Today we talked about 13 memory kits available in the market for systems built around Intel Core i7 processors in LGA1366 form-factor. However, you can certainly use these kits for any other appropriate purposes, but in this case one of the three memory modules will be a spare one, because if you use an odd number of DIMMs in dual-channel system, the performance may drop. We tested popular DDR3-1600 SDRAM kits, which we consider to be the most optimal choice in terms of price-to-performance ratio.
At the same time, our performance tests showed that the choice of any memory kit with the same operational frequency doesn’t have any serious effect on the general performance level. If you do not overclock your memory and use it with nominal timings, the performance of all the kits will differ only by fractions of a percent. That is why if we are talking about using the memory in the nominal mode, then all of the tested solutions are more or less equal. However, the story is totally different if we are talking about finding the best memory kit for work in overclocked modes. This is where the differences between the solutions from various makers start becoming much more obvious and more expensive memory with lower timings proves capable of working at much higher frequencies.
As for the final recommendations concerning the best memory choice, we have put together a few criteria, which allow us to select the best solutions easily. In our opinion, the best choice will be a memory kit that can be overclocked and work stably at frequencies exceeding 1800 MHz, supports XMP profiles that simplify system configuring, and has low heat-spreaders that won’t cause any mechanical problems in close proximity with the large CPU coolers.
There is only one memory kit that meets all three requirements: Crucial Ballistix Tracer BL3KIT25664TG1608. This is the memory kit that we can certainly recommend as the best triple-channel 6 GB DDR3-1600 SDRAM kit. By the way, we also have to add that these modules have an additional bonus: impressive looks due to load indicating LEDs.
Besides Crucial solution, there are three more memory kits that we can recommend only to experienced users, because they do not support XMP technology ad need to be configured manually in the BIOS Setup. These solutions are just as good in terms of performance and other major practical aspects as the Crucial kit. They are: OCZ Platinum Edition OCZ3P1600LV6GK, Mushkin 998679 and Wintec AMPX 3AXH1600C8WS6GT.
Summing up the results of our today’s test session we are proud to award the following four memory kits with our prestigious Editor’s Choice title as the best triple-channel 6 GB DDR3-1600 SDRAM kits:
- Crucial Ballistix Tracer BL3KIT25664TG1608
- Mushkin 998679
- OCZ Platinum Edition OCZ3P1600LV6GK
- Wintec AMPX 3AXH1600C8WS6GT