Crucial 2x 256MB PC3200

Aron Schatz
June 30, 2003
In the modern world of faster and faster CPUs, you need some RAM that can handle very high FSB speeds. Crucial steps forward to provide the RAM you need. Read on to find out more.
Tags RAM

Page 1: Intro, Dual Channel?, Box and Parts


I want to tell you before I start this review that <a href="">Crucial</a> does not support overclocking, nor do they encourage it. In this review, you will see overclocked results. Crucial does not recommend this!


With all the new high bandwidth CPUs from AMD and Intel, you need some pretty fast RAM to handle the higher bus speeds. There are plenty of choices and you'll want one from a reputable dealer. As it so happens, <a href="">Crucial</a> offers PC3200 and I got the chance to test a dual 256MB for Springdale and other dual DDR boards. Dual DDR is the way to go.

<B>Dual Channel?</B>:

What are we back in the SIMMs age (no, that's not like the popular EA game)? SIMMs, or Single Inline Memory Modules were how older computers (Pentium 1s), 486s and older didn't need it (Thanks Sean!), had their memory. In those days, SIMMs had to be installed in pairs. Enough about the past, why are we getting back to requiring two sticks of RAM now? SPEED! When you have two identical sticks of RAM running in a Dual Channel Capable board, it is nearly that same as running a RAID 0 array with your memory. So (theoretically) a pair of 400Mhz Ram can instantly jump to 800 Mhz speed. Now, don't go running off to replace your old board just yet, unless you have a good and fast CPU, you won't be noticing much difference (perhaps).

<B>Crucial's Side</B>:

Here is something from Crucial, read it well!
<i>- Crucial does not support overclocking. Running Crucial memory outside of the intended specifications will void the Crucial warranty.
- Crucial is a division of Micron, we are the only memory upgrade provider selling direct from a DRAM manufacturer.
- We conduct over 95% of our transactions over the Internet. We truly use the Web to cut out the middlemen--creating efficiencies, cutting cost, boosting margins, and most of all, providing customer value.
- We are The Memory Experts (TM).</i>

<B>The box</B>:

<center>Box Inside Box</center>

Crucial sends things by Fedex and it always arrives quickly. 2 day shipping is standard. The box itself is pretty sturdy. Each stick of RAM is placed in its own ESD bag and there is a manual in the back. Basically, pop the ram in and your good sort of thing. Anyone remember seeing those ads on TV?

<B>The Parts</B>:


Like I said, each stick of RAM is sealed in its own ESD bag to protect it during transit. They are not taped shut, as most companies do. It is a heat seal. This further ensures the safety of the module.

<B>The RAM</B>:

<center>The Stick</center>

Each stick of RAM is PC3200 rated at CAS 3 (CL3). The voltage is at the normal 2.5v. You can clearly see the Crucial and Micron Logos on the RAM, and remember, removing those stickers voids the warranty (opps!).

<center>Stick Back</center>

The back of the RAM is blank, so that means it is single sided RAM. I have found that single sided RAM is more overclockable, and more stable at higher clock speeds with less voltage. Also remember that double sided RAM has double the length of traces and modules to spread around.

<center>Close Up</center>

The module itself is a Micron chip. It better be, from Crucial (if you didn't know, Crucial is a division of Micron). The chip setup is 32x64 (meaning 8 chips with 32Mbytes each). The module is rated at 5ns which gives a speed at exactly 200mhz (400 DDR). The simple formula for determining what speed memory is rated for is by dividing the nanosecond timing from 1000. (1000/5=200). Quite simply, this means that anything over the rated speed is gray area. I would suspect people that buy Crucial memory to have a sense of stability over speed.


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