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Are these memory kits the same or different?

Last response: in Components
February 13, 2010 4:08:09 PM

Hello all!

I have a simple (or perhaps not) question: are the following kits different?

Yes, yes, I know that the latency is different. What I'm wondering is if the chips/voltage controller/etc. are different (for overclocking reasons)

If I can save a couple bucks but end up with the same chips (just different specs), then of course I'd go for it!

Here they are (Mushkin Blackline 1600MHz):

Also, what do you think about the G.Skill PI series 1600MHz DIMM?

Is it any better, worse? I know that the heatsink is better, but then again it might get in the way of a CPU cooler (Titan Fenrir)...

All I care about as of now is the quality/difference of all the chips I mentioned. (And sorry, it's starting to look a little more complicated now),

So thanks in advance for your input! :D 

More about : memory kits

February 13, 2010 4:42:37 PM

Well as stated in the specifications area of the sticks, the Gskill not only has lower timings but also operates at a lower 1.5V. This would be a good thing for overclocking. And it's cheaper.
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February 14, 2010 6:20:01 AM

Cool, cool! Thanks guys! Ironically a friend just told me the same thing too, just before I got a chance to check for new replies, but he also suggested these:

(Well, now, I can't help but think I might as well fork over the extra $10 to get a DDR3-2000MHz kit..)

So, now I have to ask:


..or (yes, I know it's better, semi-significantly, but is it worth the money?):

Hehe, thanks for your patience. :) 
February 14, 2010 9:05:23 AM

Tom's Hardware has published many articles about memory. In some of the recent articles it was noted that those extra tall memory heatspreaders do not improve memory cooling. Optimal memory cooling is achieved without any heatspreaders. Other web sites have confirmed the findings. Consider those tall heatspreaders as an advertising gimmick. Memory modules are located next to cpu heatsinks with fans that draw cool air right over the memory modules.

In addition, when installed in the memory slot closest to a cpu, the memory modules with tall heatspreaders will interfere with tower style cpu heatsinks such as the Titan Fenrir.

enzo matrix was correct in suggesting memory modules with lower timings operating at a lower voltage.
February 14, 2010 2:48:31 PM

^^Wow. Interesting. Now I'm wondering about aftermarket heatsinks.. :\

So, I'm inferring that I shouldn't get a module with a tall heatspreader (namely because it doesn't do much else than a regular-height one, but also because of the HSF interference issue...)

So, I've boiled it down to (again):

The muskin Blackline DDR3 1600 @CL7:

The Crucial Ballistix Tracer DDR3 1600 @CL8 (yes, the mushkins have lower latencies, but I've heard stories about crucial having batter OC'ing headroom..?)

..or the Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 @CL8 (as with the ballistix, I could probably OC a bit higher or tighten the latencies.)

Well, thanks again for your patience, and your interesting information :) 

Best solution

February 14, 2010 2:59:21 PM

I would consider anything over DDR1600 a waste unless you are into LN2 and 5 Ghz OC's. Yes, CAS 6 is better than CAS7, CAS 7 better than 8, etc.....whether it's worth it is up to your budget constraints.

I also agree w/ johnnylucky but with a caveat....I'd say "most" head spreader technology does nothing but make it look cool. OTOH, I have seen tests / articles on the Dominators in the past where a measurable advantage was tested and observed. Same for the Ascent cooling modules from Mushkin. Competitors faced with a choice of duplicating the performance or slapping on a look a like seem to have gone the latter route.

Some heat spreaders will cause a problem with aftermarket CPU coolers but it's specific to each particular combination of MoBo, cooler and RAM modules. The Ascent coolers have more of an issue with width rather than height as the liquid vapor chamber interface needs a circuitous route to function.

Whether it will make a difference or not is highly subject to air circulation within your case. I have one box here where I had to add one of these to make it stable at stock speeds.

Most manufacturers offer a module set w/ and w/o the coolers. In my last build, the 998691's were recommended for 12 GB setups and the 998692's (w/ Ascent Cooling) were recommended for 6 GB setups. The Coolers add up to 10% to the cost of the memory $189 vs. $204 when I bought) . As it turned out, the larger spacing of slots on the R2E I coulda fit either. I have the DDR1600's 998692's running at 10% over rated speed (1760). The 998691's just reappeared on newegg this week but have ballooned to $249.
February 15, 2010 4:16:17 PM

Yup. I heard before that DDR3-2000 is a waste, now it's reinforced.

At the moment, I can't afford Dominators or Ascent Coolers (My RAM budget is >$200).

The same friend of mine suggested getting the dimensions of my HSF, then walking around "The electronics retailer that sells you fried things", measuring mobos.. I guess I'm going to do that next weekend...

I have an Antec 1200 now, so airflow won't be a problem. :) 

Isn't it great that a $5 fan can save a $2000 build? Great stuff.

Well, (whether you got my last post or not [i posted and it didn't appear.. odd..]), I narrowed it down to these:

What would you get?

Thanks again for your patience.

February 17, 2010 1:05:00 AM

Hello Everyone, and thanks for all of your responses.

After reading this article (, I decided to go with the Crucial Ballistix Tracers.

Not only did they perform the best, but also had the most overclocking headroom. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Crucial also manufactures their own chips.

I would have gone for the G.Skills, but they wouldn't fit under my HSF. (megahalems on a X58A-UD3R, or even the Fenrir!). :( 

So, Ballistix are the way to go!

Thanks for all your support, every word on this thread heavily influenced my decision.

February 21, 2010 5:41:07 PM

Zinosys said:
What would you get?

The Muskin CAS 7 for $177 fastest of the 3, cheapest of the 3.
March 2, 2010 11:15:15 PM

Best answer selected by Zinosys.