Five Overclockable 32 GB DDR3 Kits, Reviewed

Which 32 GB Memory Kit Should You Buy?

The best memory kit in today’s round-up must necessarily be the one that runs at the highest data rates and/or supports the tightest timings. In other words, Corsair's Vengeance Pro DDR3-2800 is the only 32 GB memory kit elite enough to win our Tom's Hardware Elite honor.

That recognition does leave me in a bit of a bind though, since G.Skill took the rules of our contest into account (including the motherboard and settings we told everyone we'd use), and correctly determined that DDR3-2400 would be best-suited to the test platform. Most of us would call that working smarter, rather than harder. And the smart choice for owners of Asus' Z87-Pro will want to pair that board up with the right kit. The right kit should qualify for an award, too.

A value-oriented award was always a possibility in this overclocking-oriented story. But one didn't appear likely until after I saw how wise it'd be to pair our platform with a $310 DDR3-2400 kit. Rather than optimizing for all-out data rate or the lowest latencies, G.Skill tuned for motherboard limitations.

And that opens up yet another can of worms. It would seem that Asus has been winning the DRAM overclocking component of my motherboard round-ups with excessively loose timings when its board is set to aggressive data rates. Sure, I could add DDR3-2800 bandwidth testing to those pieces. But Asus might very well respond by optimizing platforms for data rates no higher than DDR3-2800 (rather than its current DDR3-2400 tuning).

So, which memory would I choose? As a motherboard reviewer, I'm inclined to go with the kit that works best for motherboard round-ups. Since many of today's boards sneakily apply CPU overclocking whenever XMP mode is enabled, I run application benchmarks with XMP disabled. A perfect module set for me would begin with an SPD value of DDR3-1600 CAS 9, such as Patriot’s Viper 3 PV332G240C1QK.

But then I need to add overclocking stability tests. Topping out at DDR3-2693, Patriot’s DDR3-2400 kit just doesn’t add much to motherboard evaluations that employ a DDR3-3000-capable CPU. On the other hand, competing samples default to DDR3-1333 CAS 9 settings that are below our recommended minimum for performance evaluation. That means you'll continue to see me using two different sets of memory for my stories: the Patriot Viper 3 for benchmarks and Corsair Vengeance Pro for overclocking. The best place I can think to put G.Skill's value-leading kit is in my own PC.

At $310 for 32 GB of G.Skill’s DDR3-2400, I can’t fault anyone who follows my lead.

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  • jasonelmore
    I've had the Gskill Kit for over a year now and i love it. All these other kits are late to the party.

    I use mine for RAM DISK, which is a Asus Program that lets me install games to my RAM and have nearly instant loading times. 10,000 Mbps, where as the fastest m.2 PCIe ssd's will only do 1/10th that.

    I cant wait for Broadwell because i need 64GB so i can put a full Battlefield 4 install (42GB and going up with each expansion) on it.

    Whats great is the asus RAM DISK program can move the installation freely without you having to mess with the registry or installation directory settings.
  • jasonelmore
    also the Gskill kit is Quad Channel Compatible. i know it's up to the chipset to set channels, but some kits wont work quad channel.
  • s3anister
    @jasonelmore RAM disks have been around for ages and is not an exclusively ASUS thing. Also if you actually NEED that much space on a RAM disk then you'd be better served by using an LGA2011 platform since you could easily drop 64GB in it.
  • Amdlova
    i have used g-skill on my last 3 builds and work hard. never get an blue scren. but with corsairs i lost my count. i prefer use kingston value ram to buy corsair memory again
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    also the Gskill kit is Quad Channel Compatible. i know it's up to the chipset to set channels, but some kits wont work quad channel.
    All of these kits are designed for Quad-Channel mode, but the Quad-Channel CPUs we have won't push the high data rates needed for a memory overclocking evaluation.
  • jasonelmore
    @jasonelmore RAM disks have been around for ages and is not an exclusively ASUS thing. Also if you actually NEED that much space on a RAM disk then you'd be better served by using an LGA2011 platform since you could easily drop 64GB in it.

    The connectivity on LGA 2011 is behind quite a bit. I'd rather have faster IPC, and more than 2 native sata 6g. I wish intel would not keep it's enthusiast line a year behind in tech.
  • mapesdhs
    I've used a lot of GSkill kits, they're very good, but one thing surprises me about
    the choice, namely the absence of the GSkill TridentX kit. I find it's more stable
    than the Ripjaws series, especially in max-RAM configurations with 32GB on Z68,
    or 64GB on X79, etc. I wonder why GSkill chose to supply the RipjawsX... I was
    going to say maybe it was just price, but TridentX is cheaper now, at least in the
    UK anyway, but even if it cost more I'd still always recommend the TridentX if a
    buyer can afford it. Note the TridentX is CL10 vs. the RipjawsX's CL11. Here's my
    config with two TridentX 2400 kits, set for the moment at 2133 as that was my
    target speed (at the time it was cheaper than buying native 2133 kits, and I've
    not had a chance yet to optimise at 2400):

  • Vlad Rose
    I have been using G.Skill RAM since the early days of the Athlon when no one had heard of the company. It has always been rock solid for me and have had great luck overclocking it over the years.
  • kyle382
    good gravy those are some hideous looking sticks.
  • damric
    I can run my G.Skill 2133CL10s at 2500CL10 rock solid on an Athlon 760K so suck it, intel!
  • shogunofharlom
    I GOT A G SKILL 32GB 1866 KIT FOR $109 TWO YEARS AGO FROM THE EGG! BEST DEAL EVER! It will be a looooong time till I buy new ram.
  • spookyman
    So what was wrong with Adata?
  • Crashman
    Anonymous said:
    So what was wrong with Adata?
    There's nothing wrong with it, they just shipped two pair rather than a set of four, in a comparison of four-module kits, and the resulting combination didn't leave any room for overclocking. Corsair got an award for overclocking, G.Skill got an award for value, and there wasn't any "in the middle" award.
  • Sabishii Hito
    Ironic that all these kits use the same ICs (Hynix H5TQ4G83MFR).
  • anbello262
    I also use Gskill, and I have been able to set my 1600CAS9 sticks to 2133CAS11, and that really showed a HUGE improvement for my APU :D
  • JackNaylorPE
    Enjoyed seeing Mushkin Redlines in ya last roundup (THG Elite Award) and disappointed they didn't participate this time around. The 10-12-12-28 timings are the best I have seen outta the package. The Blackline series also has slightly tighter timings at 2800 with 12-14-14-35

    Redline 2400 CAS 10 = 8.33 ns
    Vengeance 2800 CAS 12 = 8.57 ns
  • WyomingKnott
    If I read the chart on page 9 correctly, most memory runs higher bandwidths at the stock settings than overclocked. Am I misreading something?
  • junkeymonkey

    were you once or still doing the jonny guru bit? where do I remember you from?

    I like my gskills but with any brand theres good and bad on how you board takes to them some can be finicky..
  • WyomingKnott
    ?? Jonny Guru ?? I was never over there. Sorry.
  • junkeymonkey
    my mistake then sorry.... just seemed like I seen WyomingKnott on some other tech site.. my bad