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OCZ PC3 16000 Gold 6GB Triple Channel review

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Our Score:

8

When we reviewed the OCZ Reaper PC3-14400 6GB Triple Channel memory kit for Core i7 earlier this year it had a price of £197 and since then we have seen prices fall by an astonishing amount.

Indeed prices have fallen so far that your reviewer was trawling the net for fast DDR3 for a feature and came up with a 6GB kit of OCZ PC3 16000 Gold memory at £108.68. A moment later the deed was done, the button was clicked and the memory was bought. That's right the memory you see on these pages has been bought for cold, hard cash. In the intervening weeks since this impulsive purchase the price has fallen even further to £91.99 which seems awfully cheap for a 6GB kit of DDR3 with a rated speed of 2,000MHz.

It takes a certain amount of digging through OCZ's extensive range of memory to find out where the 2,000MHz Gold memory fits in the great scheme of things. OCZ lists seven distinct families of triple channel memory kits for Core i7 (Blade, Flex EX, Reaper, Intel Extreme, Platinum, Gold and Value) or you can see the range divided by application (Enthusiasts, Gaming, Special Editions and Value). We deduce that enthusiast gamers who like value for money don't fit neatly into OCZ's view of the world.

The Reaper memory we reviewed last time is high end, partly because of its clock speed but mainly thanks to the HPC (Heat Pipe Conduit) system that increases the cooling area with an extra cooling package located on heatpipes above the main body of the module. This increases the height of the module to 70mm which can be a deal breaker if your CPU cooler hangs over the memory slots on your motherboard.

By contrast the Gold series of OCZ memory is classed as a budget product even though it looks very similar to the more expensive Platinum and Titanium products. The heat spreader on Gold modules is, um, gold in colour while Platinum and Titanium are, well, you get the idea. Bar their colour, cosmetically there is nothing to choose between these three families of memory and you have to look quite closely to spot the differences in specification. For instance you can buy PC3-15000/DDR3-1866MHz Platinum that supports timings of 9-9-9-28 while the corresponding Gold memory has latencies of 10-10-10-28. Now ask yourself, do you fancy the job of speed binning all those memory chips and deciding which should be Gold and which Platinum? Us neither.

The specification of the OCZ Gold we bought can be seen here. It's regular 240-pin DDR3 that operates on 1.65V which makes it compatible with the memory controller in Core i7. You get 3 x 2GB in the pack so a 64-bit Operating System is a natural choice. If you install 6GB of RAM on a 32-bit OS you will only see 2.5GB-3GB once the graphics have eaten their share of the addressable 4GB. By contrast 6GB on 64-bit gives you the full 6GB. In terms of speed, it runs at 2,000MHz while latencies are CL 10-10-10-30 (CAS-TRCD-TRP-TRAS).

farki80

August 27, 2009, 6:00 pm

I initially thought that this was a review of a single 6GB stick. Will pass and wait for the 18GB kit!

miha

August 27, 2009, 6:50 pm

@farki80 - The title of the article says "triple channel", there's your hint. Also, I wouldn't wait for that 18GB kit if I was you. That capacity is simply not what you'll be able to find on any DDR3 memory modules due to the nature of how they work and what capacity memory chips they're based on. To make a 6GB single module, you'd need either 8 memory chips of 6144Gb capacity for a single-sided module or 16 memory chips of half of that capacity for a double-sided module. That's providing you wanna build non-ECC modules (add another memory chip per each set of 8 for ECC). To my knowledge, there is no producer that makes such capacity memory modules in the world and I wouldn't expect them to be available like... ever? Standard memory chips' capacities go by the multiplier of 2 for more than just mathematical reasons. You could make yourself a system with exactly 18GB memory by using 3x 4GB memory modules and 3x 2GB memory modules on a triple channel 6 memory slots system, or mixing 2x 8GB (pretty hard to find non-ECC ones ATM) and 2x 1GB memory modules on a dual-channel system, though. Personally, I'll just buy 2 sets of these modules reviewed or something similar and enjoy my 12GB while you wait for your 18GB kit :P

Ed

August 27, 2009, 7:37 pm

@miha: I think it was a joke. ;)

farki80

August 28, 2009, 1:27 am

TL;DR :P

miha

August 28, 2009, 7:35 pm

@Ed - Gotcha ;) And he just made another one, right? Besides, 640K ought to be enough for anybody, less he meant TL;DR;NEP :))

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