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We began the competition with an overclocking comparison. Kingston was the only company able to provide DDR3-2000 samples before our deadline, so we expected them to take a lead, while Corsair was the only company to provide DDR3-1866. Will any of today’s DDR3-1600 kits beat Corsair's parts?
Indeed, three DDR3-1600 module sets did overclock further than Corsair’s DDR3-1866 did. Crucial Ballistix continues its overclocking dominance by coming up just shy of DDR3-2000, with Mushkin Enhanced falling only slightly behind. Value-performance brand Wintec also surprised us with a significant 21% overclock.
Update: Kingston renamed its KHX16000D3T1K3/6GX kit to part number KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX, informing us of the change after this review was published.
Originator of low-voltage DDR3-1600, Aeneon unfortunately even fell behind the DDR3-1333 set of today’s comparison.
Sandra Memory Bandwidth almost perfectly reflects the speed each module set achieved, but slight variability in this particular benchmark did mix the results of some close contenders.
Most people won’t push their memory to the highest possible speed but will instead use the above information as a guideline for limits. At any given speed, tight timings offer improved performance. We tested each 6 GB triple-channel kit at the three most common "performance" speeds.
Best Timings at 1.66 V
Kingston DDR3-2000 KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX
Crucial Ballistix 1600 BL3KIT25664BN1608
Mushkin Enhanced 1600 Model 998679
Wintec AMPX 1600 3AHX1600C8WS6GTK
Corsair Dominator 1866 TR3X6G1866C9DF
Patriot Viper 1600 PVT36G1600LLK
G.Skill DDR3-1600 F3-12800CL8T-6GBHK
OCZ Intel Extreme 1600 OCZ3X1600LV6GK
A-data Vitesta 1600 AD31600E002GMU3K
Geil Value DDR3-1600 GV36GB1600C8TC
Aeneon Xtune 1600 AXH860UD20-16H-K-6G
Super Talent 1333 WA133UX6G8
Kingston and Crucial continue their dominance at our highest test speed, while Mushkin edges into second place at DDR3-1600. Aeneon stays near the bottom when it comes to timings, barely beating Super Talent’s DDR3-1333.