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Corsair TwinX Revisions


jaelae

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I read through the forums regarding my issue:

Purchased one set of 1GByte TwinX Matched Memory Pair CMX512-3200C2PT XMS3202v1.1 - back in early 2004 and then I purchased another set of the same ram (v4.2) last week. These four do not work together at the same time due to this revision different. RamGuy suggested to not use all four sticks and use two at a time since that is the best performance which I agree with. However, is there any way for someone who would like to use four sticks at a time to purchase the same ram that they have had? No e-shops list the revision number so it is impossible to tell and between me and two friends who have the same Corsair TwinX RAM, we have 4 different revision models.

 

I will most likely send this new stick back and buy a 2gb matched pair but I am curious what some of my friends should do who are in the same boat and would much rather just spend money on another 1gb.

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jaelae,

 

This is a great question, and also one that is hard to answer, well not really hard to answer, but the answer is not easily digested for most of us. But I will try and give a few ways around this for everyone's sake.

 

But first let's explain why this would even happen, I think the key to finding a solution is to truly understand the problem. XMS3200C2 was initially released with IC's based on Winbond Rev B IC's and have long since been out of production. Winbond then released Rev C IC's and the part # XMS3200C2 was continued as a new revision and there was little difference in the way they performed. Shortly after that December of 2003 if I remember correctly Winbond announced they were getting out of the DRAM business all together and stopped all DRAM production. To make a long story short we have since found other IC's that will perform at the same timings Cass 2-3-3-6 on Intel and Cass 2.5-3-3-6 on AMD systems but they would not be compatible in a dual channel MB and in some cases like with AMD 64 platform you cannot mix memory at all or the system may not post. This is one of the reasons we came out with Twinx sets of modules as well. As a module manufacturer we are limited to what’s available on the market as the memory market is volatile in nature the same IC's or availability of a certain IC will vary from day to day.

 

 

 

The solution:

 

It’s best to match the memory in any system for best performance, but we understand that is not always possible for any number of reasons. And we have always suggested buying the memory you plan on using when you build the system and not try upgrading. However, you can try your friends and see if they have matching modules or eBay is another alternative, but please note buying a module from another user may be a AS IS purchase so please if you choose this route make sure the modules you buy is in working order prior to your purchase. Some resellers will check the revision for you prior to purchase, but it’s not a requirement for them to do so, so please ask nicely and I am sure most will do their best to accommodate your request.

 

But the best solution if you need 2 gig of memory would be to purchase the memory when you build the system or if you have memory find another use for what you have now and just order a Twinx2048-3200C2 set of modules. If you choose 4 modules its best to make sure they are all the same revision and part# and buy them from the same reseller.

 

However, please note that many MB’s when you have all of the memory slots may not run with tight timings and in some cases may require you to run the memory at DDR333 or DDR266.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Are you suggesting that all AMD-based boards will have issues with mixed revision numbers?

 

My Abit AV8 posts fine and boots but does not see a second set or DIMMS. Both are TWINX1024-3200C2PT, different revisions. The DIMMS are looking differently. I have tried each pair separately - they work just fine. According to your compatibility guide and motherboard manual they shoud work fine. Am I facing the issue described here?

 

It is clearly a problem with a part numbering strategy - The entire user community expects that the components with identical pproduct names will be compatible. I would suggest to use a different product name to identify an incompatible revision to eliminate massie confusion.

 

I certainly could not predict that my Linux PC will have to run VMWare with Windows XP client OS to complete an urgent development project, when I specified the hardware configuration. Your suggestion not to upgrade is clearly against the whole PC culture. Even Macs are now upgradable!

 

I suspect a lot of users were and will be "grilled" with this problem. Many retailers will not take anything back if it works to specifications without charging a large resrtocking fee. Is there a search engine we can use to locate a retail source of those RAM chip revisions which are out of production? I like E-bay, however it would never be considered a choice for acquiring hardware required to finish a mission-critical application.

