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Gigabyte i-RAM
By CPU-zilla
Category : Storage
Published by Vijay Anand on Thursday, 6th October, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Innovative Product Award)

Test Setup

We initially tested the new Gigabyte i-RAM with our standard hard drive testbed which is based on NVIDIA's nForce4 Ultra chipset. However, there were compatibility problems which prevented the i-RAM from working properly as a spare Windows hard drive. A quick check with Gigabyte revealed that the i-RAM, which is still in its final testing phase, had slight compatibility issues with the nForce4. Thus, we decided to build a rig using the ABIT AG8 motherboard based on the Intel 915P and ICH6R chipset.

Although Gigabyte recommended us with an extensive list of memory modules that were found compatible with the i-RAM, we decided not to follow their recommendations. Instead, we took four pieces of Corsair's ValueSelect modules, each with a 1GB capacity, and installed them into the i-RAM. The modules were based on the Samsung K4H510838C-UCCC part and they worked flawlessly on the i-RAM. This shows that the i-RAM will work with other memory modules and may have wider compatibility with other memory modules than initially recommended by Gigabyte.

The Gigabyte i-RAM with four 1GB Corsair DDR400 modules installed.

Installation of the i-RAM card was fairly simple as it does not involve any device drivers. However, the card may take up more than a single slot although all the four memory slots are angled to reduce space usage. If you have high-profile memory modules, you'll likely take up more than one PCI slot. We suggest installing the i-RAM in the last PCI slot, so that it can take advantage of the clearance given between the motherboard and the PC chassis.

The four memory slots are angled so as to reduce space usage. Still, larger memory modules will take up the space on the next PCI slot.

For those considering the i-RAM, you may want to stick to Gigabyte's list of recommended memory modules to avoid any complications which may arise. Here's a list given to us :-

Recommended Memory Modules for Gigabyte i-RAM
DDR400 256MB Modules
Module Supplier Module P/N Chip Supplier Chip P/N
Samsung KOREA 0309 PC3200U-30331-A1 M381L3223ETM-CCC 256MB DDR PC3200 CL3 ECC Samsung K4H560838E-TCCC (ECC)
Micron MT16VDDT3264AG-40BB5 PC3200U-30330-B1 256MB DDR400 CL3 Micron MT 46V16M8-5B
Buffalo DD4333-S256/MC PC3200U-30330-A1 256MB 400MHz-CL3 Micron MT 46V32M8-5BC
TwinMOS M2G9108A-TT TwinMOS TMD7608F8E50D
Infineon HYS64D32301HU-5-C C5S50316008 PC3200U-30331-C2 256M DDR400 CL3 Infineon HYB25D512160CE-5
Kingston KVR400X64C3A/256 Kingston D3208DHIT-5 0508PT10
ProMOS V826632K24SCIW-D3 Mosel V58C2256804SCI5 0512PP
DDR400 512MB Modules
Module Supplier Module P/N Chip Supplier Chip P/N
Transcend 512M 184 DDR=HP 512M DDR400 DIMM 3-3-3 8144 Y0347 Mosel V58C2256804SAT5B
Transcend PSD A256D30BTP 513ASN14 TAIWAN AN-5 PSC 512M DDR400 DIMM 2.5-3-3
Elixir M2U51264DS8HC1G-5T 512MB DDR400 CL3PC3200U-30330 Elixir N2DS25680CT-5T
GeiL MPEA3200C2UD2-512 GeiL 512M DDR400ULTRA (32M8)
ProMOS V826664K24SCIW-D3 Mosel 0512PP V58C2256804SC15
Elpida EBD52UC8KFA-5C PC3200U-3044-0-B1 Elpida DD2508AKT
Veritech Veritech Veritech DDR 32M8
Apacer 12MB UNB PC3200 CL3 Infineon HYB25D256800CE-5
DDR400 1GB Modules
Module Supplier Module P/N Chip Supplier Chip P/N
Transcend 1G184PDDR=LR 1GDDR400 DIMM 3-3-3 Micron MT 46V64M8-5BC
Kingston KVR400X64C3A/1G Samsung K4H510838C-UCCC
TwinMOS M2SA016A-HX PC3200(CL3) 1GB DDR-DIMM Hynix HY5DU12822AT-D43
Apacer 1GB UNB PC3200 CL3 Samsung K4H510838B-TCCC

In our tests, we compared results from the Gigabyte i-RAM with the fastest SATA drive available today and that is none other than Western Digital's 74GB Raptor 10,000RPM drive. All tests were performed in the same testbed and using similar configuration to maintain fair comparisons.

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