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Five Overclockable 32 GB DDR3 Kits, Reviewed

Overclocking And Bandwidth

We were really surprised that G.Skill didn't send in one of its Trident DDR3-2933 quad-channel kits to take on Corsair’s top-market Vengeance Pro. Unfortunately, a top data rate of DDR3-2600 isn’t going to help the firm win in this overclocking competition.

So, why would a company that does sell a DDR3-2933 kit submit one of its DDR3-2400 offerings for today’s round-up? Perhaps because I said there would be a performance comparison, and G.Skill knew something I didn’t about how this platform would deal with higher data rates.

The top three bandwidth numbers are established at DDR3-2400 settings. Data rates beyond DDR3-2400 require longer secondary timings, and the motherboard responds with looser tertiary timings.

Additional testing confirms that memory bandwidth continues to climb with higher data rates applied to locked-in DDR3-2400 timings, and that DDR3-2400 bandwidth drops to 25 GB/s when manually configured to DDR3-2666 timings. "Best Timings" in the chart labels only refer to the use of optimized primary timings discussed on the previous page.

I kept playing with the timings of Corsair’s top-overclocking modules until I hit 30.4 GB/s at DDR3-2800. That’s still a little short of the DDR3-2400 numbers, but it’s a clear indicator that secondary and tertiary timings are an issue for the Sandra Memory Bandwidth test using Asus’ Z87-based motherboard.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.