Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Corsair XMS DDR3 1600 4GB Dual Channel Memory Kit Review

A tried and true way of adding performance to your computer is adding additional memory. But whether you are just adding additional memory, or building a new computer system, you will want to choose wisely which memory go with. Up for review today is an XMS3 DDR3 1600 Dual Channel Memory Kit from Corsair. The kit features two 2 GB sticks of DDR3 memory running at 1600 MHz.

I will admit that in the past I have been tempted to buy the cheapest memory possible. After all, it is just the memory right? But what is not known by all is that with computer components are not always compatible with each other. Your motherboard manufacturer may have not checked for compatibility on cheap generic XYZ brand. What that means is that when you put in that cheap memory that you got on sale, it might not work. If it does work, the quality could be poor and effect the system performance.

The memory stick kit as previously mentioned includes two sticks of 2GB XMS3 DDR3 each running at 1600 MHz. This kit is part of their mainstream performance line. Intel’s new core processor’s run at a 1333 MHz front side bus, so 1600 MHz is a high performance speed. The Latency is 9, and the timing is 9-9-9-24, with a voltage of 1.65V, which is fairly typical at this speed and price point. The sticks also feature a nice aluminum heat shield to assist in dissipating heat. A lifetime warranty also helps to give peace of mind in a good product.

To give some idea of their performance, I included below a few benchmarks from SiSoft Sandra 2010, and PCMark Vintage.
As you can see, while not speed demons, the XMS3 series does deliver some decent performance. If you are in the market for some quality performance memory on a budget, I would recommend putting Corsair on your short list. While there is some cheaper memory out there that may look better on paper, you never know just how good the quality is. Corsair gives you a lifetime warranty, and just as important is a trusted name. For more info and complete specs, check out Corsair's website at

http://www.corsair.com/. Reference gear used for the review was an Intel I3-540 processor, Asus P7P55D Deluxe motherboard, and Powercolor HD5450 1GB DDR3 video card.