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Review: Corsair DDR3-1,600MHz: worth the premium over DDR2?

by Tarinder Sandhu on 6 October 2008, 08:37

Tags: XMS3 DDR3-1,600, Corsair

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qapkv

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£240 for 4GB!

We're taking a look at the TW3X4G1600C9DHXNV set. In regular speak that's a 4GB (2x 2GB) kit of DDR3-1,600MHz memory with 9-9-9-24 latencies and a pre-programmed NVIDIA EPP2.0 profile. 

Current price for this kit is around £239, which is some three times greater than a Corsair DDR2-1,066MHz pack of XMS2 memory. DDR3 ain't cheap, Holmes!

Sold in see-through clamshell packaging, it's pretty easy to determine what this is. You'll have to pay close attention to information contained on the heatspreaders to know you're buying the correct pack if shopping in a brick-and-mortar store.

NVIDIA EPP2.0 support is clearly shown on the top-right of the pack, too.

The rear details the Dual-Path Heat Exchange (DHX) heatspreaders and optional fan cooling for extreme overclocking.

The silver-coloured aluminium heatspreaders are more than just for aesthetics. The DHX system works by removing heat by conduction and convection. The DHX design has been somewhat 'copied' by other manufacturers, lending credence to its cooling abilities

DDR3 DIMMs have 240 pins, just like DDR2, but you can't mix and match modules in a system, just in case you were wondering.

The modules hit their rated clockspeed and timings with 1.8V operating voltage, which is 20 per cent higher than the JEDEC-approved value of 1.5V. That's why, we suppose, the DHX heatspreaders are used.

Corsair states that the packaged DIMMs are tested as a pair at 1,600MHz and then bundled together. Testing takes place on an nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard and whilst the EPP2.0 settings match what's written on the 'spreader, non-qualified boards will boot the modules at 1,333MHz with 9-9-9-24 latencies.

Interestingly, the reduced-latency set - 7-7-7-20, 1,600MHz - now costs just a few pounds more, shipping at an also-wallet-busting £245 for a 4GB kit.