Perhaps taking a cue from Goldilocks and the Three Bears , memory maker OCZ hopes its newly announced 3GB SO-DIMM kit will prove just the right amount for notebook users looking for a cost effective upgrade. The PC2-5400 part targets Vista 32-bit users and is meant to occupy the sweet spot between not having enough memory, and overpaying for too much RAM.
Before shrugging off the new kit as another marketing ploy akin to OCZ's Vista Special series or CrossFire RAM , a 3GB part actually makes sense. To truly utilize 4GB (or more) of system memory, you'll need a 64-bit OS. Try installing a 4GB kit into a system with a 32-bit OS, and as Gordon Mah Ung points out in Maximum PC's No Compromises $1,500 PC running Windows XP 32-bit, " it'll likely report only 3.25GB free. " The extra doesn't get kicked to the curb, and there are ways to tweak your system to better utilize 4GB kits in a 32-bit environment, but the benefits are not the same as those in a 64-bit environment with native support.
Similar in concept to AMD's tri-core Phenom, OCZ's 3GB kit bridges the gap between 2GB and 4GB kits, and according to the press release , the new modules will be " priced aggressively and targeted at the value-minded consumer. " Exactly how aggressive remains to be seen, but OCZ does provide performance specs for the odd-numbered dual-channel kit.