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What to pay for your desktop DDR3 RAM in late November 2008

by Tarinder Sandhu on 27 November 2008, 14:22

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

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaqbx

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Introduction and DDR3-1,066

Take a look at our 'what-you-should-pay-for-DDR2-RAM article' if cheaper DDR2 is of interest to you. Here we're looking at DDR3 pricing in late November 2008.

DDR3 scales higher than DDR2 and is supported on enthusiast-oriented, Intel-based chipsets only, including Intel's X38/X48, a few P35s and P45, and NVIDIA's nForce 790i (Ultra) SLI

With Intel launching Core i7 processors earlier this month and now available in retail form, the DDR3-only platform, comprising of the CPUs and X58 motherboard, should provide a shot-in-the-arm and catalyst for dropping DDR3 prices. AMD, too, will move on to a DDR3 memory-controller with a range of Phenom II X4 CPUs early next year, we believe. 

DDR3's Achilles Heel has always been price, with a 4GB DDR3-1,333 pack costing around 3x a DDR2-800MHz's in late May 2008, but let's now see if this has changed in the last six months.

Intel's Core i7 uses a tri-channel memory-controller that is best outfitted with either 3GB or 6GB of DDR3 memory, so that's why you see odd-numbered sets listed below. Further, the controller is sensitive to voltage adjustment because it's located right on the CPU. That's why Core i7-optimised kits run with lower-than-normal voltages. However, there's nothing stopping an enthusiast purchasing a kit and then using it on a non-Core i7 platform, albeit with potential modules spare.

We'd normally forgo looking at DDR3-1,066MHz kits because the improvement over low-latency DDR2-800 memory is minimal. However, with you-know-what (Core i7) officially supporting the speed the majority of memory manufacturers have released appropriate tri-channel kits.

As always, UK-based HEXUS.community discussion forum members will benefit from the SCAN2HEXUS Free Shipping initiative, which will save you a further few pounds plus also top-notch, priority customer service and technical support backed up by the SCANcare@HEXUS forum. Crucial, too, offers free delivery and does so on all purchases.

Bear in mind that the stated memory may not be the cheapest around, and September prices, if available for a similar set, are shown in parenthesis. 

Lastly, HEXUS does not receive any kind of commission or kickback from the links; they're listed for your benefit only.

DDR3-1,066 (PC3-8,500)

2GB kits (2x 1GB)

Crucial DDR3-1,066 - CL7 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £55.21 at Crucial.co.uk (n/a).

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

Crucial DDR3-1,066 - CL7 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £83.41 @ Crucial.co.uk (n/a).

4GB kits (2x 2GB)

Crucial DDR3-1,066 - CL7 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £102.21 at Crucial.co.uk (n/a)

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

Crucial DDR3-1,066 - CL7 - 1.5V - no heatspreaders - £152.74 @ Crucial.co.uk (n/a)

Crucial appears to own the DDR3-1,066MHz space with a range of regular and Core i7-optimised kits at keen prices. Note, however, that basic DDR3 is still 2x the cost of comparable DDR2 - £102 vs. £55 for a 4GB kit.