For years, I have always been most drawn to value and mid range components with good overclocking potential, in order to extract high end performance, for a fraction of the cost. Having strayed into the extreme end of the spectrum, this often is no longer a viable option for me, as the high end gear is required for top overclocking scores. But for systems I build intended for daily use, I always seek high value hardware.
First to come to mind is the AMD Opteron 165 CPU that I owned when I first really got hooked on overclocking. Not long afterward, the Intel Q6600 quad core was released. Both of these CPUs cost a third of the top of the line hardware of the era (the Athlon FX-60 and the Intel QX6850 respectively), but with a little time and effort they could easily exceed the performance levels of those high end parts.
Today in the competitive DDR3 market, there is a huge spread of prices, but in general only moderate gains in performance from low to high end memory modules. This gets complicated when you realize that memory overclocking is very hit or miss, and partially unstable memory can corrupt data, causing big headaches when used in a system with important data. At TechREACTION we generally don’t recommend overclocking your memory too high in system used daily, as the minimal performance gains are not worth the risk to your data.
There have been a few exceptions over the years, and sometimes great gains can be found in value priced memory. The reason for these vastly different examples comes down to “binning”. Most memory on the market today is “binned” (or sorted) based on the speed it’s actually capable of running at a given speed & voltage combination. That means when you buy memory, you generally won’t be able to push it too far past its rated limits. Luckily for us, some companies leave a little headroom to allow us enthusiasts to play…
The kit I’m showing you today is the 2x2GB DDR3 kit from Patriot dubbed “G2″. It is rated to run at DDR3-1600 with 9-9-9-24 timings and 1.65V, and is currently selling at Newegg for only $69. But Patriot knows how we like our memory, with overclocking headroom to spare, and this kit has it in spades. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first the formal introduction.
A simple box with internal blister pack secures the DIMMs for transport.
Aesthetically, this memory is simple and a bit understated. On the one hand I am pretty fond of simple design, however, I do like to color coordinate my components, and black PCBs would be a nice touch. If that could be accomplished with minimal price increase, many users would probably agree.
These photos were taken with the Gigabyte P67A-UD7 motherboard (review coming soon), however all of our testing was completed on the Asus Maximus IV Extreme motherboard.
This is an extreme example with the 38mm Delta fan installed, but the low profile DIMMs do not cause any problems for this configuration.
Turning the cooler 90 degrees, and we can see that tall DIMMs would still have issues, but these short Patriot sticks have no clearance issues whatsoever.