All of the quad-channel memory kits featured here performed well throughout our entire battery of tests. The best overall performance was offered by the kits that strike a good balance between frequency and latency. Looking back through the numbers, the DDR3-1866MHz kits from G.SKILL and Corsair and the DDR3-2133MHz kit from Kingston appear to be the most well-rounded performers. The delta separating the DDR3-1600MHz kits from their higher-clocked counterparts, however, is relatively small.
With only a few percentage points separating the performance of each of the memory kits we tested, pricing has to be a major consideration. Enthusiasts are always willing to pay a few more bucks for better performance, but the extra investment must be justifiable. With that in mind, here’s a quick breakdown of the pricing of the six memory kits we tested:
The highest clocks kits can be 40% to 125% pricier than lower-clocked kits, while offering only slightly better performance...
The least expensive kit in the round-up, by far, both in terms of total price and cost per gigabyte is the Patriot Viper X Division 4 DDR3-1600MHz kit. This particular Patriot kit is also outfitted with the best cooling of the bunch in our opinion—the copper heat-plates and dense aluminum used on Patriot’s kit is much heavier and more substantial than the others. Ultimately though, we think it’s worth springing for one of the 1866MHz kits if you’ve got the funds. The timings on the 1866MHz kits are only slightly more relaxed and you’ll have some frequency headroom left for overclocking. While pricier than the 1600MHz kits, the 1866MHz offerings are substantially more affordable than the 2133MHz or faster products. If you’re an extreme overclocker, obviously frequency is king and the highest clocked kits would best fit your needs—price be damned—but for the vast majority of you the performance offered by one of the lower-clocked, more affordable kits should be perfectly acceptable.
Patriot Viper X Division 4
G.SKILL RipJaws Z DDR3-1866
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1866
Kingston HyperX DDR3-2400
Kingston HyperX DDR3-2133
Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600