Whose Quad-Channel Memory Kit Is The Best?
Corsair wins our overclocking competition, and that should be enough to convince competitive overclockers to take the plunge. Of course, in the real-world, you have to remember that it takes stepping down to an 8 GB kit to achieve those marginally-higher data rates. The rest of the field sports 16 GB, and we have to imagine that most buyers will be inclined to buy larger kits for expensive Sandy Bridge-E-based platforms.
Going the 8 GB route is an option, of course, if you're building on a budget. If that's the case, though, Corsair's premium is going to put it out of reach. Again, this one's probably best suited to the competitive overclocking circuit.
So, how do we define superiority in a market were people are willing to pay 100% more to get 10% better performance? Certainly we can’t make a decision based on price alone.
After all, the second-fastest G.Skill kit has twice the capacity, and anyone who wants to argue price can point out that the 100% increase in capacity comes at a mere 26% increase in cost.
But consider also that Mushkin came up only 9 MHz—not nine percent—lower in maximum data rate. In other words, we got 99.6% of the most-expensive kits clock speed for only 33% the price. And for those who prefer not to split hairs, 99.6% rounds up.
Today’s competition was presented as a complement to our recent high-end X79 Express motherboard round-up for the folks willing to spend top-dollar on Intel's Core i7-3000-series processors. The goal was to root out the best memory kit to go with Sandy Bridge-E's quad-channel memory controller, and it turns out that we have two bests. Corsair’s Dominator GT CMGTX8 8 GB quad-channel kit reached the highest frequency, while G.Skill’s RipjawsZ was the best overclocker among 16 GB kits. But mimicking (if not duplicating) the top 16 GB kits achievement at one-third of its price makes Mushkin’s Redline 993997 the kit we'd recommend to our friends.
Performance gains via memory even when given a favorable playing field (reduced graphics) are pretty small. The reference CAS 9 1600 appeared to hold its own at a fraction of the cost. As was eluded to I think kits like this are really only aimed towards the small crowd of super-enthusiasts that want to squeeze every last drop out of a system regardless of price.
Nice article and one that I think illustrates both the benefits (ease of overclocking) and disadvantages (less fine tuning) of the multiplier friendly yet limited bclk of both 1155 and 2011.
Also it would have been nice to add some Ram Disk benchmarks to the review aswell.
bauboniIt would be nice to compare these 2.4Ghz Quad Channel memories with the usual 1.6Ghz DualChannel kits, specialy at gamming scenarios.That's why there's a DDR3-1600 reference data set on each chart. Of course it's quad-channel because that's what the CPU is designed to run, and we wouldn't want to artificially handicap it...would we?
SB-E hasn't changed much here, at most ~1% boost.
Well, I really wanted to see the practical difference between dual to quad channel at gamming =P
Of course we'd like to gauge the marketability of this concept before putting money behind it, so perhaps you can start a thread in the Forums to gauge its popularity? On a platform limited to $500-1000 CPU's, would any readers really spend that much a second time for memory?
Just wondering, but does this mean there is a bottleneck in the CPU? Is OCing the ram worth it when paired with a 5ghz processor? It is just hard to suggest any of these products when there is so little difference between them and the stock version. Good article though
All the same I would love to be proved wrong and see some real world tests on the subject!