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Triple-Channel DDR3: 6GB Kit Roundup

Conclusion

This would be a good time to remind everyone that today’s competition targets the high-end market, where speed is more important than cost and the best product wins. From that, we can easily choose the winner, since Kingston was the only brand able to deliver DDR3-2000 before our deadline and no other modules could even reach Kingston’s rated speed, let alone its overclocked speed.

Yet no product comparison is complete without a price comparison. Prices shown in green are estimates.

Unfortunately, Kingston failed to inform us of a model-number change that occurred between pre-launch and post-launch parts until after this article was written. The chart below lists the original name. While the chart above shows the original estimated price, Kingston's KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX are now available for pre-order from the manufacturer for $469, with an estimated shipping date of January 22, 2009.

The slowest-rated memory in today’s comparison, Super Talent’s DDR3-1333 is also the cheapest. The second-highest overclocking set, Crucial’s Ballistix DDR3-1600 6 GB kit is the third most expensive.

Because the Kingston modules we received were improperly documented, a lack of availability under the original name lead us towards second-place overclocker Crucial Ballistix.  While Ballistix DDR3-1600 remains an excellent option for those who need their order to ship today, near-term availability makes Kingston HyperX DDR3-2000 CAS 8 our choice for system overclocking articles.  It's also a great option for high-market buyers who want the best of everything.

Two more products deserve honorable mention as high-end value parts. At 59% the price of Crucial Ballistix, Mushkin Enhanced model 9998679 came up only a few megahertz shy of it in overclockability and beat Ballistix at DDR3-1600 speed in our low-latency competition.

The second honorable mention goes to Patriot’s Viper PVT36G1600LLK. Our samples finished the overclocking test at the same DDR3-1909 speed that Corsair’s Dominator 1866 reached, yet it’s 57% cheaper. While the emphasis of today’s review was on absolute capability, we’re sure that good value won’t go unnoticed by readers.

Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.
  • arkadi
    Grate article!
    What was always bothering me about ram reviews is how much memory speed/timing will really impact on system performance. I it is a lot of work I know, but it was never covered.
    Reply
  • neiroatopelcc
    From ArticleOf course, we needed a Core i7 processor, but not just any processor would do. While most reviewers are stuck with engineering samples that only support DDR2-800 and DDR2-1066 ratios (3x and 4x base clock, times two), our retail sample supports data rates all the way up to 2,133 MHz (8x base clock, times two).
    I could be wrong, but shouldn't it be ddr3 ? I'm not aware of i7 supporting ddr2?
    Reply
  • Crashman
    neiroatopelccI could be wrong, but shouldn't it be ddr3 ? I'm not aware of i7 supporting ddr2?
    Heheh, looks like it's been edited.
    Reply
  • azone
    I wounder if amd will do quad channel with its am3 motherboards or even dual 128 bit channels. that would be cool. Just something to beats intels triple 64bit channels.
    Reply
  • Proximon
    Good info. Would have been nice to see at least one real world benchmark.
    Reply
  • goryachev
    Great article. Thanks.
    Reply
  • Gian124
    Anyone know the difference between the following
    Kingston HyperX T1 Series Kits:
    KHX16000D3T1K3/6GX
    KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX

    What does the UL signify?... would it benchmark the same as the former (which was tested in this article)?
    Reply
  • 'The current problem is one of voltage.'
    I loled at that.. maybe it's too early in the morning for me :D
    Reply
  • hexploit
    Interesting just how few people give a damn about DDR3 at this point.
    I guess many are a: Not wowed by i7 like they were core2 and b: Laugh and the prices of DDR3 at a time when DDR2 is not only still very fast relative to the software/games on the market but is dirt cheap.
    Reply
  • Crashman
    Gian124Anyone know the difference between the following Kingston HyperX T1 Series Kits:KHX16000D3T1K3/6GXKHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GXWhat does the UL signify?... would it benchmark the same as the former (which was tested in this article)?
    They may have changed the name.
    Reply