We didn’t see much performance difference between the various DDR3-1600 module sets, regardless of speed or timings—not even when using an enhanced FSB-2000 to the processor. If we assume that benchmarks are only consistent to plus or minus 0.5%, we could simply state that when it comes to DDR3 memory, the cheaper the better. The overclocker in all of us wants the best RAM, but the best overclocking memory of today’s shootout is not yet widely available in the U.S. market. Buffalo FireStix FSI1600D3G-2G will certainly get a lot of attention from buyers once availability improves, regardless of price.
Aeneon XTune AXH860UD20-16H is available, so its second place overclocking-capability would put it at the top of our shopping list if not for the comparatively higher timings required at slower speeds. Another factor benefiting Aeneon’s potential customers is its low voltage requirement, which results in lower power consumption, lower heat, and possibly better longevity.
Kingston HyperX KHX12800D3K2/4G came in third for overclocking, but supporting superior latencies at lower speeds allows it to leap past second-place overclocker Aeneon to make it the most desirable of available parts. Of course its relatively high price will prevent Kingston from winning any value awards, given the proximity of lower-cost competitors.
Who, then, provides the best value ? Enthusiasts on a budget might choose Wintec AMPX 3AXH1600C8WS4GK as the least-expensive of all DDR3-1600 competitors, but OCZ’s Reaper HPC OCZ3RPR16004GK costs only around 12% more. That 12% price increase gets buyers a third-place contender in the ever-so-close latency battle and a set of modules able to handle a 5% overclock that cheaper parts can’t tackle.