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Dual-Channel DDR3: Who Makes The Best 4GB Kit Under $150?

PNY MD4096KD3-1600-X8 DDR3-1600 CAS 8

Celebrating 25 years as a memory company, PNY sells some of the world’s fastest gaming parts under its XLR8 Gaming brand, including GeForce GTX 480 graphics cards. Ironically, that “world’s fastest” portfolio does not extend to its signature product line, as its memory business focuses primarily on stability, reliability, and compatibility.

PNY’s fastest memory product is labeled DDR3-1600, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be pushed. Extreme-stability parts do tend to be extraordinary overclockers, after all.

Users with XMP-enabled motherboards will be able to set PNY’s modules to the rated DDR3-1600 CAS 8 values in fewer steps, though their systems will default to a slower DDR3-1333 CAS 9 prior to BIOS intervention.

PQI MFAFR521PA7001 DDR3-2000 CAS 8

PQI’s presence in the U.S. market might be small, but at least one major vendor carries its parts. Unfortunately, that vendor does no have any of the firm’s DDR3 memory in stock. In fact, part number MFAFR521PA7001 doesn’t even show up on the Web, so we’re left trusting PQI that these are real-world components, that the lack of availability is simply a delay, and that the actual price will be under $150.

Of course we can’t put the modules in our final analysis until those small details are clarified, but we’ll at least see how far these can overclock. After all, it would be a true shame to allow any product named “Immortality edition” to die on the vine.

Unlike the DDR3-2000 listed on PQI’s Web site, these modules are designed for use within the confines of Intel’s stated 1.65V memory controller limit. Two XMP values are provided, the first aligning with the rated speed, and the second mimicking those of PQI’s more expensive DDR3-2200. Prior to user selection (in BIOS), the modules will default to DDR3-1333 CAS 9.

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