DDR3 On A Budget: Six 6 GB Memory Kits

Super Value Conclusion

Memory prices have only started normalizing following July's price surge, and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. With that said, current prices used in today's comparison may not be relevant by the time some readers find this article, but the data can still be used to calculate your own value scale.

With the lowest price increase of less than 10% compared to June, Crucial’s CT3KIT25664BA1339 $98 makes it the cheapest set. Crucial also took a very close second place in overclocking.

We used June's $90 price as a guideline for rating value, dividing the difference in overclocking (page 7) by the difference in price (above).

Any theories about inexpensive heat spreaders adding overclocking capability and therefore value can quickly be dismissed at the “low-end” of the pricing scale, as Crucial’s bare DDR3-1333 memory takes a significant value win.

Buyers who really want the look of heat spreaders or prefer to limit their overclocking aspirations to manufacturer-specified and supported levels could instead look to OCZ Intel Extreme series, since it supported the tightest DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1066 timings. On the other hand, Corsair's top overclock has been matched by a hearty increase in price. The combination of recent price changes and differences in capability will force budget-minded system tuners to put even more thought into how much they’d prefer to spend, save, or overclock.

Note: As of December 2010, Crucial has started replacing many of its CT25664BA1339 modules with single-sided parts at twice the density.  The new modules do not provide the same overclocking capability as the older parts.  The older parts will remain in-stock to support the needs of previous-generation motherboards, but will not likely be sold in triple-channel kits.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • aspireonelover
    Great review, this helped me determine with determining about DDR3 6GB kits. Since I'm in the middle of building my core i7 rig. thx!
    btw, isn't there any cheaper ram on the way as well?
  • Crashman
    These were all available for under $90 at the July 3 price deadline. Amazing what's happened since, eh?
  • pirateboy
    rather silly not to include any gskill ram
  • neiroatopelcc
    Is 1.65v really needed?
    I recently built an i7 mashine with 2x6gb ocz gold modules.
    Instead of running them at their rated 1600mhz @ 1.65v I decided to go for 1333 @ 7-7-6-17 - and that @ stock 1.5v ; I don't really get the point of feeding them more juice just to get timings a tad lower, or frequency a tad up.
  • hixbot
    With the minimal performance gains from high-end RAM, glad to see an evaluation of the "cheap" stuff. Good work.
  • bk420
    I wish these came in 2 or 4 packs also!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • inmytaxi
    OCZ DDR3 3x 2 GB kits, the Gold and the Plat at 1333 and 1600, dropped below 100 bucks at NewEgg and ZipZoomFly three months ago. They've been $89 - 99 PLUS a 20 rebate with FREE shipping there on and off since April.

    The statement at the heading is inaccurate.
  • monkeysweat
    what about kingston ram?
  • itadakimasu
    I picked up some 12gb ocz platinum 1333 kits for $135, and 140 off of amazon. Found them using bing.com/cashback.
  • xanubisx
    do not use ocz's xmp set the memory yourself. On my memory the 1600mhz with xmp i tried the xmp 1600 setting and it cooked my i7 cpu. After the shitty rma process i installed the memory and set all the timings myself and found out that the xmp profile set the qpi voltage to 1.4 when it runs fine on 1.105 (i think) the default qpi voltage anyways i learnt my lesson ocz might have cheap memory but dont use the xmp.