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Conclusion

Dual-Channel DDR3: Who Makes The Best 4GB Kit Under $150?
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Most of our memory shootouts are value-centric, focusing primarily on a chart that looks something like this:

If this were an ordinary review, the above chart might even show up in the winning company’s advertisements. But that’s not going to happen today, because this article was never intended to be a general value comparison. Anyone interested in seeing a pure-value article where Crucial does win an award can find it here.

Getting back to the theme of today’s article, we wanted to find the absolute best memory available for under $150, and we have a clear winner. Reaching a data rate more than 100 MHz higher than its closest competitor, G.Skill’s Trident DDR3-2000 (model F3-16000CL9D-4GBTD) took a clear lead that earns it an award. The fact that it was also able to run its rated DDR3-2000 at CAS 7 and our preferred DDR3-1600 at CAS 6 simply reaffirms its award-worthiness.

We recommend G.Skill’s Trident DDR3-2000 specifically for mid-budget overclockers who believe in the importance of memory speeds beyond those we’ve found to be beneficial to program performance.

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  • 13 Hide
    madass , May 25, 2010 10:04 AM
    "We recommend G.Skill’s Trident DDR3-2000 specifically for mid-budget overclockers who believe in the importance of memory speeds beyond those we’ve found to be beneficial to program performance."
    LOL
Other Comments
  • 2 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , May 25, 2010 7:27 AM
    And yet I would never recommend anyone to buy memory running faster than 1600mhz.
    Add another $50 and buy two cheaper ddr3-1600c9 sets instead. More beats faster.
  • 5 Hide
    ksa-_-jed , May 25, 2010 8:05 AM
    the bottom line is there no big different worth the extra money.
    I think is better to stick with the 1600mhz
  • -1 Hide
    jrharbort , May 25, 2010 8:14 AM
    I'm still glad with my choice to stick with the crucial modules in all my builds for nearly a year now. Nice article, was very informative, but I don't think it will effect my overall choice on future builds.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 8:58 AM
    wow those trident's are very impressive.
  • 6 Hide
    mr_tuel , May 25, 2010 9:18 AM
    I bought my OCZ 6GB 1600MHz triple-channel kit for $85 last May. It will now cost my ~$160 to buy another :-(
  • -6 Hide
    SchizoFrog , May 25, 2010 9:21 AM
    What happened to Corsair and OCZ? This is just another article for you to advertise certain brands, shame on you Tom's...
  • 1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , May 25, 2010 9:25 AM
    I'm sure they're not present in the article, because they simply didn't want to send any modules in time.
    Besides, corsair is usually middle of pack, and ocz has compatibility issues on every second motherboard or something. Not the biggest of losses.
  • 13 Hide
    madass , May 25, 2010 10:04 AM
    "We recommend G.Skill’s Trident DDR3-2000 specifically for mid-budget overclockers who believe in the importance of memory speeds beyond those we’ve found to be beneficial to program performance."
    LOL
  • -3 Hide
    idisarmu , May 25, 2010 11:15 AM
    4gb is no longer the optimal capacity. RAM prices are going up component-wise. 4gb of DDR3 1600 was down to about 95-100 dollars at one point, but now the price has gone up $10-15. Meanwhile, the price of 2x4gb kits have gone down from about $420 to $260-300 (This is for ddr3 1333)

    I think that if someone is building a new PC, it is now better to invest in 8gb in a 2x4gb kit than it is to invest in 2x2gb. You will eventually upgrade to 8gb anyway (next year or in 2 years), so why don't you just buy the 8gb in 2 sticks for only a slight % increase of Cost/GB
  • -5 Hide
    dalta centauri , May 25, 2010 11:36 AM
    Here I am running 4gb of ADATA DDR2 ram at 800MHz and others have 250$ worth of ram in their computers. I think it's time to upgrade :D 
    (Darn, 300$ down the tube)
  • 3 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , May 25, 2010 11:48 AM
    dalta centauriHere I am running 4gb of ADATA DDR2 ram at 800MHz and others have 250$ worth of ram in their computers. I think it's time to upgrade (Darn, 300$ down the tube)


    if you have ddr2 what would you upgrade to? unless you have one of those mid 2007 p35 motherboards with both ddr2 and 3, you're probably going to upgrade your platform to support new memory. And honestly that's a waste. It's much more important to have enough memory than it is to have memory speed.

    My server system's using 6gb ddr2-667 memory. It needs more amount rather than more speed.

    My parents have 12GB ddr3-1600c9 which I've underclocked to 1066 speeds for the sake of stability, and I haven't heard them complain.

    And personally I can't notice any real difference between 1333 and 1600 speeds on my low latency modules
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 25, 2010 12:21 PM
    Before recommending GSkill, you should investigate the countless problems popping up between P55 chipset and GSkill chips (see NewEgg reviews, for example). GSkill is not the only one affected by these "cold boot" issues, but is by far taking the most heat. How about a story on this?
  • -3 Hide
    bstm300 , May 25, 2010 12:32 PM
    Get pwned by critical toms hardware users!!!!!
  • 2 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , May 25, 2010 12:40 PM
    Interesting article.
  • 4 Hide
    tainted_peak , May 25, 2010 1:20 PM
    I just hate how last year around this time DDR2 2x2GB of 1066 were around $60 USD. This transition is really killing PC building and the bottom-line for many. 2% to 10% increase in overall performance for an extra $100 isn't worth it when your building sub $500 PCs.
  • 3 Hide
    saint19 , May 25, 2010 1:43 PM
    This review is a little simple. Where are the Crucial Ballistix and Crucial Ballistix Tracer? both are around $130 on the egg.

    We know that G.Skill is a very good manufacturer, but like I say in this review isn't the Baliistix, Ballistix Tracer, Corsair and OCZ.
  • 9 Hide
    El_Capitan , May 25, 2010 1:44 PM
    Quote:
    High-end RAM prices have fallen far faster than they have in the mainstream market, enticing mid-budget builders.

    Really? When you could get 6GB kits for less than today's 4GB kit prices?

    I bought 6 kits of 2x2GB DDR3-1333 CT2KIT25664BA1339's last year for $65 each. They're now $105 each. A better article would be why the prices are so high.
  • 0 Hide
    enzo matrix , May 25, 2010 1:50 PM
    What? No Mushkin?
  • 0 Hide
    joesapp37 , May 25, 2010 1:52 PM
    I saw an article about chipmakers manipulating the market, but it must have been a bad dream. I remember about a year ago I bought a kit of 2x2GB ddr2 dominators for $60... and they are how much now? $160!?!?!
  • 0 Hide
    dennisburke , May 25, 2010 2:01 PM
    How can this review be complete without one of the best kits out there, the Corsair Dominator C8 @ 1600MHz...($147.99__$137.99 after rebate)...is it because Tom's could not get Corsair to fork it over for free?

    Newegg
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