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Triple-Channel DDR3: 6GB Kit Roundup

Corsair And Crucial

Corsair DDR3-1866 CAS 9

The fancy heat spreaders of Corsair Dominator modules were originally developed to cope with high temperatures that normally accompany high-voltage overclocking, yet the firm now offers the same product line in a lower-voltage kit. The benefits of such extreme cooling at 1.65 V operation are questionable, but performance enthusiasts will certainly exploit even the tiniest benefit to reach their goals.

Hoping its part number TR3X6G1866C9DF, 6 GB DDR3-1866 triple-channel kit would automatically configure to at least DDR3-1600, we found a maximum SPD value of DDR3-1333 at standard voltage. Intel’s XMP extensions take over from there, allowing semi-automatic configuration at the kit’s rated DDR3-1866 speed and 9-9-9-24 timings, using a Core i7-friendly 1.65 V.

All Corsair memory products carry a limited lifetime warranty.

Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 CAS 8

We received Crucial’s Ballistix 6 GB DDR3-1600 triple-channel kit before the company had come up with any retail packaging, but its use of a white box had no bearing on the quality of the parts within. Part number BL3KIT25664BN1608 didn’t even have a name yet when Crucial shipped these parts as three separate BL25664BN1608 modules, and these are among the firm's first 2 GB DDR3 Ballistix products.

A subsidiary of memory fabricator Micron, we had to wonder what took Crucial so long to develop a product that its competitors had long been selling using the same Micron parts. Was the company simply waiting for Core i7 to push DDR3 to the forefront?

An SPD automatic configuration max speed of 667 MHz (DDR3-1333) at stock voltage indicates that even Micron is probably using slower "overclockable" chips to reach higher speeds, and testing proved that the second XMP value of DDR3-1600 CAS 7 is unrealistic when the memory is in triple-channel mode. It was, however, able to exceed its rated 8-8-8-24 timings at DDR3-1600 and our tests will show how far it can really be pushed.

Crucial memory products carry a limited lifetime warranty.

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