Since the demise of Winbond BH5 memory chips, 2-2-2 memory has essentially been dead at DDR400. Corsair and others have produced DDR400 2-2-3 and 2-3-3 parts based on Winbond CH5 and other memory chips; however, 2-2-2 all but vanished as supplies of Winbond BH5 and BH6 disappeared. Other manufacturers such as OCZ took a different route with innovative products like Extended Bandwidth memory, which is extremely fast, but does not depend on the lowest CAS timings for best performance.

When Corsair 3200XL appeared on the market in June, it was the first time since the death of BH5 that we had seen a memory with 2-2-2 timings at DDR400. More than that, this new memory also proved to reach DDR500 performance levels - something that Winbond BH5 could never do. We certainly took notice of the new memory based on Samsung chips, and it looks like every other memory maker also took notice. Since the Corsair introduction, most major memory manufacturers have announced their own DDR400 2-2-2 memory.

Today, we will compare five new DDR400 2-2-2 memories. There is also a 6th DDR400 2-2-2 memory, from Samsung themselves. However, since we had only received 256MB modules from Samsung, and all other modules were 512MB, the Samsung was not included in the roundup. Including the 256MB Samsung in the roundup would not have been a fair comparison, since we know that 2 single-sided modules do perform slower than 2 double-sided modules on the Intel platform. For more information on the performance of the Samsung memory, please check our review, The Return of 2-2-2: Corsair 3200XL & Samsung PC4000.

As you will see, though, not all the new DDR400 2-2-2 memory performs the same, even though most are based on the same Samsung chips. In fact, not all of the new memory is even based on the Samsung chips, as there is another exciting new DDR400 2-2-2 memory chip now available. The new DDR400 modules all performed at 2-2-2 timings as promised, but beyond that base performance, some memory went further than others in the roundup, exhibiting unusually high bandwidth. Other memories allowed faster timings across the bandwidth, even performing with complete stability at an astounding 2.5-2-2-5 at DDR500.

Which were the standouts, and which were bunched in the pack? Let's take a closer look at the new DDR400 2-2-2 memory to find some answers.

Corsair 3200XL PRO
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  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    #12 and #13 - Both Crucial Ballistix PC3200 and OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 are available in the market. Crucial is a direct marketer as you have discovered.

    #14 - In your situation I would shop for price for DDR400 2-2-2. The XP boards respond best to Latency as low as you can feed them, but you are not likley to reach OC levels that will be a concern with any decent DDR400 2-2-2 memory. None of the DDR500 will have latencies like 2-2-2 at DDR400.

    #15 - There is just one DDR400 Crucial Ballistix (PC3200) - but it is available as 256MB Single-Sided or 512MB Double-Sided dimms as mentioned in the review.
    Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    Wesley comments the OCZ was the best from the TCCD modules tested with incredible headroom, so much so it was decided top homours would be shared.

    Also going by comments already seen here many feel the Crucial modules were very cherry picked.
    I know on many forums the 3200 and 4000 is not doing quite so well as the samples seen here.

    I do trust Wesleys's testing though, if his modules hit these speeds, they did hit it...

    Its always best to get good reviews like this one and then go search for results on forums.
    Reply
  • Potem - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    #11 - Thanks had not thought to go directt from Crucial. That is such a good price compared to the alternatives I am worried if is right stuff but description matches. Wesley did not give a part number. Crucial list part number BL6464Z402.
    Reply
  • bupkus - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    I have a 2500+ Barton on an epox 8RDA+ so I'm happy with a fsb frequency of 200. Is my best option to target some PC3200 with low timings or should I think about some hyperX PC4000 on sale? Reply
  • drewintheav - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    Is it possible that you were sent a version of the Crucial Ballistix memory that is not indicative of what someone can really buy? Also, it seems like you said that Crucial Ballistix pc3200 was the best overall so why does OSZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 also get a gold editors choice? Reply
  • Potem - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    The question is what is the availablity of either of the Gold Editors Choice recommendations? The MSI K8N Neo2 was recommended over a month ago and is still not available in the US (though is fianlly expected to change any day or hour now). I have searched indivdual stores and done both price watch and PriceGrabber searches for both OCZ PC3200 Platinum Rev. 2 and Crucial Ballistix 3200 and have come up empty. In the case of OCZ 3700EB it does sell but the stores often sell out and OCZ having troubles keeping up with demand. Reply
  • rjm55 - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    I was all set to buy the Corsair 3200XL and bitching about the high price when I saw this roundup. Thanks for making my life easier. The Crucial is $267 for 2x512MB direct from Crucial and the Corsair is $361 for the same thing at New Egg. Thanks for helping me save a cool $100.

    Is there any way to tell if the OCZ is the latest Rev. 2 stuff? I noticed the package in the picture is new. Do you look for the new package to be sure you're getting the latest stuff?
    Reply
  • bigtoe33 - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    Another GREAT review from the FINKSTER....;-)

    Commenting on G die micron, yield is VERY up and down so i do feel they were choice cut's, EB does pretty much the same speeds with 95%+ of all customers ram running well above rated timings and speed anyway.You guys with the 4000 balistix should have looked at the 3500 and 3700EB ;-)

    Thanks again Wes.

    Tony
    Reply
  • ThePlagiarmaster - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    Wesley, it sounds like you need to ask MSI for a new bios to get their board more compatible with these new samsung chips? Maybe all manufacturers will need to release a bios update to take full advantage of these new samsung chips?

    Just a thought.
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, August 05, 2004 - link

    #5 - We used the same benchmarks in our DDR2 roundup and tested the DDR2 to DDR2-686. That should give you a better idea of comparative performance between DDR and DDR2. We also compared DDR and DDR2 performance in that review, and fast DDR400 performs about like DDR2-533. Just dlick the 'Memory' tab at the top of the page and you will find the DDR2 roundup.

    #7 - It will be a few weeks, but we DO have some OCZ DDR2 EB modules with better timings that will be included in an upcoming DDR2-667 roundup. Many of the DDR2 modules in last month's roundup ran fine at 3-3-3 timings - much better than the rated timings.
    Reply

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