 

If there is no way but to replace the RAM, would you consider buying the old chips back or exchanging them for a correct currently produced revision or two-for one pair of equivalent size?

 

Or, how about your website to sponsor an "mis-revisioned" RAM exchange forum for those of us who are "stuck" with expensive perfectly working chips? This would be a minimum Corsair can do to redeem its reputation as an excellent manufacturer caring for its customers.

 

I am hoping to hear back some constructive suggestions!

 

Regards,

 

 

Alex

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Disclaimer: No, I don't work for Corsair!

 

Are you suggesting that all AMD-based boards will have issues with mixed revision numbers?
AMD was just brought up because of the C2s having different timings with Intel / AMD. ALL memory controllers nowadays dislike having to deal with different ICs.

 

 

My Abit AV8 posts fine and boots but does not see a second set or DIMMS. Both are TWINX1024-3200C2PT, different revisions. The DIMMS are looking differently. I have tried each pair separately - they work just fine. According to your compatibility guide and motherboard manual they shoud work fine. Am I facing the issue described here?
Assuming you're using different revisions, yep. What's the revision # / lot # of each TwinX pack?

 

How To Read the Memory Label

 

 

It is clearly a problem with a part numbering strategy - The entire user community expects that the components with identical pproduct names will be compatible. I would suggest to use a different product name to identify an incompatible revision to eliminate massie confusion.
They aren't identical however. That's why each stick is clearly marked with the revision. They are part of the identifying factor of the module. They help to identify differences within the module. All 3200C2s for instance will do 2-3-3-6 on Intel systems, regardless of the revision, hence the name connotating the timing. Multiple ICs can do this. However, today's memory controllers just don't like talking to different ICs. Now yes, it's possible to get them to work together at lesser timings in some cases (smooths out their differences kinda), but not always. I think it has to do with the subtle differences in the IC's clocks. Microsecond differences that can add up. At least I think that's the main reason why (aside from IC design differences of course, which may cause those clock differences and other differences), it's been a while since I've had any circuitry classes :)

 

Either way, that's why they list the revisions on the modules. I'm guessing retailers don't list the revisions on their site because as long as they can do the rated timings, they don't care what ICs are used. After all, they have no idea how the end user is going to use them. IMHO, Corsair goes above and beyond when talking about the revisions, as they'll tell the end user what IC is used in their module when asked. Most memory manufacturers don't, which can cause more problems as the end user may have no way of even knowing if there are revision differences. Some don't even say whose ICs they use in general.

 

 

I certainly could not predict that my Linux PC will have to run VMWare with Windows XP client OS to complete an urgent development project, when I specified the hardware configuration. Your suggestion not to upgrade is clearly against the whole PC culture. Even Macs are now upgradable!
He didn't say not to upgrade, just to upgrade in a different way (e.g. get a TwinX2048 pack). Regardless, most Athlon 64s (depending on the core) will drop the memory speed to 333 Mhz when running 4 sticks, even if their revisions are the same. The Venice core solved that problem however.

 

 

I suspect a lot of users were and will be "grilled" with this problem. Many retailers will not take anything back if it works to specifications without charging a large resrtocking fee. Is there a search engine we can use to locate a retail source of those RAM chip revisions which are out of production? I like E-bay, however it would never be considered a choice for acquiring hardware required to finish a mission-critical application.
I take it you mean the Windbond Rev. C ICs? They haven't been made in almost 2 years. You won't find them in the retail market. However, they're known to be good OCers, and you may have a good chance (assuming you have memory made with them) to sell them at a profit on eBay. Anyway, you're right. If they work as advertised when running by themselves, then they're working per specs. Corsair's never recommended to run more than one TwinX pack at a time. Main reason for not running more than 2 sticks in any system is that it puts more strain on the memory controller. Old issue actually. Some memory controllers at one point even required after 2 sticks that the remainder sticks needed to be single sided modules because of the design limitations within themselves. Picky memory controllers aren't new.

 

 

If there is no way but to replace the RAM, would you consider buying the old chips back or exchanging them for a correct currently produced revision or two-for one pair of equivalent size?

