CSX Diablo PC3 16000 DDR3 2x1GB ReviewNCC10281982B - July 16, 2008
Price: Est. $200
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When it comes time to build that killer new rig, part of the equation is the system memory. If you won't be overclocking (blasphemy!!) then just about any good set of memory will do the job. Now if you will be overclocking, benchmarking or just hardcore gaming, then just any set will not do. At this point DDR2 memory is incredibly inexpensive, so there is little to lure the masses from their DDR2 comfort zone into the realm of DDR3. Four gigabytes of performance DDR2 memory will set you back less than $150. The same four gigabytes of performance DDR3 will hit the budget to the tune of $350 and up. A steep price of admission for moving to the newer product. But isn't that always the case when migrating to a newer technology? Two gigabytes of DDR3 1333 MHz, on the other hand, is quite inexpensive at this point with many kits retailing for around $100 mark. Still, the performance modules do come with a premium, as can be expected.
One of the performance DDR3 sets of memory just recently introduced is the CSX Diablo DDR3 2000 MHz 2x1 GB set. Featuring XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) for X38 (7-6-5-14 1600MHz 1.85v) and X48 (8-7-6-15 1866MHz 1.9v) based motherboards, performance is just a quick couple of settings away. To reach the 2000MHz speeds, a NF790I chipset motherboard, or at least a well tweaked X48 board, are required. Timings for use at 2000MHz are 9-9-9-28 but should be able to be tweaked to reach 8-7-7-19 at 2.0 to 2.1 volts. With 2.0 plus volts required, it's a good thing CSX has used its "Extreme Metal Cooler" to help offload some of the heat from the Micron D9GTR memory chips. With the product name of Diablo, the implication is that this is one hot set of modules. Will that heat be the temperature of the modules or the performance that is delivered? Let's find out.
The modules come in a standard retail blister package. The front view shows the Diablo name on a fiery background and shows these modules to be the Extreme Performance DDR3 series. The rear view shows the modules. Nothing more, nothing less.
The documentation that is included with the Diablo kit shows off the CSX memory lineup and includes a set of installation instructions so that the installation goes off without a hitch.
The Diablo modules are rated at 2000 MHz with 9-9-9-28 timings. Although XMP profiles are incorporated into the SPD programming for use with Intel chipset boards (X38 1600MHz and X48 1866MHz), to reach the 2000MHz speed requires an Nvidia 790i chipset based motherboard or "a highly tweaked X48 board." There isn't an XMP profile for the 2000MHz speed, but the literature for these modules states that they can run at 8-7-6-19 1t at 2.0 to 2.1 volts.
There is no need to wonder what memory chips are attached to the Diablo modules. Why, you ask? CSX has included that information on the info tag on the heatspreader. This set uses Micron D9GTR modules. The JEDEC DDR3 specification calls for 1.5 volts to be supplied to the memory modules. So you can imagine the increase in volts to 2.0 is going to cause some heat to be generated. CSX has covered with the installation of the Extreme Metal Cooler that is used to help dissipate the heat load.
Now let's see if the Diablo modules perform as well as they look.