Corsair is trumpeting the advantages of 4GB of RAM, even on 32-bit systems, and especially to improve gaming performance. To test such claims, we put 4GB of Corsair's XMS2-6400C4 TwinX chips into a PC powered by a 3.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 processor, with a 512MB nVidia GeForce 8800 GT.

This Corsair memory is DDR2 and designed to run at 800MHz (PC2-6400), and can operate at a low latency timing of just 4-4-4-12. These Corsair chips are impressively specified, without having to push memory technology to its outer limits.

The chips come with Corsair's Dual-path Heat Xchange technology. In essence an enhanced heat sink and fan for memory, this technology ensures that the chips remain stable and, happily for enthusiasts, makes it quite easy to overclock them. And while the chips' optimised fins may have been designed to keep heat down, the fact that they increase the height of the chips has the rather useful side-effect of making them incredibly easy to fit into place on the motherboard.

A simple WorldBench 6 test represented a good survey of the overall performance of these RAM chips, and 4GB of Corsair RAM produced a WorldBench score of 132. This was six points up on the score of 126 tallied when we had just 2GB of Corsair RAM installed. Our older Geil 800MHz chips produced scores of 128 and 120 with 2GB and 4GB RAM, respectively.

We also tried out the chips with the popular SiSoft Sandra benchmark, which revealed a latency figure of 63ns for the 4GB of memory, as opposed to 71ns in the case of the 2GB. In Cinebench, the rendering tests also showed a significant advantage for 4GB, posting a gain of 24.6 percent.

Company of Heroes and World In Conflict put the RAM through its paces. Loading up WIC and getting through to the point where you could start playing took 45 seconds in the case of the 2GB system, and just 32 seconds on the 4GB system. Company of Heroes wasn't quite as emphatic, although you could save almost 10 seconds here too.

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Corsair XMS2-6400C4 TwinX 4GB RAM kit: Specs

  • DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs
  • tested at 800MHz (PC2-6400)
  • Dual-Path Heat Xchange (DHX) Technology
  • 4-4-4-12 Memory Timing
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • DDR2 SDRAM DIMMs
  • tested at 800MHz (PC2-6400)
  • Dual-Path Heat Xchange (DHX) Technology
  • 4-4-4-12 Memory Timing
  • Lifetime Warranty

OUR VERDICT

We found this Corsair memory to work exceptionally well. Indeed, the 2GB of Corsair memory was on a par with our 4GB of Geil memory. Should you be shopping for new memory, these chips are exceptional and we can recommend that you choose these over slower memory types. And the issue of 2GB or 4GB? Well, 2GB of Corsair's TwinX XMS2 (standard rather than XMS2 Pro) PC2-6400 memory will set you back around £39. A 4GB kit will set you back £70. But the real bonus here will be for gamers. Of course it's still the graphics chip that will mostly determine your gaming experience. However, there will be when the 4GB will keep your PC cruising at a playable speed while the 2GB users will probably find their gaming lives cut tragically short.

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