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Evaluate these DDR3 1600 RAM sets please

Last response: in Systems
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June 7, 2010 9:51:27 PM

Hey all,
I've been getting great advice on my other questions about my i5-750 gaming build, and I'm hoping to get some more suggestions on my choice of RAM. I'm looking for 2 x 2 GB of DDR3 1600mhz RAM for my P55 motherboard, and price is a big factor. I'm not planning on doing more than modest overclocking. I'm currently looking at these sets (prices after rebates):


1) [$100] CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C9
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[CL 9 @1.65v]

2) [$100] OCZ 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) XMP-Ready Rev.2 Desktop Memory Model OCZ3X1600R2LV4GK
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

[CL 8 @1.65v, but seems to achieve rated speeds and timings only after some difficulty, according to the reviews]

3) [$110] G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[CL 9 @1.5v, has good reviews)

4) [$110] OCZ Special Ops Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[CL 8 @1.65v, what does "low voltage" mean here?]

5) [$110 after big rebate] CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMX4GX3M2A1600C7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
[7-8-7-20 @ 1.65v, wary about the rebate though!]

A few more questions - how much of a difference will CL 9 versus CL 8/7 timings make in actual usage? Is 1.65v an overvoltage setting for the P55 chipset (is the normal 1.5v?), and will that be difficult to maintain with stability? The first or fifth Corsair sets seems to be the best deals, but do they have a good reputation for actually giving out rebates?

Hoping to finish buying all components this week, so advice would be appreciated soon. Thanks!
June 7, 2010 10:30:24 PM

Corsair's rebates work fine and so does their warranties.Have used both.
I own Corsair Dominators and this Gskills memory and it's top-notch.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I was told by knowledgeable people i trust and respect to stay away from OZC memory.
OZC psu's are good though.
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June 8, 2010 12:19:41 AM

I got OCZ RAM on my latest PC. Its been hard to get stable, especially when I started overclocking. The Corsair RAM on my old PC was much more reliable and OC friendly.

1.65 is an overvoltage setting, I am thinking after this experience with OCZ I will be sure to get 1.5V RAM on my next build so I have more room to manuever.
June 8, 2010 1:52:22 AM

Assuming that I get the rebate, is the Corsair CL7 RAM of better quality/speed than the G.Skill Ripjaws CL 7 RAM ?

Also, will I notice any real difference between CL 9 and CL 7, and if I do not want the tight timings, would I be able to achieve CL 9 at 1.5v for either of these two CL7 RAM models? Thanks.
June 8, 2010 2:05:05 AM

I wouldn't say one is definitively better then the other.
Be prepared to wait 2-3 months for the rebate.
Yes tighter timings from CL9 to CL7 would be noticable if you had CL8 not so much between 9 or 7
if you want lower volts i suggest you buy a low voltage set
such as Gskills ECO
June 8, 2010 2:13:53 AM

Corsair is the better quality over G.SKILL but both are outstanding manufacturer's, so both would work.

Outside of benchmarks, you will not see a "real world" difference between Cas9 & Cas7, not saying that Cas7 still isn't better though. Typically, most RAM will run at looser settings, specially not at stock voltage. My guess is either RAM will default to Cas9 at stock voltage of 1.5V.

Best solution

June 8, 2010 2:17:23 AM
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Well to clarify Tecmo's response, you won't see a difference in Gaming FPS. However, in terms of system responsiveness and overall feel, it makes a difference.

The difference tighet RAM makes, is similar to switching from a magnetic drive to an SSD. No major boot speed change, but a similar responsiveness change yes.

ATM we recommend G SKill because they sell you better RAM than you pay for. IE, their RAM will OC better and run at tighter timings than rated.

Most other companies sell you ram that'll basically work as advertised, OCing, and running at tighter timings/lower voltage less well than G Skill.

OCZ is the one exception. They seem to sell you RAM that has the potential if you're lucky to run as advertised.
June 8, 2010 8:49:03 PM

banthracis said:
ATM we recommend G SKill because they sell you better RAM than you pay for. IE, their RAM will OC better and run at tighter timings than rated.

Most other companies sell you ram that'll basically work as advertised, OCing, and running at tighter timings/lower voltage less well than G Skill.

OCZ is the one exception. They seem to sell you RAM that has the potential if you're lucky to run as advertised.
Thats a good summary.
June 9, 2010 3:58:57 AM

Thanks for the answers - I went with the G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3 CL7 RAM, which just went down $5 to $110. I'll be pairing it with my Asus P7P55D-E PRO motherboard, which I also just ordered; should be fun to play around with once they arrive!

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBRM

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
June 9, 2010 4:00:48 AM

Best answer selected by wilytilt.
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