|12GB Crucial DDR3 Memory Kit CT3KIT51264BA1339|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Thursday, 06 May 2010|
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Closer Look: Crucial 12GB DDR3 Kit
For anyone not familiar, DDR3 RAM uses a unique 240-pin DIMM (Dual Inline Memory Module) architecture. This new design does not allow for backwards compatibility, and it offers many design differences from the DDR2 predecessor it replaces. First revealed in dual-channel kits for the Intel P35-Express platform, the latest iteration is offered in triple-channel kits for Intel's Core i7 / X58 Platform.
Crucial's 12GB unbuffered DIMM (UDIMM) memory upgrade kit is comprised of three 4GB DDR3 modules, which operate at 1333MHz CL9. Each Synchronous DRAM module is comprised of 512MB x 64-bit FBGA DRAM components, which requires 1.5V nominal operating power. The 240-pin DIMM PCB uses gold contact fingers and maintains a low 'standard' memory profile, which delivers platform-wide compatibility.
Basic DDR3 memory modules aren't much to look at naked; just a printed circuit board with DRAM ICs soldiered to it. Since this Crucal kit has been programmed to operate at JEDEC's standard 1333MHz speed and CL9-9-9 latency using only 1.5-volts, adding a heat-spreaders to the memory module was uncessary.
Many triple-channel X58-Express motherboards offer six DIMM slots, which means that two 12GB Crucial DDR3 kits could be combined to deliver 24GB of RAM and fill the entire system. Benchmark Reviews is testing the 12GB Crucial 1333MHz CL9 CT3KIT51264BA1339 kit on the ASUS P6X58D-Premium motherboard, using the Windows 7 64-bit operating system to map the entire 12GB of memory space.
These Crucial memory modules measure approximately 5.25 inches long by 1.18 inches tall (133.35mm x 30mm), which makes them ideal for both SOHO server and desktop-PC based installations. Unlike their dual-channel counterparts, triple-channel DDR3 kits are usually slower in speed and/or latency timing because they much use lower operating voltage. Micron Technology carefully selects modules for Crucial, which achieve specified operating speeds and adhere to the low-voltage requirements of Intel's X58-Express platform.
Each 512MB Micron DRAM IC unit is marked with 9VAII D9KLV. The Micron D9KLV series is a very versatile chip, and has been used in several other kits sold under the Crucial brand name.
Because triple-channel kits use a much lower maximum voltage (to avoid Core i7 processor damage), extreme cooling is unnecessary for these modules unless you push them. Crucial also offers their Ballistix-series RAM kits, which push faster speeds and lower latency. Under stress at 1.50V, the Crucial CT3KIT51264BA1339 memory modules operate slightly above room temperature. After explaining how DDR3 works in the next few sections, we test to see how much difference it makes if a triple-channel kit operates at high speed or low latency... as we compare the 12GB Crucial memory upgrade kit to several others using the Intel Core i7-980X Extreme Edition processor.