Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz £100
19th Jan 2011 | 16:22
The classic speed vs. capacity debate continues unabated
Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz - Overview
Cosying-up with the new Sandy Bridge setups is Corsair's latest line of performance memory, the Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz kit.
As well as a slew of new motherboards coming along with the launch of Intel's new chipset and CPU combo, there will also be a whole host of new components released to buddy up with the new platform.
Aside from CPUs and motherboards though you don't actually need anything new for a Sandy Bridge system. So long as your components weren't matched up with tape drives from the 70s then you've got a pretty good chance of them working together.
A modern PSU will still have the right juice, a SATA HDD will still connect and DDR3 memory will still keep your new chipset happy. But that wont stop companies producing new kits designed to hit the Sandy Bridge upgraders as they shop around.
In the new Vengeance series of dual and triple channel DDR3 from Corsair though that's not necessarily a bad thing.
This twin-module kit offers a massive 8GB of speedy system memory, and for just over a ton that's really not bad.
Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz - Benchmarks
The benchmarks show the lower-latency 4GB Dominator kit outperforms the higher capacity Corsair Vengeance in the performance benchmarks, but it is harder to quantify the boost you get from doubling the amount available.
What is evident though is that if performance is your mantra then going for higher speed RAM as opposed to more of the same will garner you far more raw pace.
Corsair Vengeance 8GB DDR3 1600MHz - Verdict
With 2GB now being the base RAM volume for general Windows 7 machines and 4GB the sweet-spot, on a dual-channel rig 8GB is the next logical step up. The issue though is whether going for higher capacity would serve you better than opting for a faster kit.
This is the real difficulty with looking at such large capacity set ups; you can pick up a 4GB Corsair Dominator GT kit for around the same sort of price that is rated at 2,133MHz. And that sort of pacey RAM can make a real difference to your system performance.
Higher capacities above 4GB though deliver less of a tangible benefit.
That is unless you're a serious picture/video editor however; you creative types then will see serious gains when you're working with large files. You'll also notice the difference if you're switching between different applications.
For those that are after gaming performance however then going for the higher-rated memory will make more sense.
A quick look at the benchmarks show the extra performance you'll get from the 2,133MHz kit. You'll also get a boost from lower-latency kits, such as the £60 4GB 1,600MHz which runs at 8-8-8-24 compared to the Vengeance kit's 9-9-9-24.
But still, £100-odd for the Corsair Vengeance 8GB kit of fast DDR3 is impressive, especially considering at this time last year that would have easily cost twice as much.
It also works out for the upgrader in a way too.
If you're sitting on a couple GB of 1600MHz RAM, you could whack your memory capacity into double figures simply by adding in this Corsair Vengeance kit. That would be silly amounts of RAM which nought but the budding Lars Von Trier among you could use to its fullest.
But the fact remains that as a twin module kit it wont fill up your board's memory slots means that it can be added in, or added to, in the future.
The jury is still out then on the speed versus capacity debate in RAM terms as well as in non-volatile storage terms.
It's not just the SSD vs HDD argument where this question is constantly raised. As with so many things it depends on the usage model; for most of us 8GB will be more than you'll currently need or notice, but for the creatives out there £100 for 8GB is well worth it.
Quite frankly at the moment 8GB is a bit of an overkill unless you use your PC predominantly for creative tasks such as video editing or image manipulation.
But at just over a ton for the lot it's hard to argue with the Vengeance kit's value.
Unless you are a creative then opting for a faster-rated RAM kit will offer you more of a performance increase.
And compared with lower-latency 1,600MHz kits from Corsair the performance of this Vengeance kit comes in below it.