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Corsair XMS2 CM2X1024-8500C5/1066MHz - DDR2

Right, with two types of PC2-6400 memory out of the way it's time to look at fast memory. You know, the sort of hardware that promises massive speed, funky features and a mildly scary price.

I've been using this Corsair XMS2 8500 for nearly a year as my faithful stand-by memory for motherboard testing. If a motherboard is flaky with a particular processor or BIOS, the Corsair is a familiar reference point and it has never ever let me down.

What we've got here are two 1GB modules with a heatspreader that covers the chips and thermal pads. The set has a rather understated appearance and doesn't look like much for the asking price of £205.

We ran the same 440MHz FSB and CPU speed of 3.52GHz that we used with the TwinMOS memory and used a manually set memory multiplier of 2.4x to clock the memory at 1,056MHz, which is pretty much spot-on for the rated speed of 1,066MHz.

This speed increase from 880MHz slowed the latency slightly to 5.0-7-7-24 but resulted in a healthy boost in SiSoft Sandra memory bandwidth from 7GB/second to 7.5GB/second.

In PCMark05 the memory element of the benchmark crept up from 7159 (TwinMOS at the same FSB) to 7331, which is just over two percent. Memory performance is only part of the equation and the overall PCMark05 score only moved by one percent, which is a fairly lousy return for your money.

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