bit-tech.net

First Look: Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX

Manufacturer: Corsair
Price (currently pre-order only): £352 (inc. VAT)

Just a month ago, we thought Corsair's PC2-10000 was fast, but DDR3 scales memory frequencies well beyond what DDR2 is capable of. In that respect, PC3-10,600 or DDR3-1333 just seems to breeze past the 1200MHz wall that most DDR2 is limited to.

Just a last week we went through the technological advancement that DDR3 brings, but we never really went into any depth about the performance. Because the Asus P5K3 Deluxe and P5K Deluxe are almost identical, with the only variance being that the former supports DDR3 and the latter DDR2, we can get quite an accurate difference in performance between both memory types.

As you'd expect, the fact that DDR3 is an immature technology means that modules aren't really "optimised" in that they are expensive to make and the latencies are still high. As time progresses we will see an evolution to faster and lower latency modules, but if you absolutely must invest in the latest tech now, then these will definitely be one of a couple of possibles on your shopping list.

The Corsair modules sport DHX cooling technology, but don't mistake them for Corsair's flagship Dominator memory. The Dominator moniker is being saved for the "best of the best" modules within a set speed rating. This is why these are designed with a plain aluminium flavouring rather than the usual anodised black.

The modules we have specifically are engineering samples, with the retail versions having a slightly higher tRAS.

Corsair Twin3X2048-1333C9DHX

Kit: 2 x 240-pin DDR3 Double Sided DIMM
Module Size: 2GB Dual Channel Kit (2 x 1GB)
Module Code: TWIN3X2048-1333C9DHX G
Rated Speed: 1333MHz DDR3
Rated Timings: 9-9-9-24 (9-9-9-27 retail)
Rated Voltage: 1.5-1.7V
Memory Chips: Unknown
Price (currently pre-order only): £352 (inc. VAT)

First Look: Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX Introduction to Corsair's DDR3 First Look: Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX Introduction to Corsair's DDR3
Click to enlarge

As you can see, the modules only differ slightly from DDR2. With both having 240 pins, the notch needed moving in order to stop DDR3 from being plugged into DDR2 boards and vice versa. The modules are rated at 9-9-9-24 at 1333MHz, but Corsair says that the retail version will have timings of 9-9-9-27. The voltage increase is only rated for a meagre 1.7V, even though the Asus P5K3 Deluxe has an upper limit of 2.25V and Corsair does provide a lifetime warranty for the modules.

First Look: Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX Introduction to Corsair's DDR3

Corsair aims to have DDR3-based Dominator modules available in 1600MHz 2GB and 4GB densities at CAS-9 in early June and late July respectively, although what chipset will be able to use it fully has yet to be seen. 1866MHz/2000MHz Dominator modules are being prepared for as soon as sometime in August, again in 2GB and 4GB kits, however there's no indication what latencies these will arrive in.

So, DDR3 scales well beyond DDR2, but DDR2 has lower latencies: which is better for Intel's Core 2 Duo processors? We have the answers for you right here...