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Six Low-Voltage Dual-Channel 8 GB Memory Kits, Overclocked

Which Low-Voltage Memory Kit Is Best?

Though some of the low-voltage modules in today’s test topped DDR3-2200 at 1.50 V, the biggest performance gains came from optimizing timings at DDR3-1600. Of course, we know that some folks won't go that far, instead choosing to buy the fastest parts they can afford without manually tuning them. We’re splitting the difference once again, averaging default configuration performance with optimized DDR3-1600 results to develop a performance profile.

Beginning with a group average of 100%, I zeroed out the chart to show how far each kit deviated from that average. Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP, for example, performed 1.62% better than average, while Super Talent’s custom-ordered kit fared 1.30% worse. A performance spread of 3% isn’t huge, but it is noteworthy.

Switching back to a 100% baseline, we see that G.Skill’s $2 price advantage over Crucial is large enough to hand it the value lead. We understand that most users won’t care about price differences this small, but that’s not an excuse to suppress this information.

We finish with two top picks, Crucial Ballistix Tactical LP offering the best performance and G.Skill Sniper SR2 providing the best value. G.Skill also has the advantage of its stunningly-low 1.25 V baseline voltage, while Crucial has a much larger advantage in overclocking.

  • excella1221
    Nice article.
    A bit surprised that Corsair Vengeance didn't make an appearance though.

    Been using G.Skill RAMs since I can remember, and they've never failed me!
    Reply
  • DarkSable
    Very interesting read, thanks Tom's! Guess we've been bothering you enough about, erm, "half-height" overclocker's ram enough for you to want to do an article on it. Shame that the mystery modules chose not to participate... perhaps I'll send you my 8 gigs. Want to swap? Ship me some ram to use in the mean-time and I'll ship you my sticks.
    Reply
  • rmpumper
    In other words, RAM speed is irrelevant if you are not using an APU.
    Reply
  • Haserath
    No power consumption numbers? :/
    Reply
  • cobra5000
    Good testing but at the start of the article, much emphasis was placed on the degradation of the cpu due to high memory voltage and then it just turns into a memory speed test. What about the cpu degradation?
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    Good article. Still left wondering why anyone would choose low voltage RAM when costs do not outweigh the benefits.
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    It is only worthwhile to pickup low voltage ram if you can obtain it at the same price as 1.5v ram. Then again, the Ballistix is around the same price point as other similar timing ram.
    Reply
  • allan_hm
    Pointless analysis for too little performance AND price difference...
    Would be a bit less irrelevant if more brands were tested.
    To be honest I was more interested on that "dirty little secret" details than the test itself.
    Also, an article named "who is who in the RAM marked" would be awesome, just like that one about Power Supplies...
    Reply
  • Crashman
    excella1221Nice article.A bit surprised that Corsair Vengeance didn't make an appearance though.Been using G.Skill RAMs since I can remember, and they've never failed me!Here's from the article:
    We invited every major manufacturer (including a crowd-favorite ODM) to this round-up, and a few (including that ODM) chose not to participate.
    Corsair said they had some new modules coming out and didn't want to focus on older models.cobra5000Good testing but at the start of the article, much emphasis was placed on the degradation of the cpu due to high memory voltage and then it just turns into a memory speed test. What about the cpu degradation?What about it? It's never been seen at 1.50V.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    allan_hmPointless analysis for too little performance AND price difference...Would be a bit less irrelevant if more brands were tested.To be honest I was more interested on that "dirty little secret" details than the test itself.Also, an article named "who is who in the RAM marked" would be awesome, just like that one about Power Supplies...Article intent was to find modules within Intel's 1.55V limit that pulled top numbers in frequency and/or latency. Some were found, article is a success.
    Reply