Corsair need no introduction, they have been making ram modules for many years and are critically acclaimed as one of the finest memory suppliers currently in operation.

Today ill be taking a look at their new 3200XL pro modules which are already causing quite a stir in the enthusiast market due to their extremely tight timings of 5-2-2-2 @ 400mhz. In todays current marketplace getting memory with timings this tight is nigh on impossible as the famous overclocking Winbond BH-5 chips have been phased out. The XL series of modules are being marketed as a screaming fast group of DDR modules and they are being shipped in the classic black and platinium heatspreaders in their PRO series. The XL family is based on a new Samsung chip, Corsair have worked closely with Samsung and their first tests showed the parts to be extremely fast. Corsairs president Andy Paul and VP of product development John Beekley flew to Seoul to meet Samsung to secure a steady supply of these special revision chips for mass production and interestingly enough the Samsung chips are not currently available on the open market.

These modules also come with Corsair's new "plug and frag™" technology, which means the 5-2-2-2 latency settings are pre-programmed into the module's SPD, so the system in theory should automatically boot up with fast latencies, these specific modules also come with the 18 activity LED's.

So are Corsair marketing these for Intel or AMD platforms? ill let Joe James, Corsair Director of Marketing answer that question. "Our people are very talented at finding the next big overclocking part. We've found that AMD platforms deliver optimal performance at extremely low latencies, and Intel Platforms give best results at very high clock speeds. The XL parts are ideal for BOTH platforms because they support very aggressive 5-2-2-2 latencies at DDR400, and overclock nicely to DDR500 (PC4000) at slightly relaxed latencies. We've seen typical results of 7-3-3-2.5 at DDR500 in our labs.

In the past ive reviewed some very tight and high performing ram such as the OCZ3500 Platinium 3500 but these are no longer available to purchase, how is supply of these new Corsair boards going to hold up to the demand? Again Joe James to answer this one: "Corsair has never had a strategy of teasing the market with a handful of super fast "limited edition" parts that nobody can buy. XL modules will be produced in volume and readily available to the entire public through our resellers worldwide.

The Manufacturers Specifications are as follows:

*XMS XL 512MB 3200 Modules (two = 1GB)
*Extreme Low Latency: 2-2-2-5
*Maximum Cooling with Corsairs Memory Cooling Plates
*PC3200 - DDR400Mhz (DDR1)
*1.75" x 5.41" x .30" (TxLxW)
*Tested as Matched Pairs in multiple Intel and AMD PC3200 Boards
*Thoroughly tested at DDR400 at 2-2-2-5 w/2.75v
*Benchmarked over multiple PC3200 based chip sets, processors and motherboards.
*Able to overclock to DDR500
*Contains 18 Activity LEDs (Pro Series Only)

Corsair have three different versions of its XL family, all with Corsair's lifetime warranty:
  • TwinX1024-3200XL Pro
    XMS Pro Serioes Modules
  • TwinX1024-3200XL
    Black XMS Modules
  • TwinX1024-3200XL PT
    Platinum XMS Modules

As you can see from the images above in comparision to a "standard" OCZ board, the physical size of the Corsair module is quite substantial. The Corsair modules come with a high efficiency aluminium XMS heatsink which gives 95% greater surface area than standard memory heatspreaders and is also thermally bonded to the module.

Alot of work has gone into the Corsair modules - case modders the world over are going to love these sticks- as you can see in normal light (above left) they just look very industrial (even monolithic) with the dramatic black casing, but at night and in low light conditions inside your case your eyes will keep straying to the rapid LED movements during accesses, very hypnotic and aesthically pleasing.



Next: Testing