Bang For The Buck
Some people will never overclock or even adjust their BIOS manually, and each of these 4 GB dual-channel kits booted at the same DDR2-800 speed and CAS 5 timings. Our preceding performance data won’t mean much to them, but the price certainly will. Here’s a sample of the before-rebate Web prices we found on Friday November 22.
If we were to only consider the retail price of these modules, two of the kits wouldn’t have qualified for today’s comparison. However, manufacturers found a sneaky way to qualify their parts, by offering substantial rebates on several products.
Anyone with the tenacity to go through a mail-in-rebate program can find huge savings available from several manufacturers. A little quick math shows the final price.
Industry watchers would have thought we were delusional had we suggested a few months ago that 4 GB of DDR2 SDRAM would be available for as little as $25 by the end of this year, yet here we are facing what could be the bottom of the DRAM market. Even Kingston’s high-priced PC2-8500 ends up under $50, while Crucial’s supremely overclockable Ballistix PC2-6400 is blessed with a $53 final cost.
Dividing performance by price is an easy way to determine value, but all of these kits required overclocking techniques to break away from the DDR2-800 CAS 5 standard. Thus, we divided the maximum stable data rate by price to define an overclocker’s value index.
Due to its exceptional after-rebate price, Corsair’s XMS2 series TWIN2X4096-6400C5 comes out a best-value in spite of its poor overclocking capability. Anyone with less faith in mail-in rebates would instead find supreme value in Patriot’s PVS24G6400LLK.