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by Tarinder Sandhu on 29 September 2003, 00:00


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DDR500 for the masses

We love being witness to intense competition in the PC industry. Often, if a certain manufacturer has risen to the top of its sector and no major challengers present themselves, that particular facet of the industry starts to become stagnated. One of the tenets of economics is that competition is absolutely necessary for the interests of the consumer. It drives up technological excellence as companies look to gain a competitive advantage over one another. A number of key PC hardware sectors have at least two big players vying for the consumers' cash. Intel and AMD; NVIDIA and ATi; Hitachi-IBM and Maxtor; Cooler Master and Lian Li. The list goes on and on.

Up until the fall of 2002, it was fair to say that Corsair, in the U.K at least, enjoyed  a dominant position in the enthusiast-orientated system RAM business. If you wanted high-performance RAM, there weren't a great number of options. However, much to the satisfaction of the consumer, another company decided to try and become #1 ultra-high-performance memory provider. Attempting to break free from the poor reputation shackles that has plagued it, OCZ Technology began producing a number of quality modules for the hardcore overclocker. Ranging from extremely low latency parts to essentially budget yet premium RAM, OCZ matched or bettered any of the incumbent's RAM offerings.

We're now into latter half of '03, and we find that OCZ has cemented its position as a provider of quality RAM. A number of  major U.K e-tailers now stock its products; a sure-fire sign that it is doing something right. The recent emergence of Intel dual-channel motherboards that positively laugh at 250FSB running and add in the associated 800MHz CPUs that are willing to match the motherboards' exploits; you soon see why the demand for super-fast memory is greater than ever. PC3200 memory is now merely official specification for both Intel and AMD's latest processors. PC3500 is nothing special now, either. The present high-speed memory war is being fought at PC3700 and PC4000 speeds, with a promise of even faster modules in the very near future.

All this preamble leads into our review for today. OCZ kindly supplied us with a 1GB dual-channel PC-4000 memory kit. We've seen Corsair do it, now it's the turn of OCZ to woo us with big numbers. Will it be as good as we sincerely hope, or is it a case of a speed too far. Read on to find out.