Trying to argue the case for a 2x4 GB DDR3-2666 C11 kit for $170 is a monumental task.  4x4 GB kits of 2400 C10 offer double the capacity at a similar price point with no real change in real-life performance.  Arguably neither does 4x4 GB 2133 C9 which is even cheaper, or 2x8 GB 2400 C11 which offers the same amount of modules but double the density.

From our benchmarking results, the 2666 C11 was predicted by MemTweakIt to come out on top, and in all the benchmarks we have that show results, it did, often by the smallest margins.  The biggest difference seems to be with respect to WinRAR, where for our 450+ second test the 2666 C11 kit performed 22 seconds faster than a 2400 C10 kit.  If that 5% change can be justified in the price for what you do, then this kit could be for you.

The only other placement for this kit is really in the hands of extreme overclockers.  I am a competitive overclocker – it is one of my hobbies that I find fascinating, even if it is only trying to get a number on a screen higher than the next guy.  But overclocking is like drag racing for computers – there are very few people in the market to purchase these kits compared to the majority of users that need memory.  As a kit for overclockers, it works quite well, hitting 2800 C11 without a bump in voltage, and I was able to boost this to 2950 C11 with a bump in voltage.  No doubt with some more knowledge and tweaking this could break the 3000 MHz barrier.

The immediate future for memory still lies in DDR3 – the next iteration, DDR4, is still several years away.  We are told that on the Intel side of things, Haswell is DDR3, as will be Broadwell, the Haswell replacement.  Reports expect DDR4 to be less than 10% of the market in late 2014 (early adoption in the high end space), but 50%+ across 2015.  DDR4 is expected to have a base speed of 2133 MHz up to 3200 MHz for initial enthusiast applications – though given the rise in enthusiast speeds this could seemingly be pushed to 4266 MHz+ over the course of the development cycle.  DDR4 is also expected to be a single module per channel, paving the way for up-to-quad channel in the mainstream arena.

But for now, if synthetics matter, then the 2x4 GB F3-2666C11D-8GTXD 2666 C11 TridentX kit offers some overclocking headroom.  All other increases (at XMP) are marginal at best from previous kits.  Kits like this will become more commonplace when processors adjust the tested IMC rated speed – the high end Trinity processors are rated at 1866 MHz minimum, so it only needs to raise another 1000 MHz or so.  This should hold true in 2015 when DDR4 is part of the desktop hierarchy.

If you are on the lookout for a 2x4 GB memory kit, as of 10/18, here is what Newegg looked like:

  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 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

Please note this table does not take into account warranty or any 'extras' or sub-timings that may come from each kit.

Overclocking Results
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  • OCN's_3930k - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    $600 for 2800CL11? Hell no.
  • xTRICKYxx - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    Yeah, that price really stuck out! Obviously G-Skill knows the price is ridiculous but its not a popular product....
  • formulav8 - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    Yeah what a big fat waste, for well, about anything. Should at least see how a nice IGP like Trinity or something responds to that kind of ram. CPU's are content with 1600mhz/1333mhz ram quite strongly. I just don't understand the purpose of this review myself. But there must be others that do or it wouldn't be done?
  • DDR4 - Monday, November 12, 2012 - link

    Get your mom to buy it for u :)
  • mfenn - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    Calling an IGP test with $170 memory kits "real world" is ridiculous. What gamer spends $170 on memory and nothing on the GPU?
  • sicofante - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    Even on an IGP the gain from faster memory is significant in very particular scenarios, but you're definitely right: where are the results using a proper GPU? I bet they show this trend of ever faster and more expensive memory is ridiculous and its ROI is close to non-existent beyond 1600MHz cheap and ordinary memory.
  • sicofante - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    I meant ONLY in very particular scenarios.
  • JlHADJOE - Monday, October 29, 2012 - link

    I replied much the same thing when they tested the 2400 kit.
    I'd rather have 1333 DDR3 and a $100 GPU, instead of 2600 DDR3 and APU graphics.
  • just4U - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    It does not appear to be all about the speed it can hit. That's only a part of the selling point (i think) but also the lower command rates that can be achieved accross the spectrum of speeds. This is key.

    Really am liking your memory articles Ian. I'd love to know just how low this ram can go. I hear things like Cas6/7 at more modest speeds.. from users but I haven't had the oportunity to play with any of the TridentX memory yet so I don't really know.
  • just4U - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - link

    The heatsinks really do tick me off though..

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