Articles: Memory

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We’ve long got used to the never-ending progress of computers in sheer computing power with new generations of processors and graphics cards. Indeed, modern multimedia content authoring applications and 3D games want more and more hardware resources but what about system memory? Is it a resource that needs to be augmented as well? If you compare the system requirements of today’s Windows 7 and 8 with those of the decade-old Windows XP, you can see that they are in fact comparable. The majority of everyday applications do not really need more than the typical 2 or 4 gigabytes of system memory, too.

Midrange and top-end computers currently come with no less than 8 gigabytes of memory, but not because of some real necessity. DDR3 SDRAM has just become exceedingly cheap. Moreover, Intel gives us a push towards larger amounts of system memory by introducing triple- and quad-channel memory controllers in its top-end platforms. Users are invited to install more memory modules and thus have more system memory in total.

There’s nothing wrong about this trend, though. You can’t have too much of memory. With large amounts currently in use, many users create memory-located RAM disks for storing temporary files. This solution is especially effective if an SSD is used as the main system disk. Moreover, having 8 gigabytes of system memory or more, you can switch off your swap file and make your computer somewhat more responsive.

But discussing the benefits of having a lot of system memory is actually beyond the scope of this review. We'll just take it for granted that typical overclocker-friendly memory modules currently come in 4-gigabyte capacities, which means that you can’t help using 4GB modules if you want to build a computer with high-speed DDR3 SDRAM. With memory chip prices going down, makers of enthusiast-targeted memory have switched their focus to large-capacity kits. If you are looking for a quad-channel kit for your LGA2011 computer, you must have already found out that the majority of offers are 16 gigabytes in capacity.

It’s about such products we are going to talk in this review. We'll take as many as five quad-channel 16GB DDR3 SDRAM kits from GeIL, a long-standing leader among overclocker-friendly memory makers.

These memory kits belong to four product series. While most other leading memory makers have recently moved their focus elsewhere (to SSDs, power supplies, various peripherals), GeIL has never steered away from its initial course and still offers a very broad selection of DDR3 SDRAM modules to everyone’s taste. That’s the point of this review, actually. We want to compare products which are very close to each other in their specs but differ in exterior design and pricing, so that we could find out the most attractive offers.

From a technical standpoint, these memory kits from GeIL are DDR3-1600 and DDR3-1867.

Designed for LGA2011 platforms, they differ from each other substantially. Let's have a closer look at each of them.

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