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Triple-Channel DDR3: 6GB Kit Roundup

Test Results: Overclocking, Bandwidth And Latency

We began the competition with an overclocking comparison. Kingston was the only company able to provide DDR3-2000 samples before our deadline, so we expected them to take a lead, while Corsair was the only company to provide DDR3-1866. Will any of today’s DDR3-1600 kits beat Corsair's parts?

Indeed, three DDR3-1600 module sets did overclock further than Corsair’s DDR3-1866 did. Crucial Ballistix continues its overclocking dominance by coming up just shy of DDR3-2000, with Mushkin Enhanced falling only slightly behind. Value-performance brand Wintec also surprised us with a significant 21% overclock.

Update: Kingston renamed its KHX16000D3T1K3/6GX kit to part number KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX, informing us of the change after this review was published.

Originator of low-voltage DDR3-1600, Aeneon unfortunately even fell behind  the DDR3-1333 set of today’s comparison.

Sandra Memory Bandwidth almost perfectly reflects the speed each module set achieved, but slight variability in this particular benchmark did mix the results of some close contenders.

Most people won’t push their memory to the highest possible speed but will instead use the above information as a guideline for limits. At any given speed, tight timings offer improved performance. We tested each 6 GB triple-channel kit at the three most common "performance" speeds.

Best Timings at 1.66 V
DDR3-1866DDR3-1600DDR3-1333
Kingston DDR3-2000 KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX7-8-7-186-7-6-155-6-5-14
Crucial Ballistix 1600 BL3KIT25664BN16088-8-7-148-7-6-126-6-5-11
Mushkin Enhanced 1600 Model 9986798-9-8-207-7-7-156-6-5-13
Wintec AMPX 1600 3AHX1600C8WS6GTK9-8-7-148-7-6-136-6-5-11
Corsair Dominator 1866 TR3X6G1866C9DF9-9-7-148-8-6-126-6-5-11
Patriot Viper 1600 PVT36G1600LLK9-8-7-188-7-6-146-6-5-11
G.Skill DDR3-1600 F3-12800CL8T-6GBHK9-8-8-138-7-7-126-6-6-11
OCZ Intel Extreme 1600 OCZ3X1600LV6GK 9-8-8-148-8-7-146-6-5-10
A-data Vitesta 1600 AD31600E002GMU3K9-9-9-168-7-7-136-6-6-12
Geil Value DDR3-1600 GV36GB1600C8TC9-9-9-188-7-6-146-6-5-12
Aeneon Xtune 1600 AXH860UD20-16H-K-6GFailed9-8-6-157-7-6-12
Super Talent 1333 WA133UX6G8Failed8-8-8-147-7-7-11

Kingston and Crucial continue their dominance at our highest test speed, while Mushkin edges into second place at DDR3-1600. Aeneon stays near the bottom when it comes to timings, barely beating Super Talent’s DDR3-1333.

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