It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Corsair PC-5400 XMS2 Pro series memory at default settings is the quickest of the bunch but only by a small margin although just enough to make it stand out in our benchmark graphs. We figure the folks at Corsair hit the nail on the head when it came to choosing the most efficient TRAS timing. While on paper it looks slower than Kingston (TRAS of 10) and OCZ (TRAS of 8), our benchmarks clearly showed that the ASUS motherboard utilizing the Intel 925XE chipset clearly prefers the higher TRAS setting of 12.
However and as expected, when it came to overclocking the OCZ PC-5400 Performance series memory was able to take the lead the vast majority of the time. We expected the OCZ to be a little further in front but a win is a win and that will be enough for some people to choose the OCZ memory over Corsair and Kingston.
People intending on overclocking their DDR-2 system should probably choose the OCZ memory since like we have already highlighted, it loves every bit of its 2.2V memory voltage and is able to overclock quite a bit higher than the other modules. While on paper the overclock only slightly gave the OCZ memory the lead, if you want to really push your CPU with extreme cooling methods, the OCZ will probably come along for the ride and clock pass 420MHz memory clock while the modules from Corsair and Kingston had no hope of reaching these speeds since their voltages weren't as friendly as the OCZ product.
However if you don't intend on overclocking your DDR-2 system you'd probably choose the Corsair memory since it provides the most optimised timings and contains those funky activity LED's but on the same token it isn't terribly hard to jump into the BIOS for a couple minutes and adjust the TRAS timings to 12 on the other modules. In this case, you should buy the memory you prefer and what is cheapest and most available in your area.
Using our online price comparison tool which collects prices of products from the most popular online USA retail stores, (at the time of writing) we can see that the OCZ memory is the cheapest of the bunch coming in at $237 US on Newegg, while the best price on the Corsair is $305 US at Digitally Unique and the best price on the Kingston is $278 US at Mwave.
Given the pricing, we feel the OCZ memory is your best choice since it is the most affordable, offers stylish looks and high stable voltage which in turn provides higher overclockability - and it won't affect your warranty since it is covered by OCZ's "EVP" (Extended Voltage Protection) program. Each of the sets of modules are all high quality and provide good performance but there has to be a winner and today it is OCZ and as such receives our "Must Have Editor's Choice award.
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