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Corsair And Crucial

Triple-Channel DDR3: 6GB Kit Roundup

Corsair DDR3-1866 CAS 9

The fancy heat spreaders of Corsair Dominator modules were originally developed to cope with high temperatures that normally accompany high-voltage overclocking, yet the firm now offers the same product line in a lower-voltage kit. The benefits of such extreme cooling at 1.65 V operation are questionable, but performance enthusiasts will certainly exploit even the tiniest benefit to reach their goals.

Hoping its part number TR3X6G1866C9DF, 6 GB DDR3-1866 triple-channel kit would automatically configure to at least DDR3-1600, we found a maximum SPD value of DDR3-1333 at standard voltage. Intel’s XMP extensions take over from there, allowing semi-automatic configuration at the kit’s rated DDR3-1866 speed and 9-9-9-24 timings, using a Core i7-friendly 1.65 V.

All Corsair memory products carry a limited lifetime warranty.

Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 CAS 8

We received Crucial’s Ballistix 6 GB DDR3-1600 triple-channel kit before the company had come up with any retail packaging, but its use of a white box had no bearing on the quality of the parts within. Part number BL3KIT25664BN1608 didn’t even have a name yet when Crucial shipped these parts as three separate BL25664BN1608 modules, and these are among the firm's first 2 GB DDR3 Ballistix products.

A subsidiary of memory fabricator Micron, we had to wonder what took Crucial so long to develop a product that its competitors had long been selling using the same Micron parts. Was the company simply waiting for Core i7 to push DDR3 to the forefront?

An SPD automatic configuration max speed of 667 MHz (DDR3-1333) at stock voltage indicates that even Micron is probably using slower "overclockable" chips to reach higher speeds, and testing proved that the second XMP value of DDR3-1600 CAS 7 is unrealistic when the memory is in triple-channel mode. It was, however, able to exceed its rated 8-8-8-24 timings at DDR3-1600 and our tests will show how far it can really be pushed.

Crucial memory products carry a limited lifetime warranty.

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