OCZ Blade 3x2GB PC3-17000 CL8 Memory Review
For years memory manufacturers have gone to great lengths to increase the “number” used in marketing memory. Memory manufacturers introduced the DDR terminology that duplicates the actual operating frequency for a theoretical one that was derived simply to increase the “number” over SDRAM specifications. We then have the PC3-xxxxx terminology which again is nothing more than a theoretical “number” based on an equation of what a memory’s potential bandwidth is, implemented for ease of marketing. Coincidentally enough, this “number” is even higher than the DDR rating of a particular memory module. It has always been about the “number” with memory, and advertising a higher “number” has been the goal. This isn’t limited to the system memory segment of the market, does a 9800GT really need a full 1GB of memory? No, but it is a higher “number” that the marketing department can push.
No matter what “number” you use to describe the OCZ DDR3 PC3-17000 Blade Series Low Voltage Triple Channel memory, these modules are fast. Whether it be PC3-17000, DDR3-2133, or their actual operating frequency, 1067MHz; these modules are as fast as they get right now. Just over a month ago we presented the PC3-16000 OCZ Blade triple channel kit and shortly before publishing OCZ announced this PC3-17000 Blade triple channel memory kit. We thought our hands were full with the PC3-16000 kit, boy did we have a meal in front of us when we sat down at the table with these PC3-17000 modules. These modules are specified for the highest frequencies of any memory you can buy, but what good is that if the system can’t run them at their rated operating frequency. We found with the PC3-16000 OCZ Blade memory – a full 67MHz slower operating frequency – that our i7 920 processor simply couldn’t run them at DDR3-2000. This is obviously going to be a primary source of investigation for us with the yet faster PC3-17000 memory.
The next question is that of a performance nature. Is memory this fast even necessary for the average consumer? This is the question we have visited in past memory reviews and the consensus has always been a resounding no. Forget the fact that it will be tough running memory of this caliber at its rated frequencies, the benefits in a daily machine are somewhat limited if any at all. Where this kit shines is when it comes to benchmarking. Overclocking and benchmarking go hand in hand and with the advent of HWBot.org, international competitions, and even small forum ran overclocking competitions, benching specific hardware is quickly becoming a hot topic. This is more of a segment where this memory falls into place. It is this need where the “number” means everything. We plan to not only explore what we are getting for 24/7 use with the OCZ Blade PC3-17000, but also to explore their worth as a premier benchmarking kit of memory.