It’s been a long time since I’ve done a memory round up, and usually when I do one I have every company e-mailing me and calling me daily trying to find out how they are doing compared to their competition. The memory industry is one of the most competitive in the computer industry and when it comes to new DDR3 parts all the companies want their parts to start out on the right foot. Armed with four 2GB kits of DDR3 memory running at 1333MHz we set off to do our first DDR3 roundup to show those that are building the latest and greatest enthusiast systems which modules stand out from the crowd. Corsair Memory, Kingston Technology, OCZ Technology and Super Talent all sent out 2GB kits for us to try out, but it seems that not all the kits the companies sent us were production samples.
Only after doing all of our testing and benchmarking did we find out from Super Talent and Corsair Memory that they would be changing memory IC brands real soon on a number of their kits! To make things even worse, Kingston Technology recently announced a 1375MHz CL5 Ultra Low Latency kit to improve performance over the 1375MHz CL7 kit that we are looking at today!
Super Talent sent out their 2GB 1333MHz memory kit with the part number W1333UX2G9, which is a part number that no longer exists. Super Talent informed us that this mystery part should run at 1333MHz with 8-8-8-18 timings even though the label told us another story. Super Talent also informed us that Qimonda DDR3 IC’s were being used on this kit that should have been correctly labeled as W1333UB2G8. I looked all over the internet, but failed to find any resellers with Super Talent DDR3 modules. We contacted Super Talent about the label not matching their site as we were unsure what timings and voltage to run them at and they had this to say.
We [Super Talent] haven’t posted detailed specs on DDR3 products yet, but currently all our DDR3 parts are tested at 1.8V. Sorry about the spec change, which I explained to you over the phone. There are no JEDEC standards to follow, and each DDR3 chip vendor has different latency specs. So we decided what makes most sense for standard DDR3 latency specs is: 1066MHz at 7-7-7-15, 1333MHz at 8-8-8-18 and 1600MHz at 9-9-9-21. We’re still classifying all DDR3 products in our “Overclocking” product family because it’s all enthusiasts buying it, and we test them at 1.8V. We may come out with cheaper JEDEC parts later this year.
The Corsair Twin3X2048-1333C9DHX is a 2048MByte matched pair of DDR3 SDRAM DIMMs built using Corsair’s latest high performance heat sink with Dual-Path Heat Xchange (DHX) technology. Each module was found to be using Qimonda memory IC’s with the loosest timings of all the memory kits involved in this roundup at 9-9-9-24. It should be noted that Corsair Memory sent out an Engineering Sample memory kit and let us know that they will be moving to a different IC as soon as next week and will also be launching some new memory kits in the near future now that better yields and IC’s are coming to market. Rumor has it that Corsair will be moving from Qimonda to Micron IC’s on several kits, which will improve timings and overclocking characteristics. Corsair wanted us to make it clear to our readers that the performance numbers at 1333MHz with CL9 timings would be accurate, but not to take the overclocking results to heart as these were Engineering Samples (which is why the modules say ES at the end). The Corsair CM3X1024-1333C9DHX memory kit is available today from Newegg for $493.00.
Kingston Technology sent out their PC3-11000 memory kit, which is rated at 1375MHz with impressive 7-7-7-20 memory timings. Kingston Technology has not and will not produce a 1333MHz memory kit in their famed HyperX memory series as their yields have been so good at CL7 they failed to see a reason. I of course contacted Kingston for an official quote for the record and was given this statement, which states how their ValueRAM 1333MHz and HyperX 1375MHz parts differ.
At Kingston, we like to differentiate our high end HyperX gaming memory from the ValueRAM memory targeted for the mainstream, do-it-yourself and system integrator markets. The KVR product at 1333MHz provides memory based on true DRAM speed (not overclocked or pre-screened) at JEDEC voltages, for customers requiring a product that meets industry standards. The KHX 1375MHz is our first DDR3 entry into the gaming market with a good latency value, a slightly adjusted voltage and of course, the blue anodized heatspreader that people easily recognize as a Kingston HyperX product. We will be introducing additional products to our DDR3 family, both faster or with better latency values as our engineers qualify additional sources of DRAM.
The Kingston HyperX DDR3 1375MHz memory kit will be down clocked to 1333MHz, so it’s a fair comparison to the other brands, but if these Elpida based modules are really overclocking friendly like Kingston is stating they should fair well in the overclocking section. The Kingston PC3-11000 memory kit with CL7 timings can be found at Newegg for $448.49.
OCZ Technology has been hard at work hand testing modules on several Intel P35 platforms and have launched a Platinum series 1333MHz memory kit that offers tight CL7 timings thanks to using Elipida memory IC’s. OCZ informed us that these DDR3 kits meet JEDEC specifications for third generation Double Data Rate memory. The OCZ PC3-10666 Platinum Series is rated for 1333MHz and features CL 7-7-7-20 timings at 1.8V. OCZ Technology has this kit listed on their site, but to date no one has it listed for sale on the internet.