As enthusiasts, we tend to keep one eye fixed on the present, while the other looks to the future. For example,we happen to know a few details about a particular platform slated to launch very soon; let’s just say it rhymes with “lively fridge.” Now, the upper tier of this platform is expected to support a quad-channel DDR3 architecture, which will displace the X58’s triple-channel architecture at the top of the food chain.
Where does that leave triple-channel kits currently on the market? After all, it’s always possible that a kit validated for tri-channel setup could get cranky if one attempts a DIY quad-channel configuration by adding another stick of memory.
To this, we say, “Sometimes, it’s possible to have the best of both worlds.” Intel’s X58 has always been aimed at power users, so that means that presently there are tons of high-end systems out there rolling with an Extreme Edition Core i7. Buying any of those CPUs and pairing it with a fitting X58 motherboard costs way more than chump change. And if you’re someone with such a machine, it’s unlikely you’ll be replacing these components anytime soon.
That doesn’t mean, however, that you’re stuck without any upgrade options. A new graphics card will certainly supply more 3D horsepower. Solid-state drives are another good PC pick-me-up. And, to unearth the lead, you can’t go wrong with a fresh stack of sticks—memory sticks, that is.
If you’ll pardon the phrase, VisionTek’s PC3-14900 CL10 1866 EX 12GB (3x 4GB) kit is fresh to death. Part of the company’s Ultimate Performance line, this kit (single DIMMs and dual-channel kits are also available) sports substantial aluminum heat spreaders that look positively ferocious. VisionTek definitely scores big points in the appearance category.
If you skimped on system memory the first time around, this is your chance to make amends. Assume for the moment that when you built your X58 rig you bought a 6GB kit. Now look at those three unused DIMM slots in your X58 system; they’re hungry. By supplementing your system with this kit, in an instant you jump up to 18GB of DDR3. Eighteen. Gigabytes.
We plugged PC3-14900 CL10 1866 EX 12GB kit’s modules into our test system and put it through its paces. Running at 1,866MHz, the memory left tread marks all over our test track without a hint of instability.
Now, to return to our earlier notion that it’s possible to have the best of both worlds. VisionTek tells us that all it takes is buying another matched DIMM to covert this triple-channel kit into a quad-channel menace (provided you run the memory on a platform that supports such a configuration, of course). Good-looking, fast, reliable, affordable memory with room to grow and backed by a lifetime warranty? Consider all of our buttons pushed.