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by Tarinder Sandhu on 17 May 2003, 00:00 3.5


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Once upon a time the quest for 200FSB on either AMD or Intel platforms was more difficult than the one for the Holy Grail. Intel smirked at enthusiasts' attempts to run faster FSBs (Front-Side-Bus) by locking their CPUs' multipliers. Only a select few that could get their hands on an unlocked CPU, a rarity up until very recently, could try for super-high FSBs.  AMD, while not explicitly locking their CPUs in the very strictest of senses, were limited by the platforms used. The initial VIA range of chipset simply didn't have the consistency to run at over 200FSB on a regular basis.

That's all changed now with both manufacturers slugging it out with their 200FSB CPUs. High FSB running requires a number of chipsets that'll seamlessly function at 200FSB and beyond. Now we're spoilt for choice with Intel, SiS, VIA and NVIDIA all unleashing new, improved core logics offering that magic 200FSB support. That's the state of CPU and chipset play today. The need for a FSB increases was best supported by the Canterwood chipset. Running a 3.0GHz/200FSB CPU, it easily outperformed a 3.06GHz/133FSB combination. The need to get masses of data to the CPU is a simple but effective method of increasing overall performance.

A number of these new chipsets use twin 64-bit memory controllers for dual channel support. Double your RAM, double your fun, as Serious Sam may say. Doubling the theoretical bandwidth of any single-channel chipset, these new logics offer significant performance and architectural gains. Therefore, the need for fast memory that can run in dual channel mode is more important than it has ever been.

That's the reason why we're seeing a number of RAM manufacturers heavily tout their high-speed dual-channel memory kits. OCZ Technology have made a name for themselves as suppliers of premium, performance-based RAM. What better than to offer two sticks of RAM that'll work with any dual-channel chipset ?. OCZ, like many others, now produce a range of dual-channel memory kits that are differentiated by the RAM's specifications. Today we're looking at PC3200 EL DDR Dual Channel RAM, with some fancy, new heatspreaders on. Read on to find out if it performs as well as it looks.