Corsair Introduces XL Memory!Wed, May 26, 2004 - 9:00 AM
Corsair XL Interview w/ Joe James: 5-25-2004
Legit Reviews (LR): Before we jump right into things can we get a little background info on Joe James?
Joe James (JJ): I’m the Marketing Director at Corsair Memory. I’m a 10-year veteran of the motherboard industry, and I’ve been with Corsair over two years.
LR: Since you’re a known name in the industry lets jump right into things! You are launching a new product today. Can you tell us what it is and some more about it?
JJ: The 3200XL family is a screaming fast group of DDR modules. We’re shipping them in classic black and platinum heat spreaders and in our PRO series. These are phenomenal products because they’re so overclockable and support 2-2-2-5 latencies.
LR: On your site you currently offer three other XMS DDR400 lines (3200, 3200C2, and 3200LL). How is the 3200XL family going to fit in with the current XMS product line?
JJ: 3200XL will replace 3200LL gradually. Our supply of Winbond RAMs is drying up, so there’s really no choice in that. But the XL is a higher performing product at about the same price point, so that shift would happen anyway.
LR: Many in the memory industry said that 2-2-2-5: 1T timings were dead after many of the low latency IC’s were phased out. How is Corsair able to pull off these super tight timings?
JJ: The XL family is based on a new Samsung chip that really zips. We got early samples through our direct relations with Samsung. First tests showed that the parts were unusually fast. So last week our President, Andy Paul, and VP of Product Development, John Beekley, flew to Seoul to meet Samsung to secure a steady supply of these special revision chips for mass production. The Samsung TCCD chips are not currently available on the open market.
LR: Do the XL parts have any other cool features or notables?
JJ: They do come with our Plug-and-Frag technology, which means the 2-2-2-5 latency settings are pre-programmed into the module’s SPD, so the system will automatically boot up with fast latencies. And if that’s not enough, then take a look at the -3200XLPRO modules which come with activity LED’s.
LR: We all know that Corsair has Robert Pearce working behind the scenes to pick and qualify IC’s, so how do the XL modules work on different platforms? Can they run 2-2-2-5: 1T on all the current chipsets and processors?
JJ: You mean Super Robert! He’s a dynamo, and very talented at finding the next big overclocking part. We’ve found that AMD platforms deliver optimal performance at extremely low latencies, and Intel platforms give best results at very high clock speeds. Well, the XL parts are ideal for BOTH platforms because they support very aggressive 2-2-2-5 latencies at DDR400, and overclock nicely to DDR500 (PC4000) at slightly relaxed latencies. We’ve seen typical modules running at 2.5-3-3-7 at DDR500 in our labs.
LR: That is some great news for enthusiasts and gamers around the world, but what about pricing?
JJ: So far our manufacturing yields on these parts have been excellent. We pay a slight premium for the special revision of the RAM chips, but we plan to price the XL modules very competitively. They will be far cheaper than any Hynix-based modules due to the huge tariffs on Hynix.
LR: Recently I have seen products like OCZ’s PC-3200 Platinum Limited Edition come out in VERY limited quantities and vanish once it’s sold out. Is this something we can expect with Corsair’s XMS XL memory?
JJ: NO! Corsair has never had a strategy of teasing the market with a handful of super fast “Limited Edition” parts that nobody can buy. XL modules will be produced in volume and readily available to the entire public through our resellers worldwide.
LR: No offense, but I have to ask if this is a paper launch? When can one of our readers order one of these modules?
JJ: We try to carefully time our launches so we announce a product and start volume shipping at about the same time. Unexpected delays or shortages sometimes happen, but I’m confident XL parts will be shipping in volume this week with production continuing to ramp in June.
LR: Well Mr. James since today is the launch day for the XMS XL memory I’m sure you have to get back to your job, but I wanted to thank you for your time! On behalf of Legit Reviews we wish you success on your latest product launch.
Now that you know what is going on with the new modules let’s take a look at some performance numbers!