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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OCZ Platinum PC12800 7-7-7

OCZ PC12800 "Platinum"

OCZ has been a returning customer to our site for the last few years, and they couldn't be absent this time. For those that meet OCZ for the first time, an introduction to the company :

OCZ is one of the premier manufacturers of memory modules, and one of the biggest players on the international market. OCZ technology was founded in 2000 and has established quite a name for producing high end ram products, especially among the enthusiast community. Since early 2004, OCZ also produces high-end power supplies, and in 2007, OCZ also has put a new focus on cooling products, by introducing some eye-catching cpu-coolers. Recently OCZ acquired PC Power & Cooling, a high end PSU manufacturer, and Hypersonic, a (very) high-end system builder. Until now, memory remains the most important branch in OCZ's product catalogue, and as such we're lucky to test some of their ram today.

Let's see how the package looks like :

Madshrimps (c)

Like most manufacturers, OCZ has changed their package from a simple blister to something with a little more "bling", if you can call a cardboard box that. This box was actually designed to hold two blisters, and up to 4 modules. We reviewed a quad module OCZ DDR2 kit not that long ago, which indeed introduced this box, albeit in different colors.
As mentioned, at the inside we find 2 memory blisters, a first one holding 2 modules, the second blister only 1. The blister with two modules also includes a simple, full color manual, something that OCZ keeps doing for the novices among us.

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Packaging: more shots

This is one of the modules that reside inside:

Madshrimps (c)

As the title already mentions, this kit is part of OCZ's platinum lineup, a lineup directed at the PC enthusiasts. As such, the modules are equipped with OCZ's standard "honeycomb" grill heatspreader, in a shiny silver-chrome finish. The platinum kit is standard height, on a green PCB, nothing fancy here. These modules are not directed at the case-mod enthusiast, or the Lanparty visitor, but are purely performance oriented. Therefore : no need for more bling, OCZ has other lineups to compete in those fields.

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More module images

These are the specifications that come with it :

  • 1600MHz DDR3 (PC12800)
  • Latencies : 7-7-7-24-2T (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS-CR)
  • Operating voltage : 1.65 Volts
  • 240pin DIMM
  • Parity : Unbuffered
  • Memory size : 3x 2048Mb

    With these specifications, I doubted that the modules would fit in a midrange memory roundup. However, as prices are coming down rapidly lately, price differences between this and other kits have become very low, so I decided to include this kit here. I have a feeling that this kit will be EOL'ed quite soon though, as with the arrival of the new Elpida "B" variants, performance will no doubt go up. OCZ has already started offering cas 7 1866Mhz and cas 6 1600Mhz kits on their website, these are the true high end of DDR3 nowadays.


    After the rather disappointing Mushkin run, I was very pleased that these modules overclocked rather easily to very pleasing levels. In this regard, the cas 7 headroom might be called rather limited, because at 810Mhz (but 1T instead of 2T) it provided only marginal additional speeds. At cas 8 however, things changed: the modules hit a solid 900Mhz fully stable, a little better even than the G.Skill competition. At cas 9, the modules continued to scale, barely missing the 1000Mhz mark and stopping at 972Mhz prime stable, 1T. 1Ghz memory speed was possible, when relaxing the command rate to 2T, or when you're happy with non-prime stable performance, which is fine for most tasks.
    Finally, the OCZ modules were also fine with the low latency setting of cas 6 at 1333Mhz, a setting we'll be using later on for our performance tests.

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    Testing cas 6, max cas 7, cas 8, cas 9

    Corsair 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