I can vouch for the Trident X 2400 9-11-11 kit, the 2666 10-12-12 kit, the 2800 11-13-13 kit, the Ripjaws Z 2133 9-11-10-28 and 2400 10-12-12 kits, and the Trident X 1600 CAS6 kit. Every single one of the above has been a better than expected overclocker, and can hold very good timings to boot.
Generally, I have a "rule" that if you have to increase one or more of your primary timings by more than 1 for each 266mhz jump in frequenc, iit's not going to benefit you. For example, going from 2133 9-11-10-28 to 2600 10-12-11-30 is a great improvement, but 2600 11-13-13-34 is not nearly as good and in some cases will perform worse than the 2133 9-11-10-28 setting.
This is very dependent upon the CPU, it's IMC, the motherboard, the quality of the power delivery, and of course the memory itself. The only way to know the first two is to try, and the MB/PSU, well, you will have an idea of the quality simply by knowing what they are.
The memory, however, is the one thing you can be sure is NOT the "bottleneck" to getting a certain speed, as you can simply buy a kit rated at the speed you want, and any further overclocking is "icing". Ie don't buy Corsair Vengeance 1600 9-9-9-24 1.65v and expect to get 2400 9-11-11 out of it, you'd be lucky to get even 1601 lol.
Also, always buy the kit with the best timings at a given speed. Usually, they are far better overclockers than the slightly looser sets, due to binning I suppose. TheTTrident X 2400 9-11-11, for example, uses double sided DIMMs, but the 2400 10-12-12 kits use single sided DIMMs. Not only that, but the former have better IC's, and more headroom to loosen timings.
Running the 2400 9-11-11 kit with a delidded 3770K @ 5.1Ghz on a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 motherboard and a single GTX680 Lightning, all water cooled (7x 120mm worth of rad space, all push-pull), powered by a 1kW Platinum PSU, I have so far been able to get...
2400 9-11-11-30 1T with 1.59v
2400 9-11-10-30 1T with 1.615v
2400 9-10-10-28 1T with 1.665v
2600 9-11-11-31 1T with 1.625v
2600 9-11-10-30 1T with 1.655v
2666 9-12-11-32 1T with 1.650v
2666 10-11-10-31 1T with 1.635v
(and with not-24/7 voltages)
2400 9-10-9-26 1T with 1.69v
2400 8-10-10-27 1T with 1.685v
2600 9-11-9-29 1T with 1.685v
2600 9-10-9-26 1T with 1.72v
2666 9-11-11-30 1T with 1.685v
2666 10-10-10-30 1T with 1.695v
2666 8-12-10-31 1T with 1.735v
Of course, should you want to go the other way, you can run some extremely tight timings at speeds below the kit's advertised nominal frequency. Here are some of the speed/timings configurations I have hit with the same kit:
2200 8-11-10 28 1T with 1.680v
2200 9-10-10-28 1T with 1.655v
2133 9-10-10-27 1T with 1.645v
2133 8-11-9-27 1T with 1.675v
2000 9-10-9-26 1T with 1.660v
2000 8-10-9-28 1T with 1.685v
1866 8-9-9-26 1T with 1.650v
1866 7-10-8-25 1T with 1.675v
1866 7-8-8-23 1T with 1.705v
1600 7-8-7-22 1T with 1.655v
1600 6-7-7-18 1T with 1.695v
1600 6-7-6-15 1T with 1.715v
I do have a strong CPU, and ever since delidding it (PK1 on die and IHS), it's been performing even better. I switched the regular plexi/acetyl hold down bracket for the Raystorm with the aluminum one from the extra Raystorm Copper I have lying around (anyone who has the Raystorm, I highly recommend getting the metal bracket, especially if you're delidded, because...) and I got a 28C total drop, 23C from the delidding with the acrylic bracket, and the aluminum bracket dropped another 5C. It's also running at 5.1Ghz with 1.3825v, versus the 1.4125v prior. Stable temps of 56-63C when fully loaded.
The VTT/VCCSA voltages are running between 3 and 5 "bumps" above stock, depending on the memory clock; for the longest time I could not break 2600 9-12-12 even with 1.785v through the RAM, and I realized it was the VCCSA voltage being too high!
Sometimes, less is more...
Speaking of voltage... The Trident X kits that I listed above, for whatever reason, do not require anywhere near the amount of voltage I am used to feeding RAM in order to reach even extremely high clocks. I listed the voltage it took me for each speed for that reason. Only when you push it beyond what anyone would really consider to be 24/7 friendly speeds do you need to pump up the volts. A fair amount of speed/timings configurations actually run perfect with LESS voltage than stock.
If you are going to be overclocking similarly to me, then I have a few bits of advice...
