High-Density DDR3: Five Dual-Module 8GB Kits Compared

Performance And Value Conclusion

Best Overclocking: Crucial CT2KIT51264BA1339

Crucial continues to stick its finger in the eye of the “bling” crowd by disproving heat-spreader myths. At 1.65V, its bare DDR3-1333 modules have continuously outpaced similarly-priced competition, and that trend continues with its latest high-density parts.

Best Timings: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Most users don’t overclock, but many who do still select a standard data rate for RAM. Optimizing memory timings without stressing the memory controller is easy with G.Skill’s F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL, which reached DDR3-1600 CAS 7 and DDR3-1333 CAS 6 in today’s evaluation.

Best Value for Non-Overclockers: Super Talent Chrome-series WP160UX8G9

With the exception of Patriot’s Sector 5 that defaulted to DDR3-1066, the other four module sets all defaulted to the same DDR3-1333 CAS 9 speed and timings. Among those four module sets, non-overclockers will find that price is the biggest value determiner.

Our choice: G.Skill Ripjaws F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

If we were building the ultimate LGA 1156-based system today, we’d select G.Skill’s 8GB DDR3-1600 dual-channel kit for its support of tight DDR3-1600 timings. As seen in our System Builder Marathon, our overclocked performance systems rarely use excessively high data rates because they do not noticeably boost the performances of the applications and games we use in our tests.

Yet our needs are not always your needs. While none of the modules in today’s comparison won enough comparison categories to earn an award, your purchase is the highest honor any product can receive. End-users looking for the ultimate memory upgrade should consider their own overclocking, latency, and value desires before placing that award in the hands of their favorite vendor.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • jasonz001
    nice :O
  • liquidsnake718
    At an average of $200 dollars a stick I can safely say I am not an "Enthusiast" even though I love computers, hardware, consoles, games, and talking about computers.

    However my next build has almost been conceptualized (waiting for certain parts and prices), so DDR3 here I come.
  • micky_lund
    ouch 400+ for 8gb ram?
  • falchard
    Its about twice as much as getting 8GB off 2GB Modules. So the price increase isn't too bad considering 4GB ram sticks are the largest you can currently buy. I am still waiting for that to dip in price and for the more massive ram sticks to come along. We have been max 4GB for quite some time now.
  • arkadi
    4 now i can live with 12gb limit on my x58 mb. But it is good to know that ppl that really need more then that can do it for affordable price
  • Only problem I have with the review is where is the same tests on a AMD platform for all us AMD users that will be or are already looking at AMD AM3/DDR3 builds.
  • Crashman
    micky_lundouch 400+ for 8gb ram?
    Yeh, ouch, but can you imagine paying $800 for it last summer? Newegg still has one of those super-expensive kits.
  • verrul
    dont expect more than 4gb anytime soon there really is no need in a system to run more than 4 to begin with you really dont see any speed improvements past 4 and no program is built to handle that size of memory block currently. Sure there are the occasional special systems that use more than 4gb but not for a single program. Besides that there is the TDP and FCC inforced efficiency ratings they have to come in under ram is an energy hog for an overclocker
  • Crashman
    terrybearOnly problem I have with the review is where is the same tests on a AMD platform for all us AMD users that will be or are already looking at AMD AM3/DDR3 builds.
    Tom's Hardware has recently been getting very similar overclocking and timing results between AMD and Intel systems when using the same modules and DIMM voltage. That's why the high-end system for the last two System Builder Marathons used the same RAM both times.
  • anamaniac
    What about 16GBm 1066MHz DDR3 DIMM's? Only $1,700 a piece. =D
    Granted, however, it is server ECC memory, and was never designed to be in a desktop. (Would love a 2P rig running dual 4GHz sexacore Gulftowns with HT, with 9 DIMM's per socket, running (18 DIMMs x 16GB/DIMM) 288GB of RAM.)