Corsair, Kingston, OCZ, Super Talent DDR3 1800MHz Memory Kits

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

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After spending a solid week with these three kits trying to see which one stands out from the pack, we found that this task was extreemly hard to do.  Because all of the kits use the same PCB and identical Micron D9 memory IC’s, this was actually expected.  The shocker was that running 7-7-7 versus 8-8-8 timings at 1800MHz didn’t greatly impact performance.  In synthetic tests like Sandra, Everest and Super Pi, the difference was noticeable but not significant.  When it came to gaming performance, it was obvious that the memory timings were not playing a role.  It is possible that the games were video card or CPU limited at 1024×768 with medium quality settings, but that is unlikely.  Even if that is the case, no one is going to buy a $500 kit of memory and game at 1024×768 or lower resolutions. 

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Just for fun, we pulled off the heat spreader on the Kingston HyperX kit to show you what is going on under the heat spreader on each of these kits. Here are the eight Micron D9 IC’s that are 128MB each.  The black thing located in the center of the module is the SPD chip and that is where the timings and XMP profiles are located.

Brand 

 Model Number

 Frequency

 Timings

Config 

XMP Profiles

PCB

 IC

 Price

Corsair

 TWIN3X2048-1800C7DFIN

 1800MHZ

 7-7-7-20

 128Mx8

 Yes

 0.71

 Micron D9

 $553

 Kingston

 KHX14400D3K2/2G

 1800MHZ

 8-8-8-24

 128Mx8

 No

 0.71

 Micron D9

 $419

 OCZ

 OCZ3P18002GK

 1800MHZ

 8-8-8-24

 128Mx8

 No

 0.71

 Micron D9

 $548

 Super Talent

 W1800UX2GP

 1800MHZ

 7-7-7-21

 128Mx8

 Yes

 0.71

 Micron D9

 $463

When it comes to pricing, the $134 price difference seems to be justified, but ultimately depends on the buyer.  Each of these memory companies puts a lifetime warranty on their memory kits and that is important when spending $400+ on 2GB of memory.  The Super Talent memory kit at $463 offers CL7 timings and has XMP memory profiles set in the SPD.  The Project X heat spreaders look awesome and Super Talent has finally got a number of retailers carrying their parts, so you can find them.  It would be easy to give the Super Talent kit the Editor’s Choice award based on the benchmark results (which they placed first in more than any other brand), some of the tightest timings of the group and XMP profiles — but they are priced $44 more than the Kingston HyperX kit. Sure, the Kingston HyperX kit scored in the middle of the pack, have lose 8-8-8 timings and no XMP support, but at $419 delivered to your door they offer the best price versus performance value of the bunch.  Nothing is wrong with the OCZ Platinum memory kit, but with exactly the same specifications as the Kingston HyperX kit they shouldn’t cost $129 more.  The Corsair DOMINATOR kit are by far the most advanced of the bunch with DHX heat sinks and cooling fan they are the real deal when it comes to enthusiast grade memory, but for you’ll fork over a pretty penny to get them.

The take-home message here is that all the kits are using the same PCB design with the same brand memory IC’s.  With a little extra voltage here and there, and a BIOS timing adjustment, they can all run 7-7-7 or 8-8-8 timings just fine.  Which one you buy is up to you of course, and since they are all nearly identical, the price becomes the biggest factor as well as brand loyalty.  When it comes to pricing Kingston seems to have all the others beat when it comes to that. All of the modules come back with a lifetime warranty, so if any kit ever fails it will be covered for the life that you own it.

Legit Bottom Line: The new 1800MHz DDR3 memory kits pack some serious punch, but since all the kits we have seen use the same PCB and IC’s, the differences are minor.  

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