RAM Throw Down: CL9 vs. CL11

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dandrewk, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. dandrewk macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    San Rafael, California
    A couple of weeks ago I ordered 32gb RAM from Crucial for my incoming iMac (which came today. YAY!). After I ordered, I read a few recent threads here and found out about RAM from Kingston with a faster CL - CL9 vs. Crucial's CL11.

    Yes, I know the differences are trivial, but doing some google searches didn't produce any memory benchmarks comparing the two. So, owing to my anal retentiveness... and the fact that my iMac is top line (27", 3.4 i7, 6800 GPU, 768gb SSD), I wasn't about to settle for "slower" memory.

    So I ordered the Kingston from Amazon, knowing I could return either if need be. All were here when FedEx delivered my iMac today.

    Out of the box, I installed the Crucial (CL11) RAM and did the iMac startup. Before doing anything else (no migrating), I downloaded Geekbench 2.0, entered my license number and started testing - first with the Crucial RAM, then turned off the iMac and swapped in the Kingston (CL9) RAM.

    Methodology: I used the Geekbench's 64 bit benchmarks, ran the tests five times each for both RAMS. Here are the final, averaged scores:

    Crucial (CL11):
    Memory Performance: 7711
    Stream Performance: 8822

    Kingston (CL9):
    Memory Performance: 7788
    Stream Performance: 9056

    Thus, the CL9 ram was 1% faster memory performance, and 2.6% faster stream performance.

    I should point out that the CL9 was consistently faster than CL11 on all five passes.

    There you have it. Not much difference, and probably nothing anybody would ever notice.

    Is it worth the extra ~$20 for the faster RAM? Performance wise, probably not. Peace of mind - maybe.

    I think I'll be keeping the Kingston. ;)

    For comparison reference, I did the same test on my old, mid 2010 iMac w/2.93 i7 and 16gb DDR1300 RAM:

    Memory Performance: 4977
    Stream Performance: 5407
  2. jmthigpen macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2011
    Charleston, SC
    Which Cruicial & Kingston memory were you testing specifically?
  3. ian2000 macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    I'm looking to buy 32GB for my iMac on order in the UK. I was planning on going for Crucial but the difference between Crucial CL11 and Kingston CL9 is much less than it was.

    The recommended CL11 RAM from Crucial has risen from around £120 in December to £206 now (although 7% cashback is available from Quidco). I'm thinking about buying Kingston KHX16S9P1K2/16 instead (32GB is £216 from Amazon).

    The Kingston RAM seems better value for money (an extra £24 taking the cashback into account).
  4. dandrewk thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2010
    San Rafael, California
  5. Outrigger macrumors 68000


    Dec 22, 2008
    If the difference of knowing one car can achieve 300HP max vs. 295HP max of another matters to you, then yes, keep the Kingston.

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