A fix for Corsair memory with Intel's new chipsets

— 12:00 AM on June 16, 2003

I should share something with you about Corsair RAM that we learned this past week and confirmed in spades—Geoff, Andy, and I all three—over the weekend in our various testing endeavors. I mentioned in my 875P and 865 chipset reviews that I'd had some trouble getting Corsair's XMS3200LL memory working with its default timings on these new Intel chipsets, so I wrote Corsair to see what was up. Here's the answer I got from Robert Pearce, Corsair's Applications Specialist:

The problem is the chipset won't handle a tRCD (RAS to CAS Delay) of 2. We've done a revision of the SPD to make the LL's work on the 875 and 865 chipsets, the settings are now 2-3-2-6 by default.

We will, of course, warranty any modules with the older SPD but it should be noted that the end user can simply manually adjust the BIOS to the settings noted above.

Sure enough, using the latest BIOS revisions for the various 865 and 875 boards we have running around here, we were all able to get XMS3200LL (or in my case, plain ol' XMS3200 v1.1) DIMMs working with very aggressive timings, up to and including 2-3-2-6 at 400MHz, so long as the RAS to CAS delay was set to 3. Conversely, even with very relaxed timings for the other settings, the systems weren't happy with the RAS to CAS delay at 2.

This is a minor snag for Corsair, I suppose, but the manual workaround works beautifully, and the RAM is still easily superior to the other DDR400 samples I've encountered.

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