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DDR Memory Comparison: Corsair / Mushkin / Crucial
review by David, 9 November 2002

Introduction

Memory has got to be one of the most important parts of a computer system. In recent days, the big names in memory manufacturers / resellers have been quick to introduce their own version of DDR400 memory, or otherwise known as PC3200 DDR memory, which of course, also happen to cost quite a bit more.

By no means should this indicate that you should throw away your older PC2100 or PC2700 memory sticks. If you're lucky to have a quality stick on hand, they just might be able to do the job for you, without the need to shell out major bucks.

Unfortunately, the highest official speed of memory ratified by JEDEC is only PC2700, or rather, 166MHz capable memory. This means that any type of memory speed rated higher than PC2700 doesn't totally adhere to JEDEC specifications. One reason why JEDEC hasn't yet ratified DDR400 standards could probably be the fact that stable operation at such high frequencies would entail higher memory latencies, and more often than not, more voltage to the memory itself.

  • PC2100 (DDR266) - 2.1GB/sec memory bandwidth, 133Mhz
  • PC2700 (DDR333) - 2.7GB/sec memory bandwidth, 166Mhz
  • PC3200 (DDR400) - 3.2GB/sec memory bandwidth, 200Mhz

In this article, I compare memory from 3 different companies, Crucial, Corsair and Mushkin, all big names, and having very well established reputations as providers of quality memory solutions.

The memory modules I used in the comparison consist of the following:

  • 256MB Corsair XMS3200
  • 256Mb Corsair XMS3500
  • 256MB Mushkin PC3200
  • 256Mb Crucial PC2700
  • 256Mb Crucial PC2100

I threw in the PC2100 for the heck of it, as it performed quite well when used in my Asus A7V8X review.

The objective of this comparison is to basically find out how high each particular stick of memory can be overclocked. Of course, overclocking voids your warranty in some cases (i.e. Crucial doesn't encourage overclocking), and in the cases of Corsair and Mushkin, overclocking is encouraged.

Test Setup & Comments >>


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