OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 2GB 1600MHz Memory Kit Review

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Final Thoughts and Conclusions

Various DDR3 Memory Kits

The 2GB DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) Platinum Series Kit is one of ten 2GB DDR3 memory kits (by five different memory companies),  that I have been able to test in recent weeks.  It is also the first 2GB DDR3 memory kit that can hit 2GHz on with full stability at 2000MHz with 8-8-8-24 timings, which has been a mark that I have been trying to reach for some time now.  I first saw dual-channel 2GHz DDDR3 running behind closed doors with Corsair back at Computex in June of 2007, but it wasn’t stable enough to benchmark and had 10-10-10-24 timings.  Then just two weeks ago at the Intel Developer Forum the marketing team from Crucial had a booth with a demo system at 2GHz with 9-9-9-27, which was impressive even though it was unstable.  Little did I know the OCZ 1600MHz memory kit that I had on the shelf waiting to be reviewed would be able to run 2GHz at 8-8-8-24 timings! It took 10 memory kits to be able to break the 2GHz barrier and while the Crucial Ballistix 1600MHz and OCZ Platinum 1600MHz kits both can run 2000MHz with 8-8-8-24 2T timings, only the OCZ kit does it with good stability. 

When it comes to picking DDR3 memory kits companies are selling kits at a variety of frequencies, which can be a bit overwhelming for those that are new to DDR3 and the chipsets that use it.  Right now there are six speed grades that DDR3 memory is available in: 1066MHz, 1333MHz, 1375MHz, 1600MHz, 1800MHz and 1866MHz. Which is the right kit to invest in?  Keep in mind that the Intel only officially supports 1333MHz on the Intel P35 and X38 Express chipsets.  When it comes to density all Intel P35 Express chipsets support up to 8 GB of memory addressability, so density is certainly not a limitation these days when it comes to selecting a kit.  So, why buy a 1600MHz memory kit when the chipsets are only rated to run at 1333MHz?  Because motherboard makers like ASUS and Gigabyte have included the dividers to reach these speeds and it has been shown to improve performance.  This also means that the memory kit can be used again in upcoming motherboards.  When Intel releases the Intel X48 Express chipset series it will feature some memory tweaks in the chipset and support for 1600MHz memory.  With a 1600MHz kit you will exceed the specifications of today’s chipsets and meet the next generation that is due out months from now.   Since the OCZ DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600MHz) Platinum Series Kit was able to overclock all the way to 2000MHz, it means this kit won’t be dated for well into 2008 when lower timings will hopefully be possible.

The price tag on this memory kit is enough to scare many folks off, but it comes in lower than a number of the 1375MHz and 1800MHz kits that we have reviewed in previous months.  The 2GB kit that we reviewed today will set you back about $569.99.  This 1600MHz DDR3 memory kit is priced higher than some other brands, but you get what you pay for.  OCZ Technology is building these kits with Micron D9’s, and they are by far the best memory IC on the market for reaching high clock frequencies.

After spending hundreds of hours testing ten different memory kits it’s hard to ignore the overclocking performance I have seen on the 2GB DDR3 PC3-12800 Platinum Series Kit (part number: OCZ3P1600EB2GK).  It may not have the highest stock frequencies, but when you increase the voltage, the sky is the limit.  For those that  like to overclock without losing their warranty, increasing the voltage to 1.95V (the highest to keep a valid warranty) means you should be able to reach 1840MHz at 7-6-6-24 like I did.  If you are going balls to the wall and willing to risk it all try for 2.20V and you might just be able to break 2,000MHz like I did.  Your mileage will, of course, vary due to your components, but it’s possible!  For the best overclocking DDR3 kit I have seen yet, I  give the OCZ PC3-12800 Platinum Series the Legit Reviews Editor’s Choice Award!

Legit Reviews Editor's Choice

Legit Bottom Line: OCZ must have screened a ton of IC’s to get these top notch Micron D9’s that have been used in their OCZ PC3-12800 Platinum Series.  These modules will bring fear to others as they blaze past MHz mile markers like nobody’s business.

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