The DRAM business is a very competitive one. Here nearly all of the manufacturers compete on two ends of the spectrum. One is to provide the best value for the consumer. The second is to provide the best performance and to make a name for yourself with the enthusiast crowd. Crucial, in addition to taking the aforementioned two routes, has also taken a third approach. In this third approach, Crucial pairs decent performance with the “bling” factor. The memory kit that we are reviewing today happens to be the only one on the market that features LEDs that light up randomly when the RAM is in operation. This produces a very nice effect of dancing LEDs and will give you the “WOW” factor at LAN parties.
Today we are testing the 4GB (2x2GB) DDR3 kit from Crucial. DDR3 of late has become the de facto standard for any enthusiast configuring a new system. This has been helped by Intel and AMD both producing DDR3 supporting microprocessors for over a year now. Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 and AMD’s Phenom II CPUs have increased the demand for DDR3 memory. This has driven the cost of DDR3 memory down to almost DDR2 price levels, from their once astronomical prices. Advancements in DDR3 memory technology has also allowed enthusiasts to reach very high speeds, such as 2500 MHz. Manufacturers are responding by releasing modules that are rated to run at that speed and memory kits ranging from 1800 MHz to 2500 MHz can increasingly be found in the market these days. The memory kit that we are reviewing today is rated to run at 1600 MHz at 8-8-8-24 @ 1.65V. So these modules can be used for Intel’s Core i CPUs as well as AMD Phenom II CPUs.
Crucial is the consumer memory brand for Micron Technology. Based in Boise, Idaho, USA, Micron has grown into one of the best DRAM manufacturers in the world. They sell their memory chips to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) which are then branded by the OEMs and sold to consumers. Most of the highest clocking memory ICs used in memory sticks are made by Micron. In 1996 Micron decided to form Crucial Technology, to sell their own memory modules directly to the consumer.