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Dual-Channel DDR3: Who Makes The Best 4GB Kit Under $150?

Conclusion

Most of our memory shootouts are value-centric, focusing primarily on a chart that looks something like this:

If this were an ordinary review, the above chart might even show up in the winning company’s advertisements. But that’s not going to happen today, because this article was never intended to be a general value comparison. Anyone interested in seeing a pure-value article where Crucial does win an award can find it here.

Getting back to the theme of today’s article, we wanted to find the absolute best memory available for under $150, and we have a clear winner. Reaching a data rate more than 100 MHz higher than its closest competitor, G.Skill’s Trident DDR3-2000 (model F3-16000CL9D-4GBTD) took a clear lead that earns it an award. The fact that it was also able to run its rated DDR3-2000 at CAS 7 and our preferred DDR3-1600 at CAS 6 simply reaffirms its award-worthiness.

We recommend G.Skill’s Trident DDR3-2000 specifically for mid-budget overclockers who believe in the importance of memory speeds beyond those we’ve found to be beneficial to program performance.

  • neiroatopelcc
    And yet I would never recommend anyone to buy memory running faster than 1600mhz.
    Add another $50 and buy two cheaper ddr3-1600c9 sets instead. More beats faster.
    Reply
  • ksa-_-jed
    the bottom line is there no big different worth the extra money.
    I think is better to stick with the 1600mhz
    Reply
  • jrharbort
    I'm still glad with my choice to stick with the crucial modules in all my builds for nearly a year now. Nice article, was very informative, but I don't think it will effect my overall choice on future builds.
    Reply
  • wow those trident's are very impressive.
    Reply
  • mr_tuel
    I bought my OCZ 6GB 1600MHz triple-channel kit for $85 last May. It will now cost my ~$160 to buy another :-(
    Reply
  • SchizoFrog
    What happened to Corsair and OCZ? This is just another article for you to advertise certain brands, shame on you Tom's...
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    I'm sure they're not present in the article, because they simply didn't want to send any modules in time.
    Besides, corsair is usually middle of pack, and ocz has compatibility issues on every second motherboard or something. Not the biggest of losses.
    Reply
  • madass
    "We recommend G.Skill’s Trident DDR3-2000 specifically for mid-budget overclockers who believe in the importance of memory speeds beyond those we’ve found to be beneficial to program performance."
    LOL
    Reply
  • idisarmu
    4gb is no longer the optimal capacity. RAM prices are going up component-wise. 4gb of DDR3 1600 was down to about 95-100 dollars at one point, but now the price has gone up $10-15. Meanwhile, the price of 2x4gb kits have gone down from about $420 to $260-300 (This is for ddr3 1333)

    I think that if someone is building a new PC, it is now better to invest in 8gb in a 2x4gb kit than it is to invest in 2x2gb. You will eventually upgrade to 8gb anyway (next year or in 2 years), so why don't you just buy the 8gb in 2 sticks for only a slight % increase of Cost/GB
    Reply
  • dalta centauri
    Here I am running 4gb of ADATA DDR2 ram at 800MHz and others have 250$ worth of ram in their computers. I think it's time to upgrade :D
    (Darn, 300$ down the tube)
    Reply