|Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB DDR3-1600|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Memory|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 12 December 2011|
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Corsair Vengeance LP Final Thoughts
A common mistake for enthusiasts to make is to concentrate on only a single aspect of system performance: a fast CPU can be hobbled by a low-end video card, or too little memory or hard drive space. Hard drive prices have skyrocketed in recent months due to the flooding in Thailand, which makes SSDs more attractive (although there's still a huge price differential).
But while hard disk prices are up, memory has become absurdly cheap in the last couple of years, with prices as much as 80% lower than prices just two years ago. This is good news for computer users: it's now possible to buy 16GB of good memory for well under a hundred dollars from top-tier vendors like Corsair and Kingston. This CAS-8 memory kit represents a compromise between sub-$100 16GB kits, which typically have either slower speeds like 1333Mhz or looser timings like CAS-9, and more expensive high-performance kits that run at higher frequencies.
Still, as our tests have shown, there's little real world difference between various memory kits, even when the speeds and timings are dramatically different. This is because modern processors contain megabytes of cache memory (15MB in the case of the Core i7-3960X I used), and thus most memory requests will be satisfied from the cache, without accessing main memory at all, and even low-end CPUs these days typically have 2-4M or more of cache. Continuous accessing of system memory is simply quite rare in "real world" applications, while synthetic benchmarks are designed to do just that...which is why you see memory performance differences in these benchmarks, and not in applications. Enthusiasts should remember that having enough memory is much more important than having fast memory, and take advantage of current low prices.
The whole point behind paying more for high-performance components, be they fast CPUs, killer graphics cards, SSDs, or performance memory, is to see this better performance in your system. The Corsair Vengeance LP 1600Mhz memory represents a middle ground in 16GB memory kits, with both its price and its performance falling neatly between the lower-end, sub-$100 kits and the high-speed kits like the Kingston HyperX Genesis 2133, which costs over twice as much. Corsair's own CAS-9 Vengeance 16GB quad channel kit CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B has an MSRP that's $40 less than this kit, and I've seen it on sale for as little as $79.00. Enthusiasts will want to consider if the miniscule performance advantages of faster memory are worth the significant extra price.
Construction quality was good, although the sheet aluminum heat spreaders aren't as substantial and visually impressive as those on Corsair's Dominator memory.
Since performance is so similar for most DDR3 memory kits, vendors try to distinguish themselves on appearance and price. The Corsair Vengeance LP kit is comprised of about the plainest-looking modules you'll see short of kits with no heat spreaders at all.
Anyone running this memory (on an Intel system) should select its XMP profile in their computer's BIOS for the best performance. Corsair doesn't currently offer Vengeance memory with AMD performance profiles but AMD users can manually set the same settings specified in the Intel XMP profile). The memory was stable during testing and even under benchmarking loads the heat spreaders were only warm to the touch.
Functionality is excellent: the user can elect to run this memory at its default SPD-determined 1333MHz speed, but the guaranteed, albeit minor, performance improvement of 1600MHz is just a mouse click away. The low profile heat spreaders sacrifice visual bling for a noble cause: being able to fit any air cooler you want without worrying about clearance problems. This is a good tradeoff to make, especially on the X79 platform.
Priced for $149.99 at Newegg, this memory is priced competitively with other kits of similar specifications from other vendors. Corsair offers a lifetime warranty on all their memory and has a well-deserved reputation for quality and support. The Vengeance LP 1600MHz C8 memory kit represents a good value for the performance-minded system builder who wants more than "base level" memory.
+ Low-profile heat spreaders won't present cooler clearance problems
- Your pay a lot more for that CAS-8 timing
Final Score: 8.45 out of 10.
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