In June of 2004, Corsair 3200XL appeared on the market. It was the first time since the death of Winbond 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. That performance first seen in The Return of 2-2-2: Corsair 3200XL & Samsung PC4000 soon became a deluge as almost every memory manufacturer introduced their own version of high-speed DDR memory based on Samsung TCCD memory chips.

Along the way, we saw many innovations, as discussed in =F-A-S-T= DDR Memory: 2-2-2 Roars on the Scene and Geil PC3200 Ultra X: High Speed & Record Bandwidth. The revolutionary performance of that first Corsair 3200XL soon became average as memory makers tried to out-do each other with new PCB's and SPD programming that squeezed even more out of the Samsung TCCD chips. It seemed almost overnight that the Samsung TCCD became the high-speed standard for DDR memory.

What many may have forgotten along the way is that Samsung never really rated TCCD as a DDR400 memory chip. In the Samsung catalogs, TCCD was listed as a DDR500 part, and the higher costs also went along with Samsung's classification as DDR500. Most manufacturers binned (speed-sorted) the Samsung TCCD, and the parts that could do 2-2-2 at DDR400 went into the best memory. In fact, not all of the Samsung TCCD chips can do DDR400 2-2-2 timings, and some of the very best performers at very high DDR speeds simply will not do 2-2-2 timings at DDR400.

This background is to put into perspective Corsair's latest memory offering, XMS4404v1.1. This new memory is based on Samsung TCCD chips, but it is rated at PC4400 or DDR550. Corsair has targeted this memory at the highest DDR speeds achievable on the DDR platform, and the design, from top to bottom, is to reach the highest DDR speeds possible on the Intel Socket 478 and AMD Athlon 64 platforms. Does Corsair succeed in their design goal? To determine that, the performance of Corsair PC4400 is compared to the best TCCD DIMMs tested at AnandTech.

Corsair PC4400
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  • DonCornelius - Saturday, January 22, 2005 - link

    Can anyone tell me why we can't get 2-2-2 timings on 1GB size DIMMs? The only DIMMs I see with this timings are 512MB and 256MB. Is this marketing or a limit on the technology?
  • Live - Thursday, January 6, 2005 - link

    If what PrinceGaz is sayimng about memory on the AMD platform is true I think it would warrant some clarification from Anandtech. If money is an object what gives best bang for the buck. Cheap memory and faster CPU or the other way around?
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, January 5, 2005 - link

    from #20- "#19 - The $82 PQI Turbo stuff at newegg is 2.5-3-3 timing RAM. The cheapest you can get a 2-2-2 512MB stick of RAM at newegg is the Patriot for $107."

    Given that we've already got a 2.5-3-3 timings with the PQI, and it was the module that at most was 3% slower on memory-bandwidth bound applications with the Athlon 64, I think that answers my question about why budget memory has not been covered.

    You may as well save still more money and get brand-name value-products for an AMD box, unless you are going for a high-end overclocking system with an FX-55 where every component is the best in it's class. Even if overclocking you aren't going to suffer because there is no such thing as an asynchronous memory frequency with an Athlon 64 (there is no Northbridge between the CPU and memory) so just set the budget memory to "DDR333" and you'll be fine for overclocking up to about DDR500.

    Actually when you combine the S939 Athlon 64's lack of dependence on memory bandwidth with it's onboard memory controller that ensures any memory speed is equally efficient; when building a mid-range Athlon 64 box you may as well just get cheap brand-name DDR400 and run it at what ever speed it is happiest with after overclocking your CPU. Which makes all these high-end memory review articles pointless for all except extreme overclockers.
  • eetnoyer - Wednesday, January 5, 2005 - link

    #19 - The $82 PQI Turbo stuff at newegg is 2.5-3-3 timing RAM. The cheapest you can get a 2-2-2 512MB stick of RAM at newegg is the Patriot for $107.
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, January 4, 2005 - link

    With NewEgg having PQI turbo 3200 at $82, I thinks that's the best deal, probably worth the extra $10 or so over value RAM. In this review it performed almost as well as the top of the line stuff.
  • Googer - Tuesday, January 4, 2005 - link


    the standard JDEC complient ram does not need to be included in the overclocking tests.
  • Googer - Tuesday, January 4, 2005 - link

    All memory should be tested agains JDEC Standard Ram
    using JDEC standard Timings For DDR400. Standard ISSUE Crucial (not ballistix) should also be included as a base compairson for all DDR400 Tests.

    When it comes to overclocking the JDEC complient ram
    does not need to be tested becuase that was never the intent of its design.
  • Fricardo - Tuesday, January 4, 2005 - link

    #'s 6,12,14,15

    Here here. I couldn't care less about's not worth the cash to get ever so slightly more performance. I'd just like some decent RAM that'll let me overclock an A64, nothing fancy.
  • miketheidiot - Tuesday, January 4, 2005 - link

    Cheap memory review! Enough of this expensive junk.
  • JustAnAverageGuy - Tuesday, January 4, 2005 - link


    I think he was thinking more along the lines of say Kingston\Corsair ValueRAM which runs for around $65-70 for a 512MB stick.

    Zebo did something similar (see CPU & OC forums), but I've been waiting for the AnandTech review.

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