Corsair 4400C25: Taking Samsung TCCD to New Heightsby Wesley Fink on January 4, 2005 12:05 AM EST
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In June of 2004, Corsair 3200XL appeared on the market. It was the first time since the death of Winbond BH5 that we had seen a memory with 2-2-2 timings at DDR400. More than that, this new memory also proved to reach DDR500 performance levels - something that Winbond BH5 could never do. That performance first seen in The Return of 2-2-2: Corsair 3200XL & Samsung PC4000 soon became a deluge as almost every memory manufacturer introduced their own version of high-speed DDR memory based on Samsung TCCD memory chips.
Along the way, we saw many innovations, as discussed in =F-A-S-T= DDR Memory: 2-2-2 Roars on the Scene and Geil PC3200 Ultra X: High Speed & Record Bandwidth. The revolutionary performance of that first Corsair 3200XL soon became average as memory makers tried to out-do each other with new PCB's and SPD programming that squeezed even more out of the Samsung TCCD chips. It seemed almost overnight that the Samsung TCCD became the high-speed standard for DDR memory.
What many may have forgotten along the way is that Samsung never really rated TCCD as a DDR400 memory chip. In the Samsung catalogs, TCCD was listed as a DDR500 part, and the higher costs also went along with Samsung's classification as DDR500. Most manufacturers binned (speed-sorted) the Samsung TCCD, and the parts that could do 2-2-2 at DDR400 went into the best memory. In fact, not all of the Samsung TCCD chips can do DDR400 2-2-2 timings, and some of the very best performers at very high DDR speeds simply will not do 2-2-2 timings at DDR400.
This background is to put into perspective Corsair's latest memory offering, XMS4404v1.1. This new memory is based on Samsung TCCD chips, but it is rated at PC4400 or DDR550. Corsair has targeted this memory at the highest DDR speeds achievable on the DDR platform, and the design, from top to bottom, is to reach the highest DDR speeds possible on the Intel Socket 478 and AMD Athlon 64 platforms. Does Corsair succeed in their design goal? To determine that, the performance of Corsair PC4400 is compared to the best TCCD DIMMs tested at AnandTech.