Memory prices have only started normalizing following July's price surge, and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. With that said, current prices used in today's comparison may not be relevant by the time some readers find this article, but the data can still be used to calculate your own value scale.
With the lowest price increase of less than 10% compared to June, Crucial’s CT3KIT25664BA1339 $98 makes it the cheapest set. Crucial also took a very close second place in overclocking.
We used June's $90 price as a guideline for rating value, dividing the difference in overclocking (page 7) by the difference in price (above).
Any theories about inexpensive heat spreaders adding overclocking capability and therefore value can quickly be dismissed at the “low-end” of the pricing scale, as Crucial’s bare DDR3-1333 memory takes a significant value win.
Buyers who really want the look of heat spreaders or prefer to limit their overclocking aspirations to manufacturer-specified and supported levels could instead look to OCZ Intel Extreme series, since it supported the tightest DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1066 timings. On the other hand, Corsair's top overclock has been matched by a hearty increase in price. The combination of recent price changes and differences in capability will force budget-minded system tuners to put even more thought into how much they’d prefer to spend, save, or overclock.
Note: As of December 2010, Crucial has started replacing many of its CT25664BA1339 modules with single-sided parts at twice the density. The new modules do not provide the same overclocking capability as the older parts. The older parts will remain in-stock to support the needs of previous-generation motherboards, but will not likely be sold in triple-channel kits.