Running low-latency memory means better system performance. Today, we check out Kingston's new low-latency PC3200 memory modules. Highs: Price. Lows: Price. Check out the reason for our paradoxical stand in this review.
After seeing Corsair's low latency memory modules it is no surprise to see Kingston come out with a kit of their own. After all, Kingston is the largest manufacturer of memory modules in the world. It would be quite surprising to see them ignore a section of the performance market, particularly after they launched their HyperX line to satisfy gamers and hardware enthusiasts. And while Corsair may have beaten them to the punch on the press release announcing low latency PC3200, Kingston was the first to show up on the shelves.
(Press releases are great so buyers know what is coming out but in a day when some computer parts, namely video cards, are announced and two months later are still not on store shelves it is nice to see a press release correspond to immediate availability. Apologies for the rant...back to the memory.)
A few months ago the outlook for DDR memory was grim. The supply of the venerable Winbond bh5 chips used in many low latency memory modules had dried up. The few memory manufacturers that had any sold them off at astronomically high prices; eventually, only used modules were to be found. Buying a used memory module -- especially one that has a reputation for having its voltage raised to 3+ volts -- doesn't sound particularly appealing. All this led to most new memory modules only being able to perform at CAS 2.5 or CAS 3. For awhile this situation was shrugged off as no big deal given that DDR2 was right around the corner to save the day. Well, Intel's new chipsets, the 915 and 925, were released with DDR2 support -- and was less than impressive. There was little improvement in performance over the previous generation's 865 and 875 chipsets, due to the high latency of DDR2. Once the new chipsets and DDR2 mature, they probably will be the long term answer. However, that's of little help to hardware enthusiasts today.
Luckily, Kingston and others found new chips, like the Hynix, capable of the low latencies. So how does Kingston's UL - Ultra Low latency memory perform compared to Corsair's XL?
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