DDR3 may still be out of grasp for some due to the massive price difference between it and DDR2. However there is no longer an excuse of not going DDR3 because of the capacity. With 2x2GB now widely considered a prerequisite for Vista, it should be no surprise that more and more manufacturers are developing high capacity modules to cater for this need. Patriot are one such manufacturer and with the speed of this kit, their really is only one reason anyone should not transfer to DDR3 and that is the price. £295 is a lot of money to pay for memory especially when compared to DDR2 kits. Were it not for the low price of DDR2 then £295 for 4GB wouldn't seem so bad. A colleague of mine once paid over £200 for 2x512MB of 300mhz ram a few years ago. So by that perspective, it's not such a bad deal.
While this kit costs over double of what a top-end DDR2 kit would cost, the bandwidth it provides is also double. A scorching 2000MHz is a great achievement for a 4GB kit and assuming you have an NVidia chipset, this is attainable with no fiddling at all with the numerous amount of BIOS settings. If however, there was a chink in the Viper's armour, it would be its timings. A 2000MHz kit is all good and well but if you match that with slack timings then performance will suffer. Luckily for us the Patriot kit seemed just as happy to drop down to 8-8-8-21 timings which as the benchmarks showed gave a good performance boost. Increasing the bandwidth more than stock however was very troublesome (3 corrupt Vista installs trying), testifying that Patriot have already squeezed as much bandwidth out of the IC's as possible.
So would I buy this kit? If I had the spare cash available, a CPU capable of 500FSB and/or an NVidia chipset then most definitely. Intel chipsets, due to them not being able to run the memory unlinked from the CPU, will struggle to obtain the 2000MHz rated speed, with most topping out around between 1800-1900MHz. However, if you have an NVidia-based chipset you are good to go. It is the highest performing 4GB kit of DDR3 we have tested to date and as such can justify the equally high price tag. As I said at the beginning of this review - if you want the best you are going to have to pay for it.