Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 2666MHz 16GB Reviewccokeman -
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Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 2666MHz 16GB Introduction:
Corsair's Vengeance line up has traditionally played second fiddle to the Dominator as the more affordable enthusiast level modules. Not to diminish the brand in any way mind you, but the Dominators line has always been at the top of the food chain and come with a nice price premium over the lower tier lines. Not so any longer with the Vengeance Pro series modules that are designed primarily for the overclocking community. On Intel's Z77 platform we saw huge increases in the memory controller performance, with the Z87 platform pushing that even further for truly awe inspiring memory clock speeds. As of now the record stands at 4404MHz. Of course most of the top clocks are run single channel and at sub zero temperatures with nothing more than reputation and e-peen as the goal!
Now what we get with this new lineup is an improved heat shield design that comes with different color accents to match the theme of your case, be it blue, silver, gold or red, on the 16GB set I am looking at today. The Vengeance Pro modules are designed to run on the latest Haswell-based platforms to take advantage of the robust memory controller architecture built into the processors. The modules are built upon an eight layer PCB with specially binned memory ICs in speeds from 1600MHz to 2933MHz or higher. This list includes some specialty sets built using hand binned ICs for higher speeds of up and over DDR3-3000MHz. Having looked at a few kits running on the Z87 platform, it will be interesting to see how this 2666MHz 2x8GB set fares by comparison.
Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 2666MHz 16GB Closer Look:
Visually appealing, the packaging sets the tone for your expectations with a picture of the bold-looking module up front and personal against a deep red and black background. Across the top is the Corsair logo and capacity of this kit (16GB). Along the bottom is the Vengeance logo with the banner showing this is the Pro sereis modules designed for use with motherboards and processorson the Z77 and Z87 Intel chipsets. On the back panel is a short intro on the genesis of the Vengeance Pro line in multiple languages highlighted with a lifetime warranty. A pair of windows show off the center of the modules illustrating the part number, voltage, and revision number. Inside the shell, the Vengeance Pro 2666MHz modules are secured in a clear blister pack along with the warranty information in case the Vengeance Pro modules fail.
Out of the packaging and laid out, we see the new Vengeance Pro series modules come with a much different aluminum heat shield than that of the standard Vengeance line, which comes with either a tall or low profile design. The Vengeance Pro line comes with an accent clip in various colors to suite your build. Instead of the whole heat shield being colored, only the accent on the top of the modules and the background of the Vengeance graphic is colored against an anodized black background. This kit, part number CMY16GX3M2A2666CllR, is 16GB in capacity made up of 2x8GB modules running at DDR3 2666MHz using primary timings of 11-13-13-31, is equipped with an XMP 1.3 profile and uses 1.65v to run the numbers.
Corsair is keenly image conscious and decided to use an eight layer black PCB with the Vengeance Pro series instead of a green PCB that would detract from the good looks of these modules. Highly screened memory ICs are used with both sides of the module populated with memory ICs on this kit. Corsair's Vengeance Pro heat shield is a new design but is still fairly tall at 38.1mm from top to bottom and may cause interference with large CPU heat sinks. However, if you are using an all-in-one style liquid cooling solution such as one of Corsair's Hydro Series solutions you will not have any clearance issues. At 38mm the heat shield is tall enough to take advantage of the cooing air stream going to the CPU keeping the modules cool when the voltage is pushed.
Good looks, high speeds, and a lifetime warranty all make this an attractive set of memory. However the real worth will be in how well it performs in the testing.