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Appeared on: Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Crucial PC3-10600 3GB DDR3


1. Features

Crucial, one of the largest memory vendors, has released several memory kits for the new Intel X58 platform. Today we have here an entry-level memory package, which looks very interesting in terms of retail price and hopefully performance. We all know that Micron memory chips are highly overclockcable and we hope that this new 3x1GB kit will be one of them.

- Crucial 3GB kit (1GBx3) CT3KIT12864BA1339

The Crucial PC3-10600 3GB kit (1GBx3) is an entry level product rated at PC3-10600, meaning that it runs at 1333MHz with CL9 at 1.50V. The kit retails at Crucial's web site for just $65.

A dual inline memory module (DIMM) consists of a number of memory components (usually black) that are attached to a printed circuit board (usually green). The gold pins on the bottom of the DIMM provide a connection between the module and a socket on a larger printed circuit board. The pins on the front and back of a DIMM are not connected to each other.

Each 240-pin DIMM provides a 64-bit data path (72-bit for ECC or registered or Fully Buffered modules). (The Ballistix and Ballistix Tracer high-performance memory do not come in 72-bit or registered modules.) Standard DDR3 240-pin DIMMs are currently available in DDR3 PC3-8500 SDRAM.

To use DDR3 memory, your system motherboard must have 240-pin DIMM slots and a DDR3-enabled chipset. This is because a DDR3 SDRAM DIMM will not fit into a standard DDR2 DIMM socket or a DDR DIMM socket.

The number of black components on a 240-pin DIMM can vary, but it always has 120 pins on the front and 120 pins on the back, for a total of 240. 240-pin DIMMs are approximately 5.25 inches long and 1.18 inches high, though the heights can vary. While 240-pin DDR3 DIMMS, 240-pin DDR2 DIMMs, 184-pin DDR DIMMs, and 168-pin DIMMs are approximately the same size, 240-pin DIMMs and 184-pin DIMMs have only one notch within the row of pins.

- Features


2. Package

Crucial provided us with the retail package of 3GB kit (1GBx3), part number CT3KIT12864BA1339. The product can be bought from Crucial's online store for US $65.99, a rather low price for 3GB memory kit. Note that this early product doesn't offer XMP profiles, so you have to make your own experiments in order to achieve the best possible timings.

The kit comes in the usual Crucial's carton box:

The memory modules are placed in three anti-static packages:

The stickers on its module has several logos on one side with part numbers and ratings.

CPU-Z gives information about the installed modules. The Crucial PC3-10600 3GB kit offers only JEDEC timings for the 444, 519, 593 and 667MHz, all with 1.50V. The maximum memory voltage for the Intel X58 platform is 1.65V so we would be able to get higher and better results with these modules.


3. Tests

We installed the memory in the following PC:

Before installing the memory modules, make sure that you have updated the BIOS of your motherboard to the latest available version. This will ensure that the modules will be compatible with your mainboard.

For the stability tests we are using the Prime95 v25.6 and MemTest v3.80 software under Windows VISTA x64.

The Asus P6T motherboard we used for this test offers various dividers in order to "overclock" memory without messing up with the processor. Most of the BIOS settings were left to"Auto" mode. For the DRAM voltage, we set it at the maximum allowed value according to Intel, the 1.65V. Actually we set the voltage slightly higher at 1.66V, since the Asus motherboard doesn't offer the 1.65V option.

The memory is recognized as 1066MHz with CL7 speed, but we managed to get CL6 without any problems:

Click To Enlarge!
(Click To Enlarge!)

At 1333MHz, we selected CL7 and the motherboard worked just fine and with stability:

Click To Enlarge!

The DDR3-1600 easily runs at CL8 and remains totally stable even at 1.66V!

Click To Enlarge!

In seek of the highest settings, we selected the next memory divider and the DDR3-1866 easily reached the CL9 @ 1.66V. Pushing the memory even further was not possible. Although the MemTestPro didn't report any problem, the Prime95 pushed the system into an endless reboot.

Click To Enlarge!

Summing up the above results and the Sisoft Sandra Memory Benchs, we see that it pushing the memory speeds result to a significantly better performance. Starting from the 1066MHz and 19.11GB/sec, we got a 26.82GB/sec with the memory running at 1600MHz.

Crucial PC3-10600
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec)
Memory Latency (ns)
Cache And Memory (GB/sec)
1066-CL6-6-6-18-1T-1.66V
17,78
76
58,61
1333-CL7-7-7-20-1T-1.66V
21,00
70
63,06
1600_CL8-8-8-20-1T-1.66V
24,12
62
66,02
1866_CL9-9-9-24-2T-1.66V
28,65
60
67,32

More results are available via the Everest Ultimate Edition


4. Conclusion

The Crucial PC3-10600 with part number CT3KIT12864BA1339 proved to be a very good memory solution that combines low retail price with a very good performance. The memory is rated at DDR3-1333 with CL9 at 1.50V, which sounds rather high and to be honest it is. Our tests showed that the memory can operate at DDR3-1333 with CL7 at 1.65V and reach the 1866MHz at CL9! That's a 533MHz overclock coming from a $65 memory package! If we had to complain about something it would be the lack of any XMP embedded profiles that would held inexperienced users overclock the modules easier.

Overall, another great performer by Crucial, properly priced and highly overclockable.



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