Market Positioning

Despite the price and the market for this memory kit, G.Skill still has price competitive challengers. At the time of writing, here was the state of Newegg, starting with the 2600+ 4x4GB kits, then the 2600+ 2x4GB kits, and finally the 4x4 GB kits in the same price range of the kit being tested today.

$600: Corsair Dominator DDR3-2800 11-14-14 4x4GB Kit
$500: Corsair Dominator DDR3-2666 12-14-14 4x4GB Kit
$360: Corsair Dominator DDR3-2666 10-12-12 4x4GB Kit
$360: Corsair Dominator DDR3-2600 10-12-12 4x4GB Kit

$600: G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2800 11-13-13 2x4GB Kit
$270: Avexir Core DDR3-2800 12-14-14 2x4GB Kit
$180: Kingston HyperX Predator DDR3-2666 11-13-13 2x4GB Kit
$170: G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2666 11-13-13 2x4GB Kit
$168: Team DDR3-2600 10-12-12 2x4GB Kit
$165: G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2600 10-12-12 2x4GB Kit
$160: Corsair Dominator DDR3-2666 11-13-13 2x4GB Kit

$180: Team Vulcan DDR3-2400 10-11-11 4x4GB Kit
$170: Corsair Vengeance DDR3-2133 9-11-10 4x4GB Kit
$170: Team DDR3-2400 11-11-11 4x4 GB Kit
$155: G.Skill TridentX DDR3-2400 10-11-11 2x8 GB Kit
$150: Kingston HyperX DDR3-2400 11-13-13 4x4GB Kit
$150: Corsair DDR3-2400 10-12-12 4x4GB Kit

As we can see, the more you ramp up the MHz numbers, the price of the kit rises exponentially at this end of the market.  There are lots of crazy numbers in that list, for minute increases in daily performance.  In the 2x4 GB space at that price range, the Corsair Dominator package at $160 seems to offer the same speed but at a cheaper price (overclocking not compared).  Going down to the 4x4 GB range and we see a set of 2400 C10/C11 modules offering almost the same performance and double the amount of memory at the same price.

A quick look at all the 2x4 GB kits available on Newegg gives the following table:

  2x4 GB Memory Kits
  1600 1866 2000 2133 2400 2600 2666 2800
CL 7 $73 Corsair
$70 G.Skill
$70 Mushkin
$65 Mushkin
             
CL 8 $60 Crucial
$55 Corsair
$55 G.Skill
$55 Crucial
$55 Mushkin
$53 G.Skill
$53 Crucial
$52 Mushkin
$52 Corsair
$75 G.Skill            
CL 9 $86 Corsair
$48 G.Skill**
$47 Kingston
$47 Corsair**
$46 Avexir
$45 G.Skill**
$45 Kingston
$45 Avexir**
$44 Patriot**
$43 Kingston**
$42 Corsair
$42 ADATA
$42 Kingston
$42 Mushkin**
$41 Corsair
$41 Kingston
$41 Patriot
and below
$90 Corsair
$75 Corsair
$60 Mushkin
$60 Avexir
$55 G.Skill
$55 Kingston
$55 Crucial
$55 Mushkin
$53 Crucial
$53 Kingston
$52 Corsair
$52 PNY
$50 Corsair
$50 G.Skill
$50 Kingston
$50 Patriot
$50 Crucial
$50 Team
$49 Corsair
$49 G.Skill
$48 GeIL
$47 Patriot
$46 Kingston
$44 Corsair
$75 Corsair
$68 Mushkin
$65 Avexir
$60 Corsair
$60 Mushkin
$130 Corsair
$120 Corsair
$110 Corsair
$70 Corsair
$70 Avexir
$65 Mushkin
$64 G.Skill
$62 Team
$61 G.Skill
$60 G.Skill
$60 Mushkin
       
CL 10       $85 PNY
$60 Mushkin
$56 Team
$100 Avexir
$85 Mushkin
$82 Team
$77 Corsair
$75 G.Skill
$72 G.Skill
$70 G.Skill
$168 Team
$165 G.Skill
   
CL 11 $45 Samsung $49 Kingston*   $58 Corsair
$57 Patriot
$56 Corsair
$55 Team
$50 G.Skill
$50 Kingston
$50 Patriot
$50 Team
$50 GeIL
$103 G.Skill
$95 Team
$77 Patriot
$75 GeIL
$60 Kingston
  $180 Kingston
$170 G.Skill
$160 Corsair
$160 Avexir
$600 G.Skill
CL 12               $270 Avexir
* Plug and Play
** Low Voltage

