Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2800MHz DDR4 Reviewccokeman -
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Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2800MHz DDR4 Introduction:
When Intel introduced the X99 platform and Haswell-E processors earlier this year, it made the move to DDR4 memory since DDR3 had reached the maximum usable bandwidth with modules running at speeds of 2666MHz to 3000MHz. However, even with a mature process there was still a lot of binning memory ICs to build modules that would run the numbers.
With DDR4 these speeds are going to be easily attainable, although with slightly looser latencies running at a much lower voltage than even low voltage DDR3 DIMMs at 1.2v. Running looser timings will initially cause a small overall performance dip, but as the process matures we should get improved timings to go along with the higher speed bins.
What I have today is the entry kit into the DDR4 realm that we used for our X99 and Haswell reviews. The Vengeance line is the more cost-efficient performance line from Corsair, while the Dominator line up is the for the extreme user. This kit features a new all-aluminum heat shield, as well as a custom, black, eight-layer PCB that not only looks good but is designed to help the heat shield dissipate the thermal load from the modules. Available in Back, Blue, and Red, and capacities up to 64GB, Corsair has the X99 market locked up from 2133MHz all the way to 3000MHz. Since we are dealing with the Intel Extreme platform, pricing will reflect the costs associated with running at the top.
Currently priced at $339, this set offers up high speeds to take advantage of the X99 and Core i7 Haswell-E architecture. Let's see what we can do with this set of modules!
Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 2800MHz DDR4 Closer Look:
The packaging for Corsair's Vengeance LPX modules has a small footprint that reduces the material needs for the packaging, yet is robust enough to keep the package from damage. The front face shows an image of the modules along with the speed bin (2800MHz) and density (4x4GB) at the top of the package. Along the bottom, the series name is in bold along with a tag that show these modules are XMP certified and carry an XMP 2.0 profile for easy setup. The back of the package talks a bit about the benefits of the Vengeance LPX modules in multiple languages, along with several labels that list the serial numbers of the modules and the SKU number used at the point of sale.
Inside are a pair of plastic cases that each hold two modules in what has been standard packaging for the form factor over the past few years. A small pamphlet is included that holds the warranty information in case you ever need to make use of the lifetime warranty.
Out of the wrapping we get a good look at this set of modules from Corsair. Offered in speed bins from 2133MHz to 3000MHz, this set, part number CMK16GX4M4A2800C16, is a 4x4GB kit rated to run at 2800MHz with latencies of 16-18-18-36 2T using just 1.2v. One of the first things you notice with the modules are the black, all-aluminum low profile heat sinks used to maximize thermal transfer from the memory ICs and eight-layer PCB to the airflow passing over and around the modules. The interface to the motherboard has changed from a 240-pin DIMM slot to a 288-pin slot with the key way in an offset position to ensure you do not get the modules in the wrong position.
Available in three different colors, you can match the modules to your build by selecting the capacity you need along with the color needed to fit the build. A Vengeance Airflow kit is available to provide airflow over the modules when pushing both voltages and frequencies up and over 3000MHz. One side of the modules features the Vengeance LPX logo while the back side identifies the model serial number and operating parameters programmed into the Intel XMP 2.0 profile used with these modules. This quad channel kit is designed for use with Intel's X99 platform, and while only 16GB in size is not the only capacity these kits are offered in. As a platform built to deliver incredible memory bandwidth, capacity is not a problem as long as your wallet can handle the hit, as kits up to 64GB in size are available in an 8x8GB set.
Browsing Corsair's site allowed me to find this clip that illustrates the feature set for the user in a short, well put together video on the merits of the Corsair Vengeance LPX modules. In it Corsair hits all the key points on DDR4, as well as the benifits of the Corsair Vengeance LPX lineup. Enjoy the show courtesy of Corsair.
Built to take advantage of the X99 platform, these modules will be the first DDR4 modules I have to test. Let's see what kind of performance they deliver when they are paired up with a high-end system.