Yep, they provide a nice bump in the low to mid range, but won't really pull any harder up top over a stock Z3 cam (maybe 1-2 whp, nothing noticeable).
However, in the mid range is where you get a good bump with these cams. I have these cams (along with 3.5" CAI, J35 TB, RRC IM, CNT HFC Header, Q300 exhaust), and passing in 6th gear on the highway is no problem at all. You get a nice bump in torque, which is extremely useful if you DD your car.
I got mine for $350 shipped, and had them installed by Innovative Motor Works in Carlisle, PA (It was like, 3 hours of labor so $240 for the install). Honestly, I'm pretty happy with them. The only other "affordable" drop in cam is the Kelford, and their quality has been hit or miss. If you want a quality DIC, go with Drag Cartel, but you are looking at like $1000 just for the cams. If you're gonna pay that price, you might as well get a more aggressive cam and upgrade the valvetrain while you're at it.
See, so unless you can get your hands on a used set of 179a's that have been verified as being good (by being run in a car), then the only DIC I would go with the TSX cams, provided you get them for a good price. I wouldn't pay over $350 for the cams shipped, and it depends on the mileage on the cams. Mine had crazy low miles on them, so I paid a bit more for mine.
So your options are:
- Used TSX cams for $250-$250
- Used 179a's (that have been verified) for $? (I don't know what they go for, as I have no reason to look in to buying a set)
- BNIB Stage 2+ cams & valvetrain work for $1300+
All prices are without labor. Labor will be more if you go with an upgraded valvetrain, probably and extra 1.5-2.0 hours, on top of the 2-3 hour cam install. For larger cams, you are looking at roughly $320-$400 in labor alone, IF you go to a shop that specializes in Honda's and knows exactly what to do. If you go to your local mechanic who works on Mustangs, it'll take him probably twice as long since he'll have to follow a manual and what not on how to do the cam swap.
Personally, for what I was looking to get out of the car, the TSX cams were a perfect fit. But, everybody has their own plans for their car so you have to ask yourself, "Is the money I'm spending worth it?". For me, dropping $1700 on cams vs. $600 on cams, the $1100 wasn't worth it. I'm happy with my purchase, and know full well that I don't have the fastest N/A Si, but I have a car that I enjoy driving, and that's all that matters honestly.