Test Bed

Test Bed
Processor i7-3770K @ 4.4 GHz
4 Cores / 8 Threads
Motherboard ASUS P8Z77-V Premium
Memory G.Skill 1333 MHz 9-9-9-24 1.5V 4x4GB Kit
G.Skill 1600 MHz 9-9-9-24 1.5V 4x4GB Kit
G.Skill 1866 MHz 9-10-9-28 1.5V 4x4GB Kit
GeIL 2400 MHz 11-12-12-30 1.65V 2x8GB Kit
G.Skill 2133 MHz 9-11-10-28 1.65V 4x4GB Kit
G.Skill 2400 MHz 10-12-12-31 1.65V 4x4GB Kit
G.Skill 2666 MHz 11-13-13-35 1.65V 2x4GB Kit
CPU Cooler Intel Stock Cooler
Graphics Cards Intel HD4000
ECS GTX580
Power Supply Rosewill SilentNight 500W Platinum
Storage OCZ Vertex3 240GB
SATA 6Gbps to USB 3.0 Thermaltake BlacX 5G Docking Station
Thunderbolt Device Lacie Little Big Disk 240GB
Test Bench Coolermaster Test Bed
Operating System Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Many thanks to...

We must thank the following companies for kindly donating hardware for our test bed:

OCZ for donating the USB testing SSD
ASUS for donating the IO testing kit
ECS for donating NVIDIA GPUs
Rosewill for donating the Power Supply

ASUS MemTweakIt

With our overview of the ASUS Republic of Gamers range of products, one piece of software caught my eye while I was testing.  The ASUS MemTweakIt allows for almost complete control of the memory subtimings while in the OS, such that users can optimize their settings for memory reads, memory writes, or for pushing the boundaries.  The upshot of this software in our context is that it takes all the sub-timings and settings and condenses them into a score.  As the memory kits we test contain XMP profiles, these profiles determine a large majority of the sub-timings on the kit and how aggressive a memory manufacturer is.  We should see this represented in our MemTweakIt score.

As we do not know the formula by which ASUS calculates this value, it has to be taken with a pinch of salt.  It could be weighted in favor of one of the settings versus the other.  Normally I would not put such an non-descript benchmark as part of our testing suite, but the MemTweakIt software does give us one descriptor – it gives us a theoretical rate of improvement across the range of kits we test, and allows us to order them in the way they should perform.  With this being said, the results for our kits are as follows:

ASUS MemTweakIt

Percentage Increase Over DDR3-1333

Compared to our previous kits tested, we were under no illusion that a 2666C11 kit would take top spot.  But what this also means is that MemTweakIt does not differentiate between one memory stick per channel or two – it should however differentiate between single and dual channel orientations.  Note that according to the scores, we have ~20% increase in MemTweakIt score over a 4x4GB 1333 C9 kit for a whopping 127% increase in price (as well as half the capacity).

Overview, Specifications and Visual Inspection Gaming Tests: Metro 2033, Civilization V, Dirt 3
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28 Comments

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  • Denithor - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Seconded.

    While it's kinda nice to know the RAM companies CAN produce this level of product, for 99.999% of even your audience (the true computer geeks) these products are a useless waste of cash.

    I would much rather see more in depth reviews of other components, RAM speed is just so unnecessary in the overall performance of the system.
    Reply
  • Tech-Curious - Friday, November 02, 2012 - link

    I think reviews like this one are useful precisely because they show, in exhaustive detail, that high-performance RAM is wasteful.

    Granted, a lot of us don't need in-depth reviews to know that, but FWIW, I'll toss this article in my bookmark folder and link it whenever I need to demonstrate to someone that they should buy cheaper RAM.
    Reply
  • mpdugas - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Jeepers, why all the hate? Reply
  • Gen-An - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    No idea. If it's not for some people, fine, move on. Why they even bother wasting their time reading and replying to a review on a product they feel is "pointless" is beyond me. Reply
  • Beenthere - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    Unless people have more money than brains no one really should be paying a premium for RAM with a frequency higher than 1866 MHz. as there is nothing of substance to be gained from it - as countless tests with real applications confirm. The bogus RAM tests that exaggerate the benefits of higher frquency RAM may dupe the gullible, but those with more PC knowledge know better than to be deceived. Reply
  • saturn85 - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    add a folding on cpu benchmark should be great. Reply
  • Gen-An - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - link

    Ugh, you got the single-sided sticks with Hynix H5TQ4G83MFR. Most enthusiasts prefer the double-sided sticks with Hynix H5TQ2G83CFR ICs as they have more headroom than their 4Gbit counterparts. On the other hand, I have a kit of 4x4GB Trident X 2666 and I can't run all 4 sticks at 2800 C11 with stock voltage, though I haven't tried binning the sticks individually. People hate the Trident X 2400C10 sticks when they're single-sided Samsung. Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, February 17, 2013 - link

    Only gullible sheeple think paying hundreds of dollars for RAM that offers no tangible improvement in system performance is a wise decision.

    Quote:

    "Moving up to 2666 C10 obviously has the advantages of the lower command rate."

    Hint: C10 is NOT the Command Rate which is either 1T or 2T
    Reply

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