X58 Triple Channel DDR3 Memory Roundup! 8 Mid-range Kits Tested

Memory by thorgal @ 2009-04-09

In the ever raging sales battle among memory manufacturers, the Core i7 launch must have been the wind that shook the barley. While everyone was convinced i7 would be the real start of DDR3 technology, it also was a ´back to the drawing board´ call for most, having to come up with lower voltage memory parts - with decent performance - in a hurry. Four months into the launch now, we present you with a roundup of 8 mid-range kits from 8 different manufacturers. Begun, the new battle has.

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GeIL Value PC12800C8

GeIL PC12800 "Value"

Let's start our guinea-pig introductions with GeIL. GeIL were the first to send us their review kit, just in time for Christmas, so only fair to take them first. As a memory manufacturer, Geil has been around for a while, and this is how they see themselves :

Established in 1993, GeIL– Golden Emperor Int'l Ltd, has soon become one of the most professional memory module manufactures in the industry. Since then GeIL has been concentrating in memory module design and manufacturing. As of today, our manufacturing facilities employ over 200 people and produce a wide variety of modules with distribution in over 50 countries worldwide. GeIL’s Global Headquarter resides in the heart of computer technology – Taipei with branches spreading over in Hong Kong, China and U.S.A. Our diverse product lines also include consumer electronic products. In order to produce this wide range of performance products with the best of quality, GeIL has implemented a stringent, company-wide, quality control standard of excellence. GeIL’s introduction of EVO II IC/Module Tester has raised the bar of DRAM manufactures’ ability in R&D of IC/memory module sorting technology. This is just the beginning.

Madshrimps (c)

For this review GeIL decided to send us their PC12800 "Value" kit, aka the nondescript GV36GB100C8TC, and this is the box that came though our doorstep :

Madshrimps (c)

GeIL provided a very thoughtful designed box, the front as well as the back with it's "see-through" cardboard case is very nice (back in a thumbnail below). There's even a small clearance in the flap to allow the standard plastic blister to slide though, so the modules can be displayed in shop. I like these little details.

Madshrimps (c)
Packaging, backside

Have a look at the modules themselves :

Madshrimps (c)

The modules come in a matte brown finish, which GeIl themselves call the "brushed titanium" look. The heatspreaders are aluminum, and in these colors they look sober but classy at the same time. The logo displayed is that of an engine with a giant exhaust pipe, not sure what the story about that one is but it's a nice design (see below). The backside has the same matte brown finish, but is completely empty, which in my opinion is a shame. No doubt this keeps the costs down, but it's a bit of a missed opportunity. These modules are not designed to show off in a windowed case, hence maybe the "value" logo.

Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
More module images

Time to have a look at their specifications :

  • 1600MHz DDR3 (PC12800)
  • Latencies : 8-8-8-28-2T (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS-CR)
  • Operating voltage : 1.65 Volts
  • 240pin DIMM
  • Parity : Unbuffered
  • Memory size : 3x 2048Mb

    As we only test 1600Mhz kits today, the first spec does not come as a real surprise, but the latencies are relatively tight for a value kit at the given speed. Depending on the price, these could do very well in the value segment.


    Time to see how the modules overclock. As these modules came in first before Christmas, I had a relatively long time with them, and even used them to do most of my recent benchmarking runs to compete on hwbot for the Madshrimps team. I actually am very satisfied with the modules' overclock potential, which surpassed my initial expectations. Again, please remember we test the modules at a command rate of 1 clock (or 1T), which already puts additional stress on the modules, even at stock speeds. Here at Madshrimps we only publish "stable" results, meaning that modules have to finish at least half an hour of prime 95 to be called just that.

    The stock speed of 800Mhz (1600Mhz DDR) was no problem at all, the modules went up to 870Mhz (1740Mhz DDR) at stock timings without complaining. Lowering the latencies to cas 7, we managed to get up to 770Mhz. Relaxing to cas 9, we hit 948Mhz, barely missing the PC15000 Mark. The modules did boot at 1866Mhz DDR (which allows for 133Bclk with a 2:14 divider), but were not stable enough to publish. Relaxing the command rate to 2T might get you to this next speed grade though. As always, your mileage may vary of course.

    All results are displayed in the thumbnails below.

    Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)
    Maximum Overclock cas 7, 8 and 9

    Let's have a look at Qimonda-Aeneon next >
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    Comment from Kougar @ 2009/04/10
    I decided not to include the results in this review yet, as there wasn't actually anything wrong with the kits at their rated speeds. Both did the rated speeds and timings without any issues, they just didn't overclock to any satisfying level.
    This has been observed with Corsair Dominator kits in other reviews. Link

    I was just about to buy a kit of OCZ Platinum, nice to see the overclocking results here, thank you. Should probably mention the 6GB OCZ Platinum 1600MHz kit is available for $80 shipped AMIR, cheapest 1600MHz kit of all those tested.
    Comment from blind_ripper @ 2009/04/10
    80$ , thats cheap!

    btw u got a pic mixed up @ page 8 from the OCZ's, cas 7 has the cas8 pic .
    althoughe very nice work thorgal
    Comment from thorgal @ 2009/04/10
    Originally Posted by Kougar View Post
    This has been observed with Corsair Dominator kits in other reviews. Link

    I was just about to buy a kit of OCZ Platinum, nice to see the overclocking results here, thank you. Should probably mention the 6GB OCZ Platinum 1600MHz kit is available for $80 shipped AMIR, cheapest 1600MHz kit of all those tested.
    Yes, I read the xbit article, they come to about the same conclusion indeed.

    The Patriots can also be had for $79,99 now at Newegg, could be the OCZ's are equally cheap somewhere (they're $89,99 at Newegg).
    Comment from leeghoofd @ 2009/04/10
    Great work Ram "Torsten" Guy
    Comment from Kougar @ 2009/04/10
    Yes, but the Patriots are CAS 9. OCZ Platinum is CAS 7 (better than anything Corsair offers too).

    Didn't hear it from me: Newegg Promo code EMCLRLV42 for $10 off OCZ3P1600LV6GK ($80). Even less if buying NIB on ebay.
    Comment from Jaco @ 2009/04/11
    good article / review .

    Still reading ... lots of numbers