Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 CL9 Memory Kit Review

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Corsair Cerulean Blue Vengeance DDR3 Memory

In our last memory review, we took a look at a high performance 8GB 2000MHz Crucial Ballistix dual channel memory kit.  The Ballistix impressed us with its synthetic benchmark scores and integrated temperature sensor, and the kit came with a $119.99 price tag direct from Crucial.  Today we are evaluating another memory kit that aims at a much different segment of the enthusiast hardware market.  Priced at a MSRP of $84.99 but available for $51.99 from from Amazon or Newegg, this kit is designed to fit into a much smaller budget while still delivering aggressive looks and decent performance.  

Corsair vengeance front packaging

The Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600 CL9 memory kit comes in what Corsair calls “Cerulean Blue”, which Corsair claims is designed to match the color found on motherboards supporting 2nd Generation Intel Core Sandy Bridge processors.  To our eyes, this particular shade of blue is only found on ASUS motherboards, although other manufacturers such as Gigabyte and MSI do offer motherboards with blue accents.

Corsair 8GB 1600 C9 back packaging


The kit arrived in a well-designed retail box with much of the relevant information about this RAM clearly visible including the 9-9-9-24 timings at a voltage of 1.5V as well as the lifetime warranty.  However, we do think it is important for Corsair to disclose on the packaging that this kit runs at a default command rate of 2T, which we will discuss more later in this article.  Once the package was opened, we immediately noticed the impressive blue heat spreaders covering both modules.

Corsair 8GB 1600 C9 Memory modules

Corsair has been designing high speed performance memory for 17 years and claims to have more experience designing enthusiast memory than any other memory company in the industry.  Corsair’s memory is very popular throughout the industry, with product lines covering everything from low budget OEM desktops to the mainstream XMS lines to the high end Dominator series.  The Dominator series in particular has been very popular with enthusiasts, prompting Corsair to offer a performance product at a slightly lower price point, the Vengeance line, as described on Corsair’s website:

“Corsair Vengeance DDR3 memory modules are designed with overclockers in mind. Vengeance DIMMs are built using RAM specially selected for their high-performance potential.  Aluminum heat spreaders help dissipate heat, and provide the aggressive look that you want in your gaming rig.  As a bonus, the attractive low price of Vengeance memory will also leave lots of room in your system build budget.”

High performance RAM at a low price sounds like an ideal combination, but fancy heat spreaders alone aren’t enough to satisfy the needs of most overclockers.

Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B Memory Kit Key Features:

  • 4GB density per module
  • DDR3 240-pin DIMM
  • PC3-12800 (1600 MHz)
  • 9-9-9-24 2T Timings
  • 1.50 Volts
  • Optimized for the Intel 2nd Generation Sandy Bridge platforms
  • Cerulean Blue Heat Spreaders
  • Lifetime Warranty

Let’s take a look at our test system and move onto testing these modules to see how this RAM performs.


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