Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 2666MHz 16GB Reviewccokeman - September 11, 2013
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Corsair Vengeance Pro DDR3 2666MHz 16GB Conclusion:
Long known as a source of high performance memory for the enthusiast and gamer, Corsair has brought a product to market that is targeted at both user groups. At stock speeds with the XMP 1.3 profile selected in the BIOS, the modules perform in the middle of the comparison field for most of the tests. Most likely due to the loose sub-timings needed to run the modules at 2666MHz with only 1.65v. In comparison, some of the slower modules running with tighter timings were actually higher performing in the synthetic benchmarks. When it comes to real world performance overall, the added speed did not account for gains large enough to offset the bump in speed and relaxed timings needed to get there. Again with the XMP profile.
Overclocking the Vengeance Pro modules provided some added lift in the performance numbers while maintaining the stock timings of 11-13-13 with only an adjustment needed on the TRAS to 35 along with the prerequisite bump in voltage to 1.75v. Keeping the voltage static at 1.65v would not allow a boot even with looser timings, even up to 13-15-15-35 at 2800MHz, the next divider up from 2666MHz. The maximum clock speed I could pull out of these modules was just over 2900MHz using 1.75v and timings of 12-13-13-35. Any higher than that the performance drop off was not worth the effort for day to day use but would look great in screen shots.
One of the signature features of the Vengeance lineup has always been the large heat shields used to manage the thermal load on these modules. Corsair updated the look with a new design that takes the color and moves it to a removable clip that comes in red, silver, gold and blue. Each color coinciding with some of the most popular motherboard colors options in use for the Z87 platform. Since the Vengeance Pro series was designed for use in this platform, it's easy to understand the color options.
At 31mm tall from the base of the heat sink to the top, you may have some clearance concerns with large CPU heat sinks. When liquid cooled there is not such concern. That's not a Corsair problem but a problem in general with all of the tall performance DIMMs made today. But that added surface area does indeed pay dividends when it comes to cooling performance. Even with 1.75v to 1.8v running through them, the Vengeance Pro aluminum heat shields keep the modules cool. Add some airflow from the heat sink or a fan directly at them and the modules stay right at room temperature.
Overall the Corsair Vengeance Pro modules are a great set of memory for overclocking and toying around reaching for big memory speeds, but at those upper end speeds you lose performance. Additional tuning and testing can get back most of the loss in performance as you boost the speeds. On the Z87 platform, the CPU speed is always going to offer the greatest boost in performance with the memory second in line. Add in the intricacies of running speeds greater than 2600MHz with high CPU clock speeds and you have a challenge on your hands finding the best overall balance in performance. If in your zest to reach for massive memory speeds and something goes wrong, Corsair offers these modules with a lifetime warranty.
I don't have concrete pricing on these modules just yet, but the 2400MHz version of these modules will set you back close to $189. Pricing of similarly rated 2666MHz modules from other manufacturers are currently in the $225 to $250 plus range, so I would expect that this Vengeance Pro series kit will come in at that price point. At the end of the rainbow you have a set of modules that look great, boot right up the first try thanks to an XMP 1.3 profile, and run cool as can be. The best bet to maximize performance will be to tweak the sub timings to get the most from these modules.
- Great looks
- Efficient cooling
- Lifetime warranty
- Build quality
- Loose XMP profile
- Negligible performance gain