Often times, the best and cheapest upgrade is in the ram department. With the ram market hitting an all time low just a few months ago, it was very economical. As with any component in the computer market, prices have changed recently. Although that being the case, the basic 128MB upgrade is probably still the cheapest and best you can do for your system.
Today we take a look at the Crucial PC2100 128MB DDR SDRAM module. Crucial has been at the top of the list in terms of the memory industry. Operating under the parent company of Micron, makers of DRAM chips, they have taken the top spot in terms of memory options and performance. Here are some specs:
- Module Size: 128MB
- Package: 184-pin DIMM
- Feature: DDR PC2100
- Configuration: 16Meg x 64
- DIMM Type: Unbuffered
- Error Checking: Non-parity
- Voltage: 2.5V
- SDRAM Timings: CL=2.5
Our module today, rated at CL 2.5, its one of Crucial's best selling ram upgrade options. DDR (double data rate) operates optimally at twice the speed of conventional SDRAM. This is accomplished by having the output of the ram activating on the rising and falling edges of the system clock. The rating of 2.5 is the CAS (Column Access Select) which is the amount of clock cycles it takes for the memory to respond to a command. And of course, the lower the number the faster it is.
At PC2100, it runs equivalent to SDRAM rated at PC133. DDR is quickly becoming the standard, surpassing SDRAM. If you're in the market for building a new system, utilizing DDR is probably your best bet due to its memory bandwidth.
We're going to be testing out our ram on a P4 system. Since the i845 chipset, Intel has since been able to utilize DDR instead of RDRAM. Although not as fast as RDRAM, it sure is more economical and easily obtainable.