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Review: Corsair XMS3500 C2 Memory

by Tarinder Sandhu on 7 November 2002, 00:00

Tags: Corsair

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qan6

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System setup and notes

Here's a quick rundown of the test system should you wish to compare benchmark results with your own.
  • Intel Pentium 4 2266MHz S478 Northwood CPU
  • ABIT IT7-MAX i845E run in official DDR266 and asynchronous mode
  • Corsair 512MB XMS3500 DDR434 memory

Other components

  • ATi Radeon 9700 Pro (324/320)
  • 61.5GB IBM 120GXP Hard Drive.
  • Liteon 16x DVD
  • Samcheer 420w PSU
  • Samsung 181T TFT monitor
  • Thermaltake S478 cooler


  • Windows XP Professional Build 2600.xpclient.010817-1148
  • Intel 4.00.109 chipset drivers
  • Intel application accelerator drivers
  • Plutonium XP 8.1 Radeon Drivers (based on ATI CATALYST build 6166)
  • SiSoft SANDRA SP1
  • Pifast v41
  • Virtual Dub 1.4.10 DVD encoding, DivX 5.02 CODEC
  • 3DMark 2001SE
  • UT2003 Demo
  • Comanche 4 benchmark
  • Serious Sam 2 Demo
  • Quake 3 v1.30


It's difficult to choose a platform to benchmark this memory. It's rated to run at 217MHz, and no chipset supports that memory speed with the processor run at default FSB speeds.

What I've chosen to do, therefore, is to pick a platform where changes in bandwidth will be meaningful. I've chosen to go with the i845E chipset and the ABIT IT7-MAX in particular, because it allows me to fix the AGP / PCI speeds and gives me up to 3v of voltage to play with.

Using an overclockable 2.26GHz Northwood, one that has seen 3.1GHz with ease on air, I'll be running it at 166.5FSB (2830MHz). Running the memory synchronously will show us the benefits of running PC2700 RAM, and running asynchronously (3:4 ratio, 222MHz) should show us what the Corsair can do. It should also show us how much benefit it gives you over PC2700 memory. I've also included benchmarks with memory at 222MHz but with poorer timings to show just how important they are.

For reasons mentioned on the previous page I cannot apply the settings specified by Corsair (2-8-4-4-1T), as they're largely non-standard and not available on the i845E chipset. The laxest timings I can use with CL2 applied are 2-7-3-3 enhance off. These are stricter than Corsair specify.

Through some initial testing, this module was able to run at 215MHz with 2-7-3-3 (enhance off) timings at 2.55v. That's better than specification, so this module is impressive from the outset.