Does anyone remember when nVidia introduced SLI Memory and Enhanced Performance Profiles (EPP)? The technology has disappeared off the radar, but has still managed to proliferate the market, with SlI logos emblazoned on modules from many manufacturers. For those who missed the craze, the idea was that by coupling the right kind of memory with the right motherboard and chipset, you could overclock your RAM without having to know the exact ins and outs.
With the X38 chipset, Intel is to introduce a similar technology, which is to be called the Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP). Like EPP, XMP is the inclusion of extra information on the memory module over the standard SPD data. OCZ's example, namely the (deep breath) OCZ DDR3 PC3 Intel XMP Ready Titanium Edition is on face value just a stick of 1,600MHz DDR3 at 8-8-8-27 timings, but a second profile on the chip includes all the settings required to tighten that to 7-6-6 timings.
Rather than require the end-user to mess around with voltages, know what CAS-latency is or understand the intricacies of charge and discharge cycles, all the end-user will need is an X38 motherboard and a stick of XMP RAM to get a little more for the money. Of course DDR3 is expensive enough as it is, but SLI Memory doesn't carry any particular premium so we can hope XMP will be the same. After all, why wouldn't you want a guarantee of the overclocking ability of your RAM?