Lately you haven’t seen many memory reviews coming from yours truly, but this is about to change! GeIL has sent in a whole package of their latest gamer RAM and this is the first part of the round-up. We’ll be taking a look at the GeIL Enhance Corsa and EVO Corsa-series, which have recently been introduced and are geared at gamers and overclockers. Let’s see if GeIL can hold up their claim, and put these DIMM’s on the testbed!
About Golden Emperor Intl. Ltd. (GeIL)
“Established in 1993, GeIL has soon become one of the most professional memory module manufactures in the industry. Since then GeIL has been concentrating in memory module design and manufacturing. As of today, our manufacturing facilities employ over 200 people and produce a wide variety of modules with distribution in over 50 countries worldwide. GeIL’s Global Headquarter resides in the heart of computer technology – Taipei with branches spreading over in Hong Kong, China and U.S.A.”
- 1993 – GeIL established
- 1997 – GeIL began its module design and manufacturing with focus on advancement of IC sorting technology, producing high quality and performance memory module. GeIL soon became one of the most professional memory manufacturers in the world
- 1999 – Innovative design and manufacture memory modules that surpass the current industry standard.
- 2002 – Distribution in over 50 countries worldwide
- 2004 – Establishment of Consumer Electronics Department. ISO9001 Certified.
- 2005 – DAViD was officially launched
- 2006 – EVO II Semi-auto IC/Module Tester & EVO III Full-auto IC Tester were launched
- 2008 – DBT: Die-hard Burn-in Technology was launched
Introducing the RAM
GeIL has supplied a total of four RAM sets for the first part of this round-up. Three sets are dual channel 2x4GB, one is quad channel 4x4GB. Of course the motherboard and CPU has to support dual, triple or quad channel to make such a setup work; this is largely independent of the RAM, but a nice marketing term.
First off the EVO Corsa line-up. GeIL supplied us with the DDR3-1866 CL9 2x4GB kit, part of the yellow-ish heatsink series:
The other three sets are from the Enhance Corsa series, which sport orange heatsinks:
Both series are offered in dual- and quad channel sets, on a working voltage of 1.5V.
All of the Enhance Corsa sets have an Xtreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.) for easy overclocking. For the DDR3-1333 CL9 sets this DDR3-1500 CL9 and for the DDR3-1600 CL9 set it’s DDR3-1700 CL9.
GeIL 2x4GB DDR3-1333 CL9 Enhance Corsa
The GeIL Enhance Corsa 2x4GB DDR3-1333 CL9 (GEC38GB1333C9DC) is the 8GB variant, big brother of the 2x2GB DDR3-1333 and DDR3-1600 sets, only inferior to the DDR3-1600 8GB variant, also covered in this round-up.
The timings are CL9-9-9-24, on a rated voltage of 1.5V.
GeIL 4x4GB DDR3-1333 CL9 Enhance Corsa
The GeIL Enhance Corsa 4x4GB DDR3-1333 CL9 (GEC316GB1333C9QC) shares it’s place with the 2x4GB variant, as it’s simply two of these sets put together to form a quad channel set, totaling at 16GB.
The timings are CL9-9-9-24, on a rated voltage of 1.5V.
GeIL 2x4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 Enhance Corsa
The GeIL Enhance Corsa 2x4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 (GEC38GB1600C9DC) is the highest tier available in the Enhance Corsa series. Also available in quad channel 16GB set (GEC316GB1600C9QC).
The timings are CL9-9-9-28, on a rated voltage of 1.5V. As the memory timings are only slightly different from the DDR3-1333 CL9 variant, we can expect better overclocking results with these DIMM’s, as they’re probably higher binned.
GeIL 2x4GB DDR3-1866 CL9 EVO Corsa
The crème de la crème of this round-up, GeIL’s 2x4GB Evo Corsa DDR3-1866 CL9 (GOC38GB1866C9DC). Also available in 2x2GB, 4x2GB and 4x4GB sets. It’s ranked lower than it’s big brother, the EVO Corsa DDR3-2133 CL9, CL10 and CL11, but also has a small sibling with CL10 timings.
The timings are CL9-10-9-28, on a rated voltage of 1.5V.
Testing and Results
Processor (CPU): Intel Core i7 2600K
Motherboard: ASUS RoG Maximus Gene-Z (Z68)
Memory (RAM): 4x GeIL
Graphics card (GPU): ASUS AMD HD6950 DirectCU II 2GB
Hard drives (HDDs): 2x WD 250GB 16MB Caviar SE, 1x WD 500GB Black, 1x Samsung 2TB Spinpoint F1
Power Supply Unit (PSU): Zalman ZM600-HP
Case: Fractal Design XL
The test method used for this review is mainly aimed at the overclocking performance of these DIMM’s, as RAM performance scaling is pretty much a linear given fact, and overclocking doesn’t do much for gaming anyway.
