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Triple-Channel DDR3: 6GB Kit Roundup

Kingston And Mushkin

Kingston HyperX DDR3-2000 CAS 8

Update: Kingston had not officially named its DDR3-2000 CAS 8, 6 GB, triple-channel kit when it shipped samples to us as part number KHX16000D3T1K3/6GX. These were officially renamed KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX during CES week, but the company did not inform us until after the review was published. We will edit content where appropriate, but the as-shipped name remains in performance charts.

Two days after the memory arrived, one of Kingston’s competitors called to let us know that 2 GB modules at DDR3-2000 would be impossible to produce when limited to a maximum of 1.65 V. We’re guessing that means Kingston walks on water, since the company was able to top that specification with CAS 8-8-8-24 timings. On the other hand, Kingston still hasn’t delivered the modules to retailers.

A maximum SPD value of 667 MHz (DDR3-1333) indicates that these are probably made of slower parts with a high-level of overclock-capability. Users who want to configure their systems to the memory’s rated specification must do so via manual BIOS configuration, while an XMP-2000 profile reduces the number of steps required to set it up.

Kingston memory products carry a limited lifetime warranty.

Mushkin Enhanced DDR3-1600 CAS 7

Mushkin was one of a few companies that sent its product before the packaging was finished, but these individually-packaged modules are the same components found in its retail part number 998679 triple-channel kit.

Mushkin was also the only company in today’s comparison to bolster its DDR3-1600 parts with CAS 7 timings. What makes the tighter timings impressive is that Mushkin didn’t have to lower capacity or raise voltage to get there. The Core i7 theoretical voltage limit of 1.65 V also assures that these modules will stay cool with nothing more than a little extra heat spreader area at the top.

A maximum SPD speed of 667 MHz (DDR3-1333) at 9-10-10 timings again hints at the possibility that the chips used may not be true DDR3-1600 parts, and this appears to be a trend among most brands. But unlike other brands, Mushkin didn’t add an XMP value. XMP-capable motherboard users must follow the same steps as everyone else and adjust speed, voltage, and timings manually to reach the specified performance level.

Mushkin provides a limited lifetime warranty on all its memory products.

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