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It's tricky to pigeonhole the OCZ Reaper PC3-14400 6GB Triple Channel memory kit that we're reviewing this week as OCZ has such an enormous range of products. If we forget about DDR, DDR2, USB keys, laptop memory and mainstream DDR3 then we see that OCZ has no less than six distinct families of triple channel memory kits.
Blade sits at the top of the overclocking pile with the water cooled Flex EX just beneath. Intel Extreme use Extended Memory Profile (XMP) to make overclocking easier while the Platinum and Gold series look very similar to each other apart from the colour of the perforated heat shields on the memory chips.
Reaper stands out visually thanks to its HPC or Heat Pipe Conduit feature. This is a questionable name for a nifty feature that allows OCZ to install a heatsink above the memory module. The two halves of the cooling package that fix on either side of the Reaper module clamp around a heatpipe that loops up to a small heatsink that sits in the airflow from the CPU cooler. The heatpipe physically separates the heatsink from the main body of the memory module so air can pass around the heatsink on all sides to maximise the cooling effect.
Within the Reaper family there are four different speeds of memory; PC3-16000/2,000MHz, two versions of PC3-15000/1,866MHz with CL8 or CL9 latencies and the slowest of the bunch is PC3-14400/1,800MHz, which is the model we were sent to review.
As the name suggests a triple channel memory kit contains three modules instead of the usual two as they are aimed at the Core i7 market. Most of the triple channel Reaper kits have a capacity of 6GB (3x2GB) although the PC3-15000 CL9 comes in both 6GB and
3GB (3x1GB) versions. 3GB kits are aimed at anyone with a 32-bit Operating System i.e. most of us while 6GB of memory only makes sense if you have a 64-bit Operating System.
We tested the 6GB Reaper PC3-14400 kit on the EVGA X58 SLI that we reviewed last week.
With two GeForce GTX 280 graphics cards installed in SLI the graphics memory ate into the 4GB of memory that 32-bit Windows can address to such an extent that there was only 2.5GB available for use. Switching to 64-bit Vista unlocked the whole 6GB.
In truth the EVGA motherboard wasn't our first choice of test platform as we wanted to give the Intel DX58SO a second look. Intel has updated the BIOS of the DX58SO to add SLI support which means that almost every Core i7 motherboard on the market now supports CrossFire and SLI and we fancied slipping some benchmarks into this review. After all ‘DX58SO supports SLI' is a news item and hardly the basis for a short review.