|Crucial Value RAM DDR400 2x512MB|
|Testing and Analysis|
|Whilst there seem to be many memory brands offering blistering speeds and low latency timings, these are normally aimed at (and designed for) enthusiasts and overclockers. The vast majority of computer users though, are not overclockers, and simply want their computers to run at the speed it is intended to do so, so standard speed memory is normally used. Many of these general computer users however make the mistake of using cheap generic memory either to save a bit of money, or because they simply do not know any better. Crucial has the answer to this in the form of it's Value RAM series, which is good quality memory, at budget prices, from one of the most respected names in the memory industry. |
Today, we are looking at 1GB (2x 512MB sticks) of Crucial's Value RAM DDR400 (pc3200). This is not a matched dual-channel kit, just 2 un-matched 512MB sticks, although they will happily run in dual-channel mode in perfect harmony. This memory is rated at DDR400, which means it will run at a bus speed of 200MHz (400MHz at Double Data Rate - DDR), which is a pretty standard speed for computers using DDR1 memory nowadays.
The first thing I have to mention about the Crucial Value RAM is the bargain price tag, at just £31.71 per 512MB stick (or a pair at £61.09) direct from Crucial’s website. That’s just a few pounds more than the cheaper unbranded sticks. One thing I have found with using generic memory is that it often only just runs at its rated speed, and even a 1MHz overclock can cause it to fail and crash your system.
I’ve even had generic memory that wouldn’t even run at it's rated speed, I had to run it at 197MHz instead of the rated 200MHz just to get it stable. Generic memory is also more prone to failure, and hence often come with shorter warranty’s. So, with memory being such a crucial part (no pun intended), it pays dividends to buy a trusted brand such as Crucial, who offer a limited lifetime warranty with all their memory as standard, and with the Value RAM series at these prices, you'd have to be crazy to even consider anything less.
The memory we have for testing arrived in a small cardboard box with a Crucial shipping label, inside of which was some foam padding and the 2 512MB sticks individually sealed in anti static bags, along with a small installation manual in various different languages. The Value RAM series comes with no flashy heatsinks/heatspreaders, as often found on the more expensive memory modules, but then if you're only going to be running this memory at standard speeds then this will be no problem. The sticks themselves are sturdy dark green PCB's, and are double sided (8x chips on either side, along with gold coloured pin contacts. There are also spec labels and ID stickers on the front of each stick.