DDR3 Memory Round-Up: Corsair, Kingston, OCZ, Super Talent

Article Index

Our Summary and Conclusion



Performance Summary: At like clock speeds and latencies, most memory kits will perform at very similar, if not identical levels.  But as clock speeds are raised, and hence available bandwidth is increased, or latencies are decreased, a clear performance pattern emerges.  It's no coincidence that the fastest memory kit we tested here, Corsair's TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF also happens to support the highest official clock speed.  Corsair's TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF also overclocked to the highest levels, easily breaking the 1.9GHz mark without relaxing its timings.  In contrast, Kingston's low-latency CAS 5 KHX11000D3ULK2 kit showed a marked performance improvement over the other DDR3-1333 kit with a CAS latency of 7, but even with timings that low it couldn't catch up to the higher clocked kits.
Corsair TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF:
With a rated speed of 1800MHz, the Corsair TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF is one of the highest clocked DDR3 memory kits currently on the market.  And despite supporting an already high default clock speed, it also proved to have plenty of overclocking headroom left and ultimately put up the best performance overall.  All that performance comes at a price, however.  At about $640, the Corsair TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF kit is also one of the most expensive.  That's a large pill to swallow for a 2GB memory kit, but in the current DDR3 landscape you do get what you pay for.  If money is no object and you're building yourself a high-end Intel-based rig, you can't go wrong with the Corsair TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF kit - it's fast, highly overclockable, and backed by one of the most respected companies in the business.

  • Great Performance
  • Good Overclocker
  • DHX Cooling 
  • Pricey
  • CAS 7

In typical OCZ fashion, the OCZ3P1600EB2GK memory kit strikes a nice balance between performance and price.  While still expensive in the grand scheme of things (the fastest DDR2 memory kits are available for a fraction of the price), the OCZ3P1600EB2GK kit represents what we think is the best value here, relatively speaking of course.  For about $550, the OCZ3P1600EB2GK kit offers solid rated performance, somewhat lower latencies, and a good amount of overclocking headroom.  Corsair's kit hit higher clock speeds, and one of Kingston's offers tighter timings, but the OCZ3P1600EB2GK kit hits somewhat of a sweet spot in between and should be considered for your next build should it require DDR3.

  • Great Overclocker
  • Relatively Good Price
  • Readily Available
  • XTC Heat Spreader 
  • Still Expensive

KIngston KHX11000D3LLK2/2G:
It's easy to let the Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2/2G memory kit get lost in the mix.  It doesn't offer the highest clock speeds, nor the tightest timings, and its performance in the overclocking department left something to be desired.  Looking at the KHX11000D3LLK2/2G kit's specifications and performance results alone, there is no one area where kit truly shines.  But Kingston knows this too, and its the reason why the KHX11000D3LLK2/2G kit is the least expensive of all the memory evaluated here, and by a large margin.  At about $439 the Kingston KHX11000D3LLK2/2G kit at least $110 cheaper than the other kits we tested.  If you want an affordable 1333MHz DDR3 memory kit, the KHX11000D3LLK2/2G will serve you well, but we'd recommended investing a bit more if you're going to the way of DDR3 at this time.

  • Least Expensive
  • Solid Performance
  • Stable 
  • Not a Great Overclocker

Kingston KHX11000D3ULK2/2G:
For non-overclockers, the Kingston KHX11000D3ULK2/2G is an intriguing product.  With its low latencies and support for DDR3-1333 speeds, this kit offers great stock performance for those not looking to push clock speeds into the stratosphere.  Unfortunately, the KHX11000D3ULK2/2G is hard to find at the moment, and even if you can find it, it's usually priced somewhere in the neighborhood of $700.  That's simply too much to pay for a memory kit that can't hit nearly the same clock speeds of less expensive offerings.

  • Lowest Latency (CAS 5)
  • Great "Stock" Performance
  • Stable 
  • Way Too Expensive
  • Hard To Find
  • Overclocking

Super Talent W1600UX2G7:
Super Talent has been making some noise in the enthusiast memory space as of late.  And based on the performance of their W1600UX2G7 kit, the attention the company has been getting is well deserved.  At approximately $559, the W1600UX2G7 kit, like OCZ's OCZ3P1600EB2GK, strikes a good balance in relation to its competition.  The W1600UX2G7 kit also overclocked well and is readily available at many popular on-line outlets.  If you're going to jump onto the DDR3 bandwagon, this memory kit is worthy of your consideration.

  • Relatively Good Price
  • Availability
  • Good Overclocking
  • Heatsinks
  • Still Pricey
  • Highest Latencies

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