- PSU is critical, if you don't have a very low ripple unit, it can cost you a fair amount of speed
- Use the separate RAM LLC to eliminate vDroop ("High" is usually the best, assuming you have "Low-Regular-High-VeryHigh-Extreme")
- Increase the Switching Frequency to between 400 and 500
- Buy a Digital Multimeter, or you will have a lot more difficulty achieving the higher clocks with tight timings
- ACTIVE COOLING is critical, but it is also extremely easy to implement; I typically just use one of the G.Skill memory coolers, but modified (removed stock fans, replaced with 2x Delta 70x20mm PWM 2800-6800rpm 35cfm/12.09mmH2O fans that I wired together and sleeved, sending the PWM header to the OPT-1 fan header and powered via 4pin MOLEX). This keeps the memory under 30C (17-19C Ambient), usually around 25C. However, even the stock G.Skill fans are perfectly fine, as is using a single 80/92/100/120mm fan positioned atop the DIMMs.
- Try your best to temper expectations, as RAM is still a part of the silicone lottery. It's all about getting the best odds, and the Trident X have been winners for me,and for the friends of mine who have various sets, so I am pretty sure that you will not find any better odds
- ALWAYS get the better kit for the given speed! The 2400 10-12-12 kit, which a friend has, will not do any better than 2480 10-12-12 or 2560 12-13-12, and it will not run with a command rate of 1T under any circumstances. This is in contrast to the 2400 9-11-11 kit that I listed some OC's from.
- Drop the CR to 1T before changing anything else. It's the easiest way to get a nice bump in performance and doesn't require anything else to be changed.
- If you are using SB-E or SB (my main rig is 3930K + RIVE), then there's no guarantee that your chip can run 2400. Despite this, get this memory if you want to overclock as it's always better to have memory where you know that there is plenty of overhead than memory which is barely hanging on because it's been pushed so hard. I usually recommend the G.Skill Ripjaws Z DDR3-2133 9-11-10-28 4x4GB kit for the X79 platform, and it's what I run 24/7 in my RIVE due to the huge amount of overclocking headroom it has (in fact, based on the speeds/timings/voltages, I am almost positive that they use the exact same IC's as the Trident X 2400 9-11-11 memory), the low cost relative to the performance, and the fact that it out performs the Dominator Platinum at equivalent speeds and, despite being half the price, overclocks better than the Dominator Platinum 2133CL9 by a huge margin (winter overclocking, PCs outside with USB/DVI-D DL extensions, and 3-6*F temps; Dom Plat maxed out at 2200 10-12-10-32 2T with 1.675v, while the G.Skill Ripjaws Z DDR3-2133 9-11-10-28 kit hit 2786 10-13-11-32 1T with 1.685v... Same exact system. Even with 1.785v, the Dom Plat would max at 2284 10-11-11-34 2T, and nothing would push it to 1T... Pretty pathetic in my opinion, and I would write it off as a Fluke if I didn't try overclocking the four other kits owned by two friends, 1866 + 2133 + 2400 + 2666, and hit the same exact kind of wall each time; the wall is always just before you start closing in on the next speed up, so I feel like they are intentionally gimped to force people who don't know better to spend even more on their ridiculous RAM)...
- For SB-E, if 2400 just isn't stable, don't worry. Just try 2200 9-11-11 and use the BCLK to slowly increase until you find the limits of the memory. Then, save the settings, and set it to 2133. Spend time tweaking the memory, pushing the timings as low as possible, and even trying to knock down the voltage. You will likely end up around 2133 9-10-10-27 1T or 9-10-9-27 1T. Tweak the secondary and tertiary timings as much as you know how, or follow a guide and get at least the secondary ones tighter. Then, compare the "max speed" (tweaked 2200) with the 2133 tight timings, using MaxxMEM, SuperPI, WPrime, Cinebench 11.5, AIDA64 Extreme, HyperPI, 3DMark11, 3DMark06, Vantage, and do some FRAPS recorded time frame runs with a few of your favorite games (live, single player; try to do the same route every time, and don't begin capturing until 30-60sec after you start playing; do 3-6x 3-5min runs for each, and compare). Whichever performs better, use. Personally, tight 2133 is the best overall speed with my X79 rig, but there are times when higher speeds can certainly do some good.
Remember, your memory speed (in terms of bandwidth) is very dependent upon the CPU clock speed, so don't compare different RAM settings with different CPU OC's outside of the small difference resulting from any bclk increase.
- Trident X 2400 9-11-11 is the best memory for the price for IVB, it's extremely easy to oc, and very very good, beating kits 2-4x it's price
- NEVER buy the slower kit (ie avoid the 2400 10-12-12) due to worse IC's, poor overclocking ability, and so forth.
- Ripjaws Z DDR3-2133 9-11-10-28 4x4GB kit is the best I've used for X79
I hope that some of this is helpful!