 

Or, how about your website to sponsor an "mis-revisioned" RAM exchange forum for those of us who are "stuck" with expensive perfectly working chips? This would be a minimum Corsair can do to redeem its reputation as an excellent manufacturer caring for its customers.

I can already tell you right now that they won't buy your memory back. (they didn't sell them to you, the reseller did, and because they don't have the infrastructure to sell to consumers at the moment, it's kinda hard for them to do the reverse!) As for a swap, that's something you'd have to call up their cust service dept about (1-888-222-4346). I have seen them occasionally offer to replace 2 mis-matched sticks for a TwinX pack (search the forums), but replacing 2 TwinX packs is a new one to me. 4x512 for 2x1024 (assuming that's part of what you meant) is doubtful as well, for various reasons. The fact that they're willing to swap 2 mis-matched sticks for a TwinX pack (and have a hell of a lenient RMA policy) is already going above and beyond what they have to do. Their rep for excellent cust service is well noted and deserved.

 

Here's the real question to ask: Is it the manufacturer of today's memory controllers to blame for this problem for not liking different ICs, or the memory manufacturers (this isn't a Corsair specific problem you know) for using different ICs, or the IC manufacturer's problem for making so many different versions of ICs?

 

Slightly off-topic, as for why mem controllers don't like to deal with multiple ICs:

 

1. Think of someone that's bilingual. Imagine them talking simultaneously to 2 people that are speaking one of each language he knows. (or think of 2 people speaking variations of the same language) Gets confusing quickly.

 

2. Alternative explanation: Think of the old skit "Who's on First".

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  • 3 weeks later...

I also have two pairs of the TwinX 1GB's, both bought within the last month from a guy on eBay (who recently told me that he's buying them from newegg.com), however the revision numbers are different. One pair is 1.5 i believe, and the other 4.2. They wont boot when together in my new motherboard (gigabyte k8v ultra-939, with an AMD FX-53), but will boot together in my old one (gigabyte ga-8ig1000 pro with an Intel Pentium 4 2.66).

 

Anyone have any suggestions?

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With AMD 64 systems most that I have actually read the manual all have made, albeit sometimes lame; statement about using matched memory or same speed grade modules, this is exactly what is meant by that statement. If the modules SPD's are set differently then the memory controller will not know what to set and will just not detect any memory at all. And we have always suggested not to mix memory for best performance, in addition, most who want to use our modules want to over clock and its well documented that any system AMD or Intel based will over clock better with less modules because of chipset loading. Not to mention it is best to get the memory you plan on using when you build the system and that has always been the case. Just it’s more of an issue as the clock frequency has increased.
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Is there any way to work around the problem? If i order another set from newegg what are the chances of them being the same revision number?

 

I'm not looking to overclock my ram, i dont know how to and i'd rather not start tinkering.

 

This is the ram i was intending to use in my system. I only put the machine together earlier this week and found it to not work properly, so at the moment i'm using my old computer :[pouts: . The sticks were ordered two weeks apart due to finances and i didn't expect the revision to change in that time, although this does seem like i was old old stock.

 

Would it be better to sell the two TwinX 1GB pairs and buy one TwinX 2GB pair?

 

Would performance difference be noticable?

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You can talk to our customer service and ask if there is anything they can do to help you get them replaced with 2 modules that match. But this is not really a warranty issue.

Please either call our customer service at 888-222-4346 and dial "0" or follow the link in my signature "If you have submitted the RMA using the on line form and have not got a reply!"

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  • 8 months later...
  • 11 months later...
great forum ! you all just answerd my question ! got 2 1gb matched sets of xms 3200c2pt one rev 5.1 and one rev 5.2 on an abit kn8 mb , athlon 64 x-2 4800 . was having an intermittent problem with the computer booting up . would give a long intermittent beep and no post . sometimes it would start up fine after a reset , other times i'd have to power down the computer then restart it . had problems locking up at times also . live and learn i guess ! thanks !
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