Per memory timing set I tried to find the maximum clock speed frequency possible, on 1.5V and 1.65V. The downside of the Intel Sandy Bridge platform is that it works with a limited overclock range due to a small BLCK frequency on most CPU’s. This means that, when setting the divider for memory, I always first tried the lowest BLCK (in my case 95.7) and then worked up the speed up to the highest BLCK (in my case 105.4). In the following overclock chart you will see that some possible results are blocked by the limited BLCK range, those limitations have been implied with a question mark, as the rest of the frequencies either passed the SuperPi 32M test, or didn’t.
First of all, I found that most of the highest frequencies per timing set were limited by the maximum BLCK of the CPU. When switching to a higher memory multiplier and lowering the BLCK to its lowest option, most of the results failed, except for the EVO Corsa DDR3-2050 CL10 result.
I found that there is minimal voltage scaling with these DIMM’s, meaning that it barely matters whether they’re run at 1.5V or 1.65V.
Summing up the maximum frequencies at the most loosened timings:
2x4GB DDR3-1333 Enhance Corsa: DDR3-1967 CL10-11, held back by the maximum BLCK, so possibly up to DDR3-2000;
4x4GB DDR3-1333 Enhance Corsa: DDR3-1967 CL10-11, same story as above, interestingly enough the Sandy Bridge platform didn’t care much whether two or four DIMM’s were installed, only the 1.5V results seem to be influenced by the 4-DIMM’s setup;
2x4GB DDR3-1600 Enhance Corsa: DDR3-1967 CL9-10, held back by BLCK. CL10-11 wouldn’t pass the lowest BLCK on the DDR3-2133 memory divider. This set has a tad more potential than the DDR3-1333 DIMM’s;
2x4GB DDR3-1866 EVO Corsa: DDR3-2050 CL10-11. This was actually the maximum I could get out of the DIMM’s, with respect to the maximum 24/7 usage voltage.
This said, the DDR3-1333 CL9 sets have the best overclocking capabilities, compared to their typical frequency. The DDR3-1600 CL9 set has slightly more potential than the aforementioned, and the EVO Corsa set is in a higher league by passing the DDR3-2000 mark, but not beating the rest by much.
Important note: My overclocking results are no guarantee that you will achieve the same or better with given RAM sets. This depends on many hardware-related factors, most importantly the IC’s (RAM chips) used by GeIL on the sets. The last can change over time with a new RAM batch, so newer or older sets might clock better or worse, depending on the quality of the IC’s used.
Price Performance Ratio and Availability
The most important part is of course, “what I am paying to get one of these sets?”, a legit question.
GEC38GB1333C9DC retails for about €35.-
GEC316GB1333C9QC retails for about €70.-
GEC38GB1600C9DC retails for about €40.-
GOC38GB1866C9DC retails for about €55.-
The DDR3-1333 sets come out with the best value, with my maximum tested frequency of DDR3-1967, divided by the cost per DIMM of €17,50, makes a frequency of 56.2 / €.
The DDR3-1600 set takes an akward position, as it’s offering DDR-1967, but possibly higher, at a price per DIMM of €20.-, which turns out as a value of 49,175 / €.
The EVO Corsa set comes best out of test with DDR3-2050, but with a price per DIMM of €27,50 it has the lowest price-performance ratio, of 37.27 / €.
The availability of these sets is great, you’ll find them anywhere webshops all over the world, it’s that simple.
Compared to other kits on the market, these Enhance Corsa kits are very well priced. They’re usually at around the lowest price, maybe €5.- off, but the question whether other kits with the same price overclock equally well remains the question. The EVO Corsa is also found in the low price segment, which is great considering this kit still has good overclocking potential.
The conclusion to be drawn from this first part of the GeIL memory round-up is that GeIL really does offer great overclocking kits for gamers and enthusiasts! Even though these kits won’t take you into the higher DDR3-2000 regions, this isn’t a reasonable counterargument as the kits are found in the lowest price segments, but still offer a nice look and good potential.
The GeIL Enhance Corsa DDR3-1333 CL9 2x4GB and 4x4GB sets receive the XSReviews.co.uk Value Award for great overclocking potential with a low price tag. Get this set if you want some good RAM for overclocking flexibility, whilst sticking to a tight budget. (GEC38GB1333C9DC)
The GeIL Enhance Corsa DDR3-1600 CL9 2x4GB set is a nice ‘in-between’ set, but doesn’t offer much more than it’s DDR3-1333 siblings. Get this set if it’s cheaper or about the same price as the DDR3-1333 sets. (GEC38GB1600C9DC)
The GeIL EVO Corsa DDR3-1866 CL9 2x4GB set is a great looking set with a bit more overclocking potential than the Enhance Corsa series it looks down at. Even though the set doesn’t offer the same overclock percentage as the Enhance Corsa, it is still faster and a better pick if you’re looking at high memory speeds (or bright-yellow heatspreaders, for that matter!).
A thank you goes out to GeIL for providing these kits for review. I’m looking forward to more and better sets, so there can be a round-up part two, to supplement it’s predecessor’s implied succes!