and will have more real soon.

  • bigtoe36 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    This was to counter any moans about availability before they were posted.
  • emilyek - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    You guys tested the worst GSKILL kit.

    Their pc4000 2 gig kit (speed-binned version of that kit) is the same price as the 2-3-2-5 chip ($200) and will do DDR580

    Their $250 kit 2-3-2-5 would contend with the Mushkin and the Crucial at a much lower cost.
  • Wesley Fink - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    The Silver Editors Choice Corsair 4000PT, and the OCZ PC4000 Gold and PC4000GX XTC, also based on UCCC chips, are all in the $205 to $230 price range for the 2GB kit from e-tailers. So $250 for a UCCC kit seems in line but hardly a bargain.

    As for testing the worst G. Skill, we asked all the memory manufacturers to supply their "best" 2GB kit for our roundup. The manufacturers decided what to supply, and we expect Enthusiast memory makers to know what is best in their line.
  • irev210 - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    The crucial memory is amazing memory.

    I was able to get it stable at 3-3-3-8 @ 300mhz, but you really need to spend some time on the settings, it is VERY picky memory. Both tras and drive strength play huge factory in memory stability.

    Yes, it is suspected that due to really high RMA they discontinued, however what anandtech doesnt report is what actually happens to the memory.

    Even at 2.8vcore or less PLUS active cooling, 1 2 or 3 months down the line your memory will just start dying.

    Thinks like memtest86 will check out fine, but then while gaming, your rig will just lock up. Random bluescreens, random lockups...

    There is a big story to these ballistix, it is too bad they simply have a HUGE rate of failure. Do a ddr2 roundup, then you will see how many people use micron fatbodies for their high performance ddr2 memory. You dont see that with the high density memory, and obviously i suspect due to stability issues.

    My advice for memory is the g.skill F1-4000USU2-2GBHZ based on samsung ram, it has been doing well, and g.skill has awesome customer service.

    I personally am going to wait for ddr2 before going with 1gb sticks, then ballistix 2gb set is on my list. But that is just me.
  • Bull Dog - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    I'm another Ballistix memory user here. I ran mine at 2.75v the whole time and they just died after a while. Screw you Crucial/Micron. I will NEVER buy your products AGAIN. (I don't care if they have zero problems eitehr.
  • gooser - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Now what about the tracers?? I just purchased the 2 GB tracers last week knowing about the issues with the regular ballistix after a couple of months. I have read that the tracers use a higher quality power modulator, thus dont have the same problem. Anyone?
  • lopri - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    Lots of work and outstanding comments. Thanks. This review, along with the Part I, is significant in that it puts an end to the 1GB system memory standard. It's declaring that an *era* of 2GB system memory is finally here.

    However, with these super high-clocking 1G sticks (512MB sticks also for that matter), there is one *realer* question that's haunting my mind. With the current crop of DDR memory reaching speed of DDR550~DDR600, one has to wonder - What's the good if CPUs can't handle the speed of memory?

    Yes, I'm questioning the capability of A64/Opteron's memory controller. Because even the best current AMD CPUs often fail to keep up with the speed of memory. You've got a PC4800 DDR memory? Good luck, pray your CPU can run it at that speed. This issue is, at least for me, very real. I just don't see the point of high-clocking memory when the truth is CPUs' memory controllers are the limit. (And to some extent motherboards, of course)

    In the light of this, would it be possible for you to test the quality of each revision of AMD CPUs' memory controllers? Preferably with recent cores - namely, Venice, San Diego, Toledo, Manchester and their Opteron equivalents. The more detailed, the better. Rev E3, E6, E4, and even the steppings.

    While reading this excellent review, I couldn't shake the issue of memory controller off my head. These days a stick of RAM seems only as good as the CPU's memory controller it relies on. Unless one is just happy to see her/his RAM passing memtest @DDR600 all day long.

    Again, thanks for your hard work on this review, Wesley. However, I'd really like to hear from you about the issue that I'm bringing here. I'd much appreciate it.

  • dlerious - Monday, January 23, 2006 - link

    If my CPU can't keep up with my RAM, I just drop the multiplier (and/or divider) down until I find the point where both run as high as possible at the voltage and temps I'm comfortable with.

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