Installing the modules is just like installing any other DIMMs. You have to take care not to damage any of the pins on top of the modules and the displays shouldn’t be fitted until after the modules are in place. The displays can only be fitted the correct way, as there are two small holes in one side that have to line up with the raised parts on the memory modules.
The installation procedure is covered in a brief install pamphlet printed in five languages. You also get a full PDF manual on the CD as well as Everest - a system monitoring application.
Being Corsair memory one would expect these modules to perform pretty well. The benchmark numbers didn’t disappoint either with a PCMark 2004 memory score of 5028 in a Pentium 4 3.2GHz system with i865PE chipset. Similarly in the SiSoft Sandra 2005 memory integer test the result was 4450MB/s while the float test result was 4449MB/s. The memory cache test reported 9443MB/s.
Now there is faster memory out there, but considering that the XMS Xpert modules are only rated at PC3200 these numbers are very good. As for overclockabilty I releaxed the latencies to 3-3-3-8 and was able to push our test system to 235 Front Side Bus but no further. However, this could be a limitation of the system so I will have to reserve judgement on the absolute overclocking potential of these modules.
But as I hinted at towards the beginning of this review overclocking is not the main selling point of the XMS Xpert modules – it’s the funky displays. If you’re looking for something to differentiate your PC from everyone elses at the next LAN party this could be the thing for you. If CeBIT is anything to go by the XMS Xpert modules should prove very popular as everyone seemed to be using them in their motherboards at the show.
Of course the downside is the price premium you have to pay for the LED displays. The XMS Pro modules would set you back £182.13 from Scan, while the XMS Xpert modules are no less than £216.20. That’s an extra £34.07 for the LED displays over the LED lights on the Pros. But then again, this is not a mass market product as you’d buy completely different modules if you just wanted cheap memory.
Corsair has created something truly unique with the XMS Xpert memory modules, which for once doesn’t have anything to do with memory performance. The XMS Xpert is the first true gadget memory to hit the market and with decent performance to match it’s hard to knock it.