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Crucial PC3200 256MB DDR
Page 1 - Introduction & Specs
Author: Dan Podhola (WebMasterP)
Date: October 10, 2003
Category: Hardware
Options: Printable Version 12 pt Times New Roman 10 pt Times New Roman 12 pt Tahoma 10 pt Tahoma


Crucial PC3200 256MB DDR


Crucial is one of the world's largest memory module manufacturers and, to the best of my knowledge, the only complete memory module manufacturer in the United States. Crucial memory is generally associated with the average user's PC, not your hardcore PC enthusiast. Nevertheless, Micron, Crucial's parent company produces high quality, stable memory chips and being that Crucial is a Micron subsidiary, it only makes sense that Crucial RAM is currently produced with Micron memory chips. The question is: can Crucial, paired with its own Micron memory chips, offer good performance at a fair price?

Crucial was kind enough to supply me with two 256MB PC3200 modules (DDR400) for review. The modules are rated at CAS 3, this information is in Crucial's specifications. What is not in their specifications is RAS to CAS delay, RAS Precharge, and Cycle Time (Tras) timings. These are 3-3-8, respectively. So, one puts it together in the 'standard form', the complete timings are 3-3-3-8. Below is Crucial's list of specifications.

Crucial CT3264Z40B
Module Size 256 MB
Package 184-pin DIMM
Feature DDR PC3200
Configuration 32Meg x 64
Error Checking Non-parity
Speed 5ns
Voltage 2.5V
SDRAM Timings CL=3

The RAM came in a small cardboard box with several slots to hold sticks. The packaging could be summed up as more than adequate. Each stick was individually sealed in a static bag. The box also contained a sheet with installation instructions in several different languages. All-in-all, it was a very complete package as far as RAM is concerned.

Overview Shot
Overview Shot
The Backside
The Backside

Unlike some RAM targeted at enthusiasts, Crucial does not provide any bells and whistles, like heat spreaders. This is to be expected as Crucial seems to be targeting the budget and 'average user' market. This really was not a factor in the performance of the chip either, as we well see later.

Micron Information
Micron Information
Crucial Sticker
Crucial Sticker

Closer inspection reveals Micron made chips. There is nothing special going on here as it is already known Crucial (and therefore Micron) had started to rely on their own chips for a while now. I provided a close up of the chip below.

Close Up
Close Up

Installation is a no brainer, like most RAM. I should note that while this is not 'matched' RAM like most of our readers are used to seeing in dual channel setups, these DIMMs do work in dual channel configuration. You just need to install each DIMM its own channel which could vary (but probably does not) depending on your motherboard manufacturer. However, it is usually the case that installing your DIMMs into slots 1 and 3 or slots 2 and 3 will do the trick without any further configuration (as in the case of our test system). This is because slots 1 and 2 often share the same channel while the 3rd slot is on a separate channel

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