With D0 stepping Core i7 CPU’s hitting the channel, the need for faster memory is going to be important for those looking to hit 4GHz and above. Hitting this magical number should be quite easy for most CPU’s and require very little voltage. On a 920 CPU you begin running out of memory multipliers at those elevated speeds, so your choice in memory kit could start playing a role in just how high your CPU will go. A good kit of low latency 1600MHz or higher memory should be on your shopping list.
The OCZ Blade Series kits should fit just about anything you are looking for. They start at 1600MHz 6-6-6-24 and go all the way up to the kit we tested here, 2000MHz 7-8-7-20. No, this is not a cheap kit of memory. There are much better kits in terms of value on the market, there are less expensive kits of 2000MHz DDR3, but none of those can be called the best. The Blade 2000MHz 7-8-7 kit use the best binned IC’s that you can get your hands on from OCZ.
One thing that I found interesting when playing around with this kit was that XMP profiles were nowhere to be found. We contacted OCZ Technology and found out that XMP profiles were not included because Intel will not certify anything above 1600MHz. This shouldn’t be a deal breaker though, as if you looking at this memory kit as a potential purchase, you likely have a great motherboard to go with it and know how to change settings manually in the BIOS. Most of the high-end boards do a lot of the tuning for you. Our P6T Deluxe only asked us to set the voltage and the primary timings, while it took care of the rest. Hitting insane memory speeds is really quite easy and is a far cry from the level of tuning it took just a few years ago with DDR1.
When it comes to pricing the OCZ Blade DDR3-2000 7-8-7-20 6GB Triple Channel memory kit will set you back a cool $415 shipped, which is a high price to pay in this day and time. The OCZ Blade DDR3-2000 9-9-9-30 6GB Triple Channel memory kit retails for just $134.99 shipped after a $20 rebate. Is paying an extra $280.01 for CL7 versus CL9 timings worth it? To many it may not be, but to those looking to build the fastest system and have the money to spend then it sure is. If you are looking for the best memory kit that money can buy, the OCZ Blade 7-8-7 kit steps in and fits the bill nicely. Those of you spending $400 or more for the “Classified” or Rampage 2 Extreme type motherboards owe it to yourself to invest in a high end kit of memory to really explore what those motherboards have to offer. Just make sure you order the right kit!
Legit Bottom Line: The OCZ Blade memory kit blew us away with its subtle good looks and extreme performance. At the high end of the price spectrum, this kit of memory will ensure that you are able to push every last MHz from your system.