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What to pay for your desktop RAM in September 2008

by Tarinder Sandhu on 1 September 2008, 11:19

Tags: Corsair

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

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. AMD still has to transition to a DDR3-based memory controller for its Phenom CPUs, though, which will happen at some point next year, we reckon.

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.

2GB kits (2x 1GB)

GeIL Value - 7-7-7 latencies - aluminium heatspreaders - £ 51.88 @ Microdirect.co.uk

4GB kits (2x 2GB)

Corsair XMS3 DHX - 9-9-9-24 latencies - DHX heatspreaders - £114.70 @ Ebuyer.co.uk

The basic DDR3 kits have seen considerable price-cutting in the last three months. Both kits are around 25 per cent cheaper than in late May, and stock seems to be plentiful.

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.

DDR3 natively operates at 1.5V, but DDR3-1,600 may require 1.8V to function at its rated speed.

Only enthusiasts that want the very best performance should look at DDR3-1,600+, we feel.

2GB kits (2x 1GB)

Corsair TwinX DHX DDR3 EPP2.0 - 9-9-9-24 latencies - 1.8V - DHX heatspreaders - £83.30 @ Scan.co.uk.

4GB kits (2x 2GB)

OCZ PC3-12800 Special Ops Urban Elite - 8-8-8-26 latencies - 1.8V - XTC heatspreaders - £148.51 @ MemoryC.

Pricing is around 40 per cent lower for the 4GB kit.