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What to pay for your desktop DDR3 RAM in late February 2009

by Tarinder Sandhu on 25 February 2009, 14:36

Tags: Crucial Technology (NASDAQ:MU), Kingston, OCZ (NASDAQ:OCZ), Corsair, G skill

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaq6r

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DDR3 1,333MHz and 1,600MHz

DDR3-1,333 (PC3-10,666)

2GB kits (2x 1GB)

Crucial DDR3-1,333 - CL9 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £32.19 at Crucial.com/uk (£49.57 - Jan '09, £49.51 - Nov '08, £55.21 - Sep '08).

3GB kits (3x 1GB) - Core i7-optimised

Crucial DDR3-1,333 - CL9 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £48.29 @ Crucial.com/uk (£76.36 - Jan '09, £81.24 - Nov '08).

4GB kits (2x 2GB)

Crucial DDR3-1,333 - CL9 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £56.34 @ Crucial.com/uk - (£79.34 - Jan '09, £108.09, Nov '08, £114.70 - Sep '08).

6GB kits (3x 2GB) - Core i7-optimised

Crucial DDR3-1,333  - CL9 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £85.09 @ Crucial.com/uk (£142.72 - Jan '09, £163.70 - Nov '08).

A clean sweep for Crucial, with aggressive pricing across the board. Corsair, OCZ, Kingston, and others all have packs with the same frequencies, but cost around 25 per cent extra.

DDR3-1,600 (PC3-12,800)

The Intel X48 chipset and NVIDIA's nForce 790i Ultra both support DDR3-1,600 memory natively, using pre-programmed SPDs - XMP for Intel and EPP2.0 for NVIDIA - that are activated by a one-click BIOS setting. XMP and EPP2.0 memory is actively marketed as such by vendors.

Now, though, most Core i7 X58 boards are advertised supporting DDR3-1,600MHz+ speeds out of the box, and that's also true of the select few AMD AM3 boards that support Phenom IIs.

DDR3 natively operates at 1.5V, but DDR3-1,600 may require 1.8V to function at its rated speed, although the Core i7 will be limited to 1.65V.

Only enthusiasts that want the very best performance - and are willing to pay for it - should look at this frequency, we feel.

2GB kits (2x 1GB) 

Corsair TW3X2G1600C9DHX - 9-9-9-24 latencies - 1.8V - DHX heatspreaders - £48.44 @ Scan.co.uk (£50.74 - Jan '09, £73.54 - Nov '08, £83.30 - Sep '08). 

3GB kits (3x 1GB) - Core i7-optimised

OCZ Gold XTC PC3 - 8-8-8-24 latencies - 1.65V - XTC heatspreaders - £64.99 @ ebuyer.co.uk. (£94.44 - Jan '09, £106.10 - Nov '08).

4GB kits (2x 2GB)

Corsair TW3X4G1600C9DHX - 9-9-9-24 latencies - 1.8V - DHX heatspreaders - £92.91 @  Scan.co.uk (£115.51 - Jan '09, £133.95 - Nov '08, £145.20 - Sep '08)

6GB kits (3x 2GB) - Core i7-optimised

OCZ Gold XTC - 8-8-8-24 latencies - 1.65V - XTX heatspreaders - £120.00 @ ebuyer.co.uk (£168.04 - Jan '09, £241.02 - Nov '08).

Even DDR3-1,600 has seen a reasonable snip in pricing, with a 6GB pack currently available for around £120.