OCZ Blade Series DDR3-2000 6GB Low Voltage Triple Channel Memory Kit Review

Conclusions

[ad#review962-top]If I’m not mistaken, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to compare like-sized memory kits with similar timings but significantly different speeds. I guess I shouldn’t have been, but I was surprised at the performance difference between the DDR3-1600 and the DDR3-2000 kits. Every benchmark showed significantly higher performance in the DDR3-2000.

I wasn’t surprised with the scores in the like-speed/different timings testing. As I mentioned in the overclocking section, though many don’t realize it, timings often make more difference in memory performance than operating speed. As clearly seen in the testing, the CAS 7 memory performed better in every test.

I like the OCZ Blade. It looks great, with its matte black heatspreaders, black PCBs, and raised OCZ logo. The fins add additional cooling without making the modules overly tall. I’ve already talked about the performance, `nuff said there.

Of course, we all like memory with tight timings, and the higher speed the better. So the question one has to ask him/herself is do I really need a high-speed low-latency 6GB kit? As I mentioned earlier, a 64-bit operating system has to be used to see more than about 3.2 gigs of system memory. I’ve been using 64-bit Vista for well over 1.5 years, and I have yet to have the first problem finding drivers for new hardware. Actually, I have exactly one piece of hardware, a 4-year old recording sound card, that does not have a Vista 64-bit driver. Actually, the manufacturer does have a beta driver, but their beta program is rather weird and I have opted not to participate, since I have other rigs I can use the card in.

The question of whether to use 3 gigs or 6 gigs of system memory is the same as with dual channel rigs, whether to use 2 gigs or 4 gigs. In my experience, benchmarks don’t tell the tale, and benchmark numbers usually don’t increase when using more memory. The real differences come from how the rig acts.faster loading and launching times, better system performance when running multiple large applications, and of course much better reaction when dealing with large files, such as large image and video files.

OCZ’s new triple-channel boxes exclaim: “The Best Performing DDR3 Memory On The Market. Period.” A quick look at my favorite online retailer shows only two 6GB memory kits sporting CAS 7. The OCZ Blade 2GB memory module may actually be the best performing DDR3 memory on the market.

The Blade DDR3-2000 6GB 7-8-7 kit wasn’t a great overclocker. Traditionally, memory overclocking was to accommodate the ability to overclock your CPU. That isn’t the case with the i7/X58, and with many X58 motherboards, the CPU must be overclocked to run the memory at advertised speeds. This OCZ Blade is optimized at the advertised speed/timings, with a small amount of headroom. If overclocking your memory is a requirement, OCZ has other models. But keep in mind that even overclocked, they probably won’t perform as well as this memory at stock settings.

At $441, the Blade DDR3-2000 isn’t cheap, but the newest, biggest, or fastest never is. If you want what is likely the best performing 6GB kit on the market, that’s the price. ThinkComputers gives the OCZ Blade DDR3-2000 7-8-7 6GB Triple Channel memory kit a 10 out of 10 score.

Pros:

– Matte black heatspreaders/black PCB and OCZ logo looks sharp
– Beat comparison kits in every benchmark, even when those kits were overclocked
– Only one other 6GB DDR3-2000 7-7-7 kit on the market

Cons:

– Rather pricy, but the top-of-the-line always is
– If overclocking your memory is a requirement, you may not be satisfied

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