Timings and voltage for an i7 920

Hi everyone. I'm trying to decide on RAM for my new build, but I'm having a bit of trouble sorting out timings and voltage. For reference, it's an i7 920 / ASUS P6X58D build. I'm looking for CL7 DDR3 1600 kits, and have several in mind.

However, I've heard that it isn't uncommon to have to overclock RAM these days to actually reach the rated timings. I don't mind overclocking, but I want to make sure that if I do have to OC my RAM, that I'm going to actually be able to reach the timings that I buy the kit for.

According to this article, modules requiring more than 1.65V can potentially cause permanent damage to the i7 cpus, and at that price, I'd prefer not to turn my CPU into scrap. If I'm going to have to OC a kit to get it to its rated timings, should I stick to 1.5V kits, so that there's some breathing room to increase the voltage? Or is there a chance that the kits will reach the rated timings out of the box?

None of the kits I'm considering has many reviews, which doesn't really bother me. I'm just looking for some input about the likelihood of achieving the specified timings, either out of the box or with overclocking. Here are the kits:

I was originally going to go with G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800), 7-8-7-24-2N timings, 1.5V, when they were on sale for $165. Missed out on that, now they're $189.99.

I just noticed this kit: ORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800). 7-8-7-20 timings, 1.65V, $179.99.

Then, there's Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800). 7-9-7-24 timings, 1.65V, $189.99.

2 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. The corsair should work fine; just be sure to check the motherboard ram voltage at the first post, and set it to 1.65 if needed.
  2. Best answer
    All of the kits you listed should reach their rated speed (1600 MHz) and timings at the voltage specified by the manufacturer. Since none of the kits exceed the 1.65 Volt maximum set by Intel for the processor, all of them should work equally well. All of these manufacturers make top notch memory.

    Since the GSkill memory operates at 1.5 Volts, this would give you a little extra voltage headroom to play with if you find that your system is unstable, but I would not put too much emphasis on this one parameter.

    Check around for the best deals when you are about to buy and get the memory that meets your specifications at the best price. But stick to the name brand manufacturers like you have listed above.

    Good luck with your build.
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