Kingston KHX16000D3K3/3GX DDR3 SDRAM
When you overclock LGA1366 systems we advise using special triple-channel overclocker memory. And the reason for that is not only the fact that this memory sells in triple-module kits. As we know, Core i7 systems also support dual-channel memory and the performance difference in this case would be insignificant. The main problem is Intel’s insistent recommendation not to raise the memory voltage over 1.65V not to damage the memory controller integrated into the CPU. All dual-channel DDR3 SDRAM kits available in the today’s market are optimized for old LGA775 platforms and require higher voltage settings.
In fact, regular DDR3 SDRAM working at its nominal 1.5V voltage and 1333MHz frequency could do just fine during overclocking. The minimal DDR3 SDRAM multiplier of 6x supported by Core i7 processors allows staying within the nominal memory frequency up until BCLK is increased to 222MHz. This potential is more than enough to overclock to its maximum even the youngest Core i7-920 equipped with an air cooler. However, many overclockers prefer to bundle their overclocked CPU with fast memory, which speeds up the entire system even more. Therefore if overclocker Core i7 platforms are often equipped with DDR3 SDRAM that can operate at least at 1600MHz frequency and 1.65V voltage.
Of course, you can find DDR3 SDRAM like that among “previous generation” memory, however, it is way easier to purchase the special DDR3 SDRAM intended for Core i7 platforms. All the leading overclocker memory makers have already launched such kits of their own. For our today’s test session we picked Kingston HyperX KHX16000D3K3/3GX.
We decided to go with this particular kit because it is currently one of the fastest triple-channel DDR3 SDRAM kits for LGA1366 systems available in the market. This triple-channel kit consists of three modules, 1GB each that can work at up to 2000MHz frequency with 1.65V voltage and 9-9-9-27 timings.
The characteristics of Kingston HyperX KHX16000D3K3/3GX memory make it a perfect choice for extreme overclocker systems. The thing is that clocking DDR3 SDRAM at frequencies close to 2000MHz in Core i7 platforms requires a serious voltage boost of the processor Uncore segment: up to 1.6-1.7V. Therefore, we wouldn’t recommend having the memory work at this high frequency without at least liquid-cooling on the processor. Especially since Core i7 CPUs have no built-in tools for detecting if the integrated L3 cache or memory controller gets overheated.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean you can’t use Kingston HyperX KHX16000D3K3/3GX memory in “mainstream” overclocker systems equipped with more widely spread air coolers. In this case this memory can work at up to 1780MHz with 1.65V voltage setting and 8-8-8-24 timings and at up to 1550MHz frequencies – with 7-7-7-21 timings.
However, if you don’t feel like spending quite a bit of money on expensive Kingston HyperX KHX16000D3K3/3GX supporting 2000MHz frequency, the same manufacturer offers very high-quality triple-channel memory with 1.65V voltage and lower nominal frequency settings: 1867, 1800 or 1600MHz. the same solution are also available from other overclocker memory